The creature did something with its face. Zakhin’Dakh looked at it curiously. After a moment, it made some more noises.
“You lived here long?”
Again the griffon understood the meaning of the sounds, but he had no idea how to respond to the question. So he just looked at the weird creature, a bit confused.
“Nod your head like this,” the creature moved its head up and down, “To say yes. And shake your head like this,” it moved its head from side to side, “To say no.”
It took Zakhin’Dakh a moment to figure out what the thing was saying, and then a moment more to figure out what it wanted. Then he moved his head up and down quickly, then realized he wasn’t quite sure that was right, so he stopped and screeched a bit uncertainly at the creature standing in front of him.
“So yes, you have lived here a while,” it said, again doing something with its face.
Well, it seemed like the moving-head-up-and-down thing was right, so Zakhin’Dakh did it again with more enthusiasm this time, screeching to emphasize his increased assurance.
The creature made some noises again. “Well, were you this big when you got here?”
He thought the question over for a bit, then shook his head with a negative screech.
“Hm…” The creature was quiet for a moment. Zakhin’Dakh looked it over again. It really was a funny-looking thing. It was scaly like a lizard, but stood on two feet like those big things he’d seen before. It had wings, but didn’t use them, which seemed weird.
“Wondering what I am?” It asked.
Zakhin’Dakh moved his head up and down—a nod, it had called the motion—and screeched happily that it had asked for him.
“’m a half-dragon. Father was a bronze dragon, mother was a human.”
Zakhin’Dakh screeched uncertainly, a bit confused. He’d seen a dragon once, he thought, a long way away. Some big winged thing. A human, though… he oddly had some image of what a human was, even though he’d never seen one as far as he knew.
The creature… the half-dragon made a series of noises. Zakhin’Dakh looked at it, a bit more confused. “t’d take a while t’ explain,” it said.
The big griffon screeched sadly. That sounded like he wasn’t going to explain. Which was sad, because he wanted to know. Then the half-dragon spoke again.
“Want t’ know what I was doing?”
Brought out of his sadness, Zakhin’Dakh nodded and screeched excitedly, taking a step toward the half-dragon.
“Was just looking at your tracks.”
That didn’t really mean much of anything to him. He had some vague idea from somewhere—probably wherever he could understand the sounds from—that tracks had something to do with marking the ground when you walked, but he still didn’t really understand what ‘looking at tracks’ meant.
The half-dragon spoke again. “This ‘s going t’ take a while…”
So now you know what Zakhin’Dakh was thinking when he met Almonihah. I’ll be going into a bit more depth about their first couple of months together than in the previous chapter. Then we’ll continue on with what happens when they leave this valley.