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Eyes of Newt
[494 words without title]

Marko hadn’t seen Dindrum’s dragon bearing down on him a fortnight ago. A juggernaut attack, from the back of beyond Pagrail’s pond, had caught him off guard and unarmed. Now, Marko was held hostage, in what he presumed was Dindrum’s infamous sixth labyrinth, but for what purpose wasn’t clear. The dragon’s talon marks, on his left thigh, felt deeply ugly and Marko was certain they’d turned septic.

He stared, darkly, into the cavern’s gloom seeking an escape before his delivered doom for Dindrum didn’t own a mercy bone. Marko could hear the dragon’s sonorous snores reverberating through the tunnel and smelt the billowing acrid stench of his brazen breath.

As he choked back the vile bile of gut wrenching fear, he felt a sickly wet silhouette of a scamper traveling up his bruised chest. When the cold scaly shiver reached his neck he looked down and beheld a ghastly green newt peering back. The newt nimbly catapulted onto Marko’s upper lip, locked eyeballs with him and flicked his tongue into Marko’s left nostril savoring the salty deposits. When the newt’s feasting created a sneezing frenzy he didn’t flinch and kept a firm grip on Marko’s nose never losing his golden orb focus.

Once satiated, the newt lay on the bridge of Marko’s nose and his tail draped along the cleft in Marko’s chin. His eyes held a deep resonance of ethereal information which, unblinking, conveyed more than an inkling of empathetic connections. Mesmerized, Marko felt his agonizing pain subside as Newt held his rapt attention.

Newt slowly began backing up keeping Marko spellbound. As he slithered back down Marko’s face and onto his chest Marko felt his head rise to keep Newt’s eyes within his vision. Traversing Marko’s body, Newt’s progress only paused at Marko’s wound and he flicked his tail over each of the talon gashes. Marko was now sitting up and felt glorious! Profoundly hypnotized, he followed NEWT.

NEWT scrabbled backwards along a spiraled outcrop. Marko smelled sweet air wafting down the imperceptible escape route. NEWT maintained his gaze and Marko followed faithfully like an obedient pup. When the moonlit crevasse was revealed, Marko hopes were dashed for there was a twenty foot drop from the opening to the ledge and NEWT, the moment Marko’s gaze was distracted, had vanished. He scoured the rim of the rocks and spied two faintly glowing golden globes.

Harnessing every ounce of his faith Marko stared at those orbs and felt light-headed and feathery. A slight gust caught his frame and transported him upward like an apparition. Once clear of the cave, the wind died and he was thrown to the ground in a pathetic heap of humanity.

Marko awoke, in warm sunlight, to warm puffs of breath from his steed’s muzzle. He was hearty and hale To this day: Marko believes it was only a dream for everyone knows newt’s eyes are only viable in unpalatable potions conjured up in cauldrons by crusty crones.

Penelope Allen
May 2nd, 2011

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"Tigers bloom where there's oodles of room." Zodiac Zoo


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