The Dragon's Abode

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Part 1:Chapter 2

The mist slowly envelopes the forest floor that morning. As usual, the little girl set out in high spirits toward the falls.

The sun peeked through the canopy of trees and she held out her tiny hand to feel the gentle warmth of the morning sun. She shifted her stance and let the morning rays fall on her reddish-brown locks that seemed to reflect the greenery around her and she did shine like the most beautiful flower amongst the trees that morning. Her small feet bare, the little white frock that reached below her knees seemed to be one with the mist.

Her brown orbs glimmered as she intently watched the mist dance round her, surrounding her like a serpent and all too soon it began to rain.

The clouds seemed heavy and the wind was strong. She ran as fast as she could to the cave. Water had seem to soak the entrance of the cave all the way to the place she used to sit on sunny days. Being unable to shield herself from the strong wind and rain, she felt her way deeper into the cave. She has never wandered that deep into the cave for it was dark that one could barely see but she did that day.

The girl felt her way carefully through the cave. She stuck to the walls but her clumsiness never fails to make her slip at the most crucial moment. It might have been the moss that covered the cave's floor or her slight misstep. She slipped and landed on her back.

She had never been one to cry over trivial matters so she sat up and rubbed her back complaining for a while when her thoughts drifted to something else.

The floor she was sitting on.

It took her long enough to realise she was sitting on something soft. She felt the floor with both her hands and it shifted so she fell with a thud.

"Ouchhieee.. that hurt more than the first." She softly groaned.

Grunt...

The whole cave vibrated with an unfamiliar sound. The sound continued.

Huff... Growl

A whiff of wind blew past her face. She looked about her, squinting her eyes in the darkness of the cave. She can barely see but felt a presence, one she had never felt before. In the darkness she could barely crouch her way through to avoid slipping once more.

A curious one she was. She heard the low rumbling continue and went crouching towards the sound. The rocky floor was cold beneath her little arms and knees. She advanced towards the sound.

When she assumed she was close enough, she held out her tiny palm to feel the space in front of her. It was smooth as ivory, hard, cold and smooth. She gently tapped on it and felt the object suddenly shifting upwards. She then stood on her toes to reach out to it again. The creature grunted and opened his silver eyes that lit up the whole cave. By that light the cave can almost be entirely seen; wide, majestic, but the little girl's gaze was entirely fixed on the creature. His enormous fangs protruding, his long mustache seemed to have him tangled in between. He moved, and when he did, bugs crawled away from his long, black, moss-covered serpentine body.

The little girl stood in awe with gaping mouth.

"You're a big mustache fish," she remarked.

The creature shifted slightly,

" I can see you aren't afraid but do not tap a dragon's fang again, it disturbs the sleep." He replied as he bent down his large head and slowly closed his eyes to sleep again.

The girl walked towards him.

"You're like a cat then, you sleep a lot I think..."

The cave fell into darkness once more as the dragon closed his eyes. He then replied, "I am not as large as I once was but I'm way bigger than a cat. And I am a dragon, not a fish."

The little girl sat down beside him, her little white frock stained with green from the moss she had slipped on but the wounds, the dirt, the moss never mattered to her. She paid no attention.

"How long have you been here?" She asked. Her eyes shining with curiousity.

"Long enough for my body to grow back so my spirit can return." The dragon replied.

"Can you fly?" She asked.

"Hmm... Who knows... And you should head home else I might grow hungry and gobble you up."

She stayed silent for a while as if thinking. Then she replied, "I can bring you food if you'd like. My grandma cooks the best food. What do you eat?"

"I consume mist."

"So you don't eat people."

"I do eat people."

"But you eat mist."

"Go home kid. Let me rest." He grunted.

She seemed to consider that the dragon really needs rest for he seemed weak.

She then stood up and brushed her frock.

"I shall go when before the sun sets. Grandma will be waiting for me. Till then I will be around this forest."

With that, she ran out the cave. The rain had stopped and the earth smelt fresh with the scent of damp pine trees infused in the air.

"I can't wait to tell grandma about the kind fish. I hope he doesn't mind if I tell grandma." She thought.

When evening dawned, she returned to the cave and bid her farewell for the day. And this time she bid her goodbye to her kind fish as well.

And when night fell that day, the dragon recalled faintly of the sincere goodbyes he'd hear every evening during his long and deep sleep.

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