Again, a follow up to my previous friday flash, Light and Dark. Bear with me, there's only three of these left.
Nuria stepped lightly on to the red circle, marking the centre of the Ruby Scales village. The circle was formed of red rocks of varying shades. She lifted her arms up, letting the watchers take in her ceremonial dress; red silks caressed the earth, a belt of red scales adorning her hips. The top half was made of dragon scales as well, sown into the form of a dragon spreading its wings, neck rising towards her face.In the south women danced and afterwards their husbands danced for them, though in a different manner.
But she was in the North; she danced for the dragons, celebrating the pact between shapeshifters and the dragons. As the drumming began, she dropped the left side of her hip then the right, mimicking the lumbering walk of the dragon. Her arms and shoulders moved upwards, then downwards, fluid as a snake in the water. The rhythm of the drum sped up, she began to walk. She rose to the tips of her toes, arms reaching for the sky. As the drumming began to slow down, she spun round once and fell to the ground her back arched, arms folded against her sides.
Howling, roars and others sounds rose from the crowd of shapeshifters. Her smile was polite, until she spotted her partner Fain, sitting between another human and a bright yellow bear. Her eyes narrowed a little as her smile widened. He got up, ran into her arms and whispered sweet nothings into her ear.
“Meet me back home?” The crowd had begun to disperse; a pink wolf stalked past them, chuckling.
“I promised to watch Orri’s child.” Fain smiled; the eight-year-old Nell had taken instant liking to him. “He’s off courting Lizell.”
“Good, we aren’t meant to live alone.” She stroked his cheek gently, before walking past him towards their home. As she pushed the door open a hand descended on hers.
“Go away, Jark.” She stepped over the threshold, but he followed.
“I wonder how Fain the Faint bound the beauty to him?”
She turned to face him. His true form was a great, white bear, but now he was human. Handsome in someone else’s eyes, but to her he was a nuisance.
“I would rather question my right to bind his heart to mine. I will likely die decades before him, because of my human blood.” She sighed; shapeshifters were all a mix of species. The more shapeshifter was in you, the slower you aged. “I hope I have enough dragon or shapeshifter in me to live as long as he does.”
He dismissed her words. “I do not think he will stay sane enough to be in a relationship. I wonder what will happen when you tell him that his village was destroyed. He’d have been a child then, ripe for plucking from human point of view.” A shiver of disgust went through him. “Bloody humans. Your Fain somehow escaped the attack and wandered in the White for years. Or he was abducted by those from Mt.Noir, escaping when it was burned.”
“He’s strong enough to take the form of a fool’s dragon.” Her heart sunk. Fain, her partner, could not have been kidnapped as a child; he did not deserve such a past. “He could have survived…”
“Remember the one who also escaped? The poor thing would attack anyone who looked at him the wrong way. We had to send him into the Ice Barrens to die, poor thing.” His blue eyes glinted with malice. “I heard Fain hurt another trainee during battle practise. Arnie said something about black dragons being evil.”
“He just scratched Arnie’s arm, it healed quickly like all shapeshifters’ wounds. Do not hint that he would harm me. I love him for his kindness.” She smiled; when he wasn’t with her, he could be found playing with the children. “He’s good with the little ones, though he is horrible at the game they play, tag was it called?”
“He’s run into me twice.” Jark crossed his arms.
“He always runs into someone or something when one of the children chases him. Usually a wall.” She chuckled at the image. “I think he does it on purpose, to make the children laugh.”
“He may be kind and gentle now. Yet when he finds out what happened to his tribe?” He took a step towards her. She stood still, stopping any further advance with an icy glare.
“He will stay here with us. He is happy with me.” Hatred resonated in her voice and emanated from her face, yet he still persisted. “Go away. I heal wounds and am averse to inflicting them. But I make an exception with morons.”
“You just tease, beauty…”
She felt his hand on her wrist; quickly she slapped her hand over his, locking his hand in place. She lifted her arm over her head and spun round gracefully, in one fluid movement she brought her arm down and with it Jark who still gripped her wrist.
She stared at his eyes, dark red with anger. Hers had not changed. Control your emotions, use speed and grace. Anger and rash actions will lead to your defeat.
“My mother taught me how to bring an attacker to the ground. She also taught me how to rip off the sword arm. Do not trifle with me.”
Jark stared for a moment, the red slowly changing into a dark blue. He got up and smiled to her as if nothing had happened, then walked off.
Nuria shook her head; Jark would not give up so easily. Likely he would try to aggravate her Fain into a fight. Hopefully he would resist the urge to punch the moronic shapeshifter in the face.