“There Be Dragons Here” Writing Contest – Entry Thirteen

by darkjade68

“There Be Dragons Here” Writing Contest

Entry Thirteen

by Jess @ Scratching To Escape

 

There Be Dragons Here

“There”

“There; where?”

“In the trees; playing.”

“Those are squirrels.”

“Here; look through my binoculars.”

Handing his binoculars to the young woman, he examined her once again and wandered if he made the right decision. Her light brown hair hid her expression, but her stance revealed her intense concentration.

She commented in a whisper: “I believe you now.”

He continued to watch her as she turned and returned his binoculars. His thoughts were of his grandmother, whom she resembled.  She too was slight of build, which belied her strength.  He’d watched her perform tasks some men would find hard to accomplish and she was quick to stand up to injustices without fear.

“I thought you were senile and only came to humor you. “

The old man laughed and replied: “I felt the same when your great-grandmother brought me to this place.”

“They’re so small. I thought dragons were large, fierce and dangerous.”

“They are, but not now. That’s why I choose you.”

“Choose me for what?”

Opening his hand, he replied: “For this.”

She carefully examined the object in his hand. It was round; almost appeared as gold, but the swirling surface changed colors from dark pewter, to a brilliant gold.

She stood quietly and waited for an explanation.

“In the past, dragons were the bane of our ancestors. They roamed freely, destroyed at will and people were forced into a nomadic life to avoid destruction. Times were dark and the only hope came from the visitor.”

“The visitor?”

“Our ancestors were living in a cave, when the visitor stepped through the entrance. They raised their swords for defense, but found they were unable to move.”

The old man paused, which caused the young woman to ask: “What happened then?”

Collecting his thoughts, he continued: “After some time, he released them from whatever he used to hold them and waited for them to calm down.  Eventually, he told them of how he would help with their problem, but asked for payment.”

“What type of payment?”

“They had to furnish the traveler with supplies for two months, including water.”

“So they did?”

“After awhile, although they were suspicious and many felt the traveler was only a clever thief. “

“So what changed their minds?”

“It was only few days after he arrived, when a dragon found their cave and landed at the entrance. Before it could burn the people, the traveler turned it into what you just saw in the clearing. It scampered away within a moment”

The young woman carefully examined her grandfather’s face, with the hope she was being tricked by the old man. An elaborate prank would be better than what she was beginning to feel was a burden that would become heavier than she might want.

He continued: “The gathered the supplies he requested, placed them outside the cave – as he directed – and the traveler gave the people twenty of what I hold. He explained that all dragons were now small, but it wouldn’t be forever. He would return, but they must use the stone and recite the correct chant, so he would know.”

They both stood in silence for a few minutes. Off in the distance, the dragons continued to scamper around the small clearing. The sound of a hawk sent them hiding into the trees.

“So, what happened to the visitor?”

“As he taught them the chant, he left, but not like you would think. He appeared to be falling away; becoming smaller, and smaller, as he left with his supplies. Eventually, there was nothing to see.”

“Where are the other stones?”

“I have no idea. Our people scattered to the wind after the threat of the dragons was removed.  At first they weren’t sure and stayed in their cave. As time went on, and they flourished, families grew, people moved away and all contact between the guardians of the stones was lost.”

The old man carefully watched his granddaughter as the emotions she was feeling appeared in her expressions. He could tell she was wrestling with all he’d told and was worried she would fail to believe what happened.

His granddaughter’s reply was what he wanted to hear: “This is a heavy responsibility.”

“It’s more than that. It may someday be the only salvation of the human race.”

“But, what if something should happen to me?”

“That’s not something we can change, but you can continue our responsibility by passing the stone on to a future generation.”

She turned to look at her grandfather. His wrinkled face was full of apprehension, which caused her heart to swell with love. She now realized he had chosen her for a reason; and the reason was he knew something about her she was only now discovering herself.

“Now, I only need to learn the chant.”

Smiling, and now relieved, the old man replied: “It’s difficult and made even more difficult because it’s in a language we don’t speak.  Remember; never repeat this chant while holding the stone. We must never tempt fate by calling the visitor when he isn’t needed.”

Placing the stone in his pocket, the old man started the chant and his granddaughter slowly repeated every stance.

The dragons were out again; running through the trees; living their lives; playing and waiting.

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2 Responses to ““There Be Dragons Here” Writing Contest – Entry Thirteen”

  1. Another interestingly different approach!

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