Climb on my back, young one. We will find your heart.
His scales were smooth and warmed her to the bone as she climbed on. They made a path through the roof of the trees; she clung to his neck and pressed her face against it as she took her first breath of cool air in what seemed like an eternity. The moon was full, and she heard noises again that the forest had kept secret from her. Wings blackened the stars with their strokes, and she watched the glint of gold beneath her that escaped from the hold of giant talons.
All night they flew. The warmth of his scales and her weariness played against her, and whenever she wandered too far into a dream he would sing to her. It started deep within his chest and reverberated back into her spine, yet the melody rang surprisingly sweet. It made her think of places no one had ever seen, waiting to be discovered. It made her want home.
When the sun rose to hail the new day she looked down and spied a meadow, and in the center of that a well.
Yes, she answered.
She slid off after he landed in a patch of cornflowers. When she turned around a man stood there. He was tall and young, not so unlike her brother, but still somehow old. He reached out both his hands and inside them lay the toadstool. She looked him in the eyes, now so dark she could barely discern between pupil and iris, and remembered green, and smiled suddenly. She took the glowing thing from him and held it close to herself. Her bloodstained, soil covered hand traced it’s lines as it hummed to her, drawing her closer as a sharp ache struck a spot where her heart used to reside. She looked up at the dragon, and he looked back at her, and she turned and began to run.
Little one, she felt in her mind, take heart.
Yes. I will take it.