Monday, July 18, 2011

Entry #62

Wilruf the Plunderer
by Phil Wade


They find the old dragon, that scourge of Mercia, near the river, at least two furlongs from its cave. The nine men, wearing skillfully made cloaks, hide among the trees—four archers, five swordsmen with spears and shields for all. But Wilruf thinks four swordsmen will suffice. He is closest to its lair, so when the archers launch their first volley and a shocked roar replies, he sprints for the old devil’s cave.

He hears vomiting fire behind him, brave shouts and the beast’s choking cries.

“Villian! You have met your match!” Egbert, their leader, shouts. Wilruf laughs quietly, scampering around boulders.

He stumbles over the rubble which the dragon has scraped from the cave mouth. Inside, the darkness devours him. Do gold and diamonds not gleam a bit? He sees nothing, hastily groping the floor. Every scorching breath burns his lungs with a stench of refuse and carcass. He crawls farther, but nothing his sweating hands touch feels like a coin or a crown. How far back is the beast’s hoard?

A hot gust brushes his left hand, and turning he sees a golden shimmer several yards away, a luminescent ring shining on a glittering bed of gold.

“Ha, ha!” He has found it! But the glistening ring blinks. In a belch of flame, he sees the calm, gleaming eye and sleek, golden scales of a dragon raising herself above a nest of eggs. Again darkness devours him.

19 comments:

C Sonberg Larson said...

Love the last scene. The ring is an eye! I like visualizing the mother dragon on her nest of eggs, watching the greedy man forage for treasure as she gets ready to kick butt.

Aimee Laine said...

Whoopsie! ;) Shoulda paid more attention! :)

Linda Ryan-Harper said...

Alas, poor Wilruf, you drew him well! And so, Wilruf won't be recounting this tale to his grandchildren, unless in the next chapter we find him recovering from 3rd degree burns in a field hospital. I feel his pain: I myself have been in pursuit of treasure before and met onlly with boulders and hornets' nests. Thanks for showing the ugly side to dragon-slaying.

SzélsőFa said...

But the glistening ring blinks. uh-oh... the poor Wilruf :(

fairyhedgehog said...

So the real treasure is the eggs, and so well-guarded!

Phil W said...

Thank you for reading my story and commenting. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to criticize it though. I'm open to that.

Loren Eaton said...

Very nicely done, Phil. Wilruf should've remembered that dragons have mates.

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

I think he's dragon bounty...he'll be a quick meal and then it's back to the eggs! I didn't know dragons hid gold, diamonds, crowns, or coins...lean somethin new everyday.

Dottie :)

Joni said...

A delightful swash-buckling kind of scene. My favorite moment, too, was the blinking of the dragon's eye. Well-told!

Old Kitty said...

Don't mess with mum dragon!!! I loved this - about time the dragon gets centre stage too!! Yay! take care
x

Phil W said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I hope you didn't see the end coming.

bluesugarpoet said...

Nothing comes between a momma and her babies! Great fantasy piece! ~Jana

Katherine Tomlinson said...

I suspected Wilruf would come to a bad end (and you know, there are too few dragons in the world to encourage killing them) but did NOT see that ending coming. Great fantasy...

Richard Levangie said...

Phil: I'm a sucker for dragon stories but, then, who isn't. Really fun to read. Thanks!

Mikki said...

Wonderful use of language. Excellent world building, too. I felt myself pulled in from the first word. Nice work.

Thank you for sharing!

Phil W said...

Thank you very much, everyone. You're very kind. I appreciate it. I hope I've earned some reader's choice votes, but I'm sure you all have too. There's a good bit of good writing here.

JaneyV said...

Phil - you drew a very likable scallywag in Wildruff. I was sad to see him extinguished but also secretly happy for the dragon. Lovely story.

Jade L Blackwater said...

Excellent bit of dragon lore. Where there's one, there's always more!

jason evans said...

I like the feel of the setup. Really lifts the scene. Well written.

Congrats on Forties Club!