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Part Nineteen - Wall's Edge

The remaining time to the edge was filled with thoughtful silence. Tom couldn’t help dwelling on the events that elapsed since yesterday evening. How an order from his parents to check through his boxes of junk had ultimately led him here, a friendship with two horses and into the grasp of a dragon.

“We are just about there,” Zawkane said. Tom looked ahead, expecting to see a place where the clouds faded, the land ended and blackness overtook the light. What he saw was nothing of the kind. Instead of darkness, he saw light! Less than a mile in front of him stood a wall of light.

The wall extended up to several feet above their current altitude. He couldn’t see over it. The light was yellow and looked almost solid. It was obviously not solid as it moved. Sparkles of brighter light traveled up to the wall’s top. It didn’t really have a top, the light just slowly faded to nothing, leaving clouds to be seen behind it.

They passed the edge of the forest. The trees just started dissipating in number. After they passed the last tree, the bushes lessened in number. They landed as they had before. Tom noticed that the grass continued to grow up to about one foot from the edge before ending in a clear line. It was similar to a tree-line on a mountain. The grass was noticeably less wild the nearer it was to the edge though.

The wall was angled away from them. Tom noticed it wasn’t as tall anymore. It stood about twenty feet above the dragon’s head. “How come we couldn’t see over it before?” Tom asked.

“It grows taller as we fly up higher,” Zawkane said flapping his wings. He flapped almost straight up. As he did, the wall stood ever over his head. He landed again and the wall lowered with him. “I don’t know how, but it seems to know how high you are,” Zawkane said again.

“How weird,” Tom said stepping toward the wall. He reached out to touch it. His hand passed into the light and it went through him as if he weren’t there. He could feel it though. Not only was the light visible, it was feel-able. He could feel it hit his hand, slice right through, and exit the other side. He pulled his hand out and his fingers reappeared on their side of the wall.

He turned to face the others who were all standing by watching his every move. “So this is the edge of your world,” he said as a matter of fact. “It certainly is unusual, but it’s not what I expected.”

“No, I would bet not,” Shehleg said. “If I heard of an ‘edge’ I would not have pictured this, but this is what it is.”

“Yeah, I see that.” Tom thought for a moment. “Well, as much as this is interesting, I’m hungry. I missed lunch and now it must be near supper.”

“All we can offer is grass,” Chaphar said.

“No thanks,” Tom said shaking his head.

“I could hunt you down an animal if you so desired,” Zawkane said stepping forward.

“There’s no need for that,” a deep voice said to Tom’s left. Everyone spun to see who had spoken, but Tom already had a guess. “These three helpless creatures will be our snack before we finish you off,” a black dragon said stepping forward. Two other black dragons stood at his sides.

Copyright © 2010 C. L. Richardson, All Rights Reserved; "Untamed Picture" © Nathanael Eisner