It’s that time again, where a group of Speculative fiction writers join post a flash length story to go live at the same time. My contribution is below, followed by links to the others.
Syrojax lends a claw
by Nic Steven
Syrojax the dragon was woken by a loud noise outside his cave. Reluctantly he roused himself and put on the shoes the leprechaun had made to ease his foot troubles. Outside the cave stood the wise woman from the nearby village blowing a horn.
‘Syrojax, we have a problem,’ said the witch. ‘Another dragon. Green and yellow; bigger than you. It has moved into our tin mine. That is costing the village most of its wealth. And it is eating a lot of our livestock.’
The dragon let out a puff of smoke; a dragonish sigh. He protected the village when needed. In return he was allowed to eat some of their animals, although he tried to hunt wild game where possible. He was obliged to help. He also had an alliance with the nearby Sidhe Folk, but they were currently troubled by a huge Formorian, beyond his ability to chase away. So, help from there would not be forthcoming. A green and yellow dragon would be female and as the witch said, bigger than him. He rose into the air and flew toward the tin mine.
The dragoness was resting outside the entrance to the mine. Syrojax landed a respectful distance away and they began the head nodding and wing waving that counted as polite greetings. Then she indicated that he could come closer. He did so then began to speak. ‘Madame, I am Syrojax.
‘Flieren,’ said the dragoness.
He continued. ‘I live in a cave across the valley. I am friendly with the people of this village and I am hoping we can come to some mutually beneficial agreement for you to move out of their mine.’
‘Why would I do that. The human made cave is comfortable enough and there is easy eating available. Although I prefer fresh game, sometimes easy meat is the best choice. And with respect, I do not think you are capable of forcing me.’ She looked him up and down but stopped as she reached his feet. ‘What are those?’ She indicated his front shoes with a claw.
‘They are called shoes. They help with a foot problem.’
‘Come closer I wish to examine them.’
Syrojax allowed her to examine his shoes.
‘They are wonderous things,’ the dragoness said. ‘I must have some.’ Not that dull brown colour though. Something brighter. Though the brown suits you’ This while casting her eye over Syrojax’s Brown and bronze scales. ‘Where can I get some?’
‘Unfortunately, their maker is unavailable. I was unable to help his people with a problem, so they are unfriendly to dragons.
I could give you these shoes he said reluctantly. We could dye them. He looked at the comparative sizes of their feet and shook his head. Then he had an idea. What do you think of The Formor?
I hate those sea slimed maggots.
With Syrojax leading, the two dragons flew across the valley and mountain until they approached the Sidhe mound. There was a siege in progress. A few armed formorians were marching around the mound searching for the entrance. This Syrojax knew was hidden by a very strong glamour. Then from the other side of the mound came a monster. He was the same as the others, with webbed hands and feet and gills in his neck. The same greenish brown scales covered his skin. There the resemblance ended. He was at least three times the size of the others and had one enormous eye in the middle of his forehead. One of Balor’s close kin I would say, said the dragoness. Balor was the God King of the Formor.
The monster was also looking around the mound, but he was waving his hands over the earth as if trying to sense something.
Syrojax knew that Balor’s kin had strong magic of their own. He assumed the mound was secure as the Formor had not managed to breach it in the past. Then the thing stopped and bellowed. He pulled a dark jewel from his robe and held it towards the mound. A doorway became outlined in the earth.
Quick said the dragoness, we must move now. The door will weaken soon. So, the two dragons flew at the Formor bellowing a challenge. When they saw the size of Flieren the small ones ran off immediately, but the monster stood his ground. The dragons breathed flame at him. It stopped about an inch from his body but gradually crept closer, until he was forced to lope after his comrades. The dragons gave his back a few more bursts before turning to land in front of the doorway which was now fading back into the earth.
The king and a few guards came out, along with the leprechaun.
They were full of thanks and asked how they could repay them.
‘Shoes,’ said the dragoness. ‘ I want shoes. Pretty ones in bright colours.’
The leprechaun spoke. ‘ What boon will you offer me in return,’
The king gave him a hard stare. ‘Our leprechaun will provide you with shoes, if you continue to protect us from the Formor,’ he said. He produced a crystal and handed it to Flieren. This crystal will shine and shriek if I send a signal. I will only do this if the Formor attack.’
‘Good outcome,’ said the dragoness. ‘But if I move out of the mine, where will I live?’
‘Well…’ said Syrojax. ‘I have quite a large cave.’
She examined him head to tail. ‘Let’s go then.’
They flew off claw in claw.
Links to other Blog Hops
1. Shores of Lamentation, by Melanie Drake
2. Syrojax Lends a Claw by Nic Steven
3. Culture Sharing by Angela Wooldridge
4. Sisters by Barbara Lund
5. Rogue Ring by Katharina Gerlach
6. Grim Failures by Bill Bush
7. Secrets by Gina Fabio
8. The Daughter of Disappearing Creek by Karen Lynn
9. The Gynnos Seeker Project by Juneta Key <–YOU ARE HERE
10. Mugging Morpheus by Vanessa Wells