Nara hurried as best as her game leg would allow her. Club footed since birth, she was more than accustomed to the pain which came with trying to run, but haste was far more important than comfort on this morning.
“Stop!” she screamed, breaking into the clearing.
A ring of the village menfolk, led by the local blacksmith had encircled Fiosrach with chains and spears held at the ready. The young dragon, who Nara had hand reared in secret since he had been a newborn hatchling, eyed the men with the same curiosity which had originally earned him his name. He had not had any other dealings with people aside from Nara, and did not know enough to be afraid of the same men who had slain his mother.
“Begone girl!” the Blacksmith roared. “The beast is young, but is deadly enough already.”
Nara ignored the man and ran to stand in front of her only friend, placing herself directly between the dragon and the Blacksmith.
“Are you daft as well as crippled?” spittle flew from the Blacksmith’s ruddy face. “Get away before I decide to put a spear through you as well!”
Fiosrach, oblivious to the danger, nuzzled Nara’s back with the tip of his snout and made the same gentle growl he always offered as a way of greeting.
“The child has it under her control!” a voice shouted from one of the men to Nara’s left.
“Witch!” cried another.
“Kill them both!”
The Blacksmith’s face had turned even darker, and he spat in disgust. Spinning his spear around to the unsharpened end, he swung the wooden shaft viciously at the side of Nara’s head.
The world dimmed, but Nara could hear Fiosrach roar like he never had before, followed by the sound of screams and the smell of burning flesh. When the screams finally ended, she could feel herself being gently picked up in Fiosrach’s talons as wind rushed through her hair.