Chapter 2: Revelation

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 117




Twigs and branches snapped.

“Yes, I know, you can smell me, Dragon.  Odd thing Dragon, I couldn’t find the trail to the next village.  Even though I concentrated, it seemed William and I traveled in circles.  All night I rode.”

She scowled.  “How did this…where did this…pond come from?”

Dragon snarled, “Don’t taunt me – I have no more strength…inside of me.  Either release me or kill me.  Put me out of my misery, I beg you!”

She jumped down from William and waded to where she could look up at Dragon's black head.

“Dragon, yesterday you were a greenish blue…bluish green.”

“Black?  I wish for death.  Death equals black.  Total non-existence.”

She stared up at his eyes.

Dragon ignored her, looking ahead, trying not to see her.

“Remember yesterday, I said you had serpent’s eyes?”

Dragon groaned.“  Enough of your games!  Plunge your sword, now, please!  I am ready!”

She whispered, “You have human eyes now!”  She scrambled up a knotted tree and reached out her hand and touched his head.  Dragon trembled.  He sobbed as she ran her hand over his eyelids.

She pondered the change in Dragon's anatomy.

“I am no stranger to pain, Dragon.  Besides, if you continue crying, I won’t have to kill you, you will drown yourself!”

“I shall release you, Dragon. However, know this, nothing will stop me from plunging my sword into your heart if I need to!

His tears gushed.  “I will not harm you.”  

“Stop that!  For someone who hasn’t had a drop to wet his tongue in 700 years, where do all these tears come from?”

“I don’t know.  Can't stop them.”

She climbed down from the tree and removed her heavy sword from its sheath.  She struck the chains with all her strength.  With each blow, the dragon winced. Again and again she struck the chains.  Sparks exploded into the air.

Her sword gleamed in the hot sunlight.  William retreated into thicker tree cover.

Dragon laughed weakly, “I wouldn’t want to be at the end of your sword!  Do you use it much?”

“Have you ever killed anyone with it?”

“Not if I can help it.”

“You didn’t answer, exactly.  Then you have killed.  Kill any dragons?”

“I might be sorely tempted to kill you if you don’t stop with the questions!  You’re breaking my energy!”

Throughout the morning the woman struck the Dragon’s chains in different places with her sword, resting a bit between each series of blows.  

“I can’t even dent the thing!  My arms throb!”

She sat down on a log and wiped away the streams of sweat from her face.

Dragon attempted a smile.

She saw it.  "Are you growling?  Is that a growl I see?  And you are shimmering purple and pinks - just thought you should know."

"Actually, I think I smiled a little.  I tried to smile, but I don't really know.  I don't remember what a smile feels like.  I have a name for you.  I need to give you a name.  How do you like...Fortisa?  I like it. It fits you, I think! Can you guess the meaning?"  

She looked at him and sighed.  “I’ll return.”

“Where are you going?”

“I don’t know yet!”  She stomped away.  William followed.

Are you leaving me again?!  He sniffled.  

 “Stop that, Dragon you’ll drown all three of us.  I need to walk.”

Several moments later she returned.  “I found a stream and filled my water-gourds.”

She approached the dragon, wading waist-deep into his tear-pond. She shimmied up the knotted tree again and stretched up her arms.  She tipped the gourd to the dragon’s lips. She balanced trying not to tumble into the pond or lose any of the precious liquid. 

“Drink, Dragon.”

Some water spilled from the dragon’s chained jaws.  He couldn’t swallow correctly and choked into spasms of coughing.

“I’m so sorry, Dragon!  I poured too fast, maybe?”

Dragon’s body heaved.

Dismayed, she gaped at the spectacle before her.  Dragon wheezed. Slowly, the spasms ceased.

For several moments she could not speak.  She stared at her rippling reflection below.  “Dragon, I’m sorry – so sorry.”

Dragon panted.  “I don’t deserve your kindness…your wickedness. I forgot what kindness feels like. What touch feels like.  

I've withstood the taunts - cruelties of others, even those who tried to kill me for sport and money.  They could not.  The curse wouldn’t let them.”

“The curse wouldn’t let them?"  She scowled.  "Let me see...if you tried to harm me, and I defended myself by attempting to kill you, I couldn’t kill you anyway?  Is that what you say?”

“It depends upon the curse.  That’s all I know, and before you say something, I don’t know how I know, I just do!”

“And you concealed this information from me?”

“I did.”

She shook her head, again and again, murmuring…“He didn’t tell me!  He didn’t tell me!” 

"Would you really expect me to share information like that with you or anyone?"

"Dragon, this is an absurd, something-not-logical conversation!"

"I don't want to deceive you."  he closed his eyes, remaining silent. 

An explosion, like the blast from a cannon, burst one of the links.  William bolted into the woods.  The woman fell into the Dragon's tear-pond like a deer struck with an arrow. Chunks of metal streaked past her, splintering the trees.

Dragon trembled.  "Fortisa...are you safe?  What happened?"

"You hurt?!"  She snapped, rising to her feet.  Rivulets of red liquid dripped from her clothing.

"I don't think so.  I don't feel anything differently.  What can you see?"  

"One of the links in the chains ruptured!"

Fortisa wiped the blood from her cut arms.


"Shhsh, for a moment, Dragon!"

Fortisa stepped to the break in the massive links of chains encircling Dragon's back.  She struggled and failed to lift the heavy chains.   "Someone really didn't want you to escape, Dragon!"

"Fortisa, what do you see?  I can't see anything!"

"Can you feel my weight?  I am perched on your back.  This is where the link burst.  I can't move the remaining parts...too heavy. I think, perhaps, too heavy for anyone to lift."

They sighed in unison.  Dragon sniffled.  "Just when I thought there was a hint of hope...."

" there anything else I should know,'re changing colors again!  Shimmering all colors, actually.  Splotches of red, mostly.”  She considered his reflection in the pond.  "Can you see yourself, your reflection?  In the pond?"


Fortisa climbed down from Dragon's back.

With as much gentleness as he could muster, “ you have any idea how sweet, how very sweet to talk with someone again?  How, like that I haven't tasted in 700 years!”

Red lines bulged in Dragon's eyes.  His lips quivered.  A new flood of tears washed his face and drenched her before she could spring out of the deluge.

“Stop crying!  Will you stop crying!  If you could cry all of this,” she waved her arms widely, as if encircling the pond, “...without drinking water, after 700 years…and now with water…you’ll drown every living thing for miles, including us…will you stop?!”

“I can’t help it!  Have you never shed tears? I ignored my thirst!  For 700 years I longed for water to drink.  I didn’t know...I don’t deserve your kindness.  I deserve to die.”

Almost in a whisper, “Please, stop the tears, Dragon.  There’s more water.  If you keep wailing, I fear you will choke again.  There’s a good dragon, now, deep breaths.  Deep breaths.”

He tried, but with each long draught of air came a fresh flow of tears.

He choked.  “Can I have some more…water...please?”

She sighed, partially ignoring his request.  “Oh, Dragon!  Sure why not…curse be damned!  Let’s find out how true it is!  Maybe no one else can kill you, but will the curse prevent you from drowning yourself?!  We can find out!”

"Perhaps, I should call you, Flammae, instead...little spitfire!" 

Fortisa ignored the rebuke. As she waded to dry land something inside her head and her heart, not a voice exactly, she couldn't tell, but she felt it.  Like a jolt of lightning shocking the deepest pit of her stomach through every reverberated, pulsated in her anatomy.  She collapsed.

Tears purge his heart. 

The strong. No voice, yet, the message transfixed her.  Every cell in her tingled with the knowledge.  Nothing like that ever happened before.  As if someone, something had communicated, but not through hearing, through her...being.  She trembled.

She stared at the dragon and the surrounding forest and what she could see of William hiding behind a distant thicket of junipers.  Is this the 'knowing' Dragon speaks of?  I hate it!  I feel naked somehow!  I hate it!  Panic seized her.

Bewitchment.  Yes, bewitchment! 

An image burst into her mind…smoke…fire.  She smelled the burning...the scorching...felt blistering on her ears...screams...panic.  No...I won't have it!  She fought it.  Damn Dragon and his tears!  Bewitchment!  

"Stop, Dragon, no...more...tears!" 

The intensity of her tone broke the tear-cascade.

She rose to her feet, angry and confused.  How did I ever get involved in this?  I'm tired.  I need to find someplace to make camp.  

A rise in the meadow beyond the pond of dragon's tears appeared suitable enough.  Fortisa ran to William.  She wrapped her arms around his neck.  What are we doing here, William?  

"Follow me."  

Fortisa and Dragon did not converse for the remainder of the day.  She gathered firewood and cut branches. William followed, pausing to munch upon the ground-level greenery around him.  Dragon listened to her movements, savoring each sound. 

As the sky beamed red, orange and yellow, Fortisa built a small campfire and a lean-to.  I surely hope it doesn’t rain!  That's all we need!

Evening unfolded with bright moonlight and the gentle choruses of peeps, the small forest creatures singing to the moon.  She listened intently, letting the wild symphony and forest fragrances soothe and calm her. The fire crackled and spit sparks now and then.  She heard a different sound, rhythmical.

Dragon is...sleeping?  

She tiptoed to the pond’s edge.  She could only see the Dragon’s shadow and his shimmering shades of blues and greens and hints of purple reflecting in the tear-pond.  

He is sleeping!  Curious...curious, indeed!

She nestled back into her shelter.  William, too, relaxed near the fire, nibbling upon green shoots.  She stared into the mesmerizing flames. 

There has to be a way to free you, if only I could think of it….

As she drifted into sleep her mind repeated…tears purge his heart.


Submitted: June 23, 2019

© Copyright 2021 Elise Pannon. All rights reserved.

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