Gem

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: The Imaginarium
A man finds a piece of treasure broken off from a dragon's horde.

Imaginarium story prompt-"Dazzle."

Submitted: July 19, 2017

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Submitted: July 19, 2017

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It was a clear, rounded gem the size of his head.

Surely a hunger-based delusion, or maybe he was that tired from working the fields?
Velasco gawked at it, rubbed his eyes, and then blinked a few times.

It was still there.

There was a massive diamond—at least that's what he thought it was— plunked carelessly down in the dirt, its many facets sending brilliant beams straight through the long grass, shining green light into his face. He quickly looked around, saw no signs of ownership, and then rushed to his knees to see if he could move it. It was too heavy to lift, but he could roll it.
Huffing, he patiently worked the massive jewel through the grass, roots and dirt and through the trees until he was sure its beams couldn't be seen from the road.
But he needed to be sure.
He hurriedly grabbed slimy handfuls of the black mud and slapped it all over the gem until it shone no longer. Relieved and exhausted, Velasco fell back in the grass, only to sit upright again, unable to resist the urge to admire it. Even crusted with dried mud it dazzled him. Just the thought of its value was making him drool.
It was his now. He would have it, and no one else. He'd make sure of that. This wasn't just a gem, it was wealth, and it was a new future!

He thought of days of fine clothes, and servants who would go to and fro doing work for him, and bathe him and clothe him, never again having to feel that disgusting feeling of rough cloth stuck to him with sweat and the stiffening as it dried.

He thought of banquets and fat dripping off a roast pheasant then dribbling from his mouth as he sank his teeth into the flesh, rejoicing as the cloudy water he drank as a lowly laborer was replaced with guzzling barrels worth of clear, delicious wine, the wood cup and its bite marks gone and replaced by a gold chalice.

He thought of himself, easily snatching up a wife from an eager selection of the village women. They would all want him after this. Surely even Asha, beautiful and cold as she was, would find Velasco worth her time then.

He could even become a lord! He could leave behind the peasant life. It was a life he never deserved, and this miraculous gift was proof that God agreed. Joy flared in his chest, and to his embarrassment he felt the onset of tears.
This lowly man thought, I'll be one of the people who matter.
He had as many paths before him now, as the jewel itself had facets.

Then the ground shook.

The quake was hard enough that he was knocked backwards, his head hitting the ground and cushioned by the thick grass. He opened his eyes and stared up into the side of something massive and amber in color. It was a four-legged beast with clawed feet and sharp, shining scales.

A dragon.

Velasco saw its belly, encrusted with gold coins and jewels of varying sizes it had no doubt sat on for near centuries in its lair.
A single spot of it was exposed. A spot the size of his head.

He tried creeping backwards, only to snap a twig. The long neck, thicker than the tree trunks, swiveled around and the dragon's deep red eyes bore into his.
Its jaws opened wide.

Velasco could only stare up at the multitude of jagged teeth, stupefied, as the air around him quickly grew hot.

An enormous fireball—


 


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