Lava - Adventure

Night Creature – Throw Fuel to Gecko

Welcome to the last post in the Night Creature Adventure!

You can read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three or here’s a quick recap:

You were standing watch on the keep wall during a terrible snow storm when you saw a figure slip over the parapet. When you investigated, you found a gecko-like creature clinging to the inside of the keep wall, melting the snow around it.

You helped the creature off the wall and gave him a blanket. He informed you then that he’s running away from a frost troll that’s headed for the keep.

Seeing as how the gecko’s a fire/warmth creature, you asked him for help and he sent you for fuel to help him burn. You got a load of wood from the guard station but when you got back to the top of the tower, you found the gecko out on the wall facing the frost troll, who’s about to squash him with a giant hand. Reader’s voted to throw the gecko wood instead of shooting arrows at the troll.

Let’s see how the story ends!

Night Creature – Throw Fuel to Gecko

As the troll’s heavy hand starts descending, you drop the bag of wood and dig out a log.

“Hey!” you shout and toss the log underhand toward the burning outline of your new friend. In the haze of the blowing snow, he looks like the flickering flame of a small torch.

He glances your way in time to see the log flying through the snow. Instead of catching it, he opens his arms wide and lets it smack him square in his narrow chest. Even over the wind, you hear the thud.

The log ignites with a dull roar. Your friend spins and launches it into the troll’s hand, where it lodges and hisses.

Guessing the gecko’s intent, you have another log sailing his way as he turns back toward you. Again he hugs it and the log roars into flame. The log must have also contained a large section of sap, because immediately after the roar, there’s a loud pop!

That’s when the alarm bell starts chiming in the keep. Shouts sound from below as you pitch another log down the wall and arrows zip through the snow.

Relief hits you, and then you see one of the arrows graze the gecko. You realize the keep guards don’t know who’s friend or foe, so they’re going to shoot at both creatures on the wall.

The gecko goes down onto his knee, clutching at his leg and completely missing the last log you tossed.

You throw the bag of wood back over your shoulder and take off running down the wall. Arrows keep zipping past, taking chunks out of the frost troll’s arms and face. Someone has the presence of mind to start lighting the huge beacon fires on the towers. The troll shies away from their light, but it still seems intent on the small flaming creature kneeling before him.

An arrow zips past your stomach and you flinch away, slipping on the icy wall, before regaining your balance.

By the time you reach the gecko, he’s hunched over with his thin arms shielding his head. Flaming blood leaks from a gash across his temple, you’re guessing from another arrow.

Since he’s still aflame, you shove a chunk of wood into his arms, ignoring the burns this causes on your hands and arms.

He blazes up and holds out a hand for more wood.

The troll screams as the gecko’s fire grows and an archer, who takes advantage of the gecko’s light, shoots the monster in the eye.

You’re down to two logs of wood left. You shove them both into the gecko’s arms and spin to go get more.

You’re only two steps away when you hear him say, “No. No need.”

When you look back, you see the troll turning away, ambling off into the blowing snow and taking the heavy winds with him.

The archers pause at this and you take the opportunity to grab a shield to protect the gecko.

He hunkers down and seems grateful for the cover.

***

The captain stares at you, disbelief in his eyes from your report. You’ve just come from hiding the gecko in a storage room near the kitchen because, as soon as the guards realized what he was, they started debating about who gets to sell him.  He seemed to appreciate the warmth from the ovens, so he snuggled into the linens and fell asleep when you left to report.

“A flame gecko?” the captain asks.

“Yes, sir.”

“Go get him.”

You open your mouth to protest, but at the look on his face, you spin on a heel and head back the way you came. He follows behind and you wonder if he wants to claim the gecko for himself. With the rumors flying around the keep, he shouldn’t be as surprised about the gecko as he seems. Reaching the kitchen area, you swing open the door to the pantry and peek inside.

“Hello?” you call.

No answer.

“Um,” you say, embarrassed. “He’s gone, sir.”

“What?” The captain pushes you aside and starts tearing the pantry apart. By the time the cook comes to investigate, he has bags of flour and coffee everywhere. If there’s anyone in the keep besides the captain you don’t want to anger, it’s the cook. The captain takes one look at the cook’s red face and spins on a heel. “Clean this up,” he hollers as he leaves, “and you’re on wood duty for the next week.”

Sheepishly, you begin putting back the pantry under the cook’s watchful eye, then you head out to chop wood for the day. That evening you check the linen closet and find it empty of the gecko. You hope he’s simply moved on and that someone didn’t find him.

It’s two days later, in the evening, when you stomp your way into the empty guard station, blowing on your frozen hands in an attempt to warm them. Chopping wood in the morning isn’t so bad as the sun starts to warm things, but the evening shifts make your fingers feel brittle.

You lay some of the dry wood onto the embers and turn to grab the bellows to work the fire back to life. There’s a whoosh. You spin to find the logs ablaze and a set of bright blue eyes peeking at you from the flames. They wink and the gecko skitters under the blazing wood. Only a few moments later, there’s a contented sigh.

Placing another large log in the blaze, you retreat to the cot for a warm night’s sleep.

The End

You made a new friend! Thanks for participating in the adventure this month 🙂

Blessings,

Jennifer

(If you enjoy these adventures, check out my newest adventure book, Discarded Dragons!)

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