Vigil for a Dragon

This is one of those things I start writing every so often with no real idea of where it’s going or how long it will be. Just so you know.

It’s an all-new story which is probably set somewhere in the universe of Teleran, but buggered if I know where as yet.

Halfway up a mountain, deep in a cave, the dragon snores with a sound like two score lumberjacks working in perfect tandem. He sleeps. He sleeps, in fact, a little more each year, a fact that it has taken him the better part of century to realise, and which caused him no little disquiet when he did.

Outisde, rain lashes the stony sides of the mountain, and the wind howls like a banshee unjustly scorned. Inside the cave, the dragon knows not. The occasional bolt of lightnig tickles the outermost part of his magical senses, but not enough to disturb his rest. Inside, the dragon is warmed by his own inner fire, which will still prove hot enough to set green wood aflame when this week-long downpour is ended.

But once, it would have melted steel-adamant. Once, his nose could have picked out the smoke of each individual hearthfire in the village below the mountain, and told you what each house was having for dinner, and how well-cooked (or over-cooked) it might be.

No more.

The dragon is old. He feels it in his claws, grown ever drier and sharper and more brittle as the years go by. He sleeps a little more every year, and he is uncomfortably aware that some year soon, he may die in his sleep, peacefully, of old age.

This is no more a way for a dragon to die than it would be a warrior, but such is life, even for dragons.

But for now, he sleeps, and if he dreams, he knows it not.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply