The story so far:
Morida, the bright haired girl was pulling Lori along thru the woods. It was very easy for her to traverse thru the trees, but Lori was having some difficulty. Also ever since Morida took her hand, Lori was able to see things that she had never seen before. There were creatures and people in these woods that normal people would not believe existed. She had actually seen what she thought was a unicorn with wings and she pointed it out to Morida. Morida sternly warned her not to call that horse a unicorn. It would be insulting. And then she was told that Unicorns were a myth and did not exist. So she took a second look at the creature and it turned to her and winked. Lori made a little gasp and tried even harder to keep up with her new friend.
Suddenly her guide stopped. She stood still and quiet. Lori looked around and saw a tall Cedar tree in front of them. Morida let go of Lori's hand and slowly approached the tree. She walked in between the branches and put her hands on the trunk. She began to hum and then right before Lori's eyes, she melted into the tree and was gone.
Lori was stunned and now alone. She had a feeling that she should run away, but deep within her heart a voice was assuring her that all was well.
After a bit, Lori heard something approach her from behind. She turned to see the horse with the horn and wings walking up to her. The horse was a deep black, but its wings had gray at the tips and there was some gray on either side of its head. And at some moments as the horse approached, it appeared as though she could see through the wings. It came right up to her and started sniffing her, then its eyes went wide, "You're a human." Then sniffing again even harder she spoke again, "but I also smell sprite in you. Who are you?”
”My name is Lori.” First a fairy, then a girl that melts into a tree now a talking horse. It was like she had left earth and had gone somewhere else. "And who are you?"
"I have a very long name, but you may call me Setag." She stepped back a bit, tilted her head as if to get a better look at the child, "You have been here before. I remember you. You were such a little one back then. So you are here to see the Garthlac again."
That name sent a shock through her. She knew that name as soon as she heard it, like as if she had always known it. It seemed so unreal that she was about to see a dragon and at first she didn’t know what to say, especially to a talking horse with wings, “Yes.”
The horse tilted his head the other way, “You don’t remember me.” The horse moved closer, “Stone was my great grandfather.”
The girl’s eyes went wide with excitement. She quickly gave the horse a hug causing him to chuckle. When she let go of the horse she saw Morida standing there watching her with a great big smile. Next to her was a tall solemn looking man who could not hide the amusement in his eyes.
“I am Bonchalla,” he said as he bowed to the white haired girl.
Morida did a quick tilt of her head toward the tall man, “He’s my dad.”
“He’s waiting to see you,” he held out his hand for the young girl. He then looked her over, “Those shoes have metal in them. We can take metal through the tree.” She took them off.
Morida took her other hand, “Close your eyes.”
Lori did so and they stepped forward into the tree. For a moment she felt like she was moving through something like thick water, but she could also feel it going through her body. Then her bare feet stepped onto a cold solid floor. She opened her eyes. They were now in a cavern. She looked behind her and saw a thick root against the wall.
“It’s a very old tree and the dryads have nurtured it for many years. That is why its roots are all the way down here,” Bonchalla told the girl then smiled as he point the way.
Lori was fascinated with the cavern. She had always loved caves, “How far down are we?”
Morida giggle as Bonchalla answered, “You really should ask how far away we are.”
“Yes, there is an ocean between here and the park you were playing in.” Lori looked up at him in disbelief. They stopped before a set of large double doors set into the wall. A woman in a long red dress seemed to step out of nowhere and opened the door for them. Lori looked up at her knowing she was a Red Lady like in the memories that were coming back to her. The lady smiled at the young girl as she entered the room.
This was an even larger chamber with several ledges. This room was not natural; it had been carved out of solid rock. Across the chamber lay a large sleeping black and red dragon. She could tell he was very old. As she approached, she heard something above. She looked up and saw a much younger dragon looking down at her from a few ledges up. She could now tell that this room was made so that several dragons could be in this room looking down at the floor.
“I smell a little girl,” the sleeping dragon said as he opened his eyes and looked at her. “Have you come to dance for me?”
The young girl became excited, bowed and said, “Yes, my lord.” She then took a starting pose and took a moment to imagine the music she needed for the dance. She didn’t need to. A flute and a harp began to play a soft yet energetic tune. She turned and saw Morida playing flute and Bonchalla with a harp. The white haired girl let this tune guide her as she danced around on the polished floor. The dragon raised his head enjoying her. She reminded him of two young girls from long ago who danced in this very room for his father.
The dragon up high also watched with interest. The younger dragon had heard all the stories of the dragon dancer from long ago.