Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fur and Frost - A Dragon Love Story - Chapter 6

“Up there,” Austere exclaimed as she tilted her wings toward her clan’s home.

Zodic shifted the weight of the stag hindquarter in his paws. He dug his claws in to make sure he didn’t drop it. The view before him was amazing. The ice wrapped around the mountain like a flowing blanket. It glistened and sparkled like polished stone in the late morning sun. Within the folds of the ice were pockets where Zodic could see white dragons tucked away in their nests of furs, some singularly, some couples and many families.

As they approached, the dragons rose from their nest sites like an excited flock of cliff dwelling birds. The air was full of Frost dragons sailing and drifting lazily on the updrafts off the mountain face the ice climbed upon. But, Zodic noted there were no alarm calls, no warning or threatening roars, only an attentiveness to the Furry that was approaching their lair. All of a sudden he felt very out of place in what he had always thought was a beautiful coat of black.

“This way,” Austere called and began to ascend the ice covered ridge.

Zodic could see she was leading him to an ice shelf about mid-way up the mountain slope. He caught the updraft off the mountain beneath his wings. The lift was refreshing and gave him assistance with his heavy load.

Austere circled to one side and came in from the upwind side of the ledge.

“Claws!” She cautioned over her shoulder. “Watch the ice.”

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fur and Frost - A Dragon Love Story - Chapter 5

Zodic stood stark still poised on the layer of ice covered snow, his head cocked to one side, his ears pricked forward intently listening. Trenic was a few yards away in exactly the same pose.

All at once Zodic rose up to his full height on his hind legs, he curled his head down and plunged forward with his front paws, crushing through the ice and burying the top half of his body, up to his waist below the snow. When he pulled himself back out he had a huge grin on his face. He could feel the mouse running around frantically on his tongue.

“Ieee Whinnn!” he hollered at Trenic without opening his mouth.

When his friend looked up. Zodic opened his mouth and the mouse shot out like a minnow trying to escape a larger fish. It slid and scurried across the ice until it found refuge under a snow covered bush.

“Two out of three,” Zodic crowed. “I win.”

Friday, December 12, 2014

Fur and Frost - A Dragon Love Story - Chapter 4

Austere had left during the night and made her way back to her hunting den. The den was built over another small stream which flowed into the far side of the lake. The entry was from underwater, but the den itself sat on fallen logs and brush she gathered to make a floor. Overhead the carefully interwoven branches were strong and covered with a deep layer of insulating snow, which kept the den warm with merely her own body heat.

The clan had many of these dens scattered throughout their territory. These were used to stash their catches and kills until they had enough to make the trip back to the ice lair worthwhile. Austere’s clan was matriarchal. Her mother’s litter mate was in charge and ruled with a council of her female peers including Austere’s mother. The un-mated females and the males were the hunters for the clan. They often spent days or weeks away from the main lair. It was solitary work. That was the reason running into Zodic had been such a thrill.

She thought about spending the whole night with him. She even briefly thought about hunting with him in the morning, but then she thought better of that particular day dream. He was a Furry. Their clan was known to be unfriendly and sometimes downright hostile. But… Austere had seen nothing of that in Zodic. He was polite and gentle. He did not seem to be the big, bad Furry her fellow clan members had always warned her about. He seemed almost timid and very sweet.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Fur and Frost - A Dragon Love Story - Chapter 3

The night remained clear and neither of them wanted to say goodbye. They were both dry now and their bodies were suited to this cold climate where they lived. After they finished their meal, Zodic dug a pit in the snow beneath the tree and settled down in it for the night. He would get an early start in the morning. He was determined to get a stag. He had had enough of ice fishing for the time being.

When Austere did not appear to be interested in leaving for her own den, which she said was not far, he raised a wing and invited her to share the warmth of his fur and his makeshift den. She curled up with her back to him and her head lay on his paw. They were both exhausted from the dunking Zodic took and the clean-up afterward. They fell fast asleep before either of them could even bid each other goodnight.

When Zodic woke the next morning she was gone. There was a light snow overnight and when he rose and shook the fur from his coat he saw no sign of her trail. She must have left in the dead of night. The snow had covered her tracks. He couldn’t help himself and put his nose to the new layer of snow in hopes of finding her trail, but it was not to be. There was no lingering scent of her only the smell of fresh snow and the forest at his back.

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