Escaping

A dragon is trapped, and he escapes with a human.

 The sky-blue dragon blew our a rippling sheet of flame in frustration. The watching humans flinched even though they were higher than the dragon, for they were on an observation platform, looking down at the caged dragon.
 
 The dragon looked up at them and hissed. The iron chains clinked as he shifted his foreleg. He raised his neck as high
as thr iron manacle would allow. The iron burned him, sapping his strength. As soon as the humans had realized this, they had
hunted him, caught him in cruel iron nets, and transported him in an iron cage.
 
 His appearance was different than the image humans assigned to his species; where scales would have been, there was
thick blue fur, that rose rigidly in a sort of crest that protruded from the back of his head. His dark blue eyes sparkled with
intelligence, and now anger.
 
 But he was helpless, and the humans had knew it. They had thrown him in a zoo, to be gawped at, and tormented. That is where he was now. But the humans were planning to transport him elsewhere, to another zoo who would pay them a
handsome amount of money for the dragon, who was called Gawain. He was the only one of his kind who was in captivity.
 
 Gawain could speak, but had chosen not to, for he didn't want to give humans the satisfaction, but now he couldn't help himself.
 "
 Do you know what you are looking at?" he roared at the watching humans, his voice resonating through their mind. They gasped in surprise; they hadn't had reason before now to suspect he even could speak.
 
 "You are looking at an intelligent being, who has being captured. I have being caged. I am used to flying free. And this iron! It burns me, as fire burns you!" Gawain continued, allowing his feelings to flow into their minds unrestrained. They cried out in sympathy. The guide silently cursed the dragon, who hadn't spoken before now.
 
 "Come on move along. We have been here far too long," the guide, who was a middle-aged man by the name of Michael, hurried them along.
 
 "How can you imprison this magnificent creature?" demanded a boy no older than thirteen.
 
 "And how old are you, young man?" asked the guide pleasantly, not answering his question.
 
 "James," he raised his chin high. "Answer my question! How can you bear to inslave this magnificent animal?"
 
 "Well ..." faltered the guide. "We didn't know he could speak before today, you see. So we didn't know how he felt about it. We feed him well, and given him plenty of water."
 
 Gawain suddenly lunged upwards, straining towards the blue sky. The adults stepped back, screaming in fear, whereas James smiled, and the guide cursed the dragon. Gawain ignored the iron as it slowly tightened, and sapped more and more of his strength. He strained as hard as he could, pulling the iron peg as hard as he could. He felt something give. He pulled harder, and the iron peg flew from the ground, along with all the others that bound him to the ground. He surged upwards, grabbing James as he flew past. His parents screamed, and ran forward, reaching for their son, but he was already out of their
reach. But he wasn't screaming.
 
 The guide pulled out a gun, and fired at Gawain, not intending to kill him; the gun fired a special dart, that was tied to a long rope, that was tied to a harness ... that enclosed the guide's waist. The rope pulled tight and dragged the guide upwards. A thrill of fear stole into Michael's mind; what happened if the dragon flew low to the ground? What if the dart came loose? The questions chased themselves around Michael's head as the dragon continued to rise. James now sat upon Gawain's back.
 
 "Enjoying your ride, human!" called Gawain, and looked down with some amusement at the human who now clung to a piece of rope that was attached to a dart that was embedded in his flesh. Michael gave a start, and looked upwards at the dragon
that now stared at him.
 
 "No, not really," he answered. The wind tugged his words away, but Gawain had keen hearing.
 
 "Well, you're not riding on my back, so you will have to put up with it," laughed Gawain. James' laugh reached him as well. Michael cursed the dragon, for escaping, and leaving him hanging helplessly. Then Gawain changed direction, causing Michael to
swing alarmingly. Michael emitted a scream before regaining control of his mind.
 
 "I think we'll stop for the night," Gawain called  back to James, who now sat on his broad, furry back. Michael still swung
below them like a pendulum, helpless.
 
 "What about our passenger?" James asked Gawain, referring to the guide who still swung below them.
 
 "We allow him to wander back home, once we have landed" answered the dragon, and tilted downwards, heading for a
slope. He landed safely on the slope, as did their uninvited passenger.
 
 Once they had come to a stop, Gawain walked over to where Michael was unhooking himself.
 
 "And what do you want?" demanded the human, when the dragon stood before him.
 
 "So impolite," tutted Gawain. "What's wrong with you?"
 
 "What's wrong?!" cried Michael, angrily. "You could have made me rich! But instead you escape, and you drag me along!"
 
 "You say that like I dragged you on this trip!" exclaimed Gawain. "You're the one who shot me with a dart, and tied it to yourself!"
 
 "Well, I had to keep an eye on you, didn't I!" Michael yelled. "You're my ticket to richness!"
 
 "Just wander back home! But don't bring people to catch me!" Gawain turned his back on the human and stormed back to
James. "If you collect wood, I will get us food, Gawain told him. Without another word he leapt into the undergrowth, and James
searched for firewood.
 
 When Gawain returned half an hour later, a great pile of wood rose up. Gawain had killed a brace of rabbits, and had gutted them out in the forest, so as not to attract predators to their camp. He laid them on the ground, and snorted a great tongue of flame at the tall tower of wood. It blazed high, flickering and dancing in the soft breeze. Gawain pulled out a sharpened stick and tied the rabbits to it, then he held it over the roaring fire.
 
 When the rabbits began to give off a mouth-watering smell, Gawain pulled them away from the fire. He laid them on a rock
and snapped half of them up. Then he looked expectantly at James.
 
 "But I don't have a knife and fork," said James hesitantly. "My mother and father said it was rude to eat with your hands."
 
 "Your mother and father aren't here," Gawain told him. "And I won't tell them if you won't," he added mischievously.
 
 "Alright, then," said James, doubtfully. He hesitantly picked one up, that Gawain had already skinned. He pulled off a chunk
with his teeth. "Oh my god! This is so tasty!" his eyes widened in delight.
 
 "You see?" Gawain said. "Stay with me, and you'll be able to do this all the time."
 
 "But what about my parents?" James asked Gawain.
 
 "What about them?" the dragon answered curiously.
 
 
 "They'll be worrying about me," James told him.
 
 "Well I could always take you home," said Gawain doubtfully. "And go off on my own."
 
 "No I couldn't leave you," James assured him. "It'd just be good to tell them I'm ok, because knowing my parents they'll probably send out a search party, and alert the police and the coastguard."
 
 Gawain was silent. Then he nodded, in confirmation that he would take the boy to see his parents. James gave a sigh of
relief, that he could still travel with the dragon. Then with a roar, he turned on the guide, who was hiding behind a rock.
 
 "Were you eavesdropping?" he hissed, and flames flickered in his nostrils.
 
 "No!" protested Michael. "I was listening to see what you were going to do next!"
 
 "So you were eavesdropping!" Gawain thundered. "You were ear wigging on us!"
 
 "Ok, maybe I was ..." admitted Michael. "But I needed to know if you were returning to the zoo, because we must be miles
from there now!"
 
 "We are, but we're not taking you with us," Gawain told him, and turned away.
 
 "But what am I supposed to do?" demanded the guide, spreading his hands helplessly. "I don't have supplies, and I'm miles from civilisation!"
 
 "We can't help that! You're the one who got yourself into this mess!" growled Gawain, angrily, and he turned and stormed
away, his tail lashing. James was awed; he didn't realise how lucky he was that the dragon actually liked him.
 
 "Can I learn how to speak with my mind, in case he's listening again?" James asked the dragon.
 
 "Of course," Gawain told him. "Try and open your mind, and embrace my mind," the dragon instructed. As James tried to
embrace everything around him with his mind, he sensed a great mind, that had seen many things. He tried harder, then felt the
presence grow stronger. He boldly pushed his way into the dragon's mind, and thought: am I doing it? Am I talking to you with my mind?
 
 "You are," confirmed the dragon, but this time instead of saying his answers into James' mind, he thought them, and James
could hear them.
 
 James withdrew back into his own mind. He felt shocked at what he had accomplished.
 
 "Can I do that to people who don't know, like other humans?" he asked, curiously.
 
 "Yes. You can do it with any living creature," the dragon confirmed. James felt awed. He muttered a thank you, then lay down to sleep. He found a comfortable patch of ground, and curled up to keep warm. Then Gawain curled around him protectively, and extended one wing over the human, providing James with a comfortable place to lie, and the warmth of his body.
 
 When Gawain awoke, James was still asleep. He tried to get up without disturbing the boy, but couldn't. As he climbed to his feet, James' eyes snapped open.
 
 "Gawain," James said hesitantly. "You know I said I'd never leave you?"
 
 "Yes," the dragon said, betraying no emotion.
 
 "Well, I've thought about it, and I've changed my mind. You know I was looking forward to it, but I keep thinking about my parents. Last night, I dreamed they were looking for me, with a search party, and the police, and they had put up posters, but it was about
midday."
 
 "That's called foresight. When you're in the presnce of a dragon, or mythical creature, you gain the ability to see the future," Gawain confirmed..
 
 "Alright," James nodded. "So at midday today, they'll probably be out with a search party, the police and they'll be putting up posters?
 
 "Do you want me to drop you off now?" Gawain asked him. "And yes, they'll probably be looking for you."
 
 James stared ahead, lost in thought; his parents would be searching for him today, probably already organising the search party, and out of their mind with worry. He needed to go home, and put their minds at rest.
 
 "I need to go back, now," James told him. Gawain nodded, and lay down so James could get on.
 
 "What about me?" demanded the guide. "Are you gonna leave me here, to wander through the wilderness, until I chance upon
civilisation?"
 
 Gawain stood up and looked at the man in surprise; it was clear he had forgotten the man.
 
 "We can't take you with us. So, yes, you're going to have to look for civilisation," Gawain told the furious guide.
 
 "What?!" roared Michael. "The least you could do is take me to the nearest town!"
 
 "Good bye," Gawain said, and lay down again so James could get on. James stepped on, and Gawain spread his wings and launched into the sky. Michael scowled at the dragon, then began to walk away, looking for the nearest town. Gawain flapped his wings and flew towards the town where the zoo resided.
 
 When James awoke, Gawain was flying over the edge of the town. James recognized where they were.
 
 "They live near the zoo," James called to the dragon, who nodded in acknowledgement. He changed direction, and tilted his wings, so they caught the wind that was blowing. They were there in less than an hour.

 As Gawain descended on the house, two people ran out of the back door, their grief and anger prominent on their features.
 
 "What have you done with our son?!"  they screamed at Gawain.

 "He's here!" called James from Gawain's back. His parents were speechless.

 "James ..." stuttered his father. "Is that you?"
 
 "Yes, it's me. I went on a trip with my friend here, who is going to land in the garden so move out of the way," James called to them. They quickly scurried out of the way. Gawain landed on the neatly-cut lawn, creating a miny whirlwind. His large blue claws buried themselves in the soft soil. He swept his head around to examine James' parents.
 
 "Hello. I am called Gawain," he spoke within their minds. As he did so, James' mother fell against her husband with a small scream. Her husband 's eyes widened with shock.
 
 "It speaks," James' mother managed, her deep blue eyes wide with fear and shock. James nodded as he jumped off Gawain's broad furry back.

 "Oh, James! We thought you'd died!" exclaimed his mother as she swept him up in a back-breaking hug. He hugged her too, then ran towards his dad, who hesitated, but then gave his son a bear hug. Then James released them, and stood before them, beaming with happiness. He turned to say good bye to Gawain, but the dragon had already launched into the air, and was hovering, stationary. James waved, and Gawain raised a claw in response , then flew
off in the direction of the coast. James wouldn't forget the beautiful sight of that majestic dragon flying towards the horizon.

The End

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