CHAPTER 6: FALLING WATER

Spring was come early to Mia’s Edge. And Spring hath its own delights. There be the fresh growing things, the clean, clear air of a morning. There be the new brightness to the day. And there be sounds. The rustle of things fresh woken moving through the grass about their business. The chirp of birds and the cough of fox… but the faint and distant rumble in the air was not one familiar to those who lived there. The sky was clear and held no sign of coming storm… What might it be?

Of course, it was the young ones who found it first. And a merry thing it turned to be, and each ran this way and that, gathering others both young and grown, that they might also know. And know what?

It is known by few that draku can sing. Known by few, for few hear it, and less know it for what it is if indeed hear it they do. And the sight of a dragon that doth take wing to the top of a waterfall, there but to slide helter and skelter to the bottom, and do this oft and again, and to lie on its back beneath the falling water and… well, for want of better words… sing? This be strange indeed!

And Alexis was among those who gathered, and she did stand forward, and she did peer… surely not! But peering again… and…

“ Er… TaleSpinner? Um… what… why…??

With a start, TaleSpinner spun to her belly, throwing waves of water that rained on those near.

“ Strange things indeed ye two legs are. And a strange thing this is, and quite wonderous also! And that a two leg did show me and another ask of it… Hmmmm. Mayhap I see what she meant…?

And with those words, TaleSpinner climbed from the water and sat at its edge. The water gleamed on purple scales, bright in the sun. And TaleSpinner’s eyes took on that distant look that those who frequented the Hall knew well… and they gathered about.

“ It was Sonea that told me of this… this dance. And it might be of interest to ye, for it may be helpful in understanding a certain.. quirk .. that she has. Well, she had… Now that Sonea is aware of its impact on others, the recalling of her past behavior doth, it seems, give her a bit o’ discomfort.. nay, downright embarrassment. And ..of a time, I do enjoy seeing her cheeks pink.

Ye see, each day when Sonea returned to the Helian’s lair, she would be covered with rock dust and the grime that clings to one who engages in physical labor. Though she didn’t notice it, the Helian, with its fine sense of smell and a certain fastidiousness about keeping its lair tidy, very much did. So it wasn’t long before the Helian did call her to it and bespeak her.

This time when she stood by its head, and stared in its eye, the drake spoke a tale of water, and the beautiful song it sings when it falls from the sky to meet the stones on the ground or the leaves in the trees. It spoke of how watching water trace its path as it moves from its beginning to wherever it finds an end, sometimes slow, sometimes fast, did seem to calm the soul and relax the body.

And it spoke of the delightful sensation that one feels when the water dances and swirls around one, and caresses the scale, or the skin. And it spoke of the peace that one finds when immersed in it up to ones nose, floating, almost as if laying on a cloud in the sky. All these things it told Sonea, enticing her that she might desire to see and hear and feel them for herself.

And then, the Helian, sly drake that it was, asked Sonea to accompany it to a special place in its lair. They entered a tunnel that to this point had been hid from Sonea. They ventured deeper into the mountain containing the drake’s lair, and as they went, a dull rumbling sound could be heard, faint at first and then much louder until it grew to a roar as they neared an opening at the tunnel’s end. Upon exiting into a large cavern, Sonea stopped, wide-eyed, and for a time she stood virtually motionless. And then.. she smiled, and it seemed that the sun’s light had descended, breaking and scattering the cavern’s shadows.

For directly across from the tunnel was a beautiful sight, falling water, the top o’ which was lost in the darkness above. And the water fell down and down to a deep pool below. And as it fell, it glowed as if it held mage light. The effect was.. breath taking. Ye see, on the walls of the cavern, a certain lichen grew, that cast a soft yellow glow, and it served to light the chamber somewhat. But the lichen that grew on the wall behind the fall did shine through the glistening water as it spewed down from above, and the water magnified the light, and its movement acted as a mirror might, reflecting and turning the light until it sparkled and danced on the water making its way to the waiting pool below.

Sonea, already intrigued by the Helian’s water tale, was positively delighted to see it made real before her very eyes. She stood, smiling, and still as stone for a time, listening. It seems the Helian was right, for the water did sing as it fell down from above like a rain of music. She heard its timeless song repeating, unending, as it made its way down to the drenched rocks below.

And just as melodic was the splash that it made as it met the pool at its base. And the song was accompanied by the ethereal beauty of the water as it made its way down from the heights, and the mist that swirled up when the water splashed into the pool. The combination of sight and sound did in fact serve as a balm to Sonea’s soul as she stood there, experiencing the pure pleasure of it.

But, the Helian also spoke of the water’s caress, and eventually Sonea recalled that part of the tale. Her gaze shifted, and she took herself from the drake’s side that she might touch the water, and be touched by it. She approached an area where a large stone reached out from the wall of the cavern and broke the water’s fall ere it reached the pool, forming a smaller fall, equally beautiful, but not so heavy as the main flow.

Sonea ran underneath the smaller fall to stand there as it rained down upon her. And the Helian was right again, the water did feel delicious as it passed over her arms and worked its way through her hair. But the water couldn’t fully reach her. Sonea began to peel out of her clothes, and she shook off her boots, which were by now full of water and heavy.

Now Sonea could feel it,, a sensual pleasure as the ice-cold water drenched her hot, dusty skin. She stood in the falls, legs apart and arms outstretched, with her head tipped back and her back arched. And the water slid down her skin, tickling like a lover's caress. Her body responded to its touch, her skin prickled, and after a time she shuddered from the very ecstasy of it. And in this manner the falling water cleansed her body and calmed her soul.

Eventually, Sonea did also find delight in the pool. And each day after, when she returned from the mine, she would leave a trail of clothing from the lair’s entrance to the falls, where she washed the traces of her toil away, sometimes standing in the natural shower, (for a good long time, I might add) and other times floating in the pool. And although she didn’t let the water get completely up to her nose, it was yet nice, very nice indeed.

In the evening times, after her refreshing soak or shower, she would return to the drake’s cavern and sit, naked at its feet, whilst it entertained her with tales of Istaria’s past, or tunes that it would hum in its deep rumbly way.

Now here is the best part…Since the Helian was draku, and had no need or desire to cover itself as some biped races do, with all manner of clothing and bindings, Sonea in her madness followed its lead in this regard. In fact, she found the altogether quite comfortable. She still donned her work clothes when toiling in the mine, for the protection they offered her skin was welcome. But in the lair, Sonea treated clothing as an accessory, only wearing it when the mood struck her or when she needed the extra warmth it offered.

And as she finished the telling, TaleSpinner looked up. And a sly gleam filled her eyes…

“ Ah, there ye be, Sonea. I was just speaking of thy telling of the Falling Water. It seems many here would ask thee of it further… Sonea? Sonea! Where might ye be going??

And, chuckling to herself in that rumbly manner that draku do… TaleSpinner set wing to air, and she found the wind that blew off from the shore. And she flew over the Southern seas… and as she flew, the rumble of drake song came back to those who listened.

Sonea Fair she did dance in the drink
And her skin from the air did not shrink
When she saw those about
They were left in no doubt
That her cheeks, they were glowing and pink!