The Flight of The Draykes
As the fire died down, I found myself in a place where everything was huge. The walls towered over me; the boulders were mountains, the tall grass was at my height.
I watched things calmly, though. For some reason, it felt like this was how it was always supposed to be. In fact, I could vaguely recall the objects being bigger in the past than they were now.
Wait, in the past?
I never saw these giant objects in my past.
Uneasy now, I thrashed around and a... paw? A paw flashed into my vision.
Dumbstruck, I thrashed around again, and the paw flashed into view again.
Then I spoke, and a bark sounded out.
Horrified, I tried to yell, only for another series of barks to sound out.
Then I saw a puddle of water nearby and I willed myself to run to it.
Clumsily, I gingerly made my way to the puddle after falling a few times, and then with a splash, I was standing inside the puddle staring down at the face that stared back.
The face of a cute dog.
A face that was... mine?
“What in Protos is going on!” I cried out in frustration, only for more series of barks to come out.
Then suddenly my ears pricked up, and I sniffed the air, a familiar scent wafting into my nose.
With a bark, I began running toward it excitedly.
Reaching the source, I saw an elderly man in clothes that resembled my shirt and pants, though vastly superior in color.
Feeling a muscle - that I didn’t know I possessed - move rapidly, I jumped onto the man and started licking his face.
Aghast, I watched on as I did all those actions, as though they were instinctive to me.
The elderly man smiled wide and patted my head - a delightful feeling - and then softly called out, “There, there, Saber. I was only gone for half a day!”
I barked out as if to say that even if he left for a minute - it would feel like an eternity to me!
Following the elderly man as he walked inside a small house made of stone (?). I went to a corner and sat there while staring at the man expectantly.
The man took out a container and shook something round and many in number into a large bowl which he carried over to where I sat, that muscle still moving rapidly, and set it in front of me with a smile, saying, “Here Saber, you must be starving.”
Replying with another bark, I began eating the round things which, honestly, tasted great.
Fondling my head and ears, the man chuckled in happiness as I devoured the food, and then, stretching and releasing a long-drawn breath, he busied himself in making his own food.
He finished just as I gobbled up the last of my food, but the scent coming from his plate as he sat on the table was so good that drool began falling from my mouth onto the ground again.
Padding over and putting my head onto the man’s lap, I stared at him hopefully.
Smiling, he cut a piece of whatever it was that he was eating and held it out to me.
Rushing forward, I snatched it away while taking care not to hurt him.
It was delicious! It was so delicious! I couldn’t stop myself from swallowing it in one gulp. Not satiated yet, I put my head back on his lap and gazed at him adoringly with the drool betraying my aim.
Laughing, he cut off another piece of the round thing and poured a small amount of something on it that smelt very sweet before again holding it out for me.
Leaping on it, I devoured it the same way I had before, but this time, the taste made me almost faint from happiness.
Like this, the rest of the meal for the man finished in a few quick moments, with the majority having been eaten by me.
Then the man got up and went to the basin and began washing his dishes and I curled up beside his leg as he hummed alongside his work.
It was comfortable, and I drifted off to sleep.
I don’t know how long passed by but I felt footsteps and opening a lazy eye; I saw the man walk back to the table and pull out a book and a... quill?
Closing my eyes again, I went back to sleep until I heard him call out, “Saber, let’s go for a walk.”
Suddenly full of energy, I jumped to my feet and bounced around him while barking happily.
A wide smile on his face, he put a rope around my neck tied to a handle, and thus, we went out and I saw the world again.
This time, I could see that the buildings were also buildings made for giants much, much, much bigger than the man.
The road was very uncomfortable to walk on and I was pulled back when I tried to go to the grass.
Finally, we came to a garden of some sort where the man removed my rope and I could run again.
Excitedly, I ran circles around the man before I went on a tangent and gamboled around happily.
Seeing a tree made me feel the urge to lift my leg. So I did, and a sense of relief washed over me.
Then the man threw something, and I ran, the muscle now moving so rapidly, I feared that it would hurt me.
Muscles bunching powerfully, I leaped and caught the object before I ran back and dropped it at the man’s feet and barked, asking him to throw it again.
The man obliged and the disk-like object again flew and I caught it and brought it back to the man who patted me on the head and scratched my ears. A delightful feeling, really.
We played like that for some time before he called me to come back and the rope was hung around my neck again and we walked back to... home.
“But this wasn’t home,” a small voice in my head said.
But I couldn’t understand what that meant.
Home was that little stone house with this man who was right now giving me more of the delicious round things and rubbing my belly.
Soon it was nighttime, and the man changed into different clothes that had his smell on them before walking to the bed and calling me softly.
I padded over and lay on a small sheet on the floor as the man extinguished the lights. That night, I slept fitfully, waking every time I heard a noise in the streets outside.
In due time, light again streamed into the room and the man woke up with a start - to me licking his face and looking at him pitifully.
Yawning, he once again put the rope on me and we went back to that garden, where I gratefully relieved myself before we came back home.
A short while later, the man was once again dressed and patting me on the head. He said, “Saber, be a good boy and I’ll be back soon.”
Whining, I stood as he closed the door in front of me, and then I went back to the small sheet and laid down to sleep deeply.
After a long time passed, my ears suddenly pricked and the familiar smell washed over my nose again and excitedly I approached the door and that muscle trembling in agitation; I lunged at the man who came through the door.
“There, there Saber. Were you a good boy?”
A low growl from me elicited another “Good Boy!” from him, and then the same thing that happened the day before happened.
I was fed, taken to the garden, I played with him, and then I would come back and sleep as he wrote.
Then the night would come and I would guard the man and, in the morning, see him off and sleep until he returned.
This was my life.
“This isn’t your life,” a voice whispered in my head.
Confused, I cocked my head.
But then the man returned, and the voice stayed silent.
Days passed like this before one day, while jumping to catch the disk-like thing, I fell and hit my head on a pesky tree.
“Saber!” came the shout.
Confused, I thought, “I’m not Saber.”
“I’m not Saber!” I shouted back, but a bark came out.
“Thank God you’re okay!”
Confused, I thought, “What is God? And why does this man keep calling me Saber?”
Then the man’s face came into focus, and a wave of memories hit me. I choked as I lived through the many days again before crying out in anguish, “I’m not Saber, but then who am I?”
Then the voice whispered softly, “Faust…”
As though something had shoulder-charged me, I fell backward and coughed out intensely.
Looking up through the tears in my eyes, I saw a dog and a man - Saber and the man; I corrected myself.
Standing up, I looked at myself and checked up and down and, more importantly, behind.
No fur, no tail. A bit transparent, but more importantly, no tail.
“Now why am I transparent?” I wondered out aloud before clamping my hand around my mouth and staring intently at the man.
Only for him to continue to ruffle Saber’s head and call him a good boy.
Perplexed, I watched on as the man, seemingly ignorant of my presence, placed the rope back on Saber’s neck and went back to the stone house.
I stayed behind to figure out why I had been living a dog’s life - literally - when I was suddenly pulled along, much like with the spider's web, after Saber and his master.
Flailing my hands, I regained balance before understanding that I could only stay with the two for now.
Bitterly smiling, I followed them and watched the days unfold much the same as before, with the only exception being that I would be sleeping on the table (more like drifting through it) during the day or reading the man’s diary - which had the same words I was used to reading - when he left it open.
To be honest, I understood little of it because he mainly wrote about his day at something called a company and the people he met there.
Time passed in this manner until one day, the man didn’t return.
One day went by, the next also went by - but the man didn’t return.
I tried going out of the house, but to no avail. I was stuck inside with Saber, who was whining the entire time and howling out at frequent moments in pain.
On the third day, another man came and tried to catch Saber, who dodged and ran out. Pulled along after him, I watched as Saber ran and ran, until he stopped at where the familiar scent came from.
Eyes reddening, I watched as the dog nuzzled the hard, cold stone and howled at the sky.
I watched as the rain fell and Saber became wet, but he refused to move and so I stood there; the rain passing through me for hours along with the dog.
Time passed and a few kind people came and left food beside Saber, but he didn’t eat even one morsel of it and I didn’t seem to feel hunger in this strange world.
Looking around at the towering buildings and the weirdly dressed people, I wondered where I was yet again idly.
Idly for today was the 8th day since we had come to the man’s grave and Saber had not moved from the spot even once.
Time slowly passed and the more it passed, the more frustrated I became as tears fell from my eyes, disappearing as they hit the ground.
For Saber was wasting away every day,
I tried to go back inside him, but there was a barrier that stopped me each time.
I could only watch as the dog laid down in his final rest - accompanying his master much as he did during his entire life.
I wasn’t the only one who cried, though.
People came and pointed at the dog and the grave, but nobody could come to take the dog away as he would fight back tooth and nail.
The food piled up by the side, ignored.
A few more days passed and a smaller mound was beside the larger one and I knelt in front of the two mounds with my head bowed.
I stayed in that position for who knows how many days.
Then I rose and a last tear fell to the ground as I bowed to the graves.
Then I turned and faced the sky and said, “if there really is something like a ‘God’ in this world. Then hear me and gaze into my heart.”
Moments passed and then a voice whispered in my heart, “You understand?”
Nodding, I replied, “I understand.”
“Then it is time for you to leave,”
“Yes,” I replied simply as I raised my hand and watched it scatter into mist - much like the soldier ghosts from before - “It is time for me to leave.”
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