"I'd like to file a missing person's report?" Jake told the officer at the front desk of the police station.
"Get in line," she said.
"Oh, no, no," Rae clarified, "He didn't disappear when everyone else did. He was on his way to get his clothes from the laundry room yesterday and he never came back."
"So what makes your friend any more important than those that vanished without a trace?" the officer asked with pain in her eyes. She shook her head. "Sorry. Here write down this information." She gave them a pad of paper. "We ran out of the forms, but we have this one taped here." She pointed at the form on the desk.
Rae looked down. "I lost most of my family, too." She said softly, as she wrote down Kelly's information.
"Why don't you just copy it?" asked Jake, curious.
"Copier is broken and we can't get a hold of the repair people. Line's dead. And we can't afford to let anyone go to make copies somewhere else. Everyone's been working around the clock. You're lucky I'm here at the desk."
"Elves causing that much trouble?"
"It's us that the trouble. People have been looting and causing general trouble. Otherwise, everyone has been good about sticking to their own side, after the initial 'What are you doing in on my property' thing. But that hasn't happened much, considering most people went with their property." She stopped, as if she were trying to hold back the tears. "Do you need anything else?"
"No, thank you for your help." said Rae, handing her the pad.
"Your welcome." The officer took the paper and added it to a half full box. There were 10 others on the floor near the wall.
They walked outside. Ryan was waiting for them at the door.
"So?" Ryan asked.
Rae laughed. "There are so many missing persons reports, that they might look at Kelly's in a few years. Maybe. If we are lucky." Then she broke down into tears. Jake and Ryan looked uncomfortably at each other for a moment. Ryan motioned to Jake. Jake sighed.
"Sush..." Jake said, taking her into his arms. "It's going to be okay."
"No, it's not."
"Yes it is," Ryan said. "We'll figure out what happened and get everyone back."
"You know what the funny part is? Out of my whole fucking family, you know who still here? My god damn mother! " Rae laughed. "My Brother and Sisters gone. My dad, gone. But my god damn mother is still here."
"I'm sorry," Ryan said with all sincerity.
Rae dried her eyes and sighed. "Okay all done." She told herself. "No more crying. Got to find Kelly or Ana will kill me."
"I thought they were going to break up?" Jake asked.
"They are. But Ana wants to talk to him first. If she's still around..." She paused, composing herself. "Okay, what do we do now?"
Jake shrugged and Ryan looked thoughtful.
"We can go check out the inn," he suggested.
"Which one? The Village Inn?"
"Well I wouldn't call this place a village. Maybe a settlement..."
"Wait, you want to go over to the elvish side?"
"Well, I AM an elf." Ryan pointed out, "And there is a possibility that he could be there. We should probably check out the slave market. A polylinguist would fetch a nice price there..."
"Slave market?" Jake repeated.
"You guys still have slavery?"
"Well, according to Arcadian law, no. But then some of these settlements are very far flung, so it is hard to keep track everything that goes on in them..."
"Great, we are going to have to buy Kelly back..." Rae started.
"Does that mean that he'd be our slave?" Jake asked. Rae slapped him on the side of the head.
"Hey! It was a joke."
"It's not funny..."
"PMSing bitch....OW!" Rae hit him again.
"Do you see this abuse?" he asked Ryan.
"He deserved it!" she countered.
"Come children," Ryan said and started to walk away. Rae gave Jake a final shove and followed Ryan.
Jake shook his head and started walking.
Kelly woke up in his cage. He felt his forehead with his hand and came back with blood mixed with mud. He was covered head to toe with mud. At least there is no blood anywhere else, he thought. He heard sobbing around him. Across the room, there were two very muddy girls in another cage. One was a very thin elf and the other was a college student like himself. He wondered why he was in a separate cage for a minute.
Oh, he thought, they need virgins. Duh. Not that he'd be having sex in a situation like this and he still technically had a girlfriend....
"So how long have you been here?" he asked the college student. She looked up at him and continued sobbing. He sighed and asked the same question in Elfish. The elf didn't even look up.
"Since yesterday." The student spoke up suddenly. "I saw them bring you in last night sometime. At least I think it was night."
"What's your name?"
"Kate." She looked closely at him. "You aren't an elf. How do you know Elfish?" Kelly, surprised she had thought him an elf, looked down at himself. He was totally covered with mud. His own mother wouldn't recognize him.
"I have some sort of gift with languages or whatever."
"Oh," she said. Talking to him seemed to have calmed her down a bit.
"What's with her?" he asked of her cage mate.
"Don't know. She's been blabbering in Elfish all night. Seems scared of death of something..." She burst out into tears again.
"I'm sure everything will be alright." he assured her. "We'll find a way out of here."
"Do you even know where here is?" she asked him, sobbing, "Where the heck are there caves in Tallahassee, FL?!"
"No..." he said. That was a good question....
He was about to say something, when the elvish girl started babbling again.
"What's she saying?" Kate asked. Kelly could barely make out the elf's words.
But a few words were recognizable. "Die", "dragon", "Rape", "Fire".
And then he remembered what the legends said dragons did to virgin girls....
Oh, shit, he thought.
"What is she saying?" Kate asked again. She must have seen the look on Kelly's face because she broke down into tears again.
"I'm going to die, aren't I?" she wailed.
There was a lot of noise coming from the inn. A noisy tavern always made Larak a bit nervous. He looked at the duines to see if they were okay. They looked a little lost, but that was to be excepted. The people walking the streets stopped and gaped at them as the headed towards the inn.
"Are you ready?" Larak asked.
"No," replied Rae, "but I don't think I'll ever be ready..."
"Are you sure this is a good idea, Ryan?" Jake asked.
"You'll be fine," Larak assured them. "No one will touch you, if you are with me."
"That's good to know," Jake said, not too convinced. "After you?" he said to Larak.
Larak entered the inn, closely followed by the two duines. The noise in the tavern was louder inside....
And then silence. Larak smiled to himself. Is it me or them? he thought, as he walked to the bar. The duines followed him like ducklings after a mother duck. The bartender just stared at the three of them for a while.
"Can I get you something to drink?" he asked, when he found his voice.
"Three pints of ale, watered down," he didn't need to for them to get drunk. He didn't know how they would react to alcohol.
Three pints appeared on the bar. He motioned for the other two to take them and gave the bartender a few coins. He led the duines to a table in the corner. Jake took a sip of the mead and spit it back out.
"What the fuck is this shit?" he asked. "It tastes like shitty watered down beer." Rae looked inside of her mug and smelt the ale. She took a sip and set her ale down.
"Interesting," was all she had to say. Larak smelt the ale and decided that offending the barkeep was well worth forgoing the ale.
"I'm sorry, but when my guide disappeared and he had most of my coinage on him. So I can't really afford any better..."
"No, it's okay." Rae said. "I'm not much of a drinker anyways..." She looked around. "So what are we doing here?"
"We are waiting for a man named Tale."
"Tale?" Jake asked. "That slave master guy?"
Larak nodded. "He was part of the reason why I am here in this mud hole..."
"So what do you do exactly?" Rae asked curious.
"Oh, a little of this and a little of that." Larak said, watching the door. Many of the patrons were slowly moving away from the table they were sitting at. So it was him. He thought, oh well.
"So when is he going to show up?" Jake asked, just as the slave master entered the door.
"Just did," Larak announced "If you'll excuse me," he said, while getting up. "I'll be right back." He walked over to the Slave Master.
Tale looked up and jumped when he saw Larak.
"Feasgar math," Larak said to the man.
Kelly sat in his cage; he had been there for hours. The two girls in the other cage were still sobbing. He began beating his head against the bars to pass time.
Rae sighed as she swirled her drink around, wondering if she should take another sip of the vile stuff. As she looked up from her mug, she noticed an elven woman walking towards them. She sat down next to Jake.
"Cé a bheidh ag coinneáil do leaba te teolaí anocht, mar sin?" she asked in Elfish.
"Huh?" Jake said. The elf nibbled on his ear. "Níl sé de nós agam marcaíochtaí in aisce a thabhairt uaim ach ós rud é go mbeidh an-tóir orm as a bheith mar an chéad sí de mo chuid deirfiúracha le luí le duine, déanfaidh mé eisceacht...
" She started down his neck and her hand reached under the table.
"What???" Jake sat up quickly. Rae just snickered. "Lady... You are very nice and friendly, but I'm not ready for another relationship..."
"Another relationship? Did your whore of a girlfriend break up with you?" Rae said. She laughed, as Ryan walked up with another elf, the slave master.
"Más duine atá uait, is éard a mholaim duit dul suas chuig an scoil sa Tuaisceart. Is ann a thiocfaidh tú ar mhéid nach beag custaiméirí ag iarraidh na seirbhísí a thairgeann tú, mar a déarfá," Ryan said.
The prostitute walked over to Ryan and whispered something in his ear. "Déanfaidh mé machnamh ar do thairiscint," he replied straight faced and turned to Rae and Jake. "Tate hasn't acquired Kelly yet, but the one's who captured him already made an offer. Tate has graciously agreed to show us where they are..."
"Who captured Kelly?" Rae asked, curious.
"The Dragon Worshippers."
"Dragons? Don't tell me there are dragons too?" Jake said softly. "Damn, all we need now is the Tooth Fairy and we'd be set."
Kelly was just starting to doze off when things got interesting. When the elves arrived, nicely cleaned up now, and opened the cage, Kelly perked up. The elven girl started screaming and tried to run through the people. She managed to break through and rushed towards Kelly, but one of the elves caught her before she got five feet. She began to kick and scream and bite.
One of the elves knocked her on the head with her staff, making her more manageable. She was dragged into the next room.
Kelly looked at Kate; she was as white as a sheet. Then he looked down and noticed that a key had fallen in the struggle.
Kate must have noticed where he was looking because she began trying to reach the key. A roar shook the cavern and a shriek from the elven girl. And then silence.
"Got it!" Kate whispered. Her arm must have grown the extra inch needed to reach the key from fear. She fumbled with the key to unlock the door. CLICK!
"Great! Hurry up!" Kelly said as she ran towards his cage. She dropped the key trying to put it in the lock.
"Oh my god!" Kelly complained, banging his head against the cage door. "She drops the fucking key!"
"Here!" She said, opening the door for him.
Kelly grabbed her hand. "Let's get the hell out of here." They both raced out of the cavern, Kelly half dragging Kate behind him.
"Where the hell are we going?" Rae asked. They had been tramping through the woods for the past half an hour.
"No clue," Jake said. He was swatting at a mosquito on his neck. "Hey, Ryan! How long are we going to be wandering though the woods?"
"When we get there," he replied. He didn't look too happy with the bugs either, though he wasn't sweating as much as they were.
"Where are we going?" Rae asked again.
"To an area not far from the settlement. There are a large number of sinkholes there. The dragon and Kelly are being held there."
"A large number of sink holes..." Rae repeated. "But isn't the Leon Sinks south of here? Why are we going west? At least I think we are heading west..."
"The Leon Sinks?" Jake asked confused.
"You know of this area?"
"Yeah, I had to waste three hours hiking for three miles with my stupid Dynamic Earth Class. That was a particularly memorable experience..."
"You took Rocks for Jocks?" Jake asked in disgust
"Hey, I'm a Criminal Justice major. I am not going to torture myself though Chemistry or Physics..."
"Are you sure they are south of here? Could we be heading towards another area of sink holes?"
"Well, I guess there could be another area..."
"But not as large as these Leon Sinks?"
"No, definitely not."
"Wait here..." Ryan said and went to talk to their guides.
"You're a Criminal Justice Major? What are you going to be a cop or something?"
"No, a District Attorney."
"Ah, Making sure all the big scary bad guys go to jail," Jake retorted. Ryan was talking to the other elves. All the sudden, the conversation broke down into laughter.
Jake was about to ask what was so funny, but he found an arrow in his face. All of their guides have their bows out and pointed at the three of them.
"What the hell did you say to them?" Rae asked.
"That we were going the wrong way..." Ryan replied. He wasn't laughing, but seemed WAY too calm for Rae's liking.
"Well why the fuck are their arrows pointed at us?"
"Because we were heading for the slave market to be sold and be quite I'm trying to concentrate."
"Oh, fuck," Jake said shaking his head. "I give up. I just fucking give up. This is all fucking crazy. I've gone fucking mad."
"Be quiet? How can I be quiet, when I am..." A knife was now at her throat and Rae decided that actually it was a very good idea to be quiet.
Then a strong breeze blew through the trees, knocking Rae and her captors to the ground. She kicked the man with the knife in the balls and rolled off of him and quickly got up. She looked around. Both Ryan and Jake were still standing up.
The slavers began to run away. Ryan grabbed Tale before he got away and threw him on the ground. Then in a low voice, he and Tale had a short conversation. Ryan kicked him in the side and looked at Rae.
"Sorry about knocking you down. It was the only way I could incapacitate the one behind you," Ryan said to Rae. "So, where are these holes again?"
Rae didn't answer right away.
"We've been walking for hours. We'll never find our way out, will we?" Kate said.
"Don't worry. There has to be a way out. I mean we had to have gotten in somehow..."
Kate sat down on the ground and sighed. She looked like she was on the verge of tears again.
"I never imagined elves would be like this," she finally said.
"Yeah, nothing like Lord of the Rings. But don't worry not all elves are bad."
"I know that. They are just like people. There are good people and bad people." She laughed. "My fa... favorite book was the Hobbit as a child. My mother would read it to me every night."
"I never really liked the hobbit, I could never get past all the singing."
"Singing? You didn't like the hobbit because of the singing?"
"My parents played the tape book in the car on the way to Disney world. It was dramatized and the singing voice of Bilbo traumatized me at the tender age of ten. We should probably keep walking shouldn't we?"
"If we don't find a way out. They will catch us eventually..." Kate mentioned.
Kelly sighed, "Probably..." He looked at Kate; tears were once again, streaming down her face.
"Well, if you are that worried about it, I could...I mean, we could always...You know...that way the dragon won't eat you."
"Ahhh... NO!" Kate stood up and looked at Kelly. "Are we married? What do you..."
"Okay! Okay!" Kelly said quickly, "It was only idea!" He heard voices heading this way. "Shit."
"There's no place to hide," Kate noticed.
"Well then we run." And he did. Right into an elf.
"I told you if you tried something else, I'd cut your sacs off," said the female elf.
"She is untouched," another elf announced.
"Fools..." the bitch elf said. "Well, we better get back. We are about ready for his second course."
"Leave her alone! What did she ever do to deserve this?"
"Nothing, that's why she's perfect!"
"Now see? That's why traveling by car is so much better than tramping though the woods!" Rae said with a tone of finality, as she got out of the car. Jake closed the driver's side door, very glad that this car trip was over. With Rae's bitching and Ryan's endless questions, he thought that it would never end.
"Do you think we should pay the three dollars?" Jake asked, "I don't want my car towed."
"The trailer, where the ranger lived, is gone, so I don't think he's going to call the tow company any time soon," Rae said, as Ryan wandered off onto the trail.
"Don't you think we should check the map first?" Rae asked, pointing to the display on the wall of the bathrooms.
Ryan kneeled down and touched the ground. He smelt his fingers and looked more closely at the ground and touched it again, in a different spot. This time he only looked at his fingers. He held out his hand to show the others what he had found. His fingers were covered with blood. Jake then looked more closely at the ground and saw wheel tracks.
"I think he already knows the way," Jake said.
No, Kate thought, I can't die this way. No, I can't die this way. It repeated over and over in her head, as they dragged her and Kelly though the caverns.
Kelly was talking fast in elvish. After a while, the woman in charge kneed him in the groin and he cried out and shut up. They threw Kelly in the corner with a few more men. They continued to drag Kate into another chamber.
They striped off her clothes and bodily threw her d her. One of the women called out to the other chamber and a man came in and picked her up and threw her over his shoulder.
The man quickly carried her into another chamber, a larger one. There were a large number of elves sitting in front of a ledge. He tied Kate to a pole sticking up out of the ground, behind a small curtain. There was another large opening, covered by a large red cloth. Kate could only guess what was behind there and she hoped to God that her guess wasn't right.
Larak quietly sighed to himself as he tracked the wagon though the forest. The duines were trailing behind him. The wheel tracks ended at the end of the trail and the wagon was sitting a few feet away from where its occupants continued on though the woods. Larak leaped over a fallen tree and continued to track the cult members.
"Hey! Wait for us!" Rae said. Jake, covered in sweat, plopped himself down on the fallen log.
"Can we take a break? " Jake asked panting. "God, I thought those slavers kept a fast pace."
"You can wait here," Larak offered. "I think I can handle this myself." Larak was beginning to think that it was a good idea anyways.
Jake just shook his head. "Just give me a minute..."
Larak just rolled his eyes and continued on at a slower pace.
"He looks slightly annoyed with us," Rae said behind him. Jake groaned when he finally got off the log and both duines followed behind him.
After a few minutes, they came to a large water-filled sinkhole. The trail left behind by the dragon worshipers ended. There were footprints in the mud, but Larak couldn’t see any other opening in sight.
I hate using water magick, he thought to himself, as he heard voices in the distance.
"Get down," he whispered. He and the duines hide behind a group of palmettos.
"What is it?" Rae said, after a few minutes. "I don’t..." She couldn’t continue because Larak covered her mouth with his hand.
The sound of the voices grew closer. Doesn’t anyone know how to keep quiet in the woods these days? Larak thought.
Three men appeared out of the woods and stood before the glade. There was a whoosh from the water in the sink. A woman appeared out of the water and walked on the water to the men on the shore.
"You are late. They already had the first sacrifice. You would have missed the second if the girl hadn’t tried to escape." She beckoned to the men and the four entered the water.
"Well, that was freaky," Jake commented. "Can you do that too?"
"No," Larak answered. "Water isn’t my natural element. But I think we can persuade her into letting us in."
Kelly felt like shit. He had been kicked, beaten, lost the girl, and after the ceremony, that bitch elf was going to castrate him and then sell him into slavery. It was not a good day.
He was surrounded by elves, a lot of them. He probably could take out a few, but they would probably skewered him with arrows first. But then he remembered that he was about to be castrated. He had just decided to make a go for the exit when the torches dramatically dimmed.
"Welcome, Friends! Welcome, Devotees of the Dragon! We gather here today to pay homage to the great one that created life thought its fiery breath. The last of those that forged the world. Let us sing the praises to our great dragon lord!" With that one of the elves got up and started singing.
"Oh, great wondrous dragon..." The audience around him responded.
"We come in supplement..."
"We offer you this sacrifice..."
"The purest of our pure..." Our pure? She wasn’t even an elf! How could she be "their" pure? Kelly thought.
This went on for a few more verses. At the end, everyone around him sat down. The elf behind him pushed down on his shoulders and he sat down also.
Another elf stood up in front of the congregation and opened a book.
"A reading from the third book of fire... The dragon said to man, "Behold this world I have given thee..."
Fuck, Kelly thought, as the elf continued reading, this is just like mass.
After the elves did their Jesus act, Ryan got out from behind the bushes and looked around the place that the three elves stood. He smiled.
"It’s a charm. They have a charm!"
"A charm? Like something you put on a bracelet?" Rae asked.
"But we don’t have a charm."
"No, but I have something that might work." He looked though his pockets and pulled out a stone. He closed his eyes for a few moments and then threw the rock into the water.
"I hope we didn’t knock the lady out," Jake said. Rae shushed him, and watched Ryan quickly enter the water and pull out a knife. There was a disturbance in the water around him. The elf appeared. Ryan grabbed her and said something in elvish to her. She just shrugged.
Ryan looked up at the them. "Come on in. This isn’t going to be pretty," he said.
"Why?" Rae asked.
"She's letting us in with out much of a fight."
After a few more readings and songs. The bitch elf got up again and said, "BEHOLD! OUR great dragon lord!" The curtain slid back and behind it was a dragon. Kelly almost laughed.
"This is the dragon?" He said out loud in English. He was elbowed in the side by one of the elves.
The dragon was in sorry shape. His wings had atrophied. He was slightly overweight and shedded skins surrounded him. There was an iron collar around its throat. Kelly almost felt sorry for the dragon, if he wasn’t going to make a meal out of an innocent girl. The dragon opened his eyes and seemed to look straight at Kelly. Kelly took an involuntarily step back. Okay, he thought to himself, maybe he was a little scary...
From the entrance of the cavern, a long line of elves came in carrying baskets of gold, jewels, treasures of many types. Kelly had never seen so much wealth. He watched as they piled it all in front of the dragon. He didn’t seem to notice. He kept staring at Kelly, never taking his eyes off of him.
The smaller curtain was pulled up and there was Kate, tied up to a pole. She looked up at the dragon and tried to scream, but didn't succeed because she was gagged.
The dragon barely glanced at his meal and looked at Kelly again. The ceremony continued, but neither Kelly nor the dragon was paying attention. The dragon closed his eyes, as if he was making a decision. He took a deep breath and...
ROAR!!! The dragon got up on his hind legs. The elves cheered. And then the dragon pulled with all of his might at the chain holding him.
SNAP! The chain pulled away from the wall. The elves screamed and scattered. Flames spewed from the dragon’s mouth, setting many of the cult members on fire. Kelly was temporarily forgotten in the chaos. He ran to Kate before the dragon got any ideas. He was working to untie the knots while the dragon continued to flame those elves that were too slow to escape.
"Let’s follow the elves out of here," he said, as he helped her off the ledge. As they started to head towards the exit, the dragon jumped in front of them, blocking the way.
"Is there another way out of here?" Kelly asked, backing away from the dragon. The dragon put his head right into Kelly’s face. His breath was like rotten eggs.
"Ah... Hi," Kelly said to the dragon.
Jake heard screaming as he rose out of the water, covered with mud. The elf lady was calling out to about fifty elves, which came running to her aid.
"Well, shit!" Jake said, ducking under a volley of arrows aimed at him. Rae kicked the nearest elf in the balls and took his bow.
"Here," Ryan said, holding his hands out for the bow. Jake saw Rae throw the bow at Ryan, He didn’t see Ryan tripped another elf and take his quiver of arrows, because one of the attacking elves got the bright idea of trying to hack Jake's head off. Ryan strung an arrow in the bow and shot at the elf attacking Jake. The elf fell to the ground and Jake picked up the sword and starting swinging the sword at the group of elves. They backed away from his sword and one of them smiled and strung his bow. Jake went after the elf with the bow with his sword. He missed and only ended up with a nasty gash as he tried the catch his falling sword. An arrow flew by Jake’s head and hit the elf in the chest. Jake turned around to see where it came from. Scattered around Ryan were the bodies of the cult members. He was rapidly shooting off arrows into the crowd around him
"You should learn how to wield a sword," Ryan commented. "Duck!" he told Jake as he strung another arrow.
"Jake!" Rae shouted at him. She was across the cavern, in front of a large opening. Jake ran across the room, dodging arrows and ducking past swords aiming for his head.
"I think Kelly’s in there," she said, pointing at the left tunnel.
"How do you know that?" he asked. A roar shook the cavern.
"Because, it’s the most dangerous place to be? And you know Kelly."
Jake tightened his grip on his sword. "He better be alive when I get there, because when I get ahold of him, he’s a dead man..." And with that, he started down the tunnel.
Kate hid behind Kelly as the dragon drew closer to them.
ROAR! The dragon was so close that the sheet around her moved.
"Ah, Nice dragon. Nice dragon," Kelly said as they inched towards the door. The dragon mimicked their movements. SWISH! His tail sent one of the baskets of treasure flying in the air. A sword flew by, almost cutting Kate’s head off. Kelly picked up the sword after it landed on the ground. He juggled it from hand to hand, as if the handle was hot. The dragon took a deep breath and turned towards Kate...
"NO!!!!" Kelly said, throwing the sword at the dragon. The dragon at that moment moved and the sword was caught right where his heart was. But it was too late.
Flames blew past Kate, but they weren’t aimed at her. Flames surrounded Kelly. Kate backed up, screaming. When the flames dissipated, Kelly was miraculously unharmed and the dragon gone. The dragon had dissolved into flames after the fatal throw. Kelly walked over to where the dragon was and picked up the sword.
Kate turned around as she heard footsteps running down the hallway.
"Here we are to save the day!" cried someone covered in mud in English. She was followed by someone else carrying a sword
"Too late. Already been done," Kelly said, slightly dazed.
"Huh?" the guy with the sword asked. "Where's the dragon?"
"Kelly killed him," Kate said.
"What you killed a dragon?" the guy said. He looked at Kate. "Who are you?"
"Oh, honey," the girl said, rushing up to her, "You are hanging out all over the place..."
"Huh?" Kate said and then she looked down. "Oh!" she quickly rearranged the sheet around her to completely cover herself.
The girl than hit the guy with the sword in the head. "Pervert" she said.
"Hey I got a sword here..."
"Are you two still fighting?" said another voice. Someone else came down the tunnel, holding his arm.
"Are you okay?" the girl asked.
"Fine," the new guy said, "considering that I was abandoned in a large cavern full of insane dragon worshipers. I’m lucky; I only got a scratch. Not as bad as the gash on Jake’s arm. Dropping your sword." The man shook his head and with a shock, Kate realized he was an elf. "What do you duines teach your children..." He looked around. "Where’s the dragon?"
"Kelly killed him," Jake said.
"What!?" the elf looked at Kelly. "You killed him?" He didn’t look too happy about this.
"Well, he was going to EAT me!" Kate said, standing up for Kelly. The elf looked at her and sighed.
"I guess it was for the best anyways. Better death, than held captive by insane cult members."
"Yeah, he didn’t look happy to be there," Kelly commented.
"Sort of a shame though. He was the last of his kind..."
"What?" Jake said, "Kelly killed an endangered species? Isn't there a fine and jail time for that?"
"Yeah Yeah, well, enough talking. Let’s get out of this hellhole. I thought I never wanted to see another sink hole again before...." the girl said.
Kate couldn’t agree more.
Kelly watched Jake throw his duffel bag into the truck of his car.
"Thanks for offering to drive me back to West Palm..." Kelly started.
"Hey it’s no problem. It’s not like I have anything better to do. I do have to get back here before the end of the month to clear out my dorm and then I could always head back to New York..."
"Hey, Could I come with you?"
"Sure! And we could head over to Boston and I can watch the fireworks go on between you and your soon to be ex..."
"Hey! I was planning on doing that over the phone."
"What? And deprive me of quality drama?" Jake said. He looked at Kelly. "And you know it’s always better to do such things in person..."
Kelly sighed. "You are right..." he agreed as Ryan walked up.
"So where are you going?" Kelly asked Ryan.
"Well, with the dragon dead and Tale out of business. I have no reason to stick around here, if Kelly is leaving."
"What’s so special about Kelly?"
"He can speak any language, of course. People such as him are very rare. Probably less rare now, but you can never have enough polyliginuists."
"So are you coming with us?" Jake asked.
"I was hoping you’d ask." Ryan said as he dropped his pack in the backseat. "So when are we leaving?"
"Do you hate Tallahassee that much?" Kelly asked.
"Yes," was his only reply. Then the two girls walked up. Rae spent the night at Kate’s dorm. They both seemed packed to go somewhere.
"Mind if we hitch a ride?" Rae asked.
"Yes," Jake said, as Rae threw her stuff in the backset.
"You know, you should probably put that in the trunk," Kelly suggested. Jake gave Kelly a dirty look.
"Keys," Rae said. Jake sighed and handed them over to her.
"SO! Where are you headed?" Jake asked Kate.
"Miami," Kate said.
"Miami! I can’t go to Miami!" Jake said. Rae gave him a dirty look.
"Hey! I got people out for my blood in Miami," Jake explained.
"Don’t worry," Rae said, as she closed the trunk, "I can borrow my mom’s car and drive you the rest of the way."
"Oh, you don’t..."
"Hey, you let me stay in your dorm, it’s the least I can do..." Rae said and looked at Jake. "So, when are we leaving?" Jake got into the car and started it.
"You better hurry up and get in or your getting left behind." He told Rae. Ryan was already in the front seat, messing with the buttons on the radio.
Kelly tried to not laugh as he got into the backseat. It was going to be one interesting drive home, he thought.
"So, Jake," Rae started, as they pulled out of the parking lot. "Why did your girlfriend break up with you?"