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the dragon


Part 5

Eowyn hit the ground and rolled, dragging herself onto her hands and knees and looking frantically for her dropped sword. The dragon was looming over her, but at least Brightstar and the mare had escaped to the comparative safety of the plain.

She spotted a glint of metal, and crawled towards it, painfully aware that the creature was watching her every move.

Inch by inch, she crept closer...

The dragon—head tilted—kept one beady eye fixed upon her.

Inch by inch...

At last, her hand closed around the sword’s hilt and, steeling herself to ignore the protests of her aching body, she leaped to her feet, and lunged at the creature.

Her sword’s point slid harmlessly over its enchanted scales.

And a change came over the dragon’s face—its eyes gleamed and its mouth seemed to curve.

It looked amused.

Eowyn took an angry step backwards.

The dragon stretched out its foreleg and, using the tip of one long, curved claw, it prodded her.

Eowyn fell down.

The beast made a strange grunting sound, low in its throat, and then, delicately sliding its claw under her body, it tried to lift her up.

“What do you want?” she gasped, as—after several attempts—it hauled her upright.

The dragon croaked an unintelligible reply and, curling its talons around her, it lifted her into the air.