Chapter 15 The PrisonerGoing back down to the eerily empty sink hole city that had become her home, Katie was overwhelmed by a heavy sense of sadness as she walked the empty halls to her room to gather her things. Doors to the various rooms were left open in a hurry with only silence greeted her. Into the backpack placed everything inside. Digging around her backpack, she located the communication device the space dragon sent her. If there was a time to call the dragon or help, this would be it. Katie flipped to the back to turn on a switch. An operation light turned on, telling her it still worked.
“Hello Zan? Hello! Are you there? I really need your help. Everybody is gone. I don’t know what to do. Help me” pleaded Katie.
All she could hear was static from the other end. She went back up to the table top to make the call again, thinking the rocks might be blocking her signal. Static and silence again was all she heard.
She did not know how she was going to do it, but she needed to go find
Chapter 13 Archery LessonsKatie was only in the 6th grade. She could feel the limitations of her primary education as she tried to understand the harder subjects in her tablet. There were nights when she sat there lost and frustrated desperately trying to teach herself new things. The computer tablet hid her flaws up to a point and she was worried it was a matter of time before her own ability to understand things failed her and had nothing left to offer the centaurs.
One night while Katie was finishing up a paper about elevator technology, Zeba came to visit her. In the dark lamp lit library a parcel wrapped in cloth was placed on the table. Katie untied the string, and spread open the cloth. A small bow and a set of fifteen arrows in a leather quiver sized to fit her small body. Katie's face beamed with delight. Jumping up and down she hugged the archery set and then Zeba.
“Come with me. It is time for proper training!” said Zeba.
Zeba lead her to a chamber set aside for archery practice. On the r
Chapter 14 - The Unknown“INVASION!! INVASION!! We are being attacked!!” yelled a centaur standing watch during the early evening.
So unexpected were these words it took everyone a minute to react. Every capable individual scrambled to arm themselves. Upon hearing this Katie ran to grab her archery set from her room and ran towards the main central spiral path. Looking up at the edge of the sink hole they can see shiny rope-like objects sliding down. They wriggled like earthworms as they worked their way down. The centaurs closest to the top were already firing. A handful of the invaders were shot and fell all the way to the bottom. The centaurs covered them with arrows.
So gruesome was the sight it was hard for Katie to fix her eyes on the bodies. From the few dared glances Katie realized it was an enormous snake. It was twelve inches in diameter, with long scrawny arms. At first there were a few but then they came like a surging wave. Those at the very top were overwhelmed. They poured in like th
Chapter 11 The LibraryZeba would check in on Katie often to check on her health and mental wellbeing. It took several days for Katie's body to adapt to the low oxygen levels by growing more red blood cells. When the girl was looking much stronger and felt more at home, Zeba brought Katie to the counsel of older adult centaurs to share with them everything that happened down in the lowlands. Katie, who hated giving oral presentations in school, nervously presented to the adults the photos and video she took of the space dragon as well as the now deserted fortified town they passed through. She showed them pictures and videos about the technically advanced world that she came from. The counsel of elders had long ago stopped traveling to the lowlands and hung on to fearful stories from the past but were keenly interested about everything her world had.
Every centaur in the community had a skill or task to do that kept the community running smoothly. It was agreed that they needed as much of the information in
Ch. 9 Living Among the CentaursPetal amused herself by running and jumping around the rock formations. She would walk along their narrow ledges and stand on tiny peaks with two or three other legs in the air.
“Look! Me!” said Petal.
“That’s cool!” replied Katie as she rummaged around the bottom of the backpack.
She found an unused pink balloon. Quietly, she blew air into. Petal hopped off a rock to watch more closely. Katie bopped it to Petal. She smelled and squeezed the light rubbery thing before bouncing it back to Katie. Back and forth they bounced the balloon standing further apart each time. Light breezes caught the balloon. Delightedly, Petal chased it down. Others noticed the bright pink thing floating around and joined the fun.
"It’s mine now!” teased Baku after snatching the balloon.
“Hey! Give that back!” laughed Katie as she chased after him. Petal followed.
Baku ran just fast enough to be barely out of their reach. The other young centaurs joined in
Chapter 8 Recharging the BatteriesWarm and soft, Katie did not want to move. It was the first time she had a long uninterrupted sleep in total silence. Opening her eyes she saw the bare rock walls lit by daylight coming through the ventilation openings on top. So comfortable... but she needed to go to the bathroom. She gave a sigh and pushed aside the thick blankets. A shock of cold went up her bare feet as they touched the stone floor. After tucking a clean centaur shirt under one arm, she picked the dirty clothes off the floor before leaving her room.
Down the passage way, Katie passed several sleeping rooms. Some had doors open to let in a breeze. She saw handfuls of young and old centaurs sleeping in clustered family groups for security and warmth. Batya and Petal saw her through one of the open doors.
“Good morning, Katie!” said Batya
“Good morning. Can you tell me where the bathroom is? I need to wash.” asked Katie.
“Come, we’ll show you.” answered Batya as she sprang ont
Chapter 4 ConfrontationThe light of the first rising sun filtered through the cold morning mist between the trees. Katie leans her belly down on Zeba’s warm back and watches the world pass her. She feels safe, relaxed and that life is good with interesting things to look forward to. Suddenly, Zeba stops. Katie sits up. Zeba motions her hand to tell the girl to keep quiet. Deer like ears swivel listening, waiting, smelling, slowly Zeba moves forward again. With a loud rustle a red reptilian dragon-like creature bursts out of the tall bushes in front of them.
“Leave me alone!” it growls loudly and charges towards the two.
Swiftly, Zeba lowers her rear and pulls out her sword, “Get off!”
Jumping off, Katie lands awkwardly. Just as she rights herself and turns to look at Zeba, the two massive creatures collide like a truck meeting a train car, kicking up dirt and dust, myst coming out of both of their mouths. Within seconds Zeba blocks blows from the dragon’s clawed wings. Zeb