This is one of my stories that's not quite finished yet. I still need to clean it up, but I just couldn't wait to put some of my own work on this new blog. I hope you enjoy reading it.
The Dragon Wizard’s Apprentice
Who’s the Wizard and Who’s the Apprentice
By F. A. Stigile Jr.
“You do know your going to have to start finding another mode of transportation don’t you?” the old man says to the dragon sitting on his shoulder with it’s tail wrapped around his neck.
“What do you mean by that remark?” the small dragon asks.
“Well, you are getting a little heavy. I’m mean um… I’m getting too old to be carrying such a fine dragon as yourself.” the old man stammers.
“Oh, in that case I’ll just fly around in circles above your head like a buzzard so all your enemies can see where you are.” the dragon says mocking.
“What? Now your threatening to give me to my enemies? Just because I asked you to gave my poor ole’ back a break.” the old says man with hurt in his voice. “How did I ever get myself mixed up with a creature like you I’ll never know.
“You can’t remember because the magic has fried your brains, that’s why. I keep telling you, you- don’t- have- to- go- full -out when you’re casting all the time. That’s what control means.” the dragon drawls out the word control.
“Have you seen the beasties and things I’ve been fighting lately? Oh, I guess you have. You’ve been sitting on my shoulder all this time.” the old man says.
“Look if you think I wanted to go on these adventures with you, your nuttier than… than… what food do your people eat that has a lot of nuts in it? Oh yeah, nut bread? Nooo fruit cake! That’s it. You’re nuttier than a fruitcake. Especially the way your mother use to make it. I use to ask her why she called it fruitcake when it was mostly nuts.” says the dragon.
“You leave my mother out of this you damn worm! My mother was a good woman and she fed us very well. The reason why she used to use so many nuts was that they are full of energy and have lots of fiber. She said that armies traveled on fruitcake years ago. I wish I had some of my mom’s fruitcake right now.” the old man says reminiscently. “That was damn fine fruitcake.”
“Here, let me check your pack. I think there still might be some in there somewhere. That stuff could last a lifetime and it wouldn’t go bad.” says the dragon sarcastically.
“Well, you’re right about that. She use to brush it five time a day for a month with my dad’s dark rum and honey. You could get a full belly and drunk at the same time.” he says remembering fondly.
“Do you think we can stop and eat. I’m getting hungry talking about food.” asks the dragon.
“Why don’t you go fly off and do some hunting while I find a place to set up camp for the night. There should be a stream up ahead, that’ll be a good place.” the old man says.
“Alright, and Galder…I’m sorry I brought up your mother. I shouldn’t have done that.” says the dragon.
“That’s okay Curan, I’m sorry I called you fat.” says Galder.
“You didn’t call me fat!” says Curan.
“Well, I implied it.” whispered Galder
Curan flies off to find some game and Galder finds a clearing in a corps of pines to set up camp. After camp is set-up and Galder has the fire going nicely Curan returns with a small wild piglet.
“You must be slipping or the games sparse around here.” says Galder.
“Neither, I already ate already, thank you. And I took the time to clean your supper too.” Curan says showing Galder the already dressed piglet. “I hope it won’t be too tough for an old man like yourself.”
“Are you going to start that again? What are you trying to do? Upset my stomach so you can make a pig out of yourself.” Galder say with a smile and starts to chuckle. “You get it… pig.”
Galder starts laughing at his own joke and Curan just sits there staring at him.
“You must have found some of that fruitcake after all.” says Curan with a deadly look in his eyes.
Galder stops laughing and spit’s the piglet on a green stick he found while gathering the fire wood. While looking at Curan he props it up against a rock to cook.
“Ah damn, here we go again.” Galder says
They sit looking at each other from across the fire not a word to each other, until they hear a noise in the woods. They look around trying to find where the noise came from and then they look at each other. Galder holds up two fingers indicating plan two. Curan knows what this means and slinks away into the woods so he’s not seen and flies to a branch in the canopy of trees. Galder keeps cooking his piglet, basting it with a mixture of spices steeped in hot water. The smells are enticing and he can’t wait for it to be done. Then he hears footsteps coming toward him. Whoever or whatever it is, their not trying to be quiet anymore. The footsteps aren’t rushed like the sound of someone attacking. Suddenly the figure of a woman can be seen just out of the light from the fire.
“Do you have any extra for a weary traveler? She asks.
“Come into the light and show yourself first. I’d like to see who I might be dining with or killing, before I answer that question.” Galder says.
The woman steps into the firelight. Galder looks at the woman and says, ”You’re not a woman at all, you’re just a child.”
“I’m not a child, I’m seventeen.” she says as she stamps her foot and tries to stand taller. “They wouldn’t be trying to marry off a child to the old miller, would they?”
“Ahh,” Galder says nodding his head knowingly. “You’re a run away, are you?”
“Ooh, aren’t we the big bad wizard,” Curan says from a branch above the girl’s head. “Just ask her to sit down, before she falls down. I bet she hasn’t eaten for a couple of days. Running away from the voice over her head, the girl rushes to the fire and sits down next to Galder and looking around for the voice, then she says, “I had some berries this morning and some tubers at lunch time. My mother raised me proper she did. I’ve been learnin’ how to forage the forests since I was little.”
“But you haven’t learned how to hunt yet, is that it?” Curan says from his perch.
“Now who’s trying to act big?” says Galder. “The biiig all knowing dragon, huh? Don’t worry about him child. He’s got a full belly and he’s just grumpy that he had to fly up in the trees instead of curling up next to the fire to sleep it off.”
“That’s a lie. I flew up there to guard you back.” he says defensively. “Admit it.”
“Well,” Galder chuckles. “Yeah, you do guard my back well. Here girl, have a shank of roast piglet.” he cuts off the rear leg of the piglet and hands it to her. “Tell me if it’s done.”
The girl takes the offered shank and bits into it with relish, “Mmmmm,” she says around a mouthful of meat, with juices dripping down her chin she says, “This is delicious.”
“Thank you, my own recipe. Took me years to perfect.” says Galder with pride.
They sit there eating. Occasionally Galder throws Curan the bones from his meal.
“You’re right girl,” Curan says. “He’s out done himself this time. I’ll admit that.”
“Would you like my bones too Mr. Dragon?” she asks.
“Yes, thank you. And you can call me Curan. The only Mister I know around is that old coot sitting over there.” he says teasing.
“Yeah, yeah, I get. I’m old, your fat, and she’s not a child. What a group we make.” Galder says. “Well child, do you want to sleep near the fire with us? Or are you planning on leaving after the evening meal? Because if you’re staying, I’ll have to dig out another bedroll for you. If you’re leaving, I’ll say goodbye now. I think it’s time we get some sleep. The sun rises early in these parts. Well, the sun rises early anywhere.”
“You just hate getting up in the morning.” And to the girl he say,” I hope you stay, it’s fun watching him go thru that pack of his. You know, one time he fell in trying to get something from the bottom of it,” Curan says chuckling. “The only reason he get’s up at all is the sun gets in his eyes and wakes him up.”
“I’d like to stay the night,” she says. “I mean, if that’s okay?”
“Sure, sure, let me get you a bedroll,” says Galder as he starts to rummage through his pack. Then he asks. “What is your name child? I can’t rightly say, Hey you, every time I want you. Can I?”
“I’m terribly sorry, my names… my name is…oh dear,” she stammers.
“Come here girl,” Galder say calmly, “let me have a look at you.”
She walks around the fire to Galder and kneels down next to him. Galder feels her head and finds a large bump on the back of her head. She winces from the contact. He also finds that the girl isn’t really human at all, but an elf.
“Hummmm,” Galder says. “I see, I see. Let’s make a poultice for your head to get the swelling to go down, then I want you to sleep with it wrapped around your head. I’ll moisten it through the night or change it as needed. Here, chew on these leaves. They’ll help you sleep, but don’t swallow the leaves, just the juice. Before you fall asleep just spit them into the fire. Okay?, Curan and I will go get some more water. We’ll only be a few minutes.”
Curan hops up on Galder’s shoulder for the walk to the stream,
“So, what do you want to talk to me about without the girl hearing us talk about her?” asks Curan.
“Do you know of any Elven villages around here within a few day walk?” Galder asks.
“Hmmm? Yes I believe there is one, but it’s a weeks hard travel from here,” Curan says.
“That sounds about right. I think we have ourselves a lost elf. I say lost because of the large bump on her head.” Galder says. “and not a runaway, well maybe not a runaway.”
“Why do I have this awful feeling that we’re taking a trip to the Elven village?’ Curan says.
“We don’t have anything better to do and anyway, it’s been a long time since we were there last. It’ll be nice to see them again. What’s it been, about a hundred years or so. You know elves don’t change that much in a hundred years,” says Galder.
Galder scoops up some water in his pot and they head back to camp. Both lost in their own thoughts. When they get back to camp. Galder starts to prepare the poultice while Curan talks to the girl.
“where do you come from girl, if you don‘t mind me asking?
My village is a few days travel from here, it’s call RiversBend.
Don’t you think your parents are worried about you? I mean, if one of my hatchings went missing, I’d worry about them.
Yeah, they might be. But I can’t go back there to marry the miller. What I really want is to travel and find out what else life has to offer. I mean, life is good there and all, but there just seems that there’s something that I’m missing.
Oh, you have a wandering spirit huh?
I guess you could say that.
Where are your things? Or did you leave the village like that?
I had a pack with me, but I lost it when I fell down an embankment two nights ago. Something woke me and I … um… got scared and ran with my pack, leaving my bedroll. I figured I’d circle back for it, but I got lost in the dark and then fell.
I understand. Don’t worry, we’ll take you home and then up can rest, heal up and then try again. It’s always good to have a home base where you can do those sort of things and have people to come home to when the traveling is done.