Timeless Spirit Logo DRAGON'S DAUGHTER

A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. July's Theme: "Key to Heaven"
Volume 3 Issue 5 ISSN# 1708-3265
Index Meet Our Staff Free Subscription Donations Come Shopping Advertising Archived Issues


Dragon's Daughter
Part Six

by Jennifer Monaghan

Just joined in? Haven't read the entire story? Well, if you missed it, here are the links:
Part One - Part Two - Part Three - Part Four - Part Five.

I watched from a small crack in the mountain wall, barely spacious enough to fit my human body. I could already taste the dragon's fire on my breath; feel the cold reptilian blood mixing with the hot blood already pumping through my veins. It would happen soon. Why isn't he leaving?

Day passed quickly. Too quickly. Conall would speak to neither of us, would hear no word that passed through our lips. Urgency coupled with desperation drove me to reveal the truth to Cormac. Disbelief gave way to reluctant understanding and then transformed into a brief rage as he remembered Muirne and her dead mother. The fire burned out as rapidly as it was lit, leaving behind a dreadful comprehension.

"The full moon is tonight, Cormac. We must find a way to make him leave."

The sun is setting. Soon I will have to leave this hiding place. He is still there, watching and waiting. For what? For death, if he stays.

"Conall, we cannot stay here!" I pleaded, tugging his arm, trying to yank his sturdy frame into submission.

"No! I will not leave her!"

"You must!"

Shadows lengthen. My body begins to swell. I have grown accustomed to the physical pain. I cannot bear this pain in my heart. She begs him to leave and yet he stays. Rock crumbles into dust. The ground shakes. The pressure in my head increases, in my body, and I long for the days when my father would hold me close. My hands…no longer hands&#133clutching my head. Eyes wide open, fixed to the face of my lover. Why won't he leave, why does he make me do this? I scream, scream for him to go, scream for him to leave me to my torment, leave me to my death.</i></font> <p>Inhumane shrieking split the mountain air, deafening and tormented. My brother sprang to action, shaking me off as if I was no more than a pestering moth. One last attempt, I shouted to him the truth, but he heard me none. His ears were full, his mind closed. He thought of only one thing: avenging his love. <p><font color="#330000"><i>It is maddening, the battle between human and dragon. I fight it, my mind struggling to hold on to some sense of human awareness, some level of compassion. I've failed but once, only once. I could have killed him, would have killed him, that day. What was it, that which stayed my instinct? Where is it now?</i></font> <p>She was magnificent, horribly magnificent. Terror and awe together paralyzed me. There was nothing more for me to do, but to watch this scene as it unfolded. Scales shimmering blue-black in the night, reflecting the moon and stars. Eyes piercing, crystalline blue. Belly wide and low to the ground, long neck stretching out towards us. Claws breaking apart the hard earth, cracking open the surface, shaking the ground beneath our feet. Flames hide behind her nostrils, steam seeps from between her teeth. For a moment all is still, nothing can be heard beyond the heaving and blowing of dragon breath as she took stock of her prey. Then, to mine and Cormac's horror, my eldest brother gave a battle cry laced with agony and love. Sword in hand, he raced to meet his foe. The beast remained on all fours, head moving back and forth, claws raking the broken stone. Confusion stalled her from action, or so it seemed to my trembling mind. <p><font color="#330000"><i>This is my prey. I fix my eye to the one in front, his flesh sewn together with muscle and sinew, a lean meal he would be, more of an appetizer. A tasty appetizer. The one behind him, her bones are blanketed with a generous layer of fat, she would be a meal worth fighting for. Saliva drips from my teeth, my tongue waits in anticipation. I can smell their awe, their hateful veneration. <p>The lean one opens his mouth and from his lips escapes a sound that is fearless. There is something in that sound, something I know. It stirs my hungry belly, scrambling the components of my mind. Who is this warrior, that he dares to challenge me? What is the magic in his cry, that it threatens to disarm me?</i></font> <a href="http://www.thewormroom.com" target="blank"><img src="images/wormroomad.jpg" align="right" width=265 height=380 border=3></a> <p>Cormac intercepts our brother before he reaches the jaws of the beast, challenges him with the intent of forcing him back. Brother against brother, swords clash and clang, fighting with equal skill and determination. One brother driven by madness, the other driven by desperation, both driven by love. The dragon watches with curiosity, I watch with horror. What will end this display? <p><font color="#330000"><i>Two of the same, fighting like enemies before me. I could squash them both while their attention is turned and this knowledge invigorates me. I find the interplay remarkably queer. I forget the almost-incapacitating bewilderment experienced just minutes ago, shaking it from my body and dismissing it as insignificant. For a long time, neither gains any ground. Shouting, clamoring, grunting - their noises are almost inaudible behind the curtain of my own breath. It is a faint music, enhancing the visual effect of their small battle. I long for the smell of blood, and then it hits me, sweet and heavy and fresh. The lean one stands before his fallen kin, victorious. His opponent, defeated, stares up at him bewildered and betrayed. Now is my moment. Now is the time for blood, now is the time for death. It starts as a rumble in my belly, moves to my chest, vibrating body and earth, transforming into a powerful and resounding roar. I rise to my hindquarters, knowing the intimidation of my height.</i></font> <p>Her head touched the clouds, or so it seemed to me at the time. Belly glittering with stars, contrasting the sleek blackness of her scales, she appeared beautifully monstrous and yet somehow vulnerable, as if this were just an intimidation tactic. Conall stood between her and my wounded sibling, defending he whose blood tipped his sword. The irony of it struck me and I snorted, chuckled, as if it were somehow amusing. The insanity, the surrealism - I could no longer be afraid. To fear this would be to collapse beneath the weight of it all. I couldn't bear that. I struggled to maintain a sense of reality, but this reality was saturated with horror and my hands slipped on the thin rope connecting me to the concrete world of reason. Still, I managed to keep hold on the frayed ends, unwilling to give up completely. <p>"Abigael!" I shouted, my voice swimming in a sea of thunder. I shouted it again and again, unceasing, my feet carrying me ever-closer to brothers and beast. <p><font color="#330000"><i>Abigael! It was a whisper, barely cutting through the thick air to reach my ears. Abigeal. Where do I know that sound? Fire leaves me to burn the sky, I am enraged. What is this weapon? Who has the audacity to use it against me?</i></font> <p>I kept shouting her name, searching for a sign of comprehension. Fire shot up into the sky, would her next breath point downward? Tail thrashing, she roared again. Was she trying to drown out the sound of my voice? Was there some piece of Abby left inside this monster? <p><font color="#330000"><i>My eyes search for the one who calls out this name. Is it my name? There she is, the fatty one. I hook my neck, point my fire, inhale. Coughing, sputtering, my exhale is stuck in my chest, smoke filling my lungs. A new voice, a voice that I recognize, a name that I know. It pierces my heart like a blade. Conall? A face, a hand, metal and flame - flashing through my mind, pictures of a different life. The dragon hungers, closes its mind to these visions, yet I can still see them. I am the dragon, the dragon is me. Who is this other self, this other being, threatening me?</i></font> <p>I can feel the heat of the fire. My brother's shield protects him. Cormac kneels beside me, clutching his bleeding chest. Conall bears the heat behind the shield and then stands, calling out to his dragon, his love. Again, I wonder, does he know? <p>"For you, my Abigael!" he cries out one last time, hurling his sword into the dragon's chest, driving it between two sparkling armour plates with deadly accuracy. The blade, nestled almost tenderly in the vulnerable flesh, must have hit its mark, for the dragon staggers and starts to fall. Death sinks into her eyes as she topples forward, reaching out a claw, hooking it into my brother's chest as I and my other brother watch helplessly. I cry out, try to run, held back my Cormac's strong arm. His blood soaks into our mother's cloak. Will I lose two brothers today? <p><font color="#330000"><i>Something sharp finds the place which guards my beating heart. I am dragon, dragon no more. "Conall," I choke, gurgle, human words blending with incomprehensible dragon-speech. My body shrinks, my scales disappear, my hands are now hands covered in blood that is not my own. A gaping hole stares at me from his chest, the claw that had been lodged there vanished but the fatal wound remained. <p>"No," I shake my head, tears falling to his face. He places his palm on my cheek. <p>"You struck my heart as I struck yours and in death we meet again," he whispered. <p>"No, you will live," I pleaded. <p>"I will love," he corrected. <p>"You will love&#133" and then I died, my head on his still heart.</i></font> <p>Cormac healed in time. Conall's sword had missed heart and lung, cutting only surface flesh. I cleaned the wound with cold water from a spring and applied an herbal paste to stave off infection. I offered a tincture for pain but Cormac refused, preferring physical pain to the grief which lay underneath. The forest had come alive with spring and as we traveled slowly, dragging the bodies of Conall and Abigeal behind us on fallen wood tied together with wool from my mother's cloak, we were able to feast on spring leaf and berry and the occasional hare. It was a solemn journey, few words were spoken between us. Tears spilled quietly in the night from both our eyes. <p>Summer welcomed us home as warmly as the villagers themselves. Winter and spring were now memories, gentle summer sun shining down on our losses, bringing a measure of peace. Two lovers forced apart could now stroll together in the land which lay just beyond our world, just beyond our reach. Life brought them pain and separation, death offered to them eternity and they accepted it graciously. Some still hear her cries. I hear only her song, traveling with the wind, mysterious and haunting and yet peaceful. It is a song not of death, not of horror, but of love fulfilled. <p align="center"><b>The End.</b></p> <br><br><p align="center"><FONT SIZE=-1>Please return next issue for Part One of Jennifer's new story!</font></p> <br><br><br> <p><FONT SIZE=-1 COLOR="#336600">Jennifer is happily married to a wonderful woman, Lisa. Theirs is a union of true, deep, respectful love&#133 the kind we all dream about. Of course we mustn't forget&#133 their beautiful little fur-family! Her two cats - Max and Hazel, dog - Queenie, four rats Charlie, Tobey, Fifi, Eowyn, and Gloria. Her hamster - Poohbear and aquatic-turtles Maximus and S.A.M. <p>Jennifer is embarking on a new career as a Behavioral Analyst and also works part time at a group home providing care to persons with physical and developmental disabilities. <p>She is also a writer and poet with a passion for the written word since childhood. Jennifer's poetry has been featured in The Prologue, an annual publication of the University of WI, River Falls, Body Mind Spirit Magazine and here at TSM.</font> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p align="center"><img src="images/bar1.jpg" width="360" height="8" border="0"> <p align="center"><a href="mailto:timelessspirit@shaw.ca?subject=Feedback"><img src="images/3-5/thoughts.jpg" width="375" height="100" border="3"></a> <p align="center"><img src="images/bar1.jpg" width="360" height="8" border="0"> <!-- End Matters --> <p align="center"><a href="http://www.timelessspirit.com/akswebdesign.html" target="_blank"><img src="images/akstitle.gif" width=200 height=40 border=0></a> <p align="center"><FONT SIZE=-1>Copyright (c) 2006 by Timeless Spirit Magazine. All articles are the copyright of the particular writers and cannot be reprinted without their expressed permission. All rights reserved. International copyright laws prohibit reproduction of or distribution of this page by any means whatsoever, electronic or otherwise, without first obtaining the written permission of the copyright holder. We retain legal counsel to protect our copyrights. <p align="center">Any advice given is for informational purposes only.</FONT><br><br> <a href="http://www.tarotgarden.com" target="blank"><img src="images/tglink.jpg" alt="TAROT GARDEN" align="left" width="265" height="79" border="3"></a> <a href="jenniferpoem.shtml"><img src="images/nextpage.jpg" ALT="NEXT PAGE" align="right" width="94" height="86" border="3"></a> <p align="center"><img src="images/clear.gif" width="500" height="1" border="0"><br> </body> </html>