• “It is nearer now and its eyes are fierce and devilish. Help meeeeeeeeee” cried out the knight, whom was very fond of poetry, cornered in the dungeons of the old castle ruins. His cries faded into nothing as the dragon charred his snack and gobbled him up. Spitting out his armour and clothes the dragon stalked off, unsatisfied, to find his morsel’s unlucky companions. All of a sudden a small movement caught his eye. It was the knight’s servant, and in one swift bite the man had disappeared.

    The cries of the dying and screaming echoed off the valley walls as a dragon of Elrom devoured its victims, one by one. The dragon was satisfied at the damage it had caused to the camp. Making sure that every last being was dead, he carried off a cow (their meat supply gone) to make sure that any survivors starved to death and to fill his belly.

    As the roars of the dragon subsided, a small scrawny boy crawled out of the wreckage of a cart. He looked over the devastation and destruction of his prison hold. Although the soldiers of this kingdom were not of his own, he felt that he must find their leader and tell him all that he knew. He gathered what was left of the supplies from the devastated camp, medicines, vegetables and water. He could hunt along the way. The boy found maps and charted his journey very carefully, and even though he knew the country side like the back of his hand the young boy knew he would never be a match for a barbarian axeman.

    He was captured by these soldiers whilst hunting for the tribe. They said that he had been caught hunting on the King’s lands and was to be taken prisoner until they returned. Then he would be given fair trial. Even if the boy couldn’t speak English he understood it perfectly. He had tried to make the men see reason and that he was hunting on the tribe’s lands and that they were the trespassers, but they thought that he was cursing them and saying rude and unmentionable words. He got a beating for that.

    Now that freedom was at his feet he felt obliged to help his dead captors in some small way. It seemed to him that they had died fighting like noble warriors and he had learned a small bit of English from over-hearing their conversations. As he was mapping and charting his journey home, he heard a faint groan. The scrawny boy was unfed and weak himself so he wondered if he could carry this possible survivor as well. He scrambled over to the man and tended to his wounds. As the man looked at him he felt obliged to tell all the details to the poor warrior, even if he couldn’t be understood.

    The boy was about to lift the poor soldier when he heard the dragon’s cries again in the distance. It was coming back to check on the site of his torment. He had carried him off into a small crevasse not a moment too soon. The dragon was lifting as many of the dead in his massive, black, shiny talons as possible. There was no mercy around the camp as none were left except the boy and the wounded warrior.

    Once the menace was gone for good the duo could resume their homebound travels. The figures of an underfed boy and a limping soldier could be seen quite clearly on this open ground as the dragon had scorched the camp to drive all the prey out of hiding. They walked slowly which gave the boy more time to think and the man to focus on his pain more.

    He had a nasty thought and wondered if the boy was leading him into a trap, or perhaps he was in league with the dragon. There was no other explanation for the boys’ survival. He was malnourished and small. There was no way he could have been spared when all his brave, strong and healthy companions had perished. The man went with him anyway. There was no-one else to look after him so this boy was the next best thing. At least they were going back the way they had come, home.

    The boy had time to think as well. Not of the man or his companions, but of the dragons that ruled over Elrom. Had they abandoned their people? No. They were still here. If they had abandoned them, the dragons would have done so long ago. No. This was something more, something deeper. Then it hit home. The dragons of Elrom where turning against the people and no one could stop them.