. The Ezrel
Sun beat through the small cage window and Brixie could almost remember and time when the warmth of summer brought joy not dread. It had been two years since Brixie had been a captive of the Ezrel, long, hard years. Brixie could taste something coming though, good? Bad? she could not tell, but change was soon on its way."Wake up you dumb nymph, time to whisper!" Dwank, like all Ezrels had a long nose stinking out of his green turban wrapped around his face. He was about 4 foot, an average height, not incredibly bright, but with with a sharp temper and very quick to jump in a "good" brawl. Ezrels are from the desert so they ride beetamels to carry their trade, which means they have to catch nymphs to whisper into the beetamels short ears to get them to move. Beetamels are stubborn beasts, short, fat, and will never do anything unless encouraged with sweat haikus. An unknown fact is that nymphs are excellant haikuers, coming from Japan. So, to be able to use the best pack creatures in the land, Ezrels must inslave nymphs to whisper to the beetamels.Brixie was standing up to leave her small cage when she heard a loud thump."What was that?" asked Dwank. Not knowing she shook her head and leaned out the door. There was another thump and Dwank fell face first in the sand. Birxie gave an yelp and backed up to the wall of her cage. Suddenly a small face appeared."Sorry if I scared you, but my name is Latika, daughter of Neema of the Falens order nom. 6 and I'm here to rescue you. I hope you don't mind that I knocked out your friend, but he was in the way"."Oh, he wasn't my friend. Why are you here?" asked Brixie."Duh, I'm a Falen..." Being met with a unenlightened look Latika went on "Falens are gnomes on a mission to rescue all fairy tale creatures from enslavement. Come on we need to leave before he wakes up angry." Before Brixie could protest Latika had grabbed her hand and they were both running across the hot sand."Wait" shouted Brixie "My wings are still bound, we need to get the key, it's in Dwank's pocket!""OK, you stay here I'll go get them" Latika ran back towards the Ezral camp but stopped. Brixie noticed then, were had Dwank gone? Suddenly Brixie felt warm fingers clamp around her and she screamed"............
.....then realized they were not fingers at all, but the flappy lips of a Camelemu, a sort of Camel/Emu beast. The Camelemu was attempting to chew her flaming red hair.
"AAAH! Stop it, you horrible beast!" She slapped its feathered, hairy muzzle/beak to no avail. It stared at her with milky brown eyes and made an odd mooing, (or maybe more of a honking) noise, while continuing to slobber on her hair. She tried turning around and began beating the freak of nature with her fists. "Ahhh! Ahhhh! Let me go, you, you-!" Suddenly a small voice interrupted her.
"What do you think you're doing to my poor Googlie-Shnookums?! My poor precious pet!"
Brixie gasped. "Latika?! This awful, stinking, slobbery animal is yours?
Latika was quickly rushing toward her pet, talking as she did so. "Yes! And he isn't awful, nor stinking, nor slobbery! Googlie, stop eating her hair!"
The haired-and-feathered creature honked (or maybe more mooed) and released Brixie's now thouroughly-munched hair. Lifting it up gingerly with utter disgust, she let out a wail.
"Ohh, no! My hair...it's....not what it once was."
Latika tried to hide her chuckles as she gathered the reins on Camelemu. "Oh dear, you're right. It's only about five or so inches shorter. It'll grow, no worries. But my poor Googlie! His feelings will be wounded forevermore." As if in morose agreement, the Camelemu let out a long breathy sigh, in which Brixie almost retched at his rank breath.
"'It will grow'?! Why, if you hadn't of rescued me from slavery, I would sing a haiku right now that would make your hair fall out completely! ( for the haiku-singing nymphs were known for their ability to sing at such outlandishly high notes that any hairy thing within a five mile radius would suddenly be hairless ) Harrumph!"
Latika then felt pity on Brixie, for she really did look a sight. "Oh, come now, let's not be too upset. We can ride on my dear sweet Googlie-Shnookums until we get out of this blasted desert, and then you will be free!"
Brixie could not refuse the offer of freedom, so with a glare at Latika (although she actually wasn't quite so angry anymore) she hopped up onto the Camelemu's ornate saddle. Lifting her chin up, she stared off into the distance, acting hurt. Latika ignored her pity party and also sat on the saddle.
"We're off!" .............