Prompt: An old woman and an elder dragon recall their past stories of helping people and the kingdom.
Agatha sat in a rickety, straw weaved chair in front of her hovel. A trail of gray and black smoke floated up the stone chimney poking out through the hay-covered roof. Her feet were in sandals she made herself with straw and twine, and were planted firmly on the dirt ground as she rocked back and forth, back and forth. The overcast over the rolling, green hills was open and blue, not a cloud in sight, and the sun seemed to only kiss the earth with warmth that summer’s day instead of suffocating it.
A breeze wafted Agatha’s long, torn maroon dress up her heavy-set legs. She quickly padded the dress and pulled it down around her ankles, then looked up.
“Ah, I knew it wasn’t the wind — too stale today for that, I’d say.” Agatha said to Lindair, her friend of many decades.
Lindair flapped her giant garnet colored wings once more before settling onto the ground next to the hut she dwarfed in comparison. The wrinkles jutting from the corners of her eyes were like fissures in the earth, deep and dark. The impenetrable scales that once gleamed like illuminated blood underneath the sun’s light now were dull and bleak. A wisp of gray smoke ejected from her snout, slithering upwards as she sighed, her tail wrapping around her back legs.
“Yes, yes, it is me old friend. How are you on this fine day?”
Agatha nodded, rocking still. “Fine, fine, though with the weather changes my bones feel weak.”
“I feel it, too, friend. My wings hurt mighty when I wake, but after a while it goes away.”
“Do you remember,” Agatha said, “when we didn’t hurt each day? When we flew the skies from one kingdom to the next before sundown, where we would spend our evenings in the pub — well… I would spend my time with those hunters and fishermen in the pub while you found food in the dense forests. Though I would bring you out some ale before I left with a handsome man to an inn nearby.” Her puffy cheeks reddened as she giggled.
“Yes, yes, I verily do. I recall a moment in time when the Kingdom of the North was hosting a royalty-only party. I recall you stating venomously, ‘We may be peasants, but we’re not rats!’ You convinced me to fly you to the kingdom, and above where the event was hosted. With a rope tied around my ankle, and gripped around your wrist, you jumped from my body into the center of the event like some sort of thief.”
“Ah, yes…” Agatha smiled. “That was the event where we met Sir Matthieu of the West. Beautiful man, with a strong chin that could break rock, and crystal-clear eyes that were as transparent as a still pond. That was the turning point for us, wasn’t it Lindair?”
“It ’twas, it ’twas.” She nodded, kicking up a breeze underneath her. “Due to meeting Sir Matthieu and hearing his stories of what was to come to his kingdom in the West, we agreed to assist him in the war against the barbarians in the mountains. I recall the tales you spoke of, about the barbarians coming into one of the villages at night, and burning down homes, taking women, and killing innocent children. I vividly remember one about how those men attempted to take a dragon from the top of a tower, and use it against its will for war… I’m glad to know it got away, however.
“But what forced me to agree to help was the conviction in your teary eyes. You cry for nothing, save for things utterly important.”
Agatha nodded. “Thanks to us, Sir. Matthieu won the war and took back the land surrounding the mountains. He even granted us this permanent plot of land here,” she patted the ground with her foot, “and afforded me with enough gold to have this hut built.”
“Not only that, dear Agatha, but he accepted us into his family of royalty. In some lands dragons are attacked, killed, skinned for their scales and eyes… But in this land, even in the mountains where I dwell, when I pass by a person or a group of people, they bow to me, they wave, they do not swear or curse or attempt to spear me through the heart. Sir Matthieu was a saint.”
Agatha nodded, idly stared at the ground. “He did a lot for the kingdom, not just us.”
She fell into a silence, then said, “It’s a terrible shame he passed in the next war — arrow to the heart.”
Read my previous prompt, “The Vampiric Origins of the Black Plague.”
Purchase my work on Amazon.