So I was so done with that creature, that xlurp. That stupid thing had destroyed it all, even my bag and my cookies, it was all gone. I wasn’t going to let him keep me prisoner, it was time to escape. There wasn’t much I could do, so I was just going to jump up, there were enough balls to hit anyway, but then *wooshing, tumbling sound, wet whack*
[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 7, zlurp
‘I don’t know what a cat is.’
The reverse-coloured xlurp looked at her, confused, pronouncing cat in a funny way. ‘But it’s fair to think Blackie didn’t eat nought live. She,’ it emphasised the gender, ‘doesn’t eat live things, she only eats the waste. And she loves fruit.’
‘She? You called her boy earlier,’ she murmured. ‘Wait, what? The dragon… is… a vegetarian?’ Nadec asked befuddled. She must’ve heard wrong. Her head pounded.
‘Vegetirn? Vegtern. Veggenar? Hrrmm. Weird words you use. She only eats fruit, and milk, eggs, poo, and all else made by live things. She doesn’t eat the live things.’
That dragon had just licked her face. Was that why she smelled shit? Nadec shook her head in bemusement and denial. That was a mistake. A thousand knives stabbed under her skull. Eyes watering, she couldn’t stop herself from whimpering. Her hands wanted to hold her head, as if that would make it better. But they couldn’t move, she was still tied up.
The purple creature frowned and looked at her closer. She grew even more nauseated from the smell of its breath. It then set her down, leaves crackling beneath her, and removed her ties.
‘You don’t look as if you can run, princess, so we can ease it up a bit, love.’
Her tear-filled eyes overflowed at the burst of pain coming from her released muscles. As predicted, her legs cramped up completely, but the creature didn’t stop what it was doing.
After untying her, it brought her wrists together in front of her and bound them there, leaving a long lead. It tied that around its ankle. If ankle you could call a basketball-wide purple piece of a leg. She was glad to have tears streaming over her face. They blurred her vision enough—it was definitely not wearing any cloth over that area.
It wasn’t until she paid attention to the creature’s nudity, that she noticed her own lack of clothes.
‘Where the fuck are my clothes, xlurp?’ She wanted to use her most demanding voice, but it came out as a simpering question. Something was very wrong with her head. The dragon whinnied. It—she—sounded like a dog. I hate dogs, she scowled.
The creature’s face darkened and he—definitely male—put his face up close to Nadec’s, foreheads almost touching. She almost vomited again from the sight combined with the smell. Ridiculously small beady eyes—she would’ve chuckled at that cliché description if she didn’t feel like crap—blinked at her. Ugh. The eyelids were all wrong, they blinked from the left and right instead of top and bottom. She counted at least 6 pimples, ripe to bursting, whiteheads about to explode.
There was no nose. Instead there was an indent which looked like the imprint of a nose, one hole in the very end, the deepest part of the cavity. The mouth was the worst thing. No visible lips, when he didn’t speak it just looked like a crack in his face, going from ear to ear. Anytime he did speak, it revealed a row of small, sharp teeth at the bottom, and nothing but smooth purple gum at the top. Smooth except for the areas where his own teeth had pierced the skin, causing pink blood to seep out, spreading around.
‘Now listen very carefully, I shall say this only once,’ he grumbled. On the outside her face remained passive, on the inside she was rolling on the floor laughing. I can’t believe he just gave me a perfect television quote.
‘I am not a xlurp. I am a zlurp. Zzz zzz. Zlurp. Not the same as the other.’ He said that last bit with a pause after each letter, teeth clenched. All of a sudden, he exhaled. In relief? In forced calmness? For whatever reason it was, he blew his breath right in her face. Nadec dry-heaved. That smell was finally too much.
The zlurp pulled back as quickly as if he got stung. The dragon came closer, tail wagging in anticipation. That damned thing wants me to throw up so she can eat it! The thought made her dry-heave some more. She hadn’t felt this miserable in years.
When her fit stopped, she looked up at the zlurp, tears flowing, struggling to sit back up. She didn’t stop at that. With a massive effort, she managed to stand. Very unstable, ready to drop down any moment, but she was standing. Agony spread over her muscles, but she didn’t give in. She took several sharp breaths.
‘So, zlurp,’ she put as much contempt in that word as she could, ‘where in Frank’s name are my clothes?’ She shut her eyes tight for a second. ‘And my weapon!?’ She opened them again, focused on looking up and not straight forward. Brrhhhrrhhr, what a sight.
‘And why do you keep calling me a princess? Is that like a pet name you call all women? I’ll show you how much I’m not a princess.’
‘Love, you should know by now that you’re in my hands. I won’t give you any blades. As for your garbs, here, I’ll show you, come.’
She had no choice but to follow him or get dragged along. She hated the way her boobs wiggled without her bra. All good and well when she was home alone and didn’t have to walk, but hiking through some kind of forest is a completely different thing. They were huge and painful as well. Stupid period would start soon. Damnit.
‘Here you go, princess,’ the zlurp emphasised that last word, his face smug.
Oh no. She couldn’t keep standing and fell hard on her knees. These weren’t clothes. These were scraps of fabric. Useless. This… No. She’d loved this outfit. The design had come from the weaponry village, the ones who’d helped her with the solution for carrying her halberd. A tailor from Earth had made it from—at that time—hard to find mushroom leather and other precious materials.
He’ll pay for this! Her eyes narrowed and she prepared to jump up. Nadec wasn’t keen to feel the touch of his sticky scrotum on her head, but the thought of causing him pain made up for that. Before she could do anything, something zipped passed the corner of her eyes and a wet thump sounded. What the…?
The zlurp grunted quietly, a triangular piece of wood stuck in the cavity of his nose, pink blood dribbled from the tiny gaps. A perfect fit. Nadec’s heart sped up. He’s here, he really is. Joy blended with annoyance; she was certain she would’ve been able to free herself.
She passed out once again.
Thank you for listening to Nadec, episode 7, zlurp. 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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