The Dragon

When Georgina set's out to rescue her brother from being sacrificed, she has no idea what the fates have in store for her.

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4. Four

Run out of the dungeons, out of the palace, past the guards, who let out a confused warning cry and follow me, out into the gardens. Trees whirl by me.

But then I trip. I’m suspended in mid-air before I fall forwards, flat onto my face, skidding to a halt at the feet of…

A magnificent beast. He stands at the height of the church in my village back home, covered head to foot in glittering scales, impenetrable armour shining thousands of colours at once, meeting at his crown, exposing huge, deep set eyes, filled with sorrow.

He stretches out his wings and shakes the creases out of them.

“Don’t be sorry” I tell him. I can see her looking out at me through his eyes. Nothing so beautiful  should ever be allowed to be sad. “I’m not”

And with that I reach out my arm, and place it on his snout, as he offers it down to me.

Something inside of me snaps, then tears. Tears with an excruciating rip as my soul is torn from my body, and pressed into the dragon, burning all the way up my arm into his flesh, shunting out what was inside before.

We arch our back and stretch our wings.

There is a small me standing at our majestic feet. She sways, vulnerable and hollow.   

In less than three heartbeats we snatch the human body in our mighty claws and shoot off at the speed of light to safely conceal her in a cave hundreds of thousands of leagues from this cursed place, before she can be marked with binding tattoos, before we can become a servant of the Queen.

And we are back, soaring over the palace.

Ready to avenge our little brother.

Ready to make them burn.

With an almighty roar, we release a jet of pure power, watching with glee as the flames take hold of the castle, dancing plumes rise up to the clouds from the towers as their insides are charred.

 Burned as Daniel never should have been.

But it is the Queen we are looking for. We make towards the most fortified tower, shaking our head and releasing another tongue of flames as harmless arrows glance of our skin. We land heavily on the tower’s turret, ripping it apart with our razor sharp claws to expose the room below. A mildly surprised young woman blinks in the light of our scales. She shakes her delicate body as if to clear her corn silk covered head, then meets our eyes with a grateful smile.

“She will be at the stables by now” she tells us. Her voice sounds like dogs growling, like it hasn’t been used in a long time. “Just south of the north tower. She has a black carriage with white horses. Hard to miss.”

We turn our head to leave after a nod of thanks, but she continues, more to herself: “Thank-you. Thank-you mighty one for rescuing my kingdom”

We huff in her direction, acknowledging her, then continue on our way, effortlessly jumping into the air and ridding currents to said tower.

We drop out of the sky inches before the described carriage. The Queen’s guards shower us in tar and arrows, but we ignore them as one might ignore an irritating fly that is repeatedly flying into one’s stomach.

Flames are soon passionately licking their way over the carriage, incinerating the horses and all the guards.

The Queen is left, pale faced, sitting in the ash of her defences- finally satisfying us with an expression of cowardly terror.

We lift her with giant claws to our jaw as she screams and begs for mercy, her pitiful attempts to ward us off with magic useless.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

We spit the bloody mess that was the Queen back out onto the cobbled street, where a group of admirers now cheer, singing our name in cheerful voices.

With a final, now laborious, blast of energy the mess is transformed to a fine ash, sparkling like sifted diamond. The people chatter excitedly about their new Queen, and how they will divide up this one so that she will never be whole again.

We are gone before the celebrations, though. Back to our cave. Back to Georgina.

She lies beside us, breathing shallow. We trickle what is left of the fire in our belly into the entrance of the cave, so that we may be free forever. Forever, that is, until one in dire need will shed a few drops of their blood onto our sleeping remains.

                                                                               ***

And there the diamond dragon stood, faucets reflecting light in all colours at once. Empty of soul, and waiting, frozen, on the mountainside for the blood that will wake it again.

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