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Note: I have converted this part into third person, orginally it was first person from Heath's perspective.
I am working on changing the next part into third person too, but have not got around to it yet.

Links: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Larger Illustration; Part Five.

Part 4: Common Ground

The dragon dropped straight down onto Heath, this time landing him face-first in the mud, her huge hand clamping down on the back of his neck.
“Why did you come back?!” she hissed.
“I just wanted to see if you were real, check I wasn’t going mad” Heath said, though trying to talk with a dragon holding down on his neck and with a face full of mud was not easy, “and I... I wanted to talk to you.”
“What?”
She went quiet for a bit.
Then Heath noticed something else. “Are those bedsheets? Where did you get bedsheets?”
She was wearing large cream coloured bedsheet tied like a toga.
“None of your business,” she said, “now tell me why you came back!”
“I just wanted to talk to you,” Heath said again, “I was, you know, curious... and stuff.”
“And what then, you’re going to tell everyone about me and make me some kind of tourist attraction like the Loch Ness Monster and have people come out here trying to take pictures all the time? Or some hunter will come and try to shoot me as a trophy or capture me for his private zoo and I’ll spend my life in a cage? Or you’ll tell some scientists or something and people will do experiments on me in some lab somewhere and study me like I was some kind of freak?” Her voice sounded shaky, I turned around as much as I could and saw that she was crying.
“N-no. I... I just” Heath found himself speechless, trying to think of something to say to her.
She sniffed, wiping her eyes with the back of her free... hand? claw? Heath couldn’t decide what to call it, as he thought about this she pushed him further into the mud, hissing again: “What is it going to take for you to leave me alone?”
“Heh, a lot more than a face full of mud, I’m used to worse than this in school,” he said, giving a nervous laugh. “But if you really want me to leave you alone, I will. I just wanted to meet you again, find out what you were like, and, you know, it’s nice to know I’m not mad, so that too.”
“And how do I know you’re not lying?”
“Well, you could let me get up and I can tell you to your face.”

They were both silent for a moment, and for that moment Heath was very worried that she might not be entirely willing to hear him out... but then she released her grip and let him get up. Heath slowly and carefully got to his feet, brushed himself off and pulled a clean tissue out of his pocked to wipe his face.

He looked at her. With her kneeling down and him standing they were about the same height. She was scowling at him, teeth bared. A part of Heath found this pretty menacing and wanted to run away now that he had the chance, another part thought better of this, since a dragon could probably easily outrun a human, and another strange voice at the back of his head thought she looked kind of cute when she was angry. Heath mentally shook himself and then told her again.
“If you want me to go away, I will, and I won’t bother you again. I promise not to tell anyone either, but I’d like to stay and talk for a bit, just get to know you. I’ve kind of always wanted to meet a real live dragon. Although,” he added, looking at the dragon’s downy mane and bedsheet dress, “I have to admit you’re not totally what I pictured.”
“Oh really?” she said, raising an eyebrow ala Roger Moore, “what did you have pictured?”
“Well, you know... big and scary and... with horns and sharp bits. Not so, ... human ... or, erm...”
he made a kind of “floofy hair” gesture with his hands around the his head.
“Oh.” She said, raising her eyebrows.
“I’m not disappointed or anything!” Heath quickly added.
“I wouldn’t care if you were.” She replied.

Heath leaned against the tree again, trying to think of what to say next. The dragon was watching him closely, scowling a little, her arms (if you could call them arms) folded across her chest.

“So, erm, do you live out here?” he eventually asked.
“Most of the time, yes.”
“How come I’ve never seen you before?”
“I usually stay away from people, but I didn’t see you coming until you were too close for me to sneak away.”
“How’d you know English?”
“That’s for me to know and you to keep wondering.”
“You’re very sarcastic.”
“You’re pushing your luck.”

Heath thought a bit more, remembering their first encounter.
“You mentioned your parents...” he began to ask.
“And?” she said, a slight growl in her voice.
“You said you were going to take me to them but when I woke up—”
“Well I thought I’d killed you when you fainted, and I heard someone else coming so I went to hide,” she seemed to relax a little as she said this, “he took you away after that, so... I couldn’t.”
“Are you going to take me to them now?” he asked.
“No.” she said, “I don’t think that would be a good idea.”
“So does that mean there’s more of you? More dragons?”
“Yes, there’s a whole bunch of us that no one’s ever seen living out here in the forest and we all walk around wearing stolen bedsheets!” she said, sarcastically waving her arms around in a theatrical way. Then she sighed and looked down for a minute, then replied, almost in a whisper, “No, it’s just me. I wasn’t raised by my own kind, I’m the only one I know of.”
“So... you were raised by humans, is that how you know English?”
“That’s right,” she sighed, “I guess you had to figure it out at some point.”
She relaxed a little.

Heath sat down at the trunk of the tree. They sat there for a while in silence, listening to the forest around them.
“Why were you... erm...” Heath started to ask, pausing for a moment before continuing “why are you wearing that... dress now?”
“I don't generally walk around naked, you know,” she said, rolling her eyes, “I... well you caught me using a bush.”
“Oh.” he looked embarrassed. “I just figured dragons generally don’t wear clothes anyway.”
“Well I wouldn’t know.” the dragon replied.
“Right, right.” Heath mumbled.
An awkward pause followed this exchange, allowing Heath’s blush to fade a little.

“I’m Heath, by the way.” Heath eventually said.
“Oh, I’m Helen.” the dragon said in reply.
“Helen... that’s not a very dragony name...”
“I was named after someone.” she said, “From Greek mythology.”
They were silent a moment more. Heath thought about the name.
“That sort of makes sense really,” he said, after a while, “the legend was that Helen of Troy hatched from an egg.”
“Yeah, you know that story?” she asked.
“Of course, I’m totally a nerd for all that mythology and stuff, that’s why I’ve always wanted to meet a dragon.” Finally, he thought, something to talk to her about.
“Oh really?” Helen was starting to loosen up a bit now.
“Yeah, I love all the old myths” Heath continued, “Viking, Greek, Roman, Chinese, but especially the ones with dragons. They’re so big and graceful and can fly and breath fire and stuff. It’s... well, it’s cool.”
“Oh,” Helen said, looking a bit awkward. “I can’t really do any of that though.”
“But you’ve got wings,” Heath pointed out.
“Yeah, but I never learned to fly. I mean, I was raised by a human, and I just don’t know how to take off. Even if I did know how, someone might see me, so I couldn’t really do it much.” She looked upwards, through the branches above us at some birds flying overhead. “I’ve always dreamed about flying though, and I keep exercising my wings; I want to keep them strong so maybe one day I can use them. Find a secluded spot, take a good run up and take off into the blue, feel the wind on my face… be a real dragon.” She looked down again, fiddling with the hem of her bedsheet dress, pausing for a moment before she spoke again. “Although sometimes I just wish I could be human, that way I’d be free to walk around like normal people, and I wouldn’t have to hide like this at all.”
They fell awkwardly quiet once more. Heath had never thought about the a dragon could have problems like this, he felt sorry for this dragon, this Helen, she wasn’t what he’d imagined at all... in some ways, she was sort of like him. Alone.
He decided to break the silence.
“I’m sorry you feel you have to hide. It must be hard.”
Helen gave a hollow laugh. “Hah,” she said, “hard doesn’t even begin to describe it. D’you know what it’s like to be hiding all the time because you know someone will want to hurt you if they find you? And to grow up with no friends, always alone, there were the people who raised me, sure, but they’re my Mum and Dad, you know? You need more than that...”
Heath gently and nervously laid his hand on her arm. “Hey, I’m a highschool nerd, I know exactly what it’s like. You can feel alone sometimes even when you’re surrounded by people.”

Then Heath did something which surprised himself as much as it did the dragon. He put his arms around her and hugged her.
She was still for a moment, a little shocked, but then she reciprocated, gently putting her huge arms around him and hugging back. She cried a bit, tears ran down the neck of Heath’s coat and into his shirt, but he didn’t mind. Her body was surprisingly warm, and her skin was very smooth.
“Tell you what,” Heath said, his chin on her shoulder still, “if you want a friend... I’d really like to come back and see you again.”
She paused for a moment and then said “I’d like that.”

After a while, Heath said “You, erm, you can let go of me now, Helen.”
She let go and he staggered back a little, rubbing his leg where it had started to get cramp.
“Sorry about that.” she said.
“That’s okay,” he told her. “I’d better be getting back for lunch, my parents will wonder where I am.”
“Okay.” She smiled. Despite the teeth she actually had a very welcoming smile.
“I might come back tomorrow,” Heath said, “You want me to bring you anything?”
“Nah, that’s okay.”
“Erm. How will I find you if I come back again?”
“Oh, I’m always around,” she said, “I’ll find you if you’re here.”
“Oh, okay. ...I’ll be going now.”
“Okay. I’ll probably go home too.”
“Okay. ...Bye then.”
And with that, he left.
Heath walked off slowly at first, and then decided to take a look back. He half expected Helen to have vanished, but she was still sitting there in the same spot.
She smiled and climbed back up into the tree, disappearing from view.
Heath could hear her laugh as he walked away along the footpath, skipping slightly and humming to himself. He was most definitely looking forward to coming back.
In this chapter, Heath and Helen meet for the second time, this time things go a little better for Heath :)

If you would like to see a larger version of the illustration that goes with this chapter, please CLICK HERE where I have submitted the image seperately.

Part 1 [link]
Part 2 [link]
Part 3: [link]
Part 5: [link]
Add a Comment:
 
:icondragonoftheworld:
DragonOfTheWorld Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Great chapter; answered a lot of question about the she-dragon! ad nice to see them get friendly!Nod 
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015
Thanks, I think this was one I was most pleased with, I changed very little when re-writing it.
Chapter five however I think I will need to do a lot of rewriting on before I re-release it.
Reply
:icondragonoftheworld:
DragonOfTheWorld Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Actually, I read part 5, but it was still in first-person POV, so I though it would be better not to comment since you planned on changing it.
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015
Yeah there is a lot I am planning to change in that one, it's going to be similar in some ways but I want to rewrite a lot of the dialogue and also feature Helen's adoptive mother at some point, plus I feel there's many things about the scene I did not set up very well.

What did you think of Helen's origin story? (that part is not changing greatly)
Reply
:icondragonoftheworld:
DragonOfTheWorld Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah they went to her adoptive father and spoke together; It seemed strange, but logical; I guess it's the fantasy after all. Though, I'm wondering about a new character in the next chapter.
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015
At the time I wrote it I just wanted to move the story along, but I think that perhaps I rushed into this part when I should have paced it out better. I definitely need to work a lot on that chapter before I am happy with it. Also I had long intended to include a mother for Helen, but I just didn't know how to fit her into this chapter at the time.
Right now I've got my time taken up with work so it may be quite a while before I release that part again though.
Reply
:icondragonoftheworld:
DragonOfTheWorld Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I'll be waiting patiently!
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015
Just keep in mind that it has been some years since I wrote these chapters, if I ever do get around to finishing this story it will likely not be for a long time.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconsargentboom:
sargentboom Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2015
Part five isn't accessible to me....is there a reason?
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2015
I have recently been re-writing this story slightly, basically just changing some mistakes and ironing out some inconsistencies in the storyline, but I haven't got around to re-writing part five yet so I've got it hidden until it's finished.
Reply
:iconsargentboom:
sargentboom Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2015
........Well would you please send me message when it's ready?
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2015
I'll just make sure the re-released chapter gives an alert to my watchers when it's finished, otherwise I would end up having to message a bunch of people, and I would probably forget.
Reply
:iconbubblesishot46853:
bubblesishot46853 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014
Awww...cute!
Reply
:iconcannonfodder10503:
Cannonfodder10503 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Really interesting I wonder what will happen next? I hope theres no TF thats just lame.
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011
"TF" as in transformation? Erm... ^^; well it is fairly well established in mythology and fantasy fiction that there are dragons who can shape-shift, and if you look at part five you'll see that Helen hasn't always looked quite so humanoid. Chapter six will also introduce a new character who... is not all that he seems, shall we say. You can decide if you still think the story will be interesting if there is shape-shifting involved.
Reply
:iconcannonfodder10503:
Cannonfodder10503 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
No I mean that the guy Heath gets turned into a dragon, which is really cleashe.
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011
OH, right. Nope, Heath is most definitely remaining human. Also, rest assured I am not going to take a "Jake Long" approach to the shape-shifting once it's introduced. By the way, part five is here: [link] although I'll admit it's a bit of a boring chapter.
Reply
:iconcannonfodder10503:
Cannonfodder10503 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Its still usefull insight.
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2011
Thanks :)
Reply
:iconcannonfodder10503:
Cannonfodder10503 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Your welcome :)
Reply
:iconskauzne:
Skauzne Featured By Owner May 21, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Nice story, I want to read what happens next, also I LOVE this pic
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner May 21, 2011
Thanks :) There's more to come but I'm taking a while writing it ^^;
Did you see the larger version of the illustration?
Reply
:icondragonlover14:
dragonlover14 Featured By Owner May 18, 2011
realy nice
can't wait until the next part!!
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner May 18, 2011
Thankyou :)
I'll hopefully have that up in a little while, I just need to make a few changes and finish the picture that goes with it.
Reply
:icondragonlover14:
dragonlover14 Featured By Owner May 18, 2011
i hope so^^
Reply
:icondragonepic94:
DragonEpic94 Featured By Owner May 11, 2011
I love this story
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner May 12, 2011
Thankyou kindly :)
Reply
:icondragonepic94:
DragonEpic94 Featured By Owner May 12, 2011
sure thing
Reply
:iconandreuet:
Andreuet Featured By Owner May 6, 2011  Student Digital Artist
yay, awesome chapter, I love it! Poor Helen... I'm sorry for her. Mmm Where did she get her "clothes"? xDDD

Cool :3 I wanna see the next encounter. It promises to be interesting.
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner May 7, 2011
Thankyou kindly :D

The next chapter is in the works, although it may be a while. Hopefully not as long as these few though ;)
Reply
:iconandreuet:
Andreuet Featured By Owner May 7, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Oki ^^
Reply
:iconspark-e-z:
Spark-E-Z Featured By Owner May 4, 2011  Student General Artist
This actually cuaght my attention. Its pretty good. I look forward to more chapters.
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner May 5, 2011
Thankyou kindly :) I'm working on a fifth chapter now. Any thoughts on the accompanying artwork?

Just out of curiosity, what is that symbol on your icon? Looks sort of familiar but can't quite place it.
Reply
:iconspark-e-z:
Spark-E-Z Featured By Owner May 5, 2011  Student General Artist
Well. If you have played Halo OR watched some of the animated videos you'd recognise the symbol as the one that belongs to the Forerunner known as The Didact. The art is also good but since i'm using my phone at the moment to view it, its not at its max quality. I'll have to post my short stories soon.... I'll notify you when I do.
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner May 5, 2011
Oh, I see. I've never actually played Halo, the closest I've come is watching "Red vs. Blue".
Reply
:iconkeyotea:
Keyotea Featured By Owner May 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Having wings and not being able to use them is pretty sad.
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner May 4, 2011
It is :( but don't worry, she got her chance eventually ;)
Reply
:iconmiyayoshi:
MiyaYoshi Featured By Owner May 4, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can see she's thought over all the horrible possibilities! Can't be too cautious around them human-types. And haha, "You're very sarcastic." Heath has a lot of wits about him to be talking to an angry woman (much less a dragon) like that. XD
Anyway, budding friendship is sweet. Sweet enough to drink with tea, I tells ya.

*sips tea*
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner May 4, 2011
Well, only one human she's known has been kind to her, and of what she's seen and read of how humans treat dragons and aliens she tends to expect the worst. Having to hide all the time can make a girl paranoid.

I think he's mainly feinting confidence so he doesn't seem like a pushover ;) plus, he's used to getting beaten up from his normal life anyway, so I'm sure he's be willing to take what she can dish out, it's worth the risk to keep her talking.

Mmm, friendship tea :XD:

Thankyou :D especially for all the feedback.
Reply
:iconmiyayoshi:
MiyaYoshi Featured By Owner May 6, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heh, poor Heath's the school pushover, then. I guess you can get acclimated to eating dirt, then. XD

(You're welcome! It's a charming little story.)
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner May 7, 2011
Just 'cause you get beaten up a lot doesn't make you a pushover. Sometimes you get beaten up for not being a pushover.
Reply
:iconmiyayoshi:
MiyaYoshi Featured By Owner May 9, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aha, a radical thought, there. ;)
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner May 10, 2011
Well Heath is essentially based on me, so I would know.
Reply
:iconblackholeinajar:
BlackHoleInAJar Featured By Owner May 3, 2011  Professional General Artist
And everybody says, "AAWWWWwwww!":icondaawplz:
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
Yeah, I know, sap story ^^;
Reply
:iconblackholeinajar:
BlackHoleInAJar Featured By Owner May 3, 2011  Professional General Artist
Yeah, kinda, but it's nice. Just sweet and enjoyable.
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner May 4, 2011
Thankyou :) I hope you'll stay for chapter five.
Reply
:iconblackholeinajar:
BlackHoleInAJar Featured By Owner May 5, 2011  Professional General Artist
You're welcome and I think I will.:D

On last thing; this is just how I see things, I'm not nit-picking at you.^^;
If she is wanting to fly at some point, her wings are going to have to grow about 2-3 times as big as they are now. If you were to give an adult human organic, built-in wings, the wingspan would have to be about 20 feet. Now she's a lot bigger than an adult human, so...:) Just saying.
Reply
:iconross-sanger:
Ross-Sanger Featured By Owner May 6, 2011
Glad to read it :D

Well, let's say her height is roughly twelve feet tall, her wings are around half her height when folded, which means each wing will be at least her full height when unfolded, giving her a twenty four foot wingspan, possibly larger; in addition to this since she will have evolved for flight she will have a number of adaptations that make her lighter than she would otherwise be such as honeycomb-structured bones, less dense muscle tissue with limbs working mainly on ligaments for strength, and -- have you ever seen "The Last Dragon"? -- she might also have gasses in her body that would be ignited for flame but which also give her some buoyancy, such as hydrogen. D'you think that would account for enough to get her airborne?
Reply
:iconblackholeinajar:
BlackHoleInAJar Featured By Owner May 6, 2011  Professional General Artist
DANG, she's tall.:O_o:
Well, forget any of the gasses that might be in her body. The amount needed for them to have any real effect, she would be a whole lot rounder.:XD:
Honeycombed bones. Hmmm, that would help but I don't know how much and she's a dragon, they're tough creatures, so they can't be so light that their structural integrity is lost. And muscles could be only so less dense before they'd simply not work. I mean, look at birds, they've got a LOT of muscle.

Really, you should look at dinosaurs. Pterodactyls could be 23 feet tall and have a wingspan 40 feet across! So I would guess that her wingspan would have to be around 30-32 feet, maybe. Because she isn't built like a pterodactyl, she's got more bulk to her.
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