Story#20.3: The Dragon’s Demise

dragon

In a long-ago faraway land, a dragon was born.  His mother gave him the name of Falcus, and raised him on a diet of wild boar and venison.  She taught him how to concentrate the heat in his throat until it blazed with fire.  She guided him in developing the power of his wings until he was able to lift himself into the sky.  She trained him in the art of gliding currents at high altitudes and plunging head long into death-defying high speed dives.

“Remember Falcus,” she told him one day.  “Do not kill needlessly.  Such acts will only end in your demise.”

Despite the warning, it was a happy life.

Until one night a kingsman named Sir Betherley killed his mother while he slept.  The young dragon woke to find his mother’s headless body laying in a massive pool of her own blood.  He screamed to the heavens with a mornful roar, his fire ascending into a massive arch that lit up the landscape.  He vowed then and there that he would bring his mother’s murderer to merciless justice.

Falcus desperately searched across the world.  In his rage and grief, he burned whole cities to the ground.  He eagerly snatched up and devoured whole flocks of sheep and cattle.  People were not immune to his destructive wrath and would often get caught in the crossfire of his uncontrollable bloodlust.  His mother’s warning was unheeded.

A grand host of warriors assembled with the singular goal of annihilating the terrible beastly dragon.  At its head rode Sir Betherley, who wore as his helm the skull of the mother dragon.  Together they plodded the land to explore any sign of the foul monster.  When they came upon a recently leveled town called Breen, a shopless shopkeeper told them he had seen the dragon slumber in a nearby cave.  The army advance toward the location with a noise like the rumble of a thousand thunder clouds.

Falcus’ head and long neck slithered from the mouth of the cave.  His massive red body followed.  He had grown in the years since his mother’s death to nearly five times her size.  He look one quick look at the army before him and sprang into action.  His long tail whipped through the first wave sending men and horses tumbling into the air.  He let out a might bellow that popped the eardrums of the nearest men causing them to collapse with howls of pain.  A volley of pikes and spears bounced uselessly off of his scaled hide which sent Falcus into a frenzy.  He leaped into the fray, smashing a dozen knights under his great weight.  He lashed out with his claws slicing horses and men to bloody pieces.  Others, he snapped up in his jaws and shook violently until their arms and legs became limp.  In just the first few minutes, Falcus managed to level half the army.  The other half turned tail and fled into the nearby woods, but not before Falcus launched a stream of fire that took down the men and horses as well as the entire forest.  For a glorious moment, it seemed as if all were dead.

The suddenly the face of a dragon appeared in the smoke.

“Mother?” he whispered in bewilderment.  Could it be?

Sir Betherley galloped headlong into him, a diamond tipped lance at the ready.  Falcus hesitated in his confusion.  The lance pass quick and deep into his soft underbelly.  A plume a thick, sick-smelling maroon liquid spilled from the wound.

Falcus reacted by gripping Betherley’s head in his jaws, breaking to pieces the skull of his mother.  He snatched the man’s body in his claw, and wrenched his. head from his body, unceremoniously spitting it on the ground.

Falcus lay down in the filth of his own blood and bile as the life drained from his body.  His eyes slowly closed and his fired slowly died.  He felt a lightness consume him.  His dread and loathing were replaced with joy and anticipation.  His spirit was headed to the realm beyond the living, and he could not wait to be with his mother again.

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