(( This week’s prompt was to write a story that takes place inside of a vehicle. I decided on another piece of Bhaqrin’s backstory. ))
Bhaqrin landed with a thud in the back of the trailer. Iron bars slammed shut behind him, and one of the humans closed a padlock over the latch. The other human spoke, saying something in a language that Bhaqrin was unfamiliar with. He’d never even met humans until a few days ago. He now regretted that he ever did. He had only shown himself to them in hopes that they would help him. A wound that he had received while escaping the torukil caves only a week before had become infected. The humans did treat it, but they also restrained him. The past few days he had been kept in a cell not much bigger than the one in the wagon trailer.
He rolled as he struggled to right himself as the two humans sat on a bench opposite of the cell. These two weren’t ones he had met before. They continued to speak in their strange tongue to each other, effectively ignoring Bhaqrin. He managed to get into kneeling position just as the wagon lurched forward, throwing him off balance. He caught himself by leaning on the bars with his shoulder. One of the humans, the younger of the two, glanced at him briefly before returning to his conversation with his companion.
Bhaqrin observed them both for a time. The younger one looked fit and well-kept. He wore padded armor and carried a sword and a shield. The older human looked more frail. His scraggly grey hair hung loosely down his back. They spoke to each other for a while, glancing occasionally to the cell where Bhaqrin kneeled. Once the younger one rose and walked to the bars, pointing while speaking. At last their chatter quieted and the older human drew a book out of his satchel. The younger one watched outside through a barred opening in the door.
Bhaqrin wondered where they were taking him. The town they had been in was most certainly left far behind by now. So much had happened over the past few days, and he wasn’t sure that things wouldn’t get worse before they got better. A week ago, he had been a slave in service to the dragons, as was all of his race. Every Lucaja owed their lives to the dragons, or so the dragons claimed. They must be obedient and serve without question.
Bhaqrin questioned. Frequently. He had the scars to show for it.
The final time that he questioned the rules, he managed to get himself left for dead in the torukil caves. He escaped, if just barely. The torukil had bitten him and torn a long slash down one of his wings. Bhaqrin knew he needed a mender when the wound in his wing swelled and grew more painful. Heat radiated from it, and any movement in his wing caused him to pause as waves of pain passed over him. He really had no choice to show himself to the humans. The only other alternative was to return to the dragons, and that would likely just get him thrown back in the torukil caves.
He had chosen a small house outside of a town to approach, hoping to avoid a mob of onlookers. He had been found by a girl. He wasn’t sure how fast humans aged, but she looked to be on the cusp of adulthood. She had seemed frightened at first, but didn’t run. He had sat on the ground a distance away from her and pointed to the gash in his wing. She had seemed to understand, or at least he thought she did. She held up one finger, and ran off to the house. She was gone for a good amount of time before returning with an older man, perhaps her father. She held a bowl of something, and he had his hand on the handle to a dagger attached to his belt. The girl approached him and spread a salve on his wound. It hurt when she touched, but he didn’t dare flinch. The older human was watching him warily. No doubt he was waiting for him to make the wrong move. The girl finished and backed away. The man followed close behind her.
He thought it had went well, so he returned the next day for more salve to help his wing heal. The second day went much like the first. He waited until he saw the girl doing her chores outside before stepping out where she could see him. He sat and pointed to his wing. She nodded and ran back into the house, returning with the salve and her father.
His wing was feeling much better by the third day, but he thought once more with the salve couldn’t hurt. Again, he went to look for the girl, finding her almost immediately. He sat and pointed to his wing. She motioned for him to follow, and turned towards the house. He was unsure what she meant at first. She wanted him to follow her into the house? Would the older man approve? She turned and motioned again. Perhaps the other human had requested that she bring him in so that they could properly clean the wound. He still hesitated, but then she turned towards him a third time and motioned for him to follow. He got up and went along with her.
The house was quiet when he first entered, but he could hear them. Gasps and whispers filled his sensitive ears. He almost turned around and fled, and if he had known then what he knew now, he wouldn’t have even hesitated. The girl hadn’t shown him any reason to doubt her so he followed her further into the house.
A net fell down on him from the loft above. Seven men, attacked and restrained him with ropes. He fought them carefully, not wanting to injure any and give them reason to keep him restrained, but at the same time wishing to be free of the restraints. The girl screamed and cried while they tied him, which he felt was strange since it was her who led him into the trap in the first place.
They took him into the town and a crowd gathered around to look at him before he was thrown in the cell there. That was three days ago, and now he was going somewhere else. He hoped wherever it was, they would decide he could be free there.