I struck out into the forest, Medusa at my side. He was not big enough as a phoenix, nowhere near big enough to ride, even though he was able to fly. I relied on him so we could follow the phoenix girl. She got farther and farther ahead, but I kept going.
I was quite winded and out of breath before Medusa came out of the canopy. He had been flying often, trying to keep us on the right track. He cawed quietly, nudging my hand. He didn't want me going too hard.
Then he cawed in a direction, west, I believed, and I followed him. He revealed a horse, fully saddled and bridled. I smiled. "How?" I asked. He motioned to a stable not far off. I laughed. "We'll bring the horse back some other time."
He ran quickly ahead, then slowed down, but still not stopping. He was ilustrating them. "They're slowing down, but not stopping?" I asked.
He nodded his head. "Medusa, I want you too fly as hard and fast as you can. Don't worry about me, I'll stay on the right path. Find them. Call to them and try to get them to stop. If you can't get them to stop, turn a few trees into stone. This will work well if they are under the canopy of the trees. I want to find them."
He flew off, with a look back at me. I smiled, and waved.
Hours later, Medusa found me. He put his head under his wing, and indicated with his beak the canopy. "They're under the canopy, sleeping?" I asked. He nodded. I started the horse into a fast canter. He also motioned to a stone. I smiled. "You turned the trees around them to stone?" He nodded.
Finally it was quite dark, but the moon was full, and cast a good light upon everything. I didn't feel tired, for some reason. The light of the moon and the cool, brisk wind kept me quite awake.
After a long while Medusa indicated that we were nearing the place where the phoenix and the girl were. I sighed. Dawn was just appearing, a rosy glow flushing the horizon.
The first gold light was just coming up when Medusa and I found the place. A circle of stone trees encased the area. I watched them both, and I felt a pang of jelousy. Such a noble creature. But then I looked at Medusa, and smiled.
The girl was looking at the stone trees. She knocked one, and broke off a stone branch. I knocked on a tree too, and smiled at her.
"Hello!" I said cheerily. "Can I travel with you?" Her eyes widened. "Hello, phoenix girl. I'm Linda. Cockatrice girl."