Caravan Chaos Part 1: Dela's Departure
"Eeegk. Kiyaa. Heeya errgh!" Balancing on one foot on top of a precarious stack of books, a little dragon stretch his entire body upward. Neck, back, and claw craned upward in his desperate reach
"Almost there!" He strained. "Got it! Whoa, whoa, waah!"
Crash crump skraadump
Dragon, books, and celebration, all came flopping to the ground. His makeshift book ladder now buried him, so that you can only make out his spiky tail. Just as you begin to rise to check on him, Finn’s paw emerged from the pill, triumphantly displaying his prize, a small pinkish book.
"Found it!" His voice called out, muffled from the pile of books.
Popping into his favorite chair, the dragon checked if you need more lemon sprig cake or sweet melody tea. Then he displayed the pink book’s cover. It read "The Great Aeri Migration: Stories from the Travels between Kingdoms, How the Sprites became Sproots, and the Memoire of Elias Elphas the Elder". The little cover barely had space to fit its own title.
"Today I’m going to share the story of little fairy sprite’s journey from the Kingdom of Aerias to Hammerholt—"
Below the shimmery, shining lights of the shifting, starry lux above, floated the isles of Aerias. Ornate vaulted palaces and buildings defied gravity as the soared above their levitating foundations. Grand winged pterodactyls naturally flew amongst the masses of flying earth, weaving in and out of the gentle waterfalls crashing to the forested mountains below. Some how tall just seemed taller in the Pink Kingdom of Aerias.
"Delicia, come on. We are going to be late for the caravan." An adult sprite called in a loud tone that some how wasn’t yelling, a peculiar ability which can only be produced by the mother’s of the world.
"Mom—" came the exasperated response, a tone produced by the children of said mothers. "—It’s Dela, not Delicia. And also, you know that I’m not going on the caravan. I refuse."
"We have had this conversation a thousand times. Oh mercy, you are more stubborn than a groundling gnome."
"Your mother is right," called a man from a now empty, ornate, study room. A stately, proper looking sprite handed a scroll and book to a library owl, who bowed and took flight through the open window.
"Dela, I am sorry you do not wish to move. A part of me doesn’t want to either." A look of genuine empathy rested on his face. "I just said goodbye to the last of my books and manuscripts. Goodbyes hurt, but they are needed to move on. You should take moment to say goodbye."
"Eh whatever. Let’s just get it over with." The headstrong young sprite grabbed her satchel and flew obstinately out the front window, the "entry door" for all their flying friends.
The Aeri flying elephants had carried all of the sprites’ possessions to mountains edge, where an envoy of Hammerholt Flynt Guard and badgers met the sprites to guide them through the Suncleft Mountains.
After a day of day of travel, Dela had been worn down with the cheery singing of the caravan sprites and her impeding homesickness. She began to consider her dad’s comment about goodbyes.
"Mom, dad, I’m going up to the viewpoint up there. For one more view of Aerias."
"I think that’s a good idea," said her father. "Do want us to come with you?"
"No. I think it’s better if I go alone."
"We understand. The caravan is going to keep moving, but you can join Aunt and Uncle Estas in the back. And then tomorrow you can find us again in the front."
With a somber nod, Dela flitted away up the mountain.
On her new perch, Dela thought about all she was saying goodbye to. Her academy, her favorite statue tree, her owl and sprite friends… "You know what. I’m not doing this." Dela made up her mind to runaway back to Aerias. Glancing down at the caravan, which had nearly passed her into the mountains, she thought, "Perfect, it will be at least a day until they know I’m gone."
Pumping her little wings, she lifted herself to her feet and facing her body in the direction of the swirling, glimmering lux of Aerias. Those low hanging stars shown bright, until suddenly everything went dark. Simultaneously Dela’s wings were pinned to her back, and she could no longer move!
She had been snatched up in a leathery bag by some creature of the night.
"Hehehe. Well wasn’t that easy. You’ll be coming with me little missy." A laughing sneer growled through the air.
With a thumping trudge the great, growling beast carried Dela off into the mountain darkness. Helpless and trapped, what was Dela to do
To be continued…