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A Foul Wind Blows by Angel Suarez
SUMMARY: A young boy forges an unlikely friendship. Short-story/prologue in what is to be an extensive book series.
Though they were far from small, neither was the village of River Road a thriving metropolis. Thus, when the trihorn, an enormous, tri-tusked creature about thirty feet long and six feet tall, decided to come wandering into their town, snorting and stomping... they were reasonably panicked. Not only was it large and tusked, but the trihorn's entire body was layered with stone hard scales, and its tail, which waved to and fro, could smash wood and building foundations with ease like a giant hammer.
While intimidating and dangerous, the trihorn was not a meat-eater. This had been discovered ages ago, when another village to the West had attempted to lure it out of town with great piles of raw, red meat. But to no avail – the great beasts would have none of it. Oddly, they were very shy creatures, typically keeping themselves a great distance from people in rarely visited forests, or precarious mountain areas.
So, if a trihorn came into your town, it was looking for something. And generally, it was something that you had taken from them.
The trihorn made a good show of sniffing, snorting, stomping its large, powerful feet, sending a ripple of vibrations through the entire village. It was looking; searching for something.
The constabulary, while small, made a brave attempt at intercepting the creature's trek through town. However, they all knew one thing: if they enraged the animal, causing it enough distress to lurch into an attack, they wouldn't win. No man-made metal was sharp enough to slice through the trihorn's mottled grey stone scales.
Fortunately, it didn't come to that. Because shortly after the trihorn arrived and the constabulary – a group of about five young men and one grizzled veteran, the captain – hastily began to assess their options... A boy, no more than nine winters, went sprinting by.
Now, maybe the constables were just lax in making sure nobody went towards the unwelcomed beast, or maybe the boy was just too spy for them. Either way, what happened next caused a shock that rippled across all six of the men's face.
The boy, clutching something tightly to his chest, dashed toward the trihorn, stopping about five feet from it, laid something down on the ground, bowed, turned, and ran back towards the barricade of men.
The one furthest to the left, a stout fellow with thick, bushy eyebrows and coffee brown eyes popped inside of an angular, sun darkened face named Jelsen, was the first to speak. After looking closely, squinting his eyes in the light, his jaw nearly hit the unpaved ground. "Miggsrau's balls!" He gasped, "That's a... a... that's an egg!" The five wide eyed men turned as one to the boy, who stood smiling at the trihorn. The captain simply shook his head, a calloused hand brushing over his face.
Snorting loudly, the trihorn lowered its massive head, sniffing the butter-squash sized egg. After a few moments, it grunted, opened its mouth and picked the egg up. Looking from each of the men to the boy, it turned and quickly made its way from the town.
In the span of time it took the trihorn to identify its egg, the six men had identified the boy.