Chapter 7

Chapter 7

A Chapter by Havatara

When Eric woke up, he was greatly confused.  He wasn’t even in a house.  He was in the middle of the forest.

Eric didn’t move all that much.  He opened his eyes a slit, just enough to see.  Moving his arm, he lifted his hand to feel the back of his head.  He had a large bump from where he was hit.  Still moving slowly, he turned his head and looked at Jane.  She also had a large bump on her head, and she wasn’t awake yet.

There was a rustling next to him, and he closed his eyes quickly.  The voice of the boy who had betrayed them asked, “Are either of them awake yet?”

“Not as far as I can tell, Master,” said a high, raspy voice.  It sounded slimy and mean.

The boy grunted.  “Tell me as soon as they wake up.  I want to know where they found that dragon.  How it could possibly be in this world is beyond me, but it’s here and we need answers, understood?”

“Yes, Master.”

There was silence for a few minutes, and then the boy said, “If they don’t wake up in the next hour or so, throw some rocks at them and see if they start to move.”

The thought of anyone hurting his sister made Eric angry.  Without thinking he sat up quickly and said, “Don’t you dare touch Jane!”

The boy smiled down at him.  “So you’re awake.  Tell me, where did you find that dragon?”

“Like I’d tell you,” Eric replied stubbornly.  It was then that he saw what the raspy voice belonged to.  It was the ugly, green creature with the big, bald head that had attacked them before.

The boy followed his gaze.  “This is Frank.  Frank is an ogre.  Say hello to the human, Frank.”

The ogre smiled.  The few teeth he had were yellow and rotten.  He said, “Hello, human.  How has your day been?”

Eric didn’t reply, and the boy laughed.  “Frank here is very strong.  If you do not tell us where you found the dragon, I will have him hurt you and your sister.  Now, where was the dragon?”

Eric was surprised when he heard Jane say, “Figure it out yourself.  We’re not telling you anything.  Are we, Eric?”

“Jane, be quiet.  I don’t want him to hurt you.”

The boy laughed cruelly.  “No, Jane, don’t be quiet.  Why don’t you tell us where you found the dragon?”

In response Jane stuck out her tongue at him and blew raspberries.  This made the boy angry.  His pale brown eyes went hard as he said, “Maybe a night in the cages will make you talk.”  He snapped his thin, pale fingers, and Frank and another ogre grabbed Eric and Jane by the arms and dragged them to a group of metal cages on the edge of the camp.

As soon as they were alone Jane snapped to Eric, “This is all your fault.”

“How is this my fault?” he retorted.  “You’re the one who blew raspberries at him!  I was handling it just fine until you started talking.”

She sighed.  “We’d better not fight.  It won’t do us any good.”  She looked at the gloomy forest around them.  “But how are we ever going to get out?  We’re trapped in this cage, and we don’t know where Bem is right now.”

Eric looked behind them.  “I think I do.”

Sitting behind them was Bem.  He looked tiny and frightened, and when Jane went to go and pick him up to comfort him, he backed away.  Jane furrowed her eyebrows, “How can we make him trust us again?”

Eric took out a plastic bag from his pocket.  “I brought a little bit of food for a snack.  It’s crackers and sandwich meat.  We can have the crackers and give him the meat, and then he might trust us again.  Do you want me to try it first?”

“No, I’ve got it.”  Jane took the meat out of the back and whispered to Bem, “It’s okay, sweetie.  We’re just eating now.  Here’s some food for you.”  She held the meat in her hand out to him.  He walked towards it and sniffed it before gobbling it up.  Then he licked her hand.  Eric did the same, and soon the plastic bag was empty and they were all full.

Jane yawned.  “Now that I’ve eaten I’m getting sleepy.  Eric, lend me your jacket so I can use it as a blanket.”

“You already have your own jacket,” he complained.  He gave her his jacket anyway.  They both curled up and fell asleep on the hard floor of the cage with Bem tucked safely in between them.

A few hours later they were woken by a jangling noise.  After a few moments the jangling noise stopped and was followed by a squeaky noise that sounded like rusty hinges.  Jane and Eric sat up quickly and looked to see what was happening.

There was a strange woman standing in front of them.  She was strange because she was very tall, almost seven feet, and had hair to her waist.  The woman also had pointed ears and slanted eyes.  She put her fingers on her lips to tell them to be quiet, and then crooked her finger so they knew to follow her.

Jane followed quickly, without hesitation.  Eric stopped long enough to pick up Bem, who had turned into his gray cat form.  The woman led them around the outer edge of the camp to a narrow path that Jane and Eric hadn’t seen before.  There was a man waiting for them that was like the woman they had followed, tall with pointed ears.

He whispered to the woman, “Is this the dragon and his caretakers?”

“Yes.  They were locked in a cage,” the woman replied angrily.

“We’d better get them some hot food and a nice bed,” the man told her.  To Jane and Eric he said, “You’re going to have to ride on horses.  All you have to do is hold on tight to the person who’s riding in front of you and you’ll be fine, but we must be quick.  It isn’t safe for you here.”

Jane quickly climbed up onto the horse that she had been told to ride on, but Eric stayed on the ground.  He asked the man, “How do we know that we can trust you?”

The man smiled down at him.  “Do you really have any other choice?  Now hop up.”  Reluctantly, Eric did as he was told, and a few minutes later they were a mile away from the camp.

When they got to their destination, Eric and Jane gasped.  It was a castle!  The walls were gleaming white in the moonlight, and the front doors were sturdy oak.  When they dismounted, they were led to their rooms.  Jane’s room had pale pink walls and a big bookcase full of wonderful all of the fairytale stories that she loved to read.  Eric’s room had tan walls and was filled with pictures of sailboats and things that you would find on a ship.

“When are we going to find out what’s going on?” Jane asked the woman as she was tucked into bed.

The woman smiled kindly to her.  “In the morning.  For now, just get a good night’s sleep.”  Jane quickly complied, falling into a deep, dreamless sleep.


Jane was woken up the next morning by a loud crash.  She raced to her door when the woman from the night before appeared, saying, “We can’t find the dragon.  He disappeared last night.”

Jane’s eyes went wide.  “You can’t find Bem?” she asked incredulously.

“Is that his name?  No, we can’t.  We think he might be hiding.  By the way, I’m Margo,” the woman said.

“Hello Margo, I’m Jane,” Jane replied as she ran down the hallway to her brother’s room.

Eric was already up and looking through his room for Bem.  Without even looking he told her, “Check your closet.  He liked it there when we were at home.”  Jane nodded and raced back to her room.

Bem wasn’t in either of their closets, or anywhere else in their rooms.  Margo sent the man from last night, Bill, and a few other people to check the rest of the floor.  After almost two hours of searching they met back in front of Jane’s room.

“We can’t find him anywhere!” Bill said nervously to Margo.  “Do you think someone kidnapped him?  Someone could have followed us last night when we were rescuing them, and then took him away again while we were all sleeping.”

Margo shook her head.  “Don’t be ridiculous.  We checked for that.  There’s no way that we could have let someone slip by.”

“What if we did?  Everyone makes mistakes every once in a while,” Bill pointed out.

Eric got an idea just then.  He yelled as loud as he could, “Here Bem!  Come and get the nice bird we have for you!  I’m sure it’ll be really tasty!”

Almost as soon as he said that, there was a crashing from a few floors below.  A few minutes later Bem was racing around the corner.  He skidded to a halt in front of them and said, “B-b-e-e-e-e-m-m-m!”

“We’ll get you a bird later, okay?  Why don’t you tell us where you were?  We thought you were gone!” Jane scolded.

Bem nodded.  He tugged on her pajama pants.  “Do you want me to follow you?” she asked.  He nodded again and turned around to go back the way he had come.  Jane looked at Eric and together they went down the stairs behind Bem, with Margo and Bill following them.

Bem led them back down three flights of stairs and into the kitchen.  The entire place was a mess.  There were pots and pans all over the floor, and oatmeal was spattered against the wall.

One of the cooks said, “No!  Don’t let him back in here!  He made a mess of breakfast a few minutes ago.”

“We’ll be out in a few minutes,” Margo said.

“We won’t let him ruin any more breakfast,” Jane promised.

Bem ignored them and walked to the fireplace.  He pawed at the brick wall to the left of it, and a wooden door appeared out of nowhere!  As everyone stood staring at it, Bem pushed open the door and walked right into the darkness.

“Bem, wait!  We’re coming!” Eric shouted, grabbing a torch and lighting it with the fire from the fireplace.  He held it up so they could all see as they walked through the door.

As soon as they could see, everyone gasped.  Inside the hidden door was a room full of loose papers.  One of them was stuck in the door.  Eric picked it up and read, “We have the dragon and the children.”  It was from Frank the Ogre.

“Uh-oh,” Jane said as soon as she had finished reading it.

“What does it mean?” Eric asked Margo and Bill as soon as they had finished reading it.

Margo looked at them solemnly.  “It means we have a traitor in the castle.”



© 2010 Havatara


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Added on September 4, 2010
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Author

Havatara
Havatara

The Town That Moved, St. Louis County, MN (aka Hicksville), MN



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