Parker Williams

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Seven

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Seven

Henry rode for many days, stopping only occasionally to allow the horses to partake of the cold river and to nibble the grasses. He wondered how his mother was faring, especially when news of Neron’s death would reach the village. She’d know it was him, of this Henry was certain. The few hours of sleep that he got each night were plagued with nightmares of Kai pleading for Henry to help him, but oddly not one dream about having killed a monster like Neron.

After another day, Henry came upon the town of Rorsha. It was much larger than Innernook, with two inns, three taverns, and an assortment of stores and shops. The first thing Henry did was visit the livery, where he offered to sell three horses to the stable master. The man turned a critical eye toward them, stroked a hand down their flanks, peered underneath at their stomachs, felt their legs, then stared into their eyes. When he’d done to this to each horse, he’d offered Henry thirty gold! Henry had never had so much. He gladly accepted the offer, then asked about the inns.

“If you’re looking for a companion to spend time with, Vera’s will suit you.”

At first, Henry didn’t understand. “Why would I need a companion?”

The old man gave a toothless grin. “All young men need a woman to help with their…needs.”

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Six

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Six

Kai liked this time of night the best. The moon was mostly hidden behind thick, dark clouds, so there were shadows that danced among the trees every time a shaft of light was able to escape. He always felt as though there were fae among the branches, laughing in their lilting voices, at the foolish beings who couldn’t see them.

Then there were creatures like the Kupati, that roamed the immense area, looking for food. It was they who bandits—or foolish people from the town—often had the misfortune of meeting. At least they’d served a purpose in death, rather than simply taking from those who had never done them harm.

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Five

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Five

“Where did you get that cloak?” Neron demanded only a moment after Henry stepped into the shop. He didn’t seem to care about the laden basket in Henry’s hands.

“A gift from a friend.”

Neron reached out a wrinkled hand and and fondled the fabric. “No friend would gift you with something like this.” He sneered. “You stole it, didn’t you?”

“No, I don’t steal,” Henry snapped. “It was given to me by a friend, as I said.”

Neron raised a fist, and Henry feared he was about to be struck again, but then he stopped and held out his hand. “Give it to me.”

Henry wrapped his arms around himself, holding tight to the garment. “No, Kai gave it—“ He stopped when he realized he’d uttered Kai’s name.

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Four

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Four

When Henry opened his eyes, the sun was high in the sky. The day had warmed, though it still had a chill to it coming from the sea to the north. Kai still lay behind him, his arm around Henry’s stomach, and his fingers slipped into Henry’s tunic, where they rested on the skin there. Henry feared he would go up in flames at Kai’s touch.

“Kai?”

“Yes?”

“Your hand….”

“Shall I take my hand away?” Kai whispered in his ear as he stroked his fingers over Henry’s stomach.

Henry drew in a deep breath. Every fiber within him screamed to say yes, to preserve his mortal soul, but what good is a soul if he had to forego being happy?

“No.”

“Good. I had no desire to move it either.” He kissed Henry’s neck. “Are you feeling better?”

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Three

Henry and the Dragon: Chapter Three

Kai’s hands shook as he peered down the road in the direction of Innernook. He couldn’t believe how nervous he was waiting to see if Henry would show up. He fretted when Henry had disappeared from sight the night before. He was uncertain why he had such protective instincts where Henry was concerned, but from what little they’d talked, it seemed clear that Henry was unhappy.

Not that Kai could blame him, of course. To be told he would suffer eternal torment, simply being who he was? That was sheer insanity. No one in Kai’s life believed in higher powers. He had no problems with others if they did, but it simply never occurred to him that people would allow an unseen force to dictate their lives.

Kai’s people believed in helping each other to reach their fullest potential. Each of them had a duty they would grow into, and the whole lot of them had learned that working together benefitted everyone, and that they made far greater progress than doing individual things. Not that they didn’t have their own passions they pursued. Kai loved his job of collecting rare artifacts, but he also enjoyed sitting with the children and explaining to them what made each piece special.