The Journey Continues...Mature

Three further days passed without too much incident. The group crossed the plains until they reached the bottom of a tall cliff. Remembering Thunder's instructions, they turned to the left and followed the slope of a hill down into yet another long tract of meadows. Here the grass was longer and a few trees rose high above the ground-hugging shrubs. The group kept going, sheltering under the trees at night and always keeping a watch for danger during the day. On their third day in the meadows, they spotted a wild pig rooting for nuts in the ground. Falcon crept up behind the creature, killing it before it had a chance to fight back. The creature provided them with a good supply of food, but they were forced to leave the excess behind for fear of attracting more predators such as the hawks.

The day after this, just as they begin to settle down and make shelter for another night, Falcon sits down beside Eternal and whispers softly:

"How much time do we have left?"

"Just over a week," she says, keeping her voice low so as not to disturb Alaric and Rosemary who lie asleep in her lap. Falcon sighs and looks towards the distance,

"We ought to be reaching the coast fairly soon," he says, half to himself. "What are we going to do when we reach the islands?"

"Find the Stone," she says. "I can track it's magical force, so we ought to know where it is relatively soon. I can already feel it faintly, not much, but I think we're getting closer. Once we know where it is, all we have to do is-"

"Fight a dragon." Falcon finishes her sentance for her, grinning and kissing her forehead. "That shouldn't be too hard after what we've done eh?"

Eternal laughs, but there's a sadness in the way she looks at him that makes Falcon think again. Something's on her mind, he can tell. What he has no idea, but it's bound to be important. He shifts closer and puts an arm around her shoulders:

"Don't worry. It's going to be okay, we'll get back in time. Once we've got the others out we'll run as far away as we can. We'll find a place where Frost and Blaze won't bother us any more." He sounds a good deal more certain than he feels, but it's all the reassurance he can offer now. He just wishes he could believe it.

Finally, he gives Eternal's shoulders one final squeeze, then he curls on his side and closes his eyes. Sleep takes him almost immediately and soon he is lost in a deep and - for once - dreamless oblivion.

The End

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