"Mother! Father" Smunsou's frantic cries echoed eerily through the ghostly landscape, nearly drowned out in a roll of thunder, while dark clouds overhead shed torrents of ice-cold rain.
The little Ridgeback had just come to not to long ago right as it started to get dark. He was rushing about the desolate area, searching everywhere for his dear father , whom he had last seen battling the bloodthirsty Imperial , before being knocked out. But so far all he saw was deep holes in the earth made but scratching and scraping and...and....
The call echoed over the land, traveling across the splintered earth; a pitiful, fraught cry. The last remnants of the child`s screech resonated for a few moments more, before being swallowed up the relentless tide of rain. For a moment the little dragon stood, shivering and desperate. Why wasn't Father answering him? Surely, his cries must have reached him by now. Had he….forgotten about him?
Of course not! Maybe he just wasn`t being loud enough. A sudden crackle of thunder seemed to vindicate and alarm him all the same, and something deep inside pulled him on.
He was at a ledge now-a short space spanning perhaps a little bigger than the length of his little body. He was looking around frantically, his entire being seeming to bend under the despairing numbness that the rain brought.
This call was louder than the first one, deep and infused with a coarse apprehension. It quivered with the fear of something lost, then righted itself and smashed through the sheet of rain, thunder, and all things wretched. Still, there was no answer.
A nearby shelf of rock offered a brief reprieve from the rain, and the child was quick to scurry beneath it. There was the ledge he had just jumped, right in front of him-here was a mass of rock. His eyes would be loath to spot something other than this endless ruin of pebble and stone-so his voice would have to do the job for him.
"Father, where are you?!"
A mocking silence was the initial answer to the child`s call; it slithered across the rocks and towered above him, powerful as a vile screech. It wrapped itself around him, this crippling fear, whispering tender curses in his ears: You will never find your father.
"Father!" Smun yelled out again, his voice ricocheting back to him, loud at first, then progressively softer and softer, before fading away altogether. Yet there was no answer, and there was no one around. It seemed he was the only dragon left in the whole world. Smun tried to swallow his panic, tried to force his fear down his stomach.
His father had to be around here somewhere, and he had to be all right. He just had to be; he couldn't bear to think otherwise.
For a brief moment, the little dragon began to dread the truth in these thoughts. Yet then, then …Was that…? Something else was answering him now; something was wiping the bad things away. It wasn`t the loudest or most impressive call in the world, but to a lost and frightened child, it was the epitome of all miracles. He whipped around now, his tail held high in a surge of brief excitement. There! A figure lay slouched on a raised shelf of rock, head bent at an odd angle. It took only a moment for the child to discern its identity. Without hesitation, he hurried to him as fast as he could, struggling to make his way through the thick slimy muddy waters without skipping and falling. But Irony, however, was master at its game; as the little dragon approached his father, it unlaced its plans and set them upon him.
He lay on his side, blood flowing freely from his wounds. He was in shock from blood lost and the beating the emperor had given him. It was clear that he had broken a few bones; more notably the back right leg. So all he did was lay there, until a sound started brining him around back to reality.
what was that, sounded like...little claws.
He thought he would never reach him quickly enough, and when at last he did, The child had come to a stop, head craned to meet his Father`s eyes. Ixael did nothing but lay deathly still, his head hanging listlessly over the edge of the rock, moaning in what could only be described as agony. His wounds from the battle with Monster lay wide and raw, and his blood mingled with the rain. The sweet feeling of relief was overtaking him; a breath of sadness and despair released and changed for the better.
Why is he lying down? Surely, Father knew that it was too dangerous to sleep here. There were and other dragons around, like….like….
"Father, please get up." It was a piteous and defeated plea, the cry of a little child too young to know a thing.
Ixael`s head arced, stretched in order to see his son. For a moment, the mockery of relief once again flooded the child-something fragile and tantalizing; something all too easy to break.
"I…I don`t think I can."
Was there a worse feeling in the world than this one? The hatchling called Smunsou certainly didn`t think so; he was sniffling now, racked with shivers that the freezing rain itself could not have been responsible for.
"Yes, you can! Get up." You`re just tired from fighting that monster . You had to lie down for a while, but that`s ok. You can get up now. You have to.
Please get up…
Ixael was struggling to his feet now-and for a moment, it looked as if he would be able to stand. His knees shook, and the child tensed with trepidation and a feeling that he could not explain. Breathing raggedly, his father used every ounce of strength he had left to heave himself to his feet. Smun could not describe what exactly happened in the next moment; all he saw was Ixael fall down, his body surrendering to the wicked forces that he had tried so hard to defend him from. The rock beneath him, weakened by his weight and the water, ended up crumbling to pieces under him and he fell her entire length on the cold, wet earth, his head landing close to Smunsou.
Smunsou could feel his insides burning like fire, though his body trembled with cold. Fear threatened to choke him on the spot. He knew his father had been badly hurt—precious few dragon got through fights with one another unscathed—but it was obvious that monster wasn't any ordinary dragon, plus the sight of him made him realize his fathers condition must be more serious than he thought A massive piece of flesh was now missing from the middle of his back and blood poured down his sides and dripped to the earth below. ,
It was far more serious.
Lightning flashed overhead, casting a gloomy blue-white light over Smunsou and his wounded father as they lay there together. Smunsou had buried himself closer to Ixael nuzzling his head into his fathers cheek. Almost without realizing it, hot tears flooded Smunsou's eyes, flowing forth to mix with the icy rain. Knowing death was probably not far away for him, Ixael opened his dying eyes, and focused all his fading energy on his son.
"My son….you have to find your mother and brother...without me"...
At his father voice, Smun pressed his head against his. Ixaels eyes were open, illuminated by a strange, pale light. A Thousand terrible things sliced through the petite child, and he wanted to collapse and curl up into an elfin ball. To speak his next words would be to break the shield of denial, to expose his frail youth to a fate that not a single soul his age deserved. Yet speak he did. The path in which he was walking was not one he could stop.
"But...but.. We'll see them together...You`re gonna come with me you just have to get up!" He was sniffling now, the foreboding sheet of rain mixing with his tears. He didn`t understand, it didn`t make sense. What was father telling him? "What do you mean? with out you !" Father, stop! Get up…get up….
But Ixael knew he couldn't go, he could not stand, and a dragon unable to stand was a dead one. The Dragon would not survive for long out in this environment, not with the extent of his injuries. He felt his son rubbed his tiny nose fervently against his large, scaly nose, and a hint of a smile graced his face. A sadness crept upon him and he used the last bit of his strength to try to comfort him, nuzzling into his Son, even sticking his tongue out to give his son one last affectionate lick. Before he could stop it, a tear fell from his eye as his eyes closed. Helplessness filled inside him, knowing that he probably wouldn't be able to see his son again.
A while after, there was a silence-a long, odd silence. It wasn`t scary and it certainly wasn`t loud, but to the little child, it was the most terrifying sound in the world.
And this time, the silence that followed would be the harbinger of the most horrible things, the saddest things, the things that no one really understands. It was the worst sort of feeling in the world, something too powerful and too devastating for the child to grasp. He could only lie there, whimpering and watching the rain pour down on the limp body of the one who`d loved him most.
Of course, he was not alone-the thunder, the flashes of light were present here now. Here they would remain, until the mercy of a requiem flew down, cloaking the little child in darkness, waiting for the moment in which he would be forced to stand, and face the things he had lost forever.