I know I have been long absent and I offer my sincerest apologies and regrets. I have been experiencing issues with my internet service, and just recently got myself signed with a new carrier. And I’ve been extremely busy. None of which is any excuse and I beg your forgiveness.
With that in mind, I have not abandoned my writing. WEBooks has offered up a new contest, and of course, I felt I must enter. ;) This month brave authors must write a 500 word scene where a human slays a dragon. The goal of this particular contest is to display strong words and deep emotion. Here is my contribution. Tell me what you think. Did I succeed?
It was her destiny to destroy the dragon.
Lyra despised the necessity that had brought her to this. If she could have gone anywhere else, she would have. But it didn’t matter if she wanted the task. It was her sworn duty. There was no one else.
She settled the black harp carefully between her knees, her woolen skirts hiked indecently over her scarred thighs. Its smooth surface was etched with whorls and graceful arches. Dragons carved into the wood, flying, gliding, fighting, crude mockeries of the elegant creature crouched in the valley below.
Tears streaming down her face, Lyra pulled a dragon-bone blade from its sheath, and without thought drew the sharp edge over her thigh. Crimson welled silently from the wound, dripping to stain the soil below. It flowed down her calves and pooled around her heels. Lyra raised her eyes and met the gaze of the golden creature.
Glittering sapphire touched subdued charcoal. Lyra heard swelling notes, the soul of the dragon. The music rose and dipped, soared and crashed around her, a perfect harmony mirroring the beauty of a dragon in flight. She studied the sharp edged scales, the sinuous neck, and the narrow, elegant head. She admired the breathtaking sweep of its wings, and the deadly perfection of its form.
“Why did you come here?” she whispered.
She did not expect an answer. It had merely followed the bidding of a furnace heart. It had come, slaying men, stealing gold, craving magical treasure, and she remembered its shining grace amid the carnage of broken bodies. It was a dragon. It could no more tolerate men, than men could tolerate it. Lyra knew their greed was greater than the desire of dragons. But it was the cruelty of women that would destroy men’s rivals.
Lyra brushed her fingers against the cooling stain of her blood, and then raised them to the dragon-gut strings. She plucked a mournful cry of dissonance against the dragon’s unholy song. It winced, but did no more than hunch closer about its ill-gotten gain. Lyra knew its greed would be its downfall. Resolutely shutting out the screaming denial of her heart, Lyra began to stroke the notes of the song.
She fashioned blades of sound to shred at the dragon’s armor. She coaxed sweet singing daggers to pierce its scales and cleave apart its hide. She stroked and whispered death at the dragon, who could only tremble and shrink beneath the onslaught. It had no defense against its own music. And as each note struck home, Lyra knew this would be the last dragon she slaughtered. She mourned for its loss, her vision blurring, her hands trembling. When the final harmony was done, their souls singing together one last moment, Lyra slumped to the earth, welcoming the dragon into the darkness beside her.
It was her destiny to destroy her heart.