Ch. VIII: Pizzicato

          The elves and faeries found themselves wondering around the dragon's horde with little to do after they woke from their nap.  The sky began to darken and they took to examining Cirrus's various possessions.  They were cautious, sure to place anything they picked up back where they found it.  Vivace was examining an ancient looking pipe made of silver when a wind seemed to blow into the cave as the dragon beat her wings to land.  He hastily set it back among its fellows and slipped over to his friends.

          "I am sorry to be gone for so long," Cirrus apologized as she settled.  "The sky was beautiful and prey was sparse."

          Vivace coughed lightly and smiled at the vibrant beast before him.  "How do you feel about cooking our dinner?"

          Libba tugged a ginger curl on the players head in reprimand.  "What he means is, thanks for letting us stay."

          Cirrus rolled her large, incredibly colored eyes and huffed.  Around her black elliptical pupil was a ring of violet blending into an icy blue withing a black ring.  "I brought food."  She threw a bag at them with her talon-like feet and switched her tail back and forth.  "It is from a village of Asciani people."

          Maebhe gaped at the dragon.  "The shadowless people?  The golden ones- they live so near our cities?"

          The dragon blinked.  "I covered a distance of over forty leagues today, and they were at the furthest point in my travels if you would consider that close."

          "Do you think they have a piece?" Aniko murmured to Subito.

          "A piece of what?" he asked.

          Suddenly, Cirrus let out a fearsome roar, make the whole cave shake.  Treasures toppled down from their places and crashed around them all.  Maebhe dropped and curled around the yelping little fox to keep him from getting hit and yelled for the faeries to take cover under her.  Four bright lights flew to her and huddled under an elbow.

          "I know that voice!" the dragon cried.  "Why have you taken the ruby sword?  The whisperer cannot be free!"

          Subito laughed, a high cold laugh littered with madness.  "I am, I am free, Dragon!"  He drew the red blade and pointed it at her.  "Because you could not bear to part with something so beautiful- you could have destroyed me with your breath at any time, but you are a covetous beast and now I am free!"  He cleared his throat.  "Thank you," he said politely.  He leapt for the dragon's face and scored her across the cheek as she drew in breath to burn him to cinders.

          "Wait!" Maebhe cried.  "Please- he is our friend!  Subito, you must stop this!"

          The mad whisperer turned to the girl and sheathed his sword.  "Alright, you've got me."  He turned to face Cirrus who had smoke curling from her beak.  "Let's make a deal- you let me go, and I don't kill anyone."

          The dragon rumbled deep in her belly.  "You are poison and you will perish," she hissed.

          "What's going on?" Drummer asked.

          "Your friend has been possessed by the Whisperer, Bloedrecht," Cirrus snapped, her beak clicking impatiently.  "The Scarlet King will not rise again."

          "Who is the Scarlet King?" Vivace asked.


The End

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