Finish That Thought – 4

Prompt: http://alissaleonard.blogspot.com/2013/07/finish-that-thought-4.html

Hands trembling, Nora opened the door, and winced as the morning sun came bursting through. The thick oak planks outweighed her by a hundred pounds, but the hinges were well-oiled, and the door swung easily. Built into the side of a mountain, her prison cell had been sealed tightly for centuries, but the earthquake this morning broke the lock, and she saw the sun for the first time since the dragons enslaved her people.

It was a bright fall day, and the reflection of the sun off the lake between the mountains would have blinded her had Nora not quickly cast a dimness spell over her eyes. The cave had been enchanted, and even the thought of using her own magic set fire to her mind, but now that she was outside, the power came bursting out of her. The cool breeze felt good against her grey skin, and her pointed ears twitched as she heard the sound of fish jumping in the lake. Running down the side of the mountain, she leapt onto a boulder and launched herself in the air, she shed the tattered remnants of her prison rags and blurred into the form of a hawk. Shades, but it felt good to fly.

The trout surfaced briefly, and Nora shifted her wings back to go into a dive. The world seemed almost preternaturally sharp this morning, and she could see the individual scales on the fish’s back flex as its back arched into the water. Her claws grabbed it easily, but securely, and she rejoiced in the feel of the splash as she and her breakfast glided over the surface of the water. As she settled on the banks of the water to tear the succulent meat off the still-squirming trout, her mind exploded in flashbacks to that horrible day when she was locked up, and she cried out in pain and blacked out.

When Nora came to, she’d turned back into an elf, and realized how vulnerable she was here, out in the open. She bathed briefly in the lake and then conjured her standard traveling outfit, the soft leather and sturdy cotton feeling more comforting than any armor. Her staff was harder to get a hold of, as she’d been able to protect it – barely – in her hoard under the Endless Forest, and while it was safe from anything, even dragon fire, it was also a thousand leagues away.

 

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