Sunborn Rising

Sunborn Rising by Aaron Safronoff Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Sunborn Rising by Aaron Safronoff Read Free Book Online
Authors: Aaron Safronoff
up to emphasize the point. Ari dragged herself around in obvious strain.
    “Right. I’ll grab some seeds,” Darby said, acquiescing.
    Yorg peered in at the Tricopterus. She was drooping, and the tiny hook of her tongue was lolling out of her mouth. Yorg thought maybe she was thirsty, so he crossed over to the waterfull located on the other side of the denroom.
    Arriving at the waterfull, a sudden sound of crashing of leaves whooshed in through the window located above it. The noise ended as abruptly as it started. Yorg examined the treescape, but didn’t see anything other than a few swaying branches. Whatever it was, it was gone. The Doctor shrugged, and returned his attention to the Tricopterus. He dunked one hand into the waterfull, and then held it dripping over the bellflower which he pursed open with a gentle squeeze. Droplets fell inside and Ari walked over to one and drank. Pleased, Yorg placed the bottom stem of the bellflower into the waterfull to keep it from drying out as well.
    Darby swept back into the room, one paw cupped by the other. Yorg nodded, and tipped the open end of the bellflower toward Darby. The Leghund cast the seeds out over the opening, as many falling out as in. Yorg glared at Darby and sighed. Darby just shrugged and smiled, head cocked comically to one side.
    Both of the aged Arboreals watched and waited. The insect’s burning orange color had paled since she was captured, but the Fenroars didn’t know that. She stretched up toward the seeds, and the black strands that gummed her arms to her body were revealed.
    Darby stepped back, befuddled.
    “That’s... not... good,” Yorg said haltingly as he inspected the insect. She tried to fly, but her wings couldn’t get free from her body, and even more black threads were revealed.
    Darby recovered from his initial shock, and said, “That’s Creepervine fungus, isn’t it?”
    From where Barra was perched eavesdropping, she heard the word as clearly as if Darby had whispered it directly into her ear. The blood ran from her face as she recognized the newly familiar word.
    Yorg hesitated, but then he responded gravely, “Vallor was right to send this to us. I’ll have to do some tests.”
    There was another crash through the branches outside, drawing the attention of both Fenroars. They stretched their heads out the window, and although several branches were still swinging, there was nothing to see.
    “What was…?” Yorg began, but hushed when he saw Darby holding a finger to his mouth.
    Darby rose up and unfurled his ears into two large saucers. He walked softly around the living room, tuned into something that Yorg couldn’t hear. Around the middle of the room Darby pointed down as though he found something. Then he looked up, incredulous. Domed like most dens, the ceiling at its center was high, twice as tall as the Leghund. With no warning, Darby leapt into the air. He punched his hands through the ceiling and grabbed onto something from the other side. He pulled it down with him as he fell in a burst of leaves and debris.
    Yorg seemed amused.
    “Hey, let me go!” Barra demanded. Even as she wriggled in Darby’s huge hands, the ceiling was growing back together. There would be a thin spot for a few days, but no permanent damage.
    “Calm down,” Darby said, exasperated. He placed the tense Listlespur down on the floor gingerly, wrinkling his nose.
    Barra eyed the window, the entrance, and the braided curtain separating the living room from the next.
    Darby read her face and advised forcefully, “Don’t get any ideas. You’re not going anywhere.”
    Unflappable, Yorg asked, “I’m Doctor Yorg Fenroar. You’ve met Darby. And you are?”
    Barra had trouble calming down, but she managed after a moment. She resented being a captive, but seeing no way out of it, she said bitingly, “Barra.”
    There was a knock on the door frame that sounded like it was apologizing for itself: Hel-lo, hel-lo? Darby looked in the direction of

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