So I’m not really sure what happened, this whole event was, and still is, a bit fuzzy to me. I think, and it’s really hard for me to admit, but I think I was really very badly hurt. My brain was broken, my behaviour abnormal, I needed rest, urgently. I vaguely remember lying down, and then, all went black. *silence*
[Music in background]
This is Nadec, my adventure. Written down in a better way than I can tell it.
[Music louder and solo]
Nadec, episode 10, dragon’s White Gas
‘The dragon winked at me and burbed the zlurp to unconsciousness.’ Nadec whispered, crawling toward Pagewyn. He was still lying where he’d landed after being tossed away by the zlurp. It was a wonder he hadn’t hit any trees while in the air. With some more luck, perhaps the soft underbrush had cushioned his fall.
‘I can see you stirring, so don’t pretend like you’re hurt.’
She ignored his silent groans, kept telling herself he was overdoing it. In truth, she could hardly see him. Night had settled in and no moons were visible yet. There was a small fire, build by the zlurp, sputtering for survival, in urgent need for more wood. Shadows moved by the random rhythm of the flames. The sound of the ground under her hands and knees accompanied the crackling of the fire. Night active animals were hooting, cooing, japping, scratching. In other circumstances, the combination of it all would be satisfying. At this moment, it was a nuisance, amplified in her head.
She wanted to yell, force him to tell her he was fine. He had to be alright. If only because he was still under her care, no other reason. She couldn’t do anything but whisper, the pain of her concussion bad enough to double her vision. She stopped moving forward to throw up. Blackie immediately licked it up. That almost made her heave again, although she doubted there was enough content left in her stomach. With the way she felt, and all the headache and nausea, she was certain she needed to get rest soon. If not, there might be serious consequences.
‘Whatever the consequences are for not tending to a concussion properly,’ she muttered bitterly.
By the time she reached Wyny—it felt as if she’d been crawling forever—he was sitting up, cradling his left arm. He looked a bit dazed at her, but seemed fine otherwise. Kitty had joined her when she was about halfway, right after chucking up. His purring machine was in full swing and it made her feel slightly better, thankful that it didn’t worsen her pains. The head buts made her feel like the most important person in the universe. The touch of his fur on her bare skin reminded her that she was naked. She ignored that for now. Other things demanded more attention.
‘What happened?’ The force of his voice made her cringe, her eyes watering.
‘Whisper, please.’ Her own voice trembled. ‘Didn’t you hear me before? I already told you what happened after you let yourself get caught.’ Of course he hadn’t heard, with the silence of her whispers, but she did not want to repeat herself. Perhaps later.
‘We need something to tie the zlurp up, any idea?’
There was only confusion on his face. She rolled her eyes, and nodded her head toward the zlurp. The flare of sharp pain generated instant regret at the movement. Balls, she thought, how hard is it to not speak or move your head?
His eyes widened when he saw the body of their current nemesis, and even wider a fraction later. The movement of the purple ugliness’ chest was clear. He was still alive, but in a deep slumber. Something gleamed orange on the ground near the creature.
‘Huh, I dropped my halberd. When did that happen? No matter. Don’t know how long he’ll be out.’ She sighed as she knew what she was about to do. ‘Blackie burbed and he fell unconscious.’ There. She did it. She’d repeated herself. Blonky wallops in livercod.
‘Dragon’s White Gas.’ Wyny sounded in awe. The wondrous expression when he turned his eyes on her almost made her chuckle. Almost, but not quite. She gave herself an imaginary pat on the shoulder for remembering the effect noise had on her head.
‘It’s not as if she can breathe fire,’ she waved her hand dismissively, ‘so never mind that for now. We need to tie him up, and then we can rest. You should get my halberd first though. Huh.’ Her eyebrows shot up at hearing her own words. She would never in a million years admit to someone that she needed sleep. And she would definitely never let anyone else touch her weapon. It scared her. It meant that she was in terrible shape. When did his hand end up on her cheek?
‘You are very hurt.’ He giggled.
It was Nadec herself who’d giggled at his concerned tone. Why did he appear so worried all of a sudden? She pouted at his expression, not able to stop giggling. He looked so funny. She booped his nose.
‘Not to worry about the zlurp, if he really has been caught by Dragon’s White Gas, he will only wake when the dragon wishes him to, or so the legends go. I will take care of everything. You need to close your eyes and rest. I will get you help.’
She wasn’t certain when she’d lowered herself to the ground, but by the time his hand stopped touching her cheek, she was curled up, Kitty in the hollow formed by her knees and chest. She saw Wyny walk toward the zlurp, a limp in his gait.
Through narrowed eyes, she admired his fine buttocks when she felt a warm surface press against her back, followed by a large black tail taking her view away. The warmth of the dragon’s embrace and the blackness in front of her were enough to make her stop fighting against what her eyes wanted to do. They shut.
She fell into a deep sleep.
Thank you for listening to Nadec, episode 10, dragon’s White Gas. Narrated by myself, Nadec. Adventure by and lived through by Nadec. Written in a better way than I can tell it, by Astrid Jef.
Don’t go just yet, we’ve got bloopers coming up. Before we get to those, [music on background] we just want to say that if you head over to astridjef.com, you can find transcripts and full chapters of this podcast. Even more, you can find the unedited draft of Nadec at least up to 15 chapters further than the podcast goes. So if you’re keen to know how the story continues, you have the option to go and read. Find us on Twitter @astridjef and @nadecandkitty
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