Fraya walked confidently out of the cave. Sitting at the edge of the entrance had been a young boy who Fraya guessed had been awaiting the hero she currently held in her jaws. When what he saw was her lizard like shape he ran out into the field surrounding the cave, his warming cries alerting the other humans who had gathered to wait for young Marcus. It amused her to watch their little legs carry them speedily away like rats fleeing from the light. Soon one of the youths would reach the village and raise the alarm but Fraya felt no concern over this. If the young man who had fainted at the sight of her was the best they had to offer then there was little need to fear them. At least there was little need to fear them for now. How long before the bounty hunters came. Hunters like the ones who had driven her from her home. They would not be as foolish as this young human. They would not underestimate her. Still the village was remote and she would yet have a month or two of peace.
She suddenly longed for the long halls of her home, of the white mountains whose peaks where so far from these men. It angered her to think she was forced to live in this small cave where the rocks where rough and dry to the bone else smothered in a thick slime with dripping stalactites. And these humans even denied her this space to just live. They were small and so soft, if she attacked now, giving them no chance to prepared then she may just be able to rid herself of their irritating ways.
She heard a soft groan and released some pressure in her jaws. Consumed by thoughts of freeing herself, she had forgotten her delicate cargo. She had to find somewhere to leave this man before she accidentally crushed him or damaged his soft skin. Maybe if this human was returned to his village then their fears would be calmed. Then if she kept quiet and avoided the creatures then they would leave her alone. She scowled at herself, no longer angry, just saddened at the pathetic state she become. In years gone by she would have had no hesitation in defending herself and now she only hoped to be able to hide.
Pushing these thoughts of despair aside she noted a human kneeling under the large Oak which stood lone in the middle of the field. A single soul had chosen to stay when all others ran. Was this to be her next challenger or just some curious spirit who wished to see the glory of the dragon. Perhaps she should find out. Opening her wings she lifted herself off the ground and gently glided to the tree, landing so that she came face to face with the human.
Morgan had begun to grow bored but none of the others wished to leave. She should have gone with her father when he and the village elders had returned to their daily labors. Only the children and younger adults had stayed, all excited for Marcus' triumphant return. They were all so cheery as they amused themselves with games and talk. Only the young dark haired Morgan was to be found looking concerned. She sat in the shade of an oak that grew lone in the field surrounding the cave entrance. A number of young women, her friends, huddled under that tree. They chatter and laugh, all aware of Morgan's absent voice, believing her silence and worry is due to fear for the safety of her brave future husband, as he journeys alone through the labyrinth of tunnels. They do not know of the conflict in Morgan's mind, for though she does not wish the brave warrior harm, she also does not want to see the arrogant man victorious. She does not wish to end his wife.
A commotion further up the field distracted Morgan from her thoughts. Warren the blacksmiths son was charging down the field shouting at the top of his lungs. "The dragon is coming! The dragon is coming!" Morgan barely noticed as pandemonium broke out around her. Everyone's thoughts were filled with fleeing from the field before the monster came after them and with cries of fear they all ran for the village. Ten year old Jess being the first to reach home and raise the alarm. Morgan was the only one who had not moved. She merely stared at the entrance waiting for a sight of the dragon and praying that Marcus would come running out first. A hand grabbed her wrist and almost pulled Morgan off her feet. She was being dragged away by her cousin Abigail but she resisted, braking away from Abigail's grip.
"Morgan! What are you doing?" said Abigail as she resisted the urge to continue running. "The dragon is coming! It'll kill you."
Morgan smiled. She actually felt it more likely that the dragon would notice and chase the many moving figures than one small, still individual hiding under a tree. "I'll climb the Oak and hide," replied Morgan heading back to the tree. "I want to see. Run back to the village. I'll be ok." But Morgan did not climb the tree as her cousin momentaryily struggled with the decision to leave, as it was then that she caught sight of the dragon. Morgan had not actually seen the creature before and now the sight gave her pause for thought. It was so large and ferocious looking, how had Marcus expected to defeat something as large as that. Foolish Marcus!
Morgan kneeled to the floor hoping that if she made herself as small as possible then she would be harder to notice. Only as the dragon lifted itself into the air it seemed to make straight for her. Suddenly she regretted her decision to stay and now there was no chance to run, nowhere to hide.