The rules of the game were simple.
Dracky knew that all he had to do was sent to familiarize himself, and then go fly off around Meridell in hiding while they came to find him. He knew this. Nanci had them all practice weeks before Meridell Day.
So why was he getting so nervous?! He stared down at his legs that couldn’t seem to stop shaking. Dracky pushed his legs down into the ground in an attempt to quell the movement, but the tension only seemed to make it worse.
He let out an impatient huff, smoke billowing through his nostrils and upwards to the roof of the stable.
Uh oh, he frantically flapped his wings to rid the smoke, fear of a fire starting. Nanci would really be mad at him then. He couldn’t help it though! He was a fire Dragoyle, and Nanci had him inside a barn, made out of wood. It really wouldn’t be his fault if something happened how would it? What did she honestly expect?
The barn door suddenly swung open and Dracky’s forgotten nervousness came rearing back. He stomach swooped somewhere down to the ground and he apprehensively made his way to door of his pen.
A few scents greeted his nose the closer he got. Grass from the surrounding fields, the sweet honey-like smell of Nanci, and a new unfamiliar woodsy smell.
Nanci was explaining the rules of the game, and it wasn’t until he heard the creak of one of the other gates swinging open that Dracky realized he had completely forgotten about the order. He wasn’t going to be released today!
Dracky couldn’t remember which pen he had been corralled into earlier that day to figure out when he would be next, so he meandered back into one of the corners and curled up in a ball. He sighed loudly, more smoke puffing out of his nose as he half-heartedly flapped his wings to dissipate it, and drifted off to sleep.
Day Two was similar to the first. He arose to Nanci swinging the gate open and setting down a tray with food and water. She rubbed the top of Dracky’s head affectionately as she cooed to him and told him all about the rainbow Dragoyle’s adventure yesterday. Apparently the seeker had taken ages to find her and that she nearly left her hiding place to go after her!
Nanci reminded Dracky that he shouldn’t do that, but instead wait patiently. Dracky wanted to ask what would happen if they were never found. Would Nanci come back for us? Surely she would! Right? He shuddered thinking about the alternative.
Dracky was also a bit confused because the rainbow Dragoyle hadn’t come back, but the seeker was back again today, the pleasant woodsy smell drifting back in through the barn. But where had the rainbow Dragoyle gone?
Dracky paced his pen, maybe they left Rainbow at home today and was here for all the others? He glanced down at the burlap bag in the corner opposite his nest. He rolled his eyes. He’d overheard Plushie and Pink talking earlier this morning about how NC mall items where apparently all what was wanted these days. He snorted a plume of smoke in derisiveness.
A shuffle of feet tore his attention away from the bag and he stepped closer to the gate to hear better. The seeker was asking more questions, specifically about why Rainbow flew off yesterday after being found. Wait, what?! Why would Rainbow just fly away?!
Dracky’s stomach dropped when he heard Nanci reply that the Dragoyle’s were free to fly off wherever they wanted after playing the game. Dracky was devastated! He didn’t want to fly away, he thought they were supposed to be bonding, one at a time so that they would go home and start off a new life together.
At the sound of one of the other gate’s opening, Dracky dejectedly retreated back to his nest. He was devastated. Ever since Nanci trained him for his role, all he really wanted was that special bond. Now what was he going to do?
Days three, four, and five passed without anything interesting occurring. Dracky barely moved from his nest. He’d burrowed so far down into the hay that Nanci had to sift through to find him. She cajoled him, asking him why the long face, but didn’t stick around long enough to find out.
Plushie, Pink, and Ghost were all gone now, and he was the only one left. He didn’t want to play this game anymore. He didn’t want to have to fly off to who knows where afterwards!
His entire body started shaking and the hay around him began heating up. He realized he was starting to set everything around him on fire and he quickly stood up, stomping on the hay to put out the fire and ruining his carefully crafted nest in the process.
The door to the barn opened, and Dracky snatched up the burlap bag and waited near the gate, vibrating with anticipation, anger, and anxiety. Smoke billowed out of his nose as the door swung open and he immediately flew high up into the air.
He heard shouting behind him, but paid no attention to it. They wanted a hide and seek game, so be it!
Dracky flew over the giant Turmaculus, circling round the game of cheeseroller before deciding against that hiding spot. He wasn’t sure where he wanted to go. He throught about entering the castle, but wasn’t in the mood for having to sneak past the guards to get inside one of the rooms. Nanci had warned him that King Skarl was temperamental and didn’t like not knowing what was going on in his castle.
Dracky found the games too chaotic to try and hide around. Despite popular opinion, Turdle racing was quite faster than expected, and the flurry of activity scared Dracky. He swerved around the game and headed towards the fields, where Meri Acres Farm awaited.
He liked the idea of burrowing within something soft, so he dove down to the Pick Your Own field and hid within one of the largest bushes. He tossed the burlap bag off the side, kicking some dirt at it peevishly before settling down. He almost wanted to set fire to it, but was slightly afraid Nanci would find out and somehow berate him. He didn’t even know what was inside, but it mocked him from its spot in the dirt.
Dracky curled up in ball and waited to be found.
Suddenly something was shaking the bushes and Dracky was startled out of his snooze. He glanced up and was met with the soft, brown eyes of a woodland Kougra. The woodsy smell was amplified two-fold and Dracky greedily inhaled before realizing that the game was now over, and it was time to go.
Dracky stood up and handed the burlap bag over, shutting his eyes in defeat as he prepared to take off.
Before he could push off from the ground, a gentle paw reached out and turned him back. The kougra glanced down at the bag and tossed it off the side, the contents spilling out onto the dirt.
A soft smile graced the Kougra’s face, and they said, “I’d rather have you than the silly NC items.”
Dracky’s heart soared.