The Sword of the Dragon, Part 1

The Sword of the Dragon, Part 1

Posted: January 26th, 2006, 9:48am EST by the wench
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been a while since we’ve had a ‘story’ posted. Hope you enjoy…. *g*

The Sword of the Dragon

by patty

The morning dawned shrouded in mist. The Lady rose and stepped out of the hovel where she’d sought shelter in the night. The wood looked much like the land of fairies she conjured in her mind those short years ago, when she sat at her governess’s feet listening to stories woven just for her.

The mist hovered near a foot from the ground, leaving clear view for the tiny folk, and stopped in swirling wisps not four foot above leaving clear view above for the Lady. She stepped into it and spun around. The wisps spun with her in a current like a whirlpool.

Magic! The Lady thought.

She was seen. The watcher was intrigued. Who was this fair child who danced in the mist? From where had she come? Where were her people? Did she know the danger she courted alone, here, in this place?

The Lady was quite alone. And it was so by her own design. Months had passed as she planned this journey to anywhere. A year had passed since she stepped away from taboo and fear and gave her word to her soul to find freedom.

All of her life she felt drawn away from the world she knew. Separate from those she lived with. The myths and tales woven for her as a child were more real to her than the life she lived. And she came to believe the encouraging words of woman who spoke the tales for her. The old woman assured her that the places of the myths were real. That it was the Lady’s destiny to rule there.

Dreams of the world beyond her home consumed her. In the last weeks, they occupied her day as much as her nights. The dreams were compelling and the messages persistent. In her dreams she saw a man. It was clear he was a man of rank and power, yet in her dreams he came to her in the humble attire of a peasant. Something about the man made her feel safe. He was strong. She knew instinctively that his arrival in her dreams was a cue she must not ignore. The Lady sensed that it was time.

So she set out. She knew the risk she took to escape the castle and then the walls of the city, was great. But it was as if the world she was leaving stopped and its existence parted to let her walk free. No one saw or challenged her. The ease of her escape was not apparent to her though as her body thrilled at each turn, anxiety pulsed through her as she moved past people; sure she was recognized, and certain that at any moment she would be stopped.

It took only an hour to leave the city and enter the woods. Her way was clear, her sense of direction innate. Before the day was half over the Lady found the farm with the horse with four white socks promised to her in the tales by the old governess. The Lady did as she was taught in the lessons at the old woman’s knee. She laid a purse of gold on the table, donned clothes from the chest in the home, packed bread and cheese and jiggers of wine in the leather pack she found there. And then she mounted the horse and rode him where her instinct would take her.

Now looking back the Lady wondered at her luck. Was it luck, or were the words of the old woman true? It was her destiny to leave.

Here in this magical place this misty morning, the Lady knew, it was her destiny.

The Lady found a stream and refreshed herself. The sun rose higher. As it did its rays filtered through the trees danced briefly with the wisps of the mist, and then chased them away.

She returned to the hovel and retrieved her pack. The horse was well rested and sated on the grasses that grew near the stream.

“Where will you take me now kind sir?? The Lady spoke to the animal as she drew her finger nails down the muscles of its neck. The horse whinnied and leaned into the delicious touch of his mistress. “You like that do you fine sir.? The Lady rested her weight against the warm and yielding animal.

Quickly, anxious to continue her journey, the Lady broke fast with a crust of the bread and some of the cheese. Blackberries grew near the stream. She collected as much as would fit in the leather pouch and then ate her fill.

She mounted her horse, and again they moved forward, destiny guiding them.

The watcher, stood up from behind the natural blind of the sumac bush, his eyes following the child. Near grown he determined. Foolish and wanton, she was, to be alone in these woods; beautiful, and enchanting as well. Something about her drew him. But unlike the woman he watched, the man had no illusions of destiny. His thoughts were occupied by curiosity, interest and an odd paternal annoyance with her. Something gave him to know he should follow and protect her. He turned and quickly and went to his camp. In minutes he was leaving the path assigned him by duty, and was following the Lady.

The man’s duty was discovery. The wise one held him a full year longer than the others of his rank. When finally he was released for his journey, he was told only one thing.

“You are to find and tame the Dragon. You must earn the title of The Dragon Tamer.? The wise one said nothing more to him as he finished the ritual of cleansing under her gaze. It was not his place to question, but he could not control what rolled through his mind.

As he prepared to leave the safety of his father’s home, the Wise one spoke again. “She will fight you my son. She will not know her destiny is to bow to your will. You must be strong. And you must trust your heart.?

As he looked into the eyes of the old woman, with questions churning in his mind, he saw a face flicker in the black depths of her pupils. Recognition flashed for a moment and then was gone.

Four days now he had traveled, and if not for a brief bout with illness, he would have been a full day north of the stream where he spied the child

****************************************************

“Ahhh, it unfolds as it should.? The old governess stood by the well in the courtyard of her master’s castle. She looked deep beyond the surface of the water and watched the young man mount his horse to follow his Lady. The flapping of wings overhead broke the old woman’s reverie. A large shadow crossed the ground. The woman smiled and looked up.

Above her flew a Dragon, translucent and luminous as it crossed the land of mortals, it was fully visible only to her.

“I will.? The old woman said. Her head nodded as she took in the silent message from her kindred. The Dragon dipped and spun playfully and then was gone. Its path took it west over the wood. The same direction the Lady took only 30 hours before. Again the old woman smiled. “Yes, playful one, your mistress seeks you, as does your master.?

Inside the castle the old woman made ready. Her role here was finished. It was time for her to return home. Peace spread through her. The future was turned over to the fates. Her exile was ended, her duty abroad was done. The child was grown and must now find her way.

****************************************************

As she traveled sounds came to the Lady’s ears. At first they were distant and indistinct. But in the last hour they were becoming clearer. Tiny voices. Singing and laughing. She looked around in earnest trying to locate the source. A few times she tried to stop the horse, but it would not heed. Her good humor and something deeper told her this was as it should be, but her curiosity was awakening.

The watcher saw her attempts to stop her mount. T’was a good animal who knew better, but it was loyal too. Surely the wench knew better than to answer the siren call of the pixies, and would not overrule the horse’s sense. But the watcher did not know that the Lady was new to his world. Again he heard the insistent call of the wee folk. Now they used her name.

“Marie! Marie! Come play with us! Come play!? The tiny peels of laughter were filled with seductive melody.

The child pulled the horse with white socks up short. It reared and resisted.

“You must obey me kind sir!? The Lady spoke softly to the horse. The noble animal shook its head, as if it knew what his mistress said. “Why not sir?? The Lady asked, but she was not yet fully aware that steed beneath her truly did hear and know her meaning. The horse took its own head and trotted onward.

For a moment the watcher was ready to lunge his animal forward, as he thought the foolish child might actually mean to get down. When he saw that the stop in her progress was brief and she was again pushing forward, he relaxed.

This pattern of starting and stopping in response to the lilting pleas of the pixies continued until the watcher was certain he would flail the child to within an inch of her life for the fear he place in him. He imagined her stops were done to tease him, yet he knew she did not know he trailed her. He spoke to his own mount before long. “I swear she will take my good nature if she persists in this game!?

As soon as he spoke he knew that his voice alerted the pixies to his presence. His cloaked presence lost to him, their voices beaconed him.

“Reed! Reed! Please leave her to us. She is so fair. It is all in the game.? The melody of the song teased him. But he was a master at fighting the seduction of the wee folk.

The Lady heard the new name called by the voices. Reed. What was this? She stretched and turned to look behind her, but she could not sustain a scan on a horse that would not heed her signals and commands.

As the afternoon sun dropped below the tree tops, the light in the forest shifted. Shadows were gone, but dark places deepened. Something about the change made the Lady feel unease. But only seconds later she felt more than heard a purring sound. It came from in ahead, and her mount heard it too. The horse with white socks seemed to quicken its pace.

In minutes the sound was louder. It was much more pleasing and seductive than the laughter of the pixies. The Lady felt pulled to it.

The watcher, Reed, felt a subtle tremble in the air, but he could not hear the purring. Foreboding settled into his gut, but he kept his distance behind the Lady Marie. Her mount appeared energized and had quickened its pace. In a short few seconds he lost sight of her.

******************************************

The purring became louder and Marie felt a sense of urgency. It was a sense that she was near something essential to her being, and a sense that her destiny was calling.

Very soon her mount carried her into a clearing. It was shrouded in a mist much like the one that greeted her that morning. But here there was no sunlight, and here the mist did not move.

The horse stopped, and allowed his rider to dismount. The purring sound was deafening and the earth rumbled with it. The sensation invaded Lady Marie, and somehow told her she was with her kindred, her kind. Sensation commanded that she must be pure, and in only seconds she removed her clothing and moved bare into the mist. She made the currents that set it in motion.

The mist spun, swirling around her and then lifted. There before her was a nest of large eggs. Their soft shells were pulsing with the life within them. The purring sound came from here. These eggs and the infants within them purred with contentment.

But one seemed to spasm. The Lady Marie knew instantly from an instinct deep within her. It was birth. Birth of a kindred was about to happen for her eyes. She moved among the eggs. They rolled for her. One tilted down and the unmistakable message for her to climb on, seeped into her being.

She trembled as she watched, felt and heard the birth.

The man Reed, the watcher pulled up short of the clearing. He felt a sense of peace, but the siren call and seduction of the pixies was fresh and still dancing in his mind. The purring heard by the Lady was only a faint rumble he felt in the air. He stepped down. He was aware that the child was stopped and dismounted. How he knew it he could not fathom, but he trusted his instinct.

As he came to the opening between the trees he saw the child nude and sitting on a huge smooth oval rock. Her eyes transfixed on another rock that moved and shuddered. In a moment he realized it was a cluster of rocks all of them moving and pulsing.

“What has she done? The fool has stepped into a nest of Dragons! She is to be the first meal of the spawn of a monster! His thoughts tried hard to push him forward to rescue, but the sudden cracking sound of the egg held him transfixed.

A head appeared and then translucent wings. It was born! The beast was born. Reed watched the eyes of the beast and the child lock. She was gone! He could do nothing to stop it.

He turned away, and as he did the trembling in the earth intensified. The air vibrated with it too. Reed turned back to see that the Dragon was in flight, and the child watched safely from her perch.

Lord help her I will whip her raw! The foolish child!

*********************************************

The newborn Dragon hovered over the woman child. Reed stood transfixed. She lifted her hand to reach out to the beast.

“No child you must not!? Reed moved to call out to her, but no sound came from him.

The Dragon leaned down from the air its snout mere inches from Marie’s outstretched fingers. Reed watched as her eyes closed, her face relaxed. It was as if she were enveloped in a shroud of serenity. ‘The creature has seduced her with its power.’ Reed thought.

What he did not know was that it was Marie who was seducing the Dragon.

Instinctively Marie reached out to the Dragon. Surges of energy pulsed through her in a rhythm that matched the resonant purring that vibrated the earth and the air. The only language she could perceive was the word ‘Kindred,’ but she was aware of images flashing in her mind.

She was in flight over the village from which she had come. She soared above the old woman who looked up to her from the courtyard of her father’s home. Her shadow was broad and dark over the ground below. She could hear the old woman’s voice, though her mouth did not move. The tops of buildings and then trees flowed by beneath her as though they floated on currents of water. The air and the wind shimmered with translucent colors of blue yellow and green.

Her trance kept her only a few moments, but within it Marie felt she had flown for many days, and had been to the farthest reaches of the earth and beyond.

The purring ceased suddenly, and was replaced by a roaring sound. Marie opened her eyes to see that she was engulfed in the licking blue flames from the new dragon’s nostrils. They licked, and caressed her bare skin. The caress of the flames left no burn, only an odd tingle that spread through her. Her body arched, her arms outstretched, in this way she opened all of her torso to the sensual embrace of the flames.

From his position at the edge of the clearing, Reed saw the child disappear within the flame. His heart filled with both dread and rage. Was this his destiny, to see the birth of the very dragon he was sent to tame? To see it claim its first victim?

The roar increased in volume with the spread of the flame, and then as quickly as it began, it stopped. The new dragon was gone, and the lady was standing, her arms stretched wide and her torso arched so her breasts were lifted toward the sky. The air around her shimmered with a lingering blue aura.

Reed was struck with awe. She was not burned. And what had become of the beast? It was as if it had blown itself inside out and the flame took with it and consumed its very essence.

No matter, the man thought, breaking his own reverie. ‘I must remove this foolish girl from this place, before she tempts her fate further.’ With that, Reed moved into the clearing and into the cache of eggs. The lady did not hear nor did she sense his approach, so that when he appeared below her and took hold of her hips, she was startled into momentary terror.

Her eyes dropped and took in the face of the man who had just boldly lifted her from her footing. Reed was struck by the glowing blue of her eyes, and she was struck by the deep black of his. Their gaze locked for only a moment, before Marie’s terror boiled into rage.

Her arms and legs flailed the man. The suddenness of her reaction took Reed by surprise, but his reflexes were quick. Taking only a few blows to his legs and torso, he was able to turn her so she could only flail at the air.

“Come imp! Away from here before you become a meal for the next beast to emerge from this demon’s nest.? He shifted her so she hung by her middle under his right arm, her legs able to kick nothing, her hands with nails ready able to scratch only space. Reed retrieved the girl’s clothing as he carried the squirming bundle back to the woods, where the two grazing horses and the cover of trees awaited them.

Marie increased her struggling, which made it a challenge for Reed to maintain his hold on her.

“Who are you to man handle me! Put me down I tell you, put me down!? Her screams and demands were laced with language Reed had not even heard in the barracks and guardhouse. He laughed at her spirit.

Safely under the canopy of trees, he dropped his burden onto the loam. Marie assumed a posture of recovery on her hands and knees, her breath coming in short pants and gasps. She warily eyed the man near her, flinching slightly as he tossed her clothing onto her back.

“Cover yourself child!? Reed commanded.

Blue light seemed to flash from her eyes as the waning light of day reflected off of them.

“What gives you the right to interfere with me?? Marie demanded as she pulled her shift over her head. As it fell into place, she settled back on her heels, sitting up so she could see the man fully.

“I claim the right of any man who finds a child alone, willfully courting danger. You should be whipped for the risks you have taken this day!? Reed leaned against the thick trunk of an ancient Elm tree and took in the image in front of him. ‘She is barely of age.’ He thought, and then he added, “Where are your people? Who guards you in your travels??

“What do you know of the risks I have taken?!? Marie’s response was haughty and sharp. “You have been a spy lurking behind me??

“I have!? Reed nodded. His voice and his demeanor had become stern. “You will answer me now child, who guards you here?!?

Marie’s expression changed as she attempted to bolster courage she did not feel at that moment. A mask of defiance and disdain took over her face. She did not answer.

“You are a runaway. I might have known.? Reed shook his head at her choice to be silent, and answered his own question.

“I am not a runaway! I am a traveler.? Marie looked away from the stern glare of the stranger. His power unnerved her. Worry entered her mind also, as he seemed to have guessed that she was indeed alone on her journey. It crossed her mind that he might make it his duty to return her to her father and the world where she knew she had never belonged.

“Where have you come from? And where do you go?? Reed pressed further.

“It is not your affair!? Marie retorted.

“It is my affair!? Reed’s voice boomed. “These are my lands, this is my domain!?

Marie stopped her efforts to put her clothes right and looked at the man more carefully.

“Your land? Your domain? You make me laugh! You are not the king!? Marie did laugh, and when she did the sounds of the forest blended with it so that it resonated and filled the air like soft wind chimes.

“No I am not the king. I am his heir.? Reed answered.

Marie felt an energy pulse through her. It was as if the stories from the nursery were coming alive again. The words of the old woman echoed in her mind for her. “These are the tales of your destiny child they will be myth only if you deny them life.? If what he said was true, this man was the first of her trials. He was the Dragontamer. The man who would subdue her and harness her will.

“You are the Dragontamer!? Marie spoke her voice was soft, but full of accusation.

Reed was taken by surprise. Only the wise one knew the purpose of his journey. Not even his father knew what the visions revealed for him. Yet this creature before him spoke as if she had been waiting for him. The knowledge she had did not appear to please her. Reed was curious. Why should his journey and purpose be a source of irritation for her?

“What do you know of my purpose?? He demanded.

“Why? Are you not apprised of your own business?? Marie let arrogance and more distain for the man into the manner of her speech. She rose to the challenge she now recognized.

Reed was becoming frustrated by her questions in response to his questions. “Do not interrogate me imp! I will ask the questions, and you will come forth with answers, or I will pry them from you with my hand on your backside!?

Marie regained her feet and planted herself firmly in a posture that spoke of the defiance she intended. “I will not! I do not answer to you! You have no power or authority with me.!?

Reed laughed. She was spirited, he would give her that.

“I have the power to put you to death and the authority to order it done.? He said with amusement. “You might keep that in your mind, as I ask you again. Who are your people? What do you know of my purpose??

Marie knew this was a boast. She dismissed him. “I will resume my travels now sir. You may do the same.?

Reed stepped toward her. His tall frame dwarfed hers. She sensed his power, again it unnerved her. Keeping her eyes locked on his, Maries stepped back. A mild wave of fear spread through her. If he chose to subdue her physically, there would be little she could do to prevent it. As she moved she also sensed a tingling in her skin as though the dragon’s flames caressed her again.

“I know nothing of your purpose sir. And I have no people. I am quite alone. I am seeking my future and my destiny.? Marie vowed she would not tell this man about the myths the old women told her.

“This forest is no place for a female child to travel alone.? Reed spoke. “Where do you go? I will see to it you get there.?

Without thinking, Marie answered the truth. “I know not.?

“You know not? You come into these woods and meander on horseback without a destination?? Reed felt fury build within him. His own journey had been sidled so he might follow a child going nowhere!

“I will know where I am when I come upon the place. I will know it instantly.? Marie could not explain the logic to herself. It was unlikely that she could make another understand the faith she had in her instinct.

“Get your horse imp! We will discuss this further after we a secured a safe place to pass the night.? Reed issued a command. He fully expected it to be obeyed.

“I will not! I will remain here. You move on and away to your own business.? Marie stood her ground. Her stance and expression were much more firm and defiant than she felt.

“You will do as I say now, or you will do it later. If you choose now, you will suffer only punishment for your foolishness. If you choose later, you will not sit your saddle with comfort as wee seek shelter for the night. Now do as I say!? There was no mistaking the intent in his voice. The quietly firm tone of his voice was as effective at reaching into and taking hold of her will as if he had boomed the command and moved her bodily to her horse.

As Marie moved to climb onto her horse Reed was aware of the faint shimmer of blue in the air around her. Marie was aware of the renewed memory of the tingling caress of the dragon’s flame over every surface of her skin. The sensation was sexual, sensual and very pleasing. Her horse’s movements under her and the currents of air around her intensified the experience for her.

The words the man had spoken to her echoed in her mind. Many minutes passed before their meaning clicked for her. ‘….suffer punishment only for your foolishness.’ What did he mean by that? She wondered……

to be continued next week.

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