The Tale of Ander Collins - Chapter Nineteen

Fiction By LoriAnn // 9/25/2009

 

“He what?” demanded Thraluic, snorting a bright flash of green flame. “He refused?”
Ander flinched, blinking the afterimage of fire from his eyes. Despite his own disappointment, something made him want to defend his uncle. “He’s got a good home here, and a family. It’s understandable that he wouldn’t want to—“
“It’s inconceivable!” The black dragon roared, ignoring Ander. “This is his responsibility, his duty. The Ravin I knew would have understood that – has safety turned him soft?”
Shyllen sighed. “We’ll figure something out, Uncle,” she said soothingly. “Maybe if we brought him here, so you could talk to him yourself—“
“That’s it,” Thraluic interrupted again, snapping his jaw shut with a sharp clack. “I’ll have to talk to him myself.” He seemed to be calming down, the outrage in his golden eyes cooling to mere indignation. “Stand back.”
Shyllen started visibly, and Ander took a cautious step backward, to stand next to Jagsod. The ogre had been silent through the account of Ravin’s refusal, and now he gave Ander a questioning glance. Ander shrugged.
“You’d better not be doing what I think you’re doing,” Shyllen snapped at her uncle. “You know you don’t have the energy for it anymore.”
Thraluic shuddered, his scaled glittering with pale green light in the soft glow of the moon. “I’m angry enough right now, niece,” he growled, rattling his wings harshly. “I could do a lot of things.”
She stepped forward, hands spread. “Do you really want to chance getting stuck in an inferior form – or worse yet, trapped in between?”
Ander’s eyes went from Thraluic to Shyllen, and back. “What are you talking about?” he asked worriedly.
Shyllen cast him an exasperated look, but he saw the anxiety behind her violet eyes. “He thinks he’s going to shift.” Glaring at Thraluic, she added. “But he can’t – not safely.”
“Indeed I can. And I will.” The black dragon nodded decisively. “So I’d advise you to stay back – I’m not as good at this as I once was.”
Shyllen shook her head. “There’s no getting to you…” she muttered, her face lined with unease.
Thraluic didn’t answer. He was tense and still, his head bowed. Ander watched in apprehensive fascination, as the dragon’s huge form blurred and seemed to run; like an ink drawing left in the rain. His black scales smoothed into each other, fusing into a flexible skin that gleamed, as though from perspiration. Thraluic’s eyes were closed as he concentrated, and his wide brow furrowed deeply.
Slowly – ever so slowly – Thraluic’s wings shrank. First they just grew smaller, then slightly translucent, and then they seemed to shrivel into his back. The sight of the dragon, wingless and scale-less, was eerie. Ander couldn’t help looking over his shoulder to make sure that no one was sneaking up to attack while they were all distracted and vulnerable.
After the wings were gone, Thraluic’s horns and dorsal-spines shrank into themselves as well, growing round and soft-looking as they vanished into his skin. Ander suddenly realized that Thraluic himself had been shrinking gradually this whole time – he was only about the size of a large horse by now.
Then, with a long moan like a man who has just awakened, Thraluic seemed to…turn inside out on himself – that was the only way Ander could think to describe it. Jagsod grabbed Ander’s arm in shock, and even Ander – who had seen Shyllen shift before, after all – gaped.
Standing where Thraluic had been mere moments before, stretching his arms and breathing hard, was a man.
Ander couldn’t help but gape at the tall, well-built figure. “Thraluic?” he asked, knowing that it was, and yet disbelieving.
The dragon – or man, rather – smiled tiredly at him, blinking his strange, stunning golden eyes rapidly. “Indeed. That was…” he wavered slightly, and sat down on a patch of grass. “That was just a little bit harder than I’d remembered.”
Shyllen rushed to her uncle’s side and pushed his dark black hair away from his forehead, peering into his eyes carefully. “You shouldn’t have done that,” she growled reprovingly. “How do you think you’re going to get back?”
Thraluic shrugged – and to Ander, it seemed unnatural that there was no dry rattle of leathery wings. “I’ll manage somehow or another. Right now, I just want to go pay a visit to that upstart Ravin.” He pushed himself to his feet impatiently; took a slight, stumbling step forward, and straightened. Throwing his shoulders back, he stood firm.
“Take me to your uncle, lad,” he ordered Ander, ignoring his niece’s anxious hovering and Jagsod’s unabashed gape. “We have some business to do.”

Comments

Exciting

So realistic..old hnau of any species tend to rouse themselves when angry. Anger is a powerful stimulant. 

And yes, I did use the word 'realistic'  for a story with an orgre, a boy, and two shape-shifting dragons!

Julie | Tue, 10/06/2009

Formerly Kestrel

WOW. wow. Wow. WOW! Is there

WOW. wow. Wow. WOW! Is there anything else I can say?

BTW, why do i get the feeling that he's going to be stuck in human form?

Ariel | Tue, 10/06/2009

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"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

^ An inferior human form, at

^ An inferior human form, at that! 

Bridget | Tue, 10/06/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

!!!

Not right--such a short chapter!!!

I really liked the shape-shifting with Thraluic though--I have a bad feeling he's going to get stuck in human form though--and I hope not because I like him as a dragon.

Heather | Wed, 10/07/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

LOL

So so so fun...I've written up to chapter 24, so I can sit back and take a break for a while, right?

LoriAnn | Wed, 10/07/2009