TALES Shorties: Hike

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By Sanoon
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Literature Text

    The trail was disused by the general public, as only the reckless and suicidal wandered recreationally through the forests to the west. That, or those that did were grossly overconfident. As a result, it was a bit overgrown with weeds and other local flora that the travelers had to cut through just to make any sense of progress. The brown bear was leading the way; an ostensibly large creature wearing a red flannel shirt and jeans that stood at least a head over everyone else and whose width created a path alone. A fox and blue jay traveled behind her frame, laughing about some inside joke at the bear’s expense. The bear herself carried with the party the entire camping supply set; the tent, fire pit supplies, food, and alcohol. She lost the group bet, after all, and had to carry all this crap. It was for the best; she was the biggest and strongest. At least she knew it would all be worth it; In her backpack she had recently acquired a great steak and she couldn’t wait to prepare it over the fire pit tonight.
    “And Ivanka said, ‘I don’t eat cheese all the time, guys,’” the blue jay said in a mocking tone, flapping her wings to take long over exaggerated hops to keep up during her insulting routine.
    “A-and then,” the fox added in with a laugh and a slap to his thigh, “she immediately ordered the cheese fries!” The two smaller creatures both finished with side splitting laughter.
    “That was only once!” Ivanka shouted as she turned to face the two with a stomp of her foot. “You two are the worst!” The two stopped laughing only to look at Ivanka’s anger that filled them with delight, but the smiles were quickly wiped off their faces as dread overtook them. “Everybody likes cheese! It’s not a weird thing! And if you keep laughing at me for that stupid thing I’ll...I’ll…! I’ll do something!” The two, with faces that look like they’d just seen ghosts, turned to flee, screaming as they did so. A strange reaction, sure, and one that left Ivanka vastly confused herself. Usually they just keep insulting her when she confronts them, not flee wildly. “Guys?” she called out to the screams that were fading away. What to do now? Continue and go it alone, or follow the idiots and catch up with them?
    It was only when she heard the low growl that accompanied a passive deep breathing did she turn around to see what was in front of her. There stood a red drake staring her down. She nearly screamed and stepped back, catching a branch and falling over herself. The crap in her backpack broke her fall. With a grunt she quickly rose to her feet, eyes still on the drake that didn’t move.
    “Shoo! Go away, stupid thing!” Ivanka shouted, waving her arms to appear as threatening as she could. It seemed to be working. The drake didn’t advance or try anything; it just stood there staring. What did it want? Could No, of course. It could smell the steak. Ivanka’s precious steak. “You think you’re going to get it!?” she shouted out, taking another step back and shaking her fist. “You can’t have it, you stupid thing!” Once her back hit a tree her eyes widened. She was cornered! She needed to distract it to escape. Her so called ‘friends’ had used her for their distraction, but she needed something more appealing than herself to satiate the dragon’s monster appetite. It had to be her steak; her precious steak. Slowly, she reached to her backpack and pulled out a plastic container. She watched its giant amber eyes watch her own hands every movement; like it knew what she was doing! As she opened the container the beast cocked its head. “Yeah, you like that, don’t you, you stupid thing! I bet you don’t even know what I’m saying, do you? Yeah? Well, go get it!” She tossed the steak as far as she could to the side, to which the drake extended its neck and caught it mid air. It took no time in devouring it before the bear could even take a step. “That was expensive, you ass!”
    “Thank you for the steak,” the dragon stated as he turned to leave. “I accept that as your apology for being rude.” And with that, Sanny ran off leaving the bear in a state of confusion.
I've had the idea to occasionally write short one page or so stories I knew i wouldn't make it into a full length stories that I know would still be fun to share.

Next StoryTALES Shorties: Joust
Previous StoryTALES: Flight

The preview image was drawn painstakingly by :iconannaklava:, which can be found here!

Sanny is of course myself
© 2017 - 2021 Sanoon
anonymous's avatar
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Nomads-of-Korsun's avatar
While I was reading the story I was kinda wondering if bears are anthro what could possibly be dangerous in the woods; I suppose dragons would definitely qualify.

This does lead to one question, are some drakes not friendly or hostile? Based on the other characters reactions that seems at least possible in the background; also it sorta seems like the bear character isn't expecting the dragon to be able to understand common speech, again does that mean some creature can't? Is this just a mistaken generalization, or is there something to it.

Anyway, interesting little side story. Good job Sanoon.
Sanoon's avatar
Yeah, that was pretty much where I was going with that too. c:

Actually, yes. More so, most drakes are not friendly, and the hostile ones don't understand the common languages. This is covered in Origins and Favor (which are under rework at the moment so no rush to learn more there). Finding a friendly dragon in TALES is actually far less common than finding one that would rather kill you on sight, hence the bear's reaction and assumption. Dragons like Sanny would be called 'civil', meaning that he wouldn't kill anyone on sight, he shows mercy, and can be reasoned with, among many other things.
Nomads-of-Korsun's avatar
Ok that makes sense I suppose.

Ah ok, gotcha; that would definitely be a very menacing problem to deal with for sure. You would think if that were the case the people in your universe would take a lot more precautions before traveling, perhaps it's just something that's really small in number and only happens once in a very great while (like a tornado or a shark attack).

It does bring up the question of if certain drake/dragon characters choose to be civil, or if their born more or less intelligent, etc. Should be interesting if that's established in your other chapters that your re-working.

Anyway, good luck on the continued story Sanoon.
Sanoon's avatar
Indeed. Most don't dare venture east for that very reason. Only the insane or foolhardy take that risk.

The story where I actually do go into detail on that one I did sadly decide to save for the book and won't be uploading it. The answers will one day be...answered. Damn it.
Nomads-of-Korsun's avatar
Ah ok, so this isn't something that people do a lot then, these characters must really really like the outdoors then.

Alright gotcha, I do the same thing when I post concept art and bio's on the characters; I can't reveal everything otherwise there's no reason to post the animation, etc. So yeah don't worry about it, I get it.

Anyway, good luck on your continued stories Sanoon.
Ravenpuff's avatar
Sanny scored a steak!
Sanoon's avatar
He's probably done worse for a steak.
Ravenpuff's avatar
As usual I liked the interactions and reactions from facing a dragon =D I like how the bear acted more fearless, or at least pretended to. Makes sense. As a bear she's naturally big and probably used to be the biggest one around, automatically feared. Her friends only giving her a hard time because they know her enough to know they can get away with it and ends up pushing a bit too much, just because they can. Where strangers would probably be much more sensitive about ever insulting a grown bear.

I also like how her first worry is "Shit, it's after me steak! Oh, wait... this thing might be big enough to consider ME a steak!" =D
Sanoon's avatar
Fun fact about that; it was somewhat based off one of my friends, whom we made a bear sona for that he never uses :XD: The conversation about the cheese is also a real thing he did at a restaurant once, so I felt it fit so well.

It's the ole' 'I don't have to be faster than you, only faster than the bait' trick.

Glad you liked! :D
Ravenpuff's avatar
You do like to add in your friends in these :giggle:

anonymous's avatar
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