Part four of Misplaced Fire
Jason and Isabelle both fell on their backs for the second time in an hour when the mountain started to rock back and forth. Aravis helped Isabelle up while Dinah offered to help Jason up. Jason pulled his hand back and reached for Nesrin.
When he was on his feet he said “I thought we were in the hidden realm.”
“Then how’s there an earthquake?”
Dinah shook her head. “Not. Mountain’s really a re’em.” She teleported the group to a ridge far enough away that they could see the mountainous ox in full view. The trees barely came up to its knees, and its horns cut into the clouds. When it mooed every tree for miles around it shook. The re’em also began rapidly getting further away without moving. In fact, the ground they were on seemed to be moving through the landscape itself.
Nesrin looked up, finally noticing the giant ox horns directly above their heads. “Seriously, Dinah?”
Dinah shrugged. “Come to my jungle, deal with my animals.”
“Enough of this folly.” Aravis expanded her left hand into a giant hand of smoke, grabbed everyone else, and used her right hand to draw a parallelogram, an obtuse trapezoid, and a rhombus in the air. A few seconds later the jungle was gone and they were standing in a deserted area back in the human world. It was just before the sun started to rise. “I know enough about liogons and tracking; I’ll find the silly thing.”
Isabelle almost leapt to her side. “¿Cómo puedo ayudarte?”
“Right now, probably by looking for tracks. They’ll look lion paws with a line running between them.”
Jason ran his phone’s flashlight over the ground. “They’re over here.”
There was a random mass of steps and lines were the liogon seemed to have gon in circles for awhile, then finally a straight line heading west.
Nesrin looked out over the tracks. “They won’t be much help. They vanish in about twenty yards.”
“Well yeah,” Jason said as they started walking. “I figured it was gonna fly off at some point.”
Dinah shook her head. “Some dragons are flightless, this one included. Something’s off.” She examined the place where the tracks stopped. “If it’d been snatched we’d see remnants of a struggle. Vanished under its own power some kind of way.”
“Liogons can’t do that.”
“I said something’s off, Nesrin.”
Isabelle looked at Aravis. “So…?”
“Look for rising smoke in the distance and try to smell petroleum on the wind.”
Isabelle scanned the horizon until her eyes landed on her brother looking at his phone.
“What? I’m Googling ‘lion dragon sightings’ in case anybody’s seen it.”
Continued next week
Link to previous installments: https://anindeterminatenumberofnights.blog/category/misplaced-fire/