Mischief, part 11

The tiny three-year-old stood frozen, scared stiff. The glowing eyes stood out of the darkness like two blazing stars, still and staring for what seemed a blank eternity.

The thing is big, huge, it’s going to eat me! Can the small thing help me? Where’s Mau? I want Mau! Where’s Da? Can he hear me? Could he save me from the big eyes? Would Oan help me, or just sit by and tell me I deserve it for being Mischief?

Pressure started building in the pit of Egan’s stomach, quickly stirring through his chest, up into his throat, and blasting out his open mouth in a pitiful, ear-piercing shriek.

The eyes flickered briefly, and something snorted in the blackness beyond. When they opened again, their fire had dimmed, and began to move forward. Egan jerked back, stumbling to the mouth of the cave, and hanging at the edge of the falling rain, so close he could feel it bouncing off the dusty ground outside.

Growling, shuffling, slithering, unwinding, the eyes and what followed slowly emerged from the recesses of the cave into the gray light diffusing into the entrance.

The big thing is weird. It’s long and twisty like the tiny worms I found in the dirt at home, or the salamanders we eat. Mau hates those, but she doesn’t say anything because Da can’t stand complaining. It looks like it has scales, like the armor Fünda is trying to make. He just can’t figure out how to stitch flat rocks together.

Blinking and panting, the dragon dragged its lethargic front half to lie in the gray light, on display for Egan’s fascinated gaze.

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