Tarasque Lives

~~~Chapter Three~~~~
“Let me try to tell you what we know about what’s been going on. I ask that you’ll be patient with us while we try to explain our reasons for your… um… incarceration- for lack of a better word. We chained you because we knew that you’d be angry when you awoke from the sleeping drug we administered and we wanted to have a chance to explain before running the risk of your avenging yourself on us. We chained you as painlessly and as comfortably as our calculations allowed- I do hope we were correct in that respect?”
Tarasque said nothing, but had to admit that she wasn’t particularly comfortable but she wasn’t in pain.
Taking Tarasque’s silence for assent that she was not in any pain, he continued. “My name is Thomas McCollum. My great grandfather was Elliott McCollum. In his journals spanning some 63 years of dragon hunting, he noted your name among many other dragons that he tracked over the years. I have spent nearly 17 years studying his journals, which he left to me when he passed away, and from reading about you I feel as though I know you well enough to call you Tara… hence my faux pas when I started addressing you today.
My Grandfather hunted dragons for most of his life, long before dragons were officially on the brink of extinction. But towards the middle of his life, he was tracking a dragon in Panola, Mississippi- near Sardis Lake- and thought he had almost caught him, when he came face to face with the dragon. Obviously it was the last thing he expected and my grandfather figured he was as good as dead. The dragon my grandfather was trailing was your own grandfather Tarasque, a dragon named Brinsop. It was Brinsop who taught my grandfather all he knew about your kind. And my grandfather wrote everything down. My grandfather and Brinsop spent many hours together everyday over many years, and Brinsop educated him in the ways of the dragons- their lore and laws and history. It was thanks to Brinsop that Elliott changed tack and decided to save the remaining dragons rather than sell their skins and such. He devoted the last forty odd years of his life to preserving dragons and promoting the preservation of the different species.
It was also largely thanks to Brinsop that my grandfather made a fortune from his books on how to study and track dragons because they were popular as gifts- with people assuming they were just very colourful and well detailed fiction and fairy tales. Sadly, most people still believe dragons are a myth. And since none of the dragons my grandfather got into contact with would allow him to photograph them, his books were published with hand drawn illustrations- strengthening the human race’s belief that dragons do not exist.
Before my grandfather met your grandfather, he developed and perfected a pair of binocular lenses that can pick up the residual magic trail that most dragons leave behind- especially in flight. I’ve used these binoculars myself in my search for you Tarasque. I had all but given up hope and thought maybe my grandfather’s invention didn’t work, but a little over two years ago- I finally found a faint trail in the air over Phoenix.

Tarasque Lives

~~~~Chapter Two~~~~
After some time she heard what sounded like cars and big doors being rolled up and down again. The sliver of light coming from the keyhole which had dimmed steadily over the hours suddenly brightened again with stark white artificial light. She smelled petrol fumes and the reek of people, at least five by her calculations. Then she was startled out of her semi peaceful state by the chain being yanked backward into the hole in the floor! She strained against the pull of the chain but was slowly and inexorably dragged backwards until she was almost crouched over the hole where the chain disappeared into the floor.
Then the door opened- flooding the room with what seemed like the brightest floodlights she’d ever seen! She flinched as if she’d been physically struck and squeezed her eyes shut. She realised the light seemed particularly bright because she’d been in darkness for so long and it struck her at the same instant that it was a cruelly calculated ploy on the part of her captors to keep her unsure of herself.
As she slowly opened her eyes and they adjusted to the light, she could make out two figures silhouetted in the doorway.
“Who are you?” she growled with as much menace as she could muster with a parched throat.
“Please stay calm, Tara,” said the first voice, which under other circumstances may have been a pleasant one “we’re trying to help you.”
“Secondary heart rate accelerating…” came the second voice quietly- clearly underestimating her hearing.
“We don’t want to harm you, Tara,” this was the first voice again “we understand you are frightened, but your life was in danger, we did what we had to…”
“I was in no danger!” she shouted- straining her already sore throat “I am perfectly healthy and I would have sensed danger miles away!”
“Secondary heart rate still accelerating… blood pressure rising… primary heart rate now accelerating…” came the second voice softly again.
The second voice was infuriatingly calm, and she forced herself to calm down and slow her hearts to a normal rate again, hoping at the same time to thwart his observations. “What did you do to me and why am I here?” she asked as serenely as she could manage.
“It’s a long story, Tara, but let me give you as much information as I can as quickly as I can.” replied the first voice.
“I’ll listen as long as I can stand your stink- but my name is Tarasque, not Tara. Don’t call me that again if you value your sanity. No one calls me Tara.” she replied.
“I apologise profusely Tarasque, it won’t happen again.” replied the first voice.

Tarasque Lives

This was originally inspired by one of Purgatorian’s (currently shuttered) Flash Fiction Friday post. Then I was going to use it for NaNoNutSo, but I didn’t get nearly far enought with it… its not yet finished, but I’ll post what I have so far over the next few days. I know I have a penchant for not finishing my stories- and I must still go and finish Flix’s saga, but lemme know what you think of this one… um, yes- I do mean that.

~~~~Chapter One~~~~
Blink… okay, so her eyelids worked.
Blink, blink.
She could blink.
She could blink and breathe.
She could blink, breathe and think.
She decided to focus on one thing at a time- starting with thinking- thereby trying to work out where she was and how she’d got there.
Gradually she realized she had pins and needles in her feet and that she could wiggle her toes, then her fingers started tingling too. She could also hear a soft clinking sound. She still couldn’t move her head or see anything, even though she knew her eyes were open. She tried to focus on what had happened. The last thing she remembered was flying over San Diego, and it had been a beautiful day too. Clear skies and warm sunshine… Then she realised she could hear her heart beating in her ears so her hearing was probably okay, it was just very, very quiet all around her. She had a impression of being in a sensory depravation chamber- a sensation she hadn’t enjoyed at all the one time she’d tried it back home.
Without thinking twice, she turned her head to look around her for light or something to distinguish where she was but she still couldn’t see anything. She was elated at being able to move her head though- it dawned on her that slowly regaining the ability to move meant she had been drugged somehow. As she continued to regain feeling in her body, she could feel she was lying more or less on her back on a hard surface. She lifted her arms and felt nothing in front of her. Sensing she had space, she rolled over and got to her knees. She was very wobbly, like she’d been asleep for a long time. Still sensing nothing above her head she tried to stand and realised her wings were bound- the clinking sound she kept hearing was a chain leading from the leather straps on her wings to a hole in the floor. The hole was small; she couldn’t even fit one of her claws in next to the chain. Flying would have been out of the question anyway- her wings were only now starting to tingle, they were the last part of her body to come back to life- except her eyes.
Being blind was not the end of the world for her kind; she had extra senses over and above the regular five to compensate for losing her sight, but she was afraid of being blind anyway. She raised her arms again and walked forward with them stretched out in front of her, reaching a smooth, cool wall in about 10 paces. She couldn’t feel a ceiling and guessed it must be higher than even she could reach. She decided to move right with her hands sliding along the wall and very soon came to a groove which seemed to outline a big door. She ran her hands down the sides of the grooves where she guessed the door would be and found a flat round disc- it moved aside revealing a hidden keyhole. Oh thank Edana she wasn’t blind! The room was just very well insulated against light! She could make out very little apart from a floor and another wall through the little hole, and there was no sound coming from the keyhole either so she must be alone.
But where was she? How did she get here? Who had done this to her? She was afraid and very angry. Her wings had finally fully woken up and she could feel the bindings, they were very tight. The chain seemed to move freely though, she followed the length of the chain and it led to a whole in the floor- not even a link she could break. She tried yanking on it a couple of times- it came up freely, like it had unlimited length.
Once she had followed the walls around the room, she realised it was very big and very high, with only the one big door. She hadn’t found any windows. She pulled the cover off the lock to let some light into the room. There was still no other sound apart from her breathing and footsteps and the almost musical jangle of the chain as it followed her around.
She was terribly thirsty but couldn’t even smell any water.
Since there was nothing else she could do, she decided to take her mind off her predicament and meditate for a while… adopt a wait-and-see attitude.