Suffer The Dragon

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Chapter 2

* Ah another creature to inflict pain upon me *

Ben flinched. Where was that voice coming from?

His legs quivered with exertion and fear. He stared at the immense creature lying before him. He saw details now that his fear had blinded him to the moment he dashed into the room. Heavy chains were bolted to the floor and bit into the Dragon's flesh as it struggled weakly against them. Not only was it chained, there were spears in its side where no doubt goblins had made a sport of stabbing it. The smell of blood was thick in the air. Ben gasped to see pools of it surrounding the dragon.

"Oh gods" He said raising his arms involuntarily.

*No gods here, little worm. Come, have your sport with me. I'm not long for this world now.*

It was a voice ... in his head? A woman's voice. Deep and rich. But full of pain, and despair.

Ben shook his head. The goblins would be there any second. But, voices? Was he going crazy? "I'm not here for ... sport. I'm trying to escape!" He said to the voice. Where-ever it was.

The dragon blinked. It's eyes were bloodshot and cloudy.

*Curious. If you're not with the goblins, worm, may I suggest you close that door behind you?*

Clumsily, Ben turned and shoved the heavy wooden door closed behind him. A large log bolt slid down and barred the door. At that moment the wood began to throb with the pounding of the goblins. The wood was holding. For now.

Ben turned around slowly, looking up and around the room.

"Who said that? Who's talking in my head?" he yelled.

*That would be me. The big winged lizard dying in front of you. I hope you make it out alive, little worm. Unfortunately, I will not be...*

The dragon let out a long sigh and closed its eyes. Ben could smell the smoke and gasses from the dragon's breath.

'Oh by the gods! It's a dragon! And it talks! How? What is this?' Ben thought to himself frantically. He walked with tentative steps up to the face of the dragon.

"You. You can talk?" he asked meekly.

The dragon's eyes opened half way.

*Go away little worm. Let me die in peace. Thanks for closing the door at least. It may buy you a little time.*

Ben put his hand to his mouth. Dying! Of course! All the blood, the spears. He though of his brothers - laughing over their occasional small monster kills. If they could see him now, they would be jumping up and down for joy. A kill like this... something perhaps only once in a lifetime... But NO! Something clicked within Ben. Not today!

"I am not a killer! And you are NOT going to die, if there's anything I can do about it!"

Ben looked around the room. Strangely, the pounding on the door had stopped. Ben knew that only meant they would probably be seeing another way in, or looking for some kind of log to break the door open with. He only had a few moments. There! on the far side of the room was a pile of blankets, probably some goblin's bed, or a trash pile. Ben couldn't decide which.

The blood. His mind was working furiously. The dragon was dying from blood loss. He remembered the lessons his father gave him in field dressing, in case he was out fighting with his brothers and had to help them with injuries.

Without thinking, Ben gathered up the filthy rags and shakily walked over to the enormous dragon. He slipped on the thick, sticky blood that was growing larger ever so slowly.

"Only three spears... I can do this!" He muttered to himself. Dropping the rags he approached the dragon. It was breathing shallowly now. Eyes closed.

"Listen to me dragon! You are NOT going to die today, you hear! Wake up! Is that any way for a fierce creature to behave? Just lying there and letting some goblins slay it?" He was trying to keep it awake. It was probably in something his father called "shock" from loss of blood. He couldn't let it ... let HER go unconscious.

He grabbed the first spear and pulled with all his might. The dragon's eyes popped open and it's tail thrashed the floor. It roared in pain as the spearhead pulled out. Fortunately it was not barbed.

*Worm! Killer! Can you not leave me in peace?* The dragon's words sliced into his brain.

Without thinking of his own welfare -- the goblins were sure to kill him after this -- he took some of the cloth and stuffed it into the wound. A fresh cry from the dragon. It moved its head weakly to face him.

*What are you doing?* Cloudy eyes regarded him.

"I'm going to try to save you, dragon." He muttered. Cold sweat fell down between his shoulder blades.

"Listen, I'm going to pull out the other two spears. Please don't kill me."

The dragon coughed. Was that laughter?

*I could not kill a mouse right now, wormling.*

Grabbing more cloth, he reached the second spear, it was only in shallowly - between two dragon scales. He pulled.

*OUCH!* The dragon's words bit into his head and he fell over, grabbing the sides of his head in pain.

"Stop yelling you stupid beast! Your words are like daggers in my head!"

The dragon blinked again. It looked at Ben. Really LOOKED at him.

*How is it that you can hear me, wormling?*

"How should I know? Isn't this magic or something? Can you not talk to anyone with your magic?" He stuffed cloth in the oozing wound and approached the last spear. Ben was almost out of energy himself. His adrenaline from running, and the terror of standing next to a creature such as this dragon was taking it's toll on him. He felt almost faint from smell of blood and his own fear.

The dragon blinked again. Some of the haziness was gone.

*OOOUCH!* It cried in his mind. The last spear was out. It was near the tail. He tried his best to place more cloth into the wound. But the dragon thrashed and his hand caught the edge of the wound - the scale bit into his palm like a razor blade - slicing his own hand open almost down to the bone.

"Arrrgh!" Ben cried out, clutching his hand.

The dragon's rich, dark blood was all over his hands. And in that moment of time, it's blood mingled with his.

Light flared out from his wound - like there was a small sun in his hand. Ben screamed. Something was burning through him - opening channels within him that had been dormant - closed all his life. Like a dry river bed full of stone and wood suddenly blasted open by fire and magic - something CHANGED within him.

Ben's soul burned. His eyes began to glow. Power filled him like an ocean seeking to fill a thimble. Lightning played across his body. He convulsed with every bolt.

Desperate, lost, a tiny seed awash in a river of power, Ben reached out for the dragon next to him. His hand touched the spear wound.

Then the world exploded in a mind numbing , deafening, amazing, blast of light and sound.

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