She awoke with a start but didn't know why

Another Wednesday, another flash fiction. Enjoy the story!

Rylee’s muscles jerked involuntarily, shoving her into a sitting position as her heart thudded. Grabbing fistfuls of her blanket, she stared blindly straining for sounds in the darkness. Nothing.

Rather, nothing that wasn’t expected. The soft sounds of night filled the area. Silence would have been worse. Then the beasties would have been disturbed by… something and paying attention to it instead of their sleep.

Rising from her pallet Rylee wrapped herself in her shall and trod the familiar path to the barn door. The wood creaked as she hauled the thing open. Stepping through, she whispered a command and the lanterns burst with brilliant mage light.

Wincing, Rylee stepped back bumping against the door. “Ugh,” she said as around her the beasties woke giving off their various calls. Another word and the mage light dimmed too late.

Rylee shrugged and moved down the long isle pausing to stroke the unicorn, toss some food to the griffin, and so on down the row. Content noises trailed in her wake, thankfully tinged with weariness. They might get back to sleep yet and she might get back to her pallet.

She stopped as she reached the end of the row, her shoulders slumping. “Not again,” Rylee muttered looking at the empty stall and obvious hole in the wall. They’d just finished reinforcing that last week.

Rylee turned to go wake her master. He wouldn’t be pleased the dragon was out.

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