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Rated: E · Book · Other · #1811445
A boy finds a tunnel under his bed filled with all sorts of strange creatures
#798071 added January 27, 2015 at 1:15am
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Chapter 4
The goats gave me a hard time about coming out of the fold, despite the fact that they had more than enough wool to keep themselves plenty warm in much colder weather than this. Once out though they happily marched out to their pasture to spend the day eating the shrubs and small plants that were foolish enough to be poking themselves out of the snow before nosing the powdery white stuff out of the way to get at what was hiding underneath.

Now the snow did melt quite a bit, but it wasn't thanks to anything the air was doing. If anything as the afternoon went on it got colder. This did make the flock easier to watch though since they balled up together a bit more than the rather spread out pattern that they typically held. The other advantage was that with it being so quiet and white it made it easier to spot predators.

'Big brother.' Ah yes the most threatening creature of all. I smiled at my sister and gave her a wave, then I frowned. 'Letti, that isn't a proper coat for this weather. Mom didn't let you come all the way out here like this did she?'

Letti looked at me in surprise, before producing a small handful of pickles from her pocket, 'I wanted to surprise you for lunch.'

I knelt down so I could be more level with her, 'that was very nice of you, Letti, but I'm concerned that you're going to get too cold.' I took my glove off so I could eat her offering while it was still hopefully unfrozen and so I could do so without getting a handful of hair in my mouth from off of the back of the glove. When I touched her hands to take it from her I couldn't help but notice that they were like ice. She hadn't put on a scarf or gloves. I looked down at her feet. At least she had boots, but I could tell just by looking at them that they weren't going to be much good for being out here for a long time. There was a log close by so I sat her on my knee with both her nearly frozen hands inside my glove. The pickles were nearly solid. I looked up at the sky. It was almost time to start making the goats think about going back. She said she had come to surprise me for lunch. 'Letti,' I tried not to sound too concerned, I didn't want to make her cry, 'How long have you been out here?'

She looked up at me, her cheeks were bright red from exposure to the cold and she had started to rub her feet together, 'just after mom finished feeding me. I asked her if you would like some pickles, she said she didn't doubt that you would but since you forgot to take any this morning you would have to do without. So I picked up a few and came out here to surprise you.'

I made an effort to keep my voice level, 'That was very nice of you Letti, did you'umm have any trouble finding me?'

'Well,' she looked like she was thinking hard, 'I followed a couple of squirrels and then I checked some of the field you are sometimes in and then I found you here.'

She had been out here for hours. I knew that I needed to take the goats back and get Letti home before my mother panicked herself into a meltdown or Letti got seriously hurt by the cold. Did I have anything to warm her up in the mean time? I was a bit angry at myself now. When I was out with the goats I was moving around a fair bit and since staying in one spot wasn't good herding, I never really bothered to put the extra weight into my satchel that would come from bringing any extra clothes. I pulled the satchel up beside me to check if there was the odd chance that I might have forgotten to be practical today. I shoved aside my spent food cloths, those wouldn't do much good. Some strips of cloth that I sometimes had to use to make a splint if something happened to one of the goats. I might be able to wrap that around her hands. I pushed my hand in a bit farther to check the bottom. My fingers came in contact with something leathery and ever so slightly rough. I stopped mid motion. The wyrm. I had been walking around our house, the village, the goat folds and all the way out to the fields with a wyrm in my satchel. I looked around. There was a rather large number of old branches lying around. This might be quite effective.

I took Letti from my lap and put her on the log, 'I'm going to be right back, don't go anywhere.' I quickly started to collect sticks. If she didn't have something to chase or a mission to do it wouldn't be long till she realised'

'I'm cold.'

'I'm just getting something together so we can warm you up.' I tried to pick up the pace a bit. The next thing she told me was that her hands and feet hurt. I might not have been a doctor but I knew that wasn't a good thing. I needed to get the chill off of her and then get her home as quickly as possible. I put the pile of sticks I had managed to gather just a bit in front of her in the snow. I didn't bother looking for anything small enough to be considered kindling since I didn't think that would be necessary when working with a flame as strong as a wyrms. I arranged them so they would be less likely to light something else aflame. I got back onto the log and opened my satchel. It took a bit of maneuvering before I was able to get my hand around the wyrm in such a way that would allow me to lift him out. After I got to that point he did move his body so it wouldn't be so hard for me.
'What is that?' Letti was looking at him in a curious way as she tried to suck on her hands.
'This,' I looked down at her, I didn't really want to call him a wyrm to her, she wouldn't understand what it meant, 'this is'umm Kyle.' It was the first thing that came into my head. I guess the fact that I have been talking to Lyle the goat for most of the day before she arrived contributed to my choice of names. But there wasn't time to waste. I held Kyle close to the wood pile and made the action of blowing on it, our worked out signal that I needed him to blow some fire. When he obliged Letti screamed.

'What is it?'

I tried to take Letti into my arms but she fought against me since I was still holding Kyle. 'No Letti, he's not scary. He's well a fire breathing umm, well it's a kind of dragon with no legs.'
'Why was it in the bag?'

'Letti, he was the one who made the glass goat.' I took a better look at Kyle now. He looked somewhat distressed, he was looking at Letti and at me occasionally he would include the fire in his rotation. Then his skin folds started to cover, he put his head back'and started crying. Letti was still squirming and trying to push away from me. Now I had an unhappy, scared, thankfully now thawing child and a fire breathing reptile that was crying because he didn't know what he had done wrong in my lap. I was ready to scream as well. But I ended up laughing when I noticed the quizzical looks the goats were giving us. At least they seemed to be properly enjoying the fire. They had naturally arranged themselves into a parade so that they could all warm up just a bit more.

'Is it going to eat me? Mom says dragons come out of the bush to eat bad little kids that don't listen to their parents.'

I successfully put my arm around Letti's shoulders while scratching the top of Kyle's head, 'that is something that moms tell their kids to make sure they listen, but,' I made sure Letti was looking me in the eye for this one, 'if you listen to mom you'll be less likely to be eaten by one that isn't as nice as Kyle. See, Kyle is sad because you're crying and he thinks he caused it.'

Letti stopped squirming and slowly extended a hand to him, 'Don't cry Kyle, I was just surprised.'
Kyle drew back from her hand and stared at me. I put my hand over Letti's and guided her slowly closer. Kyle seemed to relax a little but I could tell he was still wary. 'This is my sister, Charlotte, be we all call her Letti.'

'He's warm.'

'Would you care to hold him to warm up your hands a bit?'

She looked at him in silence. I put the question to the other party, 'Would you let her hold you?' I patted Letti's lap to further indicate what I was talking about. Now they were both staring at me not knowing what to do. I sighed and gathered up the length of Kyle's body before plopping him into her lap. Now they could stare at each other while I rearranged things in my satchel. I'm not sure how long they stared at each other until, Kyle turned to me and launched into a heavy monolog of noises. The moment he used a varying pitched whistle that I couldn't remember ever hearing from him before Letti burst into laughter. He looked at her in a confused way before 'talking' even louder directly in her face. Now I was laughing. Kyle looked back and forth between the two of us threw back his head and started what I would almost describe as yelling at the sky.

Letti found her voice, 'You're funny.' Then she did something I would never have considered doing; she hugged him. Well he certainly wasn't being quiet before but he was now. He had stretched his body up high enough for his tirade at the sky that his head was well above Letti's shoulder. He looked at her and looked back at me at a furious rate till I achieved some composure and smiling, gave him a head scratch. 'He's nice and warm.' I looked at our fire, it was clearly already dying. The fire of the wyrm must well I guess it was obviously very hot and was burning though the scant pile of sticks I had gathered at a famous rate. I'd better get the goats ready to move so Letti wouldn't be getting cold waiting for me to take her home.

'Letti I want you to sit here and stay warm with Kyle while I get the goats ready to go back to the folds then we'll take you home and feed you.' She nodded and continued to hug Kyle. The goats, especially the ones that were closer to the fire weren't very keen on the idea of leaving the suddenly very warm area for what I'm sure they knew would be a rather cold walk. The further ones I was able to convince to move though. Those set in motion, I realized that the others weren't very likely to move with the heat still being produced. I walked back to the fire which by this point was down to embers and began to put some snow on it to put it out. I chanced to look up and got rewarded with seeing both my sister and our friend giving me a rather odd look. 'It's time to move and we can't leave this out here to possibly set the whole forest on fire.'

Letti understanding our language better than the wyrm nodded. I helped Letti off the log, Kyle wrapped some of his body around her waist to keep himself in her embrace and we started back. The goats that had been waiting on the fire now hurried to try to catch up the communal heat produced from the moving flock. I drove them a bit more than what I usually did. I didn't want to rush them but at the same time I wanted to get back quickly before Letti started to freeze for the second time. She seemed quite happy to walk along at my side talking to Kyle, who would answer her back in his noises. I don't remember this route taking so long and it seemed like forever before we got back to the folds. Then I got my crazy idea. It was faster to take the tunnel back to my room not to mention warmer. At the same time I wasn't so sure that I wanted her to be going down there without my knowledge. After I had the goats in and secured I pulled the splinting cloth from my satchel.

'Okay, Letti, we're going to play a game now.'

'I like games.'

'I know you do, and in this game you get to be blindfolded.'

'What do we do?' she asked me excitedly while I secured it over her eyes. I waved my hand in front of her face before making funny faces at her to make sure she couldn't see.

'We're going to go through Kyle's house and you're going to try to identify the items he has made of glass there.'

She nodded enthusiastically and I picked her up and took her to the entrance of the tunnel. Letti plus the weight of Kyle was a bit more weight than what I usually anticipated when picking her up but I was able to manage. Once we were in the tunnel I dislodged Kyle.

'What are you doing?'

'Well Kyle has to be on the ground so he can lead the way of course.' I was lying through my teeth on this one but it was in her best interest in this case. Thankfully there were quite a number of things for Letti to try to identify and because I was leading her at a fairly brisk pace we were almost at my room in no time. Kyle had followed us the whole time of course and it seems the other wyrms preferred it deeper into the tunnel.

I decided to make a show of it. 'Thank you for the tour, Kyle, we look forward to seeing you again.'
'Can you make me a puppy out of glass?'

I put a hand on her shoulder, 'I'm not sure if he knows what a puppy is.'

Letti began barking in an effort to let Kyle know what it was. I laughed and took the chalk from my pocket. I drew a dog on the wall as a reminder to make her one the next time I came down here and spent time with the wyrm. My goodness that sounds funny. I took her up into my room after we both gave Kyle a good bye scratch. I then climbed out the window with her and partially around the house before taking the blindfold off.

'Hey we're home! How close does Kyle live? Can we see him again?'

I smiled and rubbed her head, 'If you're good then maybe. Now how about we go in so mom can stop worrying about you.' She nodded and took my hand without a fuss. Entering the front door brought the muffled sounds I had heard from the living room on the way through my room in full force to our ears. I didn't blame them for the commotion. Letti had left shortly around midday and it was already starting to get dark outside. I'm sure it was all the women in the village in our living room, which probably meant that all the men were out looking. I couldn't hear what they were saying since they were all talking in layers on top of one another. They were evidently also talking loud enough to drown out the door. Letti and I had already taken off our stuff so I gave her a nudge and she ran up to our mom who was sitting in a chair with her face in her hands and her shoulder's heaving slightly.
'I'm back mommy.'

My mother's tear streaked face was out of her hands about as fast as her arms flew around her daughter. I walked up and put a hand on her shoulder for added comfort.
'I'm sorry I didn't bring her back sooner.'

My mother sniffed and used the back of her sleeve to wipe at her tears. 'No Ed, thank you, thank you so much, when none of us could find her I was beside myself. I thought she might have gone to see you so I walked to the field. I could see you but Letti wasn't there. Then I thought she might have gone home already and I just missed her. When she wasn't back I got so scared, I thought maybe a wolf or something worse might have gotten her. The men are all out looking for her''

At that rather ideal moment the front door opened and I could hear my father's voice saying to whoever was outside the door, 'I'll just check if there has been any sign of her since we left before we break out the lamps.'

'She's here! She's back, Ed brought her in just a moment before you arrived.'

'I noticed that the goats were back in the fold.'

'She didn't arrive where I was until almost time to go home.'

My mother was feeling her hands and face now, 'She doesn't feel very cold.'

'Kyle lit a fire for us, I also got to feel the glass in his house.'

'Who is Kyle my dear? I don't know anyone by that name.'

'He's a fire breathing snake.' The cheerful way Letti made this pronouncement was the only thing funnier than the faces of the adults as they were all rendered speechless. 'He's going to make me a dog out of glass.'

My mother found her voice first. 'I guess she wasn't out with as little effect as I had thought,' My mother had her hand on Letti's forehead, 'she must have gone a bit snow mad.' The other women were slowly starting to make their ways to the door now to go back to their own homes and children since their husbands were now returning. My father leveled a look at me and mouthed a repeat of Letti's description of Kyle.

My mother picked Letti up to walk them out and thank them before taking the little girl to the kitchen to eat. I could tell from my father's stance that he wanted to have a talk with me alone.
'A fire breathing snake? You told me you saw a wyrm. Did she run into something? Do we need to send out a hunting party to take care of the problem?'

Might as well dig myself in further, I didn't want the wyrms to get in trouble for having the misfortune of being in the right place at the right time to help us. 'They're kind of like small children. You should have seen it cry when Letti screamed at it.' Maybe that wasn't the best place to start.

My father looked at me in surprise, 'what?'

I took a breath, 'I've sort of' befriended one. I call it Kyle. I happened and I'm not even sure how, had him in my satchel today. When Letti came and found me when she was half frozen I discovered him there and had him light a fire so she could warm up.'

My father blinked his eyes. 'And she screamed''

'When he first blew fire, and then he started crying because she was upset and then I had to try to calm them both down and then Letti decided that his noises were funny and she hugged him and he was confused and she found out he was warm so she held him all the way home while I herded the goats.' Why was I talking about all this so fast?

'So she isn't crazy?'

'No, but you're looking at me like I am.'

My father gave a controlled sigh. 'In this one case I can't decide if I'm relieved alarmed shocked or angry. I suppose it could be a mixture of all of them.' He took a few moments with his eyes closed to breathe. 'Ed, you're getting to be a young man, you have to start making your own decisions, but I would caution you to be careful. You're not hot headed, I feel I can trust you to be level headed. But please, if for no other reason than your mother's peace of mind don't do anything dangerous.' I nodded and he moved to go back to the entry to take off his coat, 'Oh and Ed, please don't bring your friend into the house.'

'I will make a definite effort not to do that.'

Supper was spent mostly with my mother and Letti going back and forth the one about how nice and funny Kyle was and the other protesting his existence. I could tell from looking at my father that he was debating how much of what I had told him he was going to relate to my mother. As it was we were both rather quiet for the duration of the meal. I went to bed in good time, and after nearly an hour my mother came and extracted my sister so I could actually sleep without listening to her talking for hours on end about what she though the puppy that Kyle was going to make her would look like. When I was nearly asleep, my father knocked quietly on my door.

'Ed, are you still up? I've been thinking about it and I've opted not to tell your mother about the wyrm being Kyle and that it is in fact exactly as Letti describes it. Please don't tell her about it without talking to me first. If you notice for any reason some cause for her to know, tell me as soon as you can and I will take care of it then.'

I nodded. He said good night and before I knew what was happening I was asleep.
I woke up the next morning by myself. I swung my legs over the side of the bed and found myself holding my breath so I wouldn't scream as the bottom of my foot had come in contact with something hard and pointy on the floor. I looked down, thankful for the slight light that was trickling through the window. I rubbed my eyes to ensure I was looking with clear vision. There on the floor were nearly twenty figures of Snaps in various common positions associated with herding and one large on of him just standing. I rubbed my neck, I guess the wyrms have seem the herding dogs in action and all Kyle needed was a reference of what a dog was to make them. I started fitting them onto the windowsill as closely as I could. I ran out of room there and put the rest on my table by the bed. I took one of the smaller, less obviously herding posed ones to give to Letti and hoped that she wouldn't randomly decide to go in my room.

When I got out to the kitchen there was my father with a steaming mug. He smiled at me until he saw what was in my hand.

'I guess Kyle made it last night.'

My father continued to stare. I put it on the table in front of him. He looked at me for a moment longer before picking it up. 'It looks just like Snaps.'

I was already done eating by the time Letti came out of her room. She was very excited and asked me again when we could go visit Kyle again. I reminded her about being good and then we would see what would come in time. I then went to the cheesemonger to let him know my opinion on his new brining methods before again going out with the goats. The day passed without occurrence and my mother was able to keep Letti home, and by the end of the day the snow had melted into a good mud.
The evening past with Letti insisting on sitting beside me playing with her new glass toy. After I tucked her in she asked if Kyle could make her a little cat too.

'Well I can ask the next time I see him, but you can't expect Kyle to do nothing but make things for you. He has to hunt so he can eat as well.'

'We could feed him in return.'

'He isn't a dog, Letti, he likes to have his freedom and be able to wander around in the woods and do what he likes.'

She nodded reluctantly as I adjusted her blanket to make sure it was on her properly. I gave her a quick kiss on the forehead and left the room, my father was standing outside of it.

'I don't think we should take the goats into the field tomorrow, Ed. The nannies are going to start having their kids any day now and there have been more wolf sightings. I'm concerned that they are getting so brave that they aren't going to be the least bit worried about our presence there and are just going to go for the kids.'

I nodded, it made good sense. Our family's livelihood was our goats. Though these ones did have kids in both the spring and the fall losing one season's worth of kids would still be a major blow. This did mean that tomorrow would be more work since we would be taking them out in small shifts to eat and then returning them to the fold. In light of that I didn't go down into the tunnels that night. Or the next day and night and again after that for nearly a week. My father's history with the goats made his ability to tell when they were going to kid almost legendary. Over the course of the week our flock more than doubled in size as most nannies had twins and we even had a couple sets of triplets. Watching the goats was now more intense, I had to watch that the goats weren't doing anything dangerous, I had to watch for predators and I had to watch the nannies to make sure none of them were refusing their kids. It didn't happen very often but it was something to be on the lookout for. If it did happen it would mean separating that kid, trying to find if there was another nanny willing to take it on and if not bottle feeding it fresh milk till it got old enough to eat the grass. There were many mornings that I regretted not going into the tunnel the night before and I would invariably decide that I would go in that night but it never seemed to fail that when the evening came I was so tired that I had no energy to do anything more than kick my boots off after the meal and fall into my bed to sleep. I often wondered if Kyle missed me. Sometimes in the shadows of my dreams I thought I heard him making noises and I would still find figures of small animals on my floor. I had a growing collection of goat kid figures. I was running so out of room for places to put them that my father managed to find an old trunk for me to use. I did give Letti some of the simpler ones so she could have something to play with while the rest of us were so busy. My father didn't say much about this, though he did seem a bit fascinated with the figures that arrived. I don't know if he noticed the color of them gradually changing. They had started off a purple or blue color, the latest ones were red and there were occasional hints of yellow. I assumed based on my knowledge of the tunnel that they must be getting into a deeper part where the sand was different. That did make me a little nervous about going back in, if they had lit it that far in then they might have glass encased the entire wall and I would have to bring back sand from the bottom somewhere to make the arrows.

The air was much warmer, the wind was losing its bite. Small shrubs were starting to break through the ground and the trees were budding. Spring was coming in full force on the mountain. I sat on the rock in the middle of the goat field watching the nannies feed in one of their precious few breaks from the constant demands and bleating from their kids. The kids in question were now becoming more secure on their feet and could not only walk but now jump and come very close to running around. Letti's nanny now had a friend. My father decided that it was time she started more serious training to be a goatherdess. Now she had charge of two nannies and their collective four kids. Dad said that after they got older he would add another to her charge and in the spring when I took the others up, he would heavily involve her in the carrying for whichever ones he felt needed to stay behind. She was in the field now. I could see her near the edge. She had been given a little crook and she was doing her best to tie some of the first blooming spring flowers to the top part where it curved. I thought for a moment that I heard a familiar cry. I looked around but didn't see any sign of Kyle, but it was also very possible that I was hearing an echo from under the ground. I smiled, maybe someone was trying to take his pile of sand again. My father and a few of the other village men were on the other side where they were keeping a closer eye on the last couple that hadn't had their kids yet. I heard the noise again, this time it seemed more distant'and somewhat alarmed. I sat up a bit taller and took a better look around. My dad waved I waved back. I continued to look around. When my eyes got to Letti, I lingered for a moment. She would need a better attention span than what she was demonstrating if she was going to take charge of a small flock. I detected some movement behind her. My hand instinctively went to my javelin. I didn't want to over react though, it could be a goat in the trees. I stood up a little more just in case. I though I heard Kyle again. I was getting increasingly on edge.

'What is it, Ed?' I could hear my dad calling behind me. In a moment I saw the shape in the woods more clearly, make that shapes.

'Letti, get in with the goats!' I had barely uttered my cry and wound up when the monstrous figures of two wolfs broke from the cover of the trees. I let the javelin fly and it hit the first one. I could hear my dad yell and start to run. I had no other weapon. I fought my way through the sheep, Letti, screaming and trying to run from the second wolf. It pounced. My blood fell to my feet, I felt like I was running through some kind of thick soup. It landed on her in the same moment I heard another predator's cry. My feet picked up speed. That was Kyle. The realization that it was our wyrm friend came at the same moment as a blast of fire hit the wolf in the rump. It gave a terrible yowl and jumped in a scramble to the side. The goats had parted so I could clearly see Kyle place himself on top of Letti and face the wolf with his mouth open. He looked larger than the last time I saw him. I had come to the first wolf. I grabbed my javelin, put my foot on its chest and pulled to get it out. I looked back, the wolf was now circling them. I rebalanced the javelin in my hand. The wolf tried to pounce again. Kyle puffed fire in its face. The wolf moved backwards. It was well distracted. I let it fly. It yelped and fell. Kyle blew more fire on its face for good measure. I reached them just as my dad arrived.

She was bleeding from her shoulder. Tears were in her eyes and her hands were gripping Kyle's middle so strongly that her knuckles were turning white.

'Letti did he bite you?' She was crying too hard to understand my dad's question.

I tried the other approach, I looked at Kyle till he met my eyes then tapped near Letti's shoulder. Kyle made biting motions at the ground. 'I think it did.'

'We have to get her home. Snaps, go.' Thank the heavens for a herding dog. My dad tried to lift Letti's hands from Kyle's back. She wouldn't let them budge. After a couple more tries he sighed and picked them up together. He grunted. I didn't have any reason to wonder why. Kyle had been heavy when he was the length of my arm, now if stretched out he would have been as along as Letti was tall. Snaps was making quick work of getting the goats to move and given the circumstances they were only too happy to oblige. I went ahead with the goats to assist in getting them into the fold and then ran to catch up with my dad. When I entered the house I found Letti being held down on the table while my mother sat in a chair nearly passed out.

'Ed I need hot water as fast as you can get me some.' I looked at the large pot of water we kept by our hearth, there wasn't a fire there. There were some smaller pots, those would heat up faster. But how could I get the water heated up as much as he needed it without'The thick gloves we had for taking the water off the fire. This was going to be a rather odd way to do it but it should work. I filled the pot with water and walked over to where my dad was with Letti at the table. A couple of the other women had come into our house to see if they could help.

'Ed I need hot water, that water is not hot.'

While he was talking I gave Kyle our signal for a needed burst of flame. I held the pot above his head and he gave it a fire blast. The heat from his flame was replaced by the heat of the steam rising from the water.

'Will that work?'

My father didn't say anything. One of the ladies rushed to assist my newly fainted mother while the other brought over some cloths for treating the wound. Kyle also proved beneficial for keeping Letti still while they treated the bite. It was an ugly wound. There were at least four clear punctures and the bruising was beginning to show. She cried every time we applied the cloth soaked in hot water to her shoulder. She was lucky the wolf hadn't gotten its teeth into her neck. Kyle kept looking back and forth from me to Letti, unsure of what to do next. My dad didn't always remember to keep his wary eyes on my wyrm friend but when he did remember he was sure to do so. Kyle didn't seem to notice. The other people that came to the house were a bit confused about him as well. But no one dared to ask. Though I anticipated a flood of question the moment Letti's bandages were in place. When my mom came back to her senses she set to work making a tea that would help soothe the pain that Letti was bound to encounter once the shock was over. My dad started packing the wound so he could wrap it. I walked to stand beside her head and pet her hair.

'How are you feeling?'

She tried to smile at me, 'it hurts, but Kyle is nice and warm.'

'Are you cold?'

She nodded slightly. I went to her room to get her a blanket. This was going to make for a very on edge spring. The wolves were getting much more daring. I paused with her blanket in my hands. And a lot of that was due to the wyrms eating their usual prey. I wonder if there was anything I could do or say to them that might help. When I reached the kitchen my dad was just finishing tying on her bandages while my mother made her drink the herb tea. She continued to hold tightly to Kyle who seemed to be taking it in stride, though my mother seemed a little worried when he would use his head to stroke Letti's cheek. Eventually she began to drift off and my father wrapped her up in her blanket to take her to bed. My mother looked very shaken as quickly decided that she wanted to be with her daughter in case she woke up. My mom walked out of the kitchen at about the same time as my dad came back. With Kyle tucked under his arm. 'Ed, might we talk'now.'

I followed him into our sitting room. I sat down on our long bench. My father dropped Kyle into my lap. He sat down across from me. I waited. After several almost painfully silent minutes of us staring at each other and Kyle looking back and forth between us, Kyle began whistling in a tune somewhat reminiscent of one my dad used to whistle when taking out the flock. Well that was on way to break the silence.

'So what did you want to talk about?'

My father sighed and massaged around his eyebrows. 'I have no idea Ed, I've been trying to think of what I would want to ask you, what I could tell you. I just don't know Ed. Between the wolf, the flock and' 'He gestured at the happily and loudly whistling wyrm in my lap. He sighed. 'I just don't know Ed.'

'He did save Letti.'

'I noticed that Ed.' He took a deep breath, 'we all fear what we don't know Ed. I still have to think about this just please,' he looked me directly in the eyes, 'be careful. Not all of these creatures may be friendly.'

I nodded, Kyle finally seemed to notice the serious note in the atmosphere and stopped whistling to look at us again. My dad looked straight at Kyle and pointed a finger at him, 'And you better behave yourself.'

That was how our conversation closed after wards I took Kyle back to my room and collapsed on my bed now that the excitement had worn off I was very tired. Kyle made a noise at me. I looked up at him, coiled on my pillow with an inquisitive process of tilting his head in motion.

'That was a rather intense day. How are you feeling? It seems that you have to face down a lot of wolves when you're around us. Or maybe you have to do that anyway.' I rolled over onto my back so I was looking at the ceiling. I stared up for a while until a greyish colored head intruded on my vision. I could see his eyes for a moment before the wrinkles on it won out and fell over his eyes. He seemed slightly put out by this fact and put his head back so the wrinkles went back on his forehead and not over his eyes. Then he looked back down at me. I attempted to resist smiling as the wrinkles re-established themselves firmly over his line of vision. He made a noise and tried again. The wrinkles returned even faster. He threw back his head and made a frustrated gargle noise while shaking his head straight up at the ceiling. A snort of laughter escaped me. Kyle made a sort of growling noise. I put my hand on his head and slide the skin so he could look at me, it did look rather funny though since I think I moved it a little too far back. He happily stared at me now with his eyes formed into upward slanted triangles.'My dad doesn't trust you, you know.' I watched the reflection of the light play in his eyes, 'but I think I do. I don't know if that counts for anything for you. Maybe he'll see in time.' I smiled at him. 'Just do me a favor and don't try to eat the goats.' I began scratching his head. He closed his eyes and leaned into my hand. After a while I closed mine as well. He bumped my hand with his head a few times when I slowed down. I'm not even sure when I fell asleep.




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