Post 25: Burn the Holdings

I won’t hide it; I love dragons. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m obsessed with dragons, but a good portion of my personal library consists of books where dragons are important to the story. So when the prompt that brought about this post’s piece came around, it’s safe to say I was a little excited.

Okay, I was a lot excited. Come on, it’s dragons! Who wouldn’t be excited to write a short story about one? There are so many ways a person can write about a dragon. It can be a real dragon, or a figurative one (ex. “here be dragons” on a map – exploring the unknown). Dragons represent adventure and a lot of readers love adventure. I know I’m a huge fan.

Prompt: Here Be Dragons (from the Tale Foundry writing group)

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Burn the Holdings

“Why have you called me, youngling?” the great Night Dragon, Gloama, asked as she materialized from the shadows of the trees. “Are the human kingdoms warring again? Have they finally killed each other off?”

Tessa, sitting beside the fire, raised her head from her knees. What Gloama saw on the woman’s face halted her approach.

“Who hurt you?” Gloama growled. “I will see them buried.”

“Tears are not always from a wound, Gloama,” Tessa said, wiping her cheeks with her sleeves.

Gloama encircled her friend and the little fire with her fur and feather bulk. She sniffed Tessa to be certain there were no wounds the woman was hiding from her. There was no tell-tale scent of blood or medicine, but she still smelled pain.

“You are hurt, though,” she said.

“It is nothing, dear friend. Just a broken heart.”

Gloama snorted angrily, sparks fluttering from her nostrils. “That is one of the worst wounds! Who has broken your heart? I will break their bones.”

“No, Gloama.” Tess patted the Night Dragon’s foreleg as it curled around her possessively. “I do not wish anyone hurt because of my silly heart. I called you for comfort. You always knew how to ease my pain when I was little.”

“You are still little,” Gloama said, pressing her snout to Tessa’s damp cheek.

They sat, watching the flames dwindle for a time before Tessa spoke again.

“You were right. The human kingdoms are full of misery, sorrow, and pain.”

“You are looking at them through the lens of heartbreak, youngling,” Gloama said. “Though it hurts me to admit it, there is some good to them. You just need time to heal before you can see it again.”

The great Night Dragon stood, stretching.

“Come home with me,” Gloama said. “You need time to mend your heart. That cannot be done here.”

“I do miss your cave,” said Tessa, finally smiling. With Gloama’s help, she clambered onto her friend’s back.

“But first, we shall burn the holdings of the one who wronged you to the ground.”

“Gloama, no!”

“Please? It will be fun.”

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