LN Part 55: I Hear a Voice by RedPhantom ()
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The music stopped, and Elos stood by the musicians. “Today as we celebrate we’ve included a few traditions from Ambassador Andrew’s homeland. We have one more that we ask you to participate in. It’s a dance called the Chicken Dance. I don’t understand its significance, but I’m told it’s just not a wedding without it. I’m told it’s easy to learn, that Lady Sapphire and Princess Annlonna learned it before the song had finished one time. You don’t need a partner for this one so if we could have any brave souls form a circle on the dance floor and we can see what this is about.
Joanne stood, grabbing Nim’s hand. He shook his head. “I don’t dance.”
“You don’t leave Baj-tisk either,” she said and pulled him up. She turned to the young ones. “Come on. It’s fun.” They hesitated.
“If I can do this, so can you,” Nim said good-naturedly. Reluctantly, they joined.
As they headed for the dance floor, they passed Ghin trying to slip back to the table. Ti grabbed him and said, “If I gotta do this, you gotta do this.” Ghin pretended not to understand, and Ti growled good-naturedly. Ghin sighed, turned and join them.
Nim saw Sapphire trying to coax Pt’this to join them. “Come on, Peacock, join us,” he called. “You’re the best dancer here. Don’t get shown up by an old hermit.”
‘ Are you okay?’ He sent. This wasn’t like Pt’this.
‘I’d kind of like to be alone with my wife. It’s been six years.’
Nim laughed. ‘Try waiting for twelve hundred.’
‘Try not drawing for six years,’ Pt’this countered. ‘I feel like you and Joanne will beat us.’
‘Nope. She’s leaving in the morning.’
‘And if she wasn’t?’
Nim shook his head. He deserved it for all the kidding he had given Pt’this about his hesitation with Sapphire. ‘Humans like you wouldn’t understand.’
Pt’this laughed and got a questioning look from Sapphire.
Then the music started, and it took all of Nim’s concentration to follow the steps.
Andy looked around the circle as they danced. There were more there than he expected. His parents, of course, since they had set this up, all the dragons, their friends from Thager, Jo, Tolin, Nambi, Ria, Queen Deyama and Voramini, Shunati, Ann’s Aunt Noyet, both of Ann’s sisters and a hand full of nobles he didn’t know. There was laughter and good-natured kidding as people mixed up the steps and then looks of mock horror as they realized the song was speeding up.
He was separated from Ann at some point. He looked for her after the song ended and saw her slip out one of the doors to the garden. He followed her. She stood just outside the door looking off into the garden. She had just come out for air.
He put his arms around her from behind and kissed her neck. “May I kiss the bride?” He asked.
“What are you doing now?” She turned to him, and he kissed her.
He was starting to feel her body respond to the kiss when someone cleared their throat behind him. He turned. Pt’this stood with his back turned as if watching the party.
“The door down at the end gives the best privacy,” he said. “Of course the kissing tree isn’t occupied. No one can see you in its hollow.” He gestured to a flowering tree in the middle of the garden.
Andy felt Ann’s embarrassment at the thought that someone might have seen them. She slipped into the garden but not towards the spot Pt’this had mentioned.
“Thanks,” Andy said sarcastically.
“Sorry. Didn’t think you’d want an audience.” He turned around and stepped into the garden.
“If that tree’s so great, why aren’t you and Sapphire out there?”
Pt’this sighed and looked over his shoulder at her.
“Something’s been bothering you all evening. What is it?” Andy asked.
“Nothing,” Pt’this said.
“Don’t make me get my wife back in here to question you,” Andy warned.
Pt’this smiled but sobered quickly. He took a sip of the ale he was holding. “It’s that voice. I heard it again.”
“If you hear voices, maybe I should get my wife. She hears voices. It’s not a hoarse whisper, is it? Maybe you two are hearing the same voice.”
Pt’this laughed despite himself.
“I’m sorry,” Andy said. “This is serious. This telepathic voice? What’s it saying?”
“I can’t make it out. I’m not even sure I hear it.”
“Do dragons get schizophrenia?” Andy asked.
“It’s a mental illness where among other things, people hear voices that aren’t there.”
“Dragons don’t get mental illnesses.”
“Unless you’re tortured as a child,” Andy amended.
“She is half human,” Pt’this pointed out.
“Okay, so you’re not crazy so either your telepathic ears are on the fritz or…”
“On the fritz?”
“Not working right. So either that or someone really is calling, and only you can hear it. We’ll assume it’s not a hearing problem.”
“It’s unlikely.” Pt’this insisted.
“Right. So, why would only one dragon hear something that everyone else should? Could distance effect that?”
“Not with nine of us in the same room.”
“Does magic strength affected? You’re the strongest here. We won’t count Ann because she’s only half dragon.”
“No, it’s a different ability. And, while it’s hard to test, I don’t know that it varies.”
“Has there ever been any time you could hear someone better than others?”
“Is there any way it could be him?”
“He died over seven hundred years ago.”
“Are you sure? Ann said they wouldn’t let you go home.”
“Yes. There was kind of a bond between us. I knew he was dead before they told me.”
“I’m sorry. Just trying to cover everything.”
“It’s okay. I understand.”
“Did you hit your head?”
“Too much ale? Too many times as mad-dragon recently? Four times in a week or two is a lot.”
Three and a half, when Shunati did that healing on your shoulder.”
“Maybe. But, I don’t think this is from that.”
“Maybe it’s stress. It’s not every day a dragon gets married.”
Pt’this smiled. “No, it’s not. I believe I’m the first.”
“If this isn’t gone in a few days, talk with Shunati and see if there isn’t a physical problem.”
“And until then, lighten up and enjoy your wedding.”
Pt’this smiled. “Let’s find our brides, shall we?”
“We shall. And, if you haven’t, tell Sapphire about this.”
Image Comments (3)
ikke.evc () 7:36AM | Sun, 21 July 2019
Great story and illustration. Who's calling? We will learn as the story continues. Well done, RP!