Ok, so I missed it friday, sorry. Better late than never, right? Enjoy!
Waking The Beast
©2012 Necia Phoenix
The voices echoed through the cave system, bouncing through the unseen cracks in the rocks. Laughter, giggling, the sound of happy youth exploring the unknown. He opened his eyes, listening to the unfamiliar sounds. Closer, the voices came closer.
He stretched his lean, scaled body, preparing himself to go and investigate. He was a Forgotten. A leftover from a time of darkness, when magic and religious fervor ruled the day. He could see in the darkness, and propelled himself through the narrow forgotten passages, investigating the noise.
Clawed hands gripped the sides of the caves. He squinted in sudden bright light. He was still far below the ground, where had the light come from? He blinked back tears of pain, waiting for his vision to clear. Standing in the old sacrificial cave were two, things. Soft. They looked soft. Tasty.
On the ground behind them, in the center of the ceremonial cave was a ring of stones. For a fire, no doubt. Beyond it, a safe distance away, two odd mats lay side by side in colors brighter than any he’d ever seen, save the setting sun. Behind them were two bags, traveling packs perhaps?
His attention was brought back to the two things as they inspected the paintings on the walls. They held a tube which streamed a pure white light. And they were using it to direct light all over the inside of the chamber. One turned to the other, shining the tube in the face.
They were humans!
He fought the rage, the growl. He didn’t want them to know he was there, not yet, not till he understood why they came to this sacred place. The struggle was mighty. Their kind had destroyed his home. Destroyed many of his kind. Leaving him and the other survivors in hiding. The hate festering like an open wound. He crept behind a large boulder, pulling his body into a tight coil. Unless they actually touched him, they would see nothing but a pile of rocks. He waited, watching.
They took little time, passing within inches of him. Their words had no meaning, sounds, with nothing to tie him to what they spoke of. Without another look around they returned to the fire-ring and lit the fire, turning off the tube-lights. He watched them slide into the mats. Their voices drowsy, then, nothing.
He uncoiled, moving towards them. Humans. Hate melted into curiosity. These were not the same as those long ago. He crouched staring at their faces, the firelight casting his shadow against the far wall. What were the humans of now like? Had they changed? He looked at the travel bags and a smile crossed his scaly face. He crawled along the edges of the firelight, willing himself smaller, snakelike. He hesitated, glancing around the cave. At the edge of the firelight, he saw eyes watching him, questioning him. He touched the nearest bag and the assembled nodded.
It was time.
He slid into the bag, digging through clothes, supplies and other things he wasn’t sure of. He found an inner pocket and slid into it, cutting a small hole in the side of the bag to see out. He could see the fire, one of the sleeping bags. The others had disappeared back into the rocks, the crevices the humans could never get through.
When they woke, they broke up the camp with practiced ease. He did tense when one lifted the bag and he got a confusing blur of walls, ground and ceiling. Then they were making their way through the twisting tunnels, and he saw, through the hole, his fellows, his kin, following at a distance. He waved them back then pulled the hole tight, curling up in a little ball and closing his eyes. He was going into the world again. Yes.
It was time.