Psam of the Elder Dragon

Part 6

Anxious pants of breath and droplets of sadness followed Psam as she sprinted directionless through the tensioned wilderness, the crickets below her falling silent with the crackling of fallen branches and dampened thumps that accompanied each running stomp. Her eyes bloodshot from stress and tears, she could only take the many scrapes and blows of branches and rocks in her path with enraged stride as she careened through the barely visible void underneath the nighttime canopy. It was only when she stumbled upon one of her father's hunting trails that she slowed herself to a limp, the pain having finally caught up with her. Under the newfound, though soft light of the moon overhead, she could only clutch at her now reopened wounds through the waves of agony shooting up her arms and legs. Too much. She managed only a few more wobbling paces before collapsing under one of the many ancient olive trees dominating whatever land could be found between the hordes of pine and fir. Propping herself against its amorphous bore, her legs slowly gave out. Descending into a sitting position abreast it, she ran her hands along its time weathered bark, trying to retrieve any aspect of its texture before sensation escaped them. Her body now an ensemble of pain and static, she managed one last look at the moon above, its heavenly rays dotting her with pools of pasty white wherever it poked through the mosaic of leaves and branches.

"What am I doing?" She muttered, almost coughing up each word as the fatigue overtook her. With a final sigh, her vision dipped below the veil of her closing eyelids as consciousness faded from her.

Not a moment had passed after her eyes had shut that they shot open, a soft gasp following as she found herself and the tree she had fallen under surrounded by a thick fog of white luminescence. Upon a quick inspection, she bore none of the wounds she had sustained that day yet the same static that had overtaken her remained, paralyzing her from the neck down where she lay. Her breathing intensified as she struggled to move even an inch, and a sudden sensation of foreign eyes bearing down on her from afar only exacerbated this. Desperately, she scanned the endless white void suffocating her for some semblance of life whether it would feed or ease her paranoia.

"Hello?" She called out, her voice seeming to echo into the unknown before her. "Is anyone there?" As she uttered the last word of her anxious request, a gust of wind, its origin all but unfathomable, swept into her and up the trunk of the olive tree. Its bore swayed just so to give off a haunting creek and its branches launched into a flurry, each and every sound reverberating into the distance just as her own voice had. As quickly as it had come, the alien wind had ceased. Yet still, Psam had reached a state of near hyperventilation, her heart pounding inside her chest with unholy intensity. It was only when a single branch, adorned with edenic leaves and a single ripe olive at its tip, floated down from somewhere within the crowd of others and landed ever so gently on her lap that she somehow calmed herself.

"Psam," a voice, aged in its tone yet silken to receive, called out to her. It carried as though it had been uttered from afar, yet it was immediate, suggesting it had somehow penetrated her conscious space. Lifting her eyes from the olive branch, her gaze slowly befell that of a bestial form which lay just within sight directly in front of her. White as the haze which surrounded them, she relied on its scaly texture to make out a dragon-like shape, the only detail readily present to her being its piercing green eyes affixed firmly on hers. Motionless as she was, it continued only to stare, and she could only stare back. Again, a voice called out for her, this time sending a gust of wind far exceeding the intensity of the former through their corporeal realm. The white mist agitated in response, and the beast opposite her faded into it as it routed. Fear gripped Psam yet again, her only option to shut her eyes tightly and hope for the best as darkness fell upon her.