Home Stories Whos who Maps Costumes Recipes References Contacts Spacer


Part 14

The dragon snorted and, taking a deep, noisy breath, lifted its head with a look of surprise.

It had woken up! Eowyn scrambled to her feet.

Y’ aw’ight?” it gurgled.

“Yes,” she said.

She was very hungry, but she did not want to send it looking for food—who knew what it might bring back—a sheep?—a child?

And she was also thirsty; she had her waterskin—for, when the creature had rearranged her clothing, it had left that hanging at her hip—but she had long since drunk it dry.

“I do need some water,” she said.

The dragon took another rasping breath. “Wa’er...

“Yes. To drink.”


The beast hauled itself to its feet, stretched out a foreleg, picked her up, and threw itself off the rock shelf.

Eowyn, taken completely by surprise, screamed.

No,” croaked the dragon, as its body settled into a graceful glide, “no’ tha’ noise!

It swooped downwards, through a narrow valley, then up again, and round, and landed upon another shelf, this one much shallower than its own, and with flowing water—spilling from a crevice in the rocks above, and pooling at its centre.

The dragon put Eowyn down, and she ran to the waterfall and, cupping her hands, she drank and drank. “Thank you,” she gasped, wiping her mouth. Then she re-filled her waterskin.

Aw’ight now?” asked the dragon.


The beast scooped her up again and, this time, she managed not to scream when it launched itself into the wind, and flew her back to its lair.


The dragon curled itself around her and, propping its head upon its forearm, peered down at her.

Eowyn stood with her head bowed, embarrassed by the beast’s attention.

Suddenly, using the very tip of one of its claws, it retrieved her sword, and pushed it towards her. “Sho’ me.”

Eowyn picked the sword up. “You mean...”

Poke ‘n’ prod.”

“Well...” She blushed. “Yes, all right. These are the basic guards.”

She raised the sword above her head and held it horizontal, pointing it at an imaginary opponent’s head. “This is called the Ox.” She brought the hilt of the sword down to her hip, blade pointing upwards. “This is the Plough.” She lowered the sword’s point, inviting her enemy to strike. “The Fool.” She raised her hands above her shoulders, ready to slice downwards. “Over the roof. And, finally...” She brought the blade down to her side. “The Tail.”

Then she executed the guards a second time, moving gracefully from one to another; then a third, adding more footwork; and then a fourth time, moving more fluidly still, dancing around the space formed by the beast’s body...

Hmm,” said the dragon. “Nice.”