A Grim Glory - ON HOLD

Grim. The creature that lurks in the dark. The creature that does not hesitate to kill. So they say.

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12. Dragons?

They trundled on for half an hour or so. All Merana knew was that it wasn't long enough for her back to start aching. As they slowed, she looked around nervously. Nothing seemed wrong, yet Grim was tense. She could feel it. Lie flat along my back. He instructed and, being in no mood to disobey, Merana did so. Her chest was pressed along the center of his back, her face peering around the first spine. She wrapped her arms around his neck, her knees pressing against his back legs. It is ahead of us. Stay still and do not speak. I will tell you what to do. Tap my shoulder if you see something. If you have a question, whisper it to me quietly. Merana nodded, understanding his instructions, and kept on look out. Grim crouched down, stalking through the surrounding trees carefully. What were they looking for? What was it that made it so dangerous? Questions similar to these filled her head, buzzing around like flies. Then she saw something move. It was the slightest of movements, something creeping around nearby. The slightest flash of white. Merana frowned. Was it another Grim Glory? Or was it something else? She couldn't think of anything white that might wander around the English countryside. Defiantly not something that big. Whatever it was, it was the thing Grim was looking out for. He let out a snarl, and received a growl. He still stalked forward, coming closer to the bushes where something had moved. Get off my back, and lie in the undergrowth, be as quiet as you can. Any noise could alert it that we are here. Merana slid off his back, landing with a soft thud on the grass beneath her. Grim glanced at her, smiling faintly, before returning his attention to the moving leaves. She crouched down and moved silently through the bracken. It was thick over here, surrounded by a few tall trees. She lowered herself until she was lying face-down, in the green carpet. The sunlight was blocked, leaving the wood dark and slightly damp. She crawled through the green, finding a good position to watch from, to wait until Grim needed her.

He was advancing on whatever lay out of sight, walking forward with the grace of a swan and silence of a cat. An expert hunter, trained for killing. From here, she could see his cloak. It looked as though it were alive. But what with? Magic? As if. Grim was getting closer. The thing in the bushes was silent, not moving. Until moments later.

It emerged. All Merana saw was it's teeth, to begin with. Long, white teeth. As it attacked Grim, it displayed these perfectly, baring them, ready to attack. Ready to kill. It collided with Grim, who pulled away as soon as he could, turning the creature's surprise to his advantage. Both of them stood circling each other. Merana used this time to examine Grim's opponent.

It had pale scales, this... thing. She could also see a muzzle, filled to the brim with long, sharp teeth. They overlapped it's lips, showing even when it's mouth was closed. It had tattered wings, almost like... a dragon? She frowned, trying to make sense of it. But dragons didn't exist... What was in front of here seemed to argue differently. In front of her was a dragon. It had four legs, a pair of wings... Merana shook her head, promising herself she would find out more about this dragon when the fight was over. She returned to them circling, just before Grim leapt at the creature, his cloak fluttering in the wind. He aimed for it's neck. His tail was lashing out, cutting all that he could reach. The dragon was fighting him off, using it's massive paws to bat him back down. It was around the size of a horse. A flying horse with ridiculously long teeth. The dragon succeeded, taking heavy blows to the chest as it did so, and sent Grim into the ground. He snarled at it, trying to get back up. But it had the advantage, pinning him down as it tried to get it's jaws around him. It was winning, and Grim's strength was slowly failing him. The dragon reared up for the final blow. Merana couldn't let it kill him... could she? He had saved her life, he had let her come with him in the first place. She should help him. She was in his debt. Stealing herself, she leapt up, screaming. “YOU GET AWAY FROM HIM, YOU BIG... THING!”

It turned towards her. Oh **** she thought. It roared at her, brandishing it's long... teeth. Merana blinked, suddenly regretting this whole trip. Until Grim's tail came into sight, slashing a long cut in the dragon's neck. He clamped his jaws over it, and, with one last feeble cry, the dragon went limp. It's life drained out of it. Grim removed his muzzle, the white bone stained with blood.

What did you just do? What was that?”

I killed it. And that, was a dragon.

But dragons don't exist.”

Yes they do.

No they don't.”

Think of Komodo Dragons. That's basically the same as that.

That... thing had wings.”

Birds have wings.

It had bat-wings.”

Bats have bat-wings.

Merana looked at him strangely.

I told you you wouldn't believe your eyes.

Pft.”

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