A cold chill came over Zoltar as he lay there, weighed down by the dragon on top of him. A Wisp Talon. What was he going to do?
“Who are you and what are you doing here?” the dragoness hissed, shoving him deeper into the leaf litter.
Zoltar growled, wriggling to get his tail barb loose. If he could just get it free he could strike the Wisp Talon and get away. He might even be able to get a scale.
“Oh, I know about your barb Shadow Talon, but I’ve got something much nastier. One false move and I’ll send my fangs straight through your neck. You’ll be dead in minutes,” she leaned in close to his ear, snarling, “So don’t try anything.”
Zoltar’s heart nearly stopped. It couldn’t end this way. He stopped struggling and went still, hoping he could catch the Wisp Talon off guard.
Time seemed to stop as the two sat poised, each waiting for the other to make a wrong move. The eerie hoots and whistles of the forest echoed around them as the seconds passed by.
Thoughts whirled around Zoltar’s head as he lay there, waiting. Why hadn’t she killed him yet? The other Wisp Talons had attacked and killed without question. What was different here? Maybe she wasn’t fully trained or wasn’t old enough to be a killer like the others? Maybe he still had a chance if he talked to her?
Anger and fear boiled with in him. This was the creature that took his wife from him and she’d just threatened to kill him. How could he reason with it?
Zoltar huffed. He was on his stomach, his only defence pinned beneath him. He didn’t have a lot of options.If talking to a Wisp Talon was the only thing that could possible get him out of this then, humiliating or not, he had to try. She’d hadn’t killed him yet after all. Maybe she was scared or maybe she wasn’t as bent on killing him as the other Wisp Talons he’d seen were? Zoltar knew that he was grasping at straws, but he had to try.
“Why are you doing this?” Zoltar finally asked after he could take the silence no more. He felt the Wisp Talon tighten her grip.
“It’s the law to keep outsiders off the island,” The Wisp Talon said stiffly, “You take our food, threaten our village and disturb the…”
She trailed off, sighing.
Zoltar felt a slight glimmer of hope. Maybe it was the way she’d said it or maybe it was just the fact that she hadn’t finished the sentence. He was sure there was something more behind what she was saying.
Disturb what? Who was taking their food or threatening their village?
He found his thoughts flash back to Felistia and Shiraku. Surely they couldn’t be what she was talking about? They were only two dragons after all.
Although Felistia had said something about her coming down to the beach each day. If Shiraku was the only one besides him that had come to the island she wouldn’t make such regular trips to the beach. That meant that there must be more outlaws coming to the island than he’d first thought.
But what had happened to all of them? Had the Wisp Talons killed all of them? If so why? Had the outlaws been violent towards the Wisp Talons? What did Felistia and Shiraku have to do in all of this?
Thoughts raged through Zoltar’s head like an out of control storm as he lay there. This was more complicated than he’d first thought.
A prick of pain shot through his neck and he was brought back to the current situation. He was still on the ground with a hostile dragons claws around his throat. He needed to get out of this first and then work though this whole mess.
Maybe if he propped the Wisp Talon more? She didn’t seem to be fully on board with her tribe’s law. Maybe he could use that to his advantage.
“But why have a law like that? Surly it would be beneficial to trade and communicate with the outside world?”
“I didn’t make the law,” the Wisp Talon said, exhaling a long breath. Zoltar felt her claws loosen a bit.
“So you don’t agree with the law?” Zoltar knew he was taking a chance, but it seemed to be working so far.
“It wasn’t always like this,” she said with an edge of longing in her voice, “I can’t….” She went quiet.
Without warning, Zoltar felt her claws release as her weight lifted from him.
Almost too surprised to move, Zoltar cautiously got to his feet and looked around. She’d disappeared. The forest was just as it had been before he’d been attacked. The light song of a robin was playing overhead, carried by the soft wind blowing through the canopy. There was not a trace to show that she’d been there.
After a few moments of staring out into the gloom of the forest, Zoltar decided that she was gone, swallowed back into the depths of the woods. Still a little perplexed as to what had happened, he decided to move on. No reason to stay here and get ambushed again. Next time he might not be so lucky.
He was just starting to walk back the way he’d come when a slight rustle overhead caught his attention.
He looked up.