Just something I’m playing around with.
Curse of the Dragon
Legend says a dark red dragon with eyes the color of ice haunts the Silldar Mountains by day. By night, the dragon transforms into a rare beauty, with milky white skin and those piercing eyes that can see into the heart of Man.
They say sheâ€™s lived for over a thousand years. But only the one man who is the true king, the one of pure noble blood, can break the spell. For she will know he is the one when she looks upon him with her ice blue eyes.
On a dark lonely highway, with the only the moon to light his way, Brenden Heshke gripped his dagger in his sweaty palm and kept his ears open to all the night sounds around him. Every few steps, his paranoid mind would tell his ears he heard the snapping of a twig and he would stop to listen.
It was, of course, his mind playing tricks on him. He heard nothing with every pause. Nothing, that is, except the crickets and the occasional night swallow singing from high atop a tree.
He expelled a breath, watched it plume in the cold air in front of him, and started to walk once again. He kept the dagger in his hand to ease his worried mind. Not that heâ€™d use it. At the first sign of trouble, he would hide behind the nearest bush.
But the road was still deserted. The only travelers this late would be highwaymen and, thankfully, he hadnâ€™t run across any of them either.
Brenden stopped, his heart pounding painfully in his chest. Had he really heard that noise? Or was it another figment of his fertile imagination?
Oh, yes. He heard it for certain that time. He glanced around, seeing nothing but the shadowy shapes of trees in the distance and the darkened dusty road ahead leading to the foot of the Silldar Mountains. It almost sounded as though it were a creature flying overhead. He glanced to the blackened sky and saw nothing but the full yellow moon peering back at him and stars twinkling silently against the ebony backdrop.
His heart, though, couldnâ€™t stop pounding. He gripped the dagger tighter as the whump whump sound came again. His breath stopped, caught in his throat, as the shadow loomed over him. Nothing but a shadow against the inky blackness.
Every instinct told him to run, but his feet remained rooted in place. He stood there, watching the shadow move across the sky, the wings as they moved up and down, catching air and making the creature glide through the heavens.
Its head turned and yellow serpentine eyes glared at him. His heart stopped as fear poisoned his veins and his mind shouted to move, but he could not. Moonlight glittered off the pale silvery scales as it dove toward him. He knew then it was the dragon. Having only heard the legend, he had never in his young life laid eyes upon it.
He felt the presence before he saw her. She darted from the nearby underbrush and tackled him, shoving him to the ground. The dagger flew from his hand, skittering in the dirt out of reach. Her weight, while light, pressed him into the earth.
â€œCome with me,â€ she whispered, her breath hot in his ear.
She scrambled off him, grabbed his sleeve and dragged him back to the underbrush. He stumbled dumbly behind her. The girl never let go of him as she darted through the scrub. Leaves and limbs slapped him in the face and overhead he heard the distinctive whump whump of the wings again followed by an ear-splitting roar of anger.
She stopped so quickly he ran into the back of her, knocking her forward. They tumbled to the ground and he landed on top of her. She gazed at him with ice blue eyes, blinking once before focusing on his face.
Her expression stilled, then her eyes widened a scant inch. He heard her sharp intake of breath before she placed her palms on his shoulders and gave him a mighty shove. Her thin frame belied her strength, surprising him.
Embarrassment flooding him, Brenden moved away from her as quickly as possible. She sat up, her dark red hair cascading over her thin shoulders.
â€œAre ye daft?â€ she said then, glaring at him with those eyes.
â€œDaft?â€ he repeated, blinking widely. He pulled a twig from his auburn hair, then plucked a leaf from his tunic.
â€œAye, daft, ye wee mongrel.â€ She spit the words at him. â€œDe ye not know tis dangerous to be walking at night?â€
â€œYes, I know itâ€™s dangerous.â€
Brenden eyed her speculatively while she combed her long thin fingers through her wavy locks. Her strange accent gave him pause. He had never heard it before, certainly not in his home village of Eodic. Mayhap she hailed from the mountains regions. Mayhap from Lofinn.
With milky white skin, hair the color of the fiery sun, and eyes cold blue, she looked like an angel to him. An angel who saved his life.
â€œMy mam is sick,â€ he heard himself say, still staring at the beauty before him.
â€œMam?â€ She repeated the word as if testing it on her tongue.
â€œYes. My mother,â€ he explained. â€œI go to fetch the doctor in Lofinn.â€
â€œYe were going to cross the Silldar Mountains alone then?â€ she asked, looking him up and down.
Brenden pulled his cloak tighter around his neck. â€œI had a dagger.â€ He lifted his chin and gazed down his nose at her.
She chuckled, pulling a leaf from her hair.
â€œA wee dager willna save ye, lad. Noâ€™ wiâ€™ dragons in the air.â€
The girl stood then, brushing off her skirt and holding down a hand to him. He grasped it, let her help him to his feet and was once again surprised by her iron grip and her strength.
â€œTis a dangerous road for a lone traveler,â€ she said. â€œMy name is Fyre.â€
â€œBrenden,â€ he said, still unable to take his gaze off her.
â€œCome with me, then, Brenden, if ye wish to see another sunrise.â€
Â© Michelle Miles, 2005