Short story snippet: “Lily’s Despair”

For the past two years I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo and this November I will have a go at it again. This short snippet is really a bit of character study for one of my main characters in what is supposed to be a proper fantasy novel.

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Flash fiction: “Dragon Hunter”

Oh, look. Proper fantasy! Most likely induced by recent mentions of Skyrim.

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The dragon dove with a roar, tail lashing like a whip, tucking its wings close to increase its speed, only to whip them out at the last moment to come to a midair halt. The warrior stood his ground, boots digging into the sludge formed by the last week’s rain, his breath misted in the cool mountain air, for the moment making it seem like he also had fire breathing capabilities.

A second later the beast expelled its fiery breath and it was only at the last minute that the warrior was able to lift his shield, made out the best fire proofed steel, to protect himself from the heat. It still singed the hairs off his sword arm though. The dragon roared in frustration as the warrior emerged from behind his protective shield, grinning. Spitting and hissing the dragon crouched on the ground, its tail whipping back and forth like that of a cat stalking its prey.

The warrior paced, sweat trickling down his back, induced by that torrent of heat that he’d been assaulted with, nothing more… Or so he told himself. He quickly swapped his sword for the long spear strapped to his back, to allow himself better reach.  The dragon lunged again, rearing up on its hind legs, its long neck curving down to meet him head to head, by revealing a mouth filled with razor sharp teeth. He thrust his spear at the beast, once, twice, while the animal whipped its neck back and forth to dodge. The dance of lunging and dodging went on for some time until the animal seemed to have regained its fire-breath and shot off another ball of fire at the warrior.

He spat a curse as he was the one forced to dodge now, then losing his footing some on the muddy ground, slipping just enough that when the dragon lashed out with its sharp teeth again, it was able to get a hold on his spear. Quickly he knew he had to turn this slip into an advantage, so he cast away the spear and grabbed for his sword instead. While the dragon was worrying at the spear, like a dog with a bone he had the sword in hand, the finest spell-forged steel and he ran at the beast.

The dragon noticed him coming, but a second too late. By the time it had readied another burst of fire, he was able to dive under its belly and the beast shrieked in terror as he managed to slash into its shoulder as he went. It tried to flap away in fear and pain as he thrust at the thing’s soft underbelly, grabbing for its scales to steady himself. The frantic movement made the thrust fall short and it slid into the beast’s side, too far away from any vital parts. With a roar the beast tried to wriggle away from the pain in its side and the warrior knew he had it. Before long he’d have a dragon corpse to loot and some nice trinkets to bring back to sell.

Another earthshaking roar broke the silence, startling him not only by its volume but by the fact that it was so close. The leathery sound of wings, the smell of sulfur and the next moment he was locked in the jaws of a much, much larger dragon. Then there was the sound of bone cracking and his world faded into black.

The larger dragon spat out the corpse of the warrior and swatted the smaller dragon over the head.

“So much for being ready to take on a human!” it hissed, scales bristling, before sitting down on its haunches in front of the other.

Its fierce visage softened as it noticed the sword still lodged in the smaller dragon’s side. It was swiftly pulled out and the larger dragon expelled a small burst of flame to cauterize the wound. The smaller dragon whimpered and then licked the other scrapes it had received in the fierce battle.

“I’m sorry, mother”, the dragon said, bowing its head low. “I will do better next time.”

“That’s alright son”, the other dragon rumbled. “I’ll keep a close watch until you get it right.”