Hawkyns picked up his sword and ran the flat side of his blade across his breeches, erasing the loathsome-smell of dragon’s blood. The night sky moonless and cloudy, and offering no light, he held the weapon close to his nose and sniffed, examining it for traces of foulness.
Another dragon slain, but not the one for which he had searched for many months. This was only a fire-breather, the spawn of the one he hunted ―Ayrradex.
He gritted his teeth as a memory surged forward.
Ayrradex was a feared and vicious dragon, ravaging villages and darkening the sky throughout the kingdom of Penrythe and the known lands. Hawkyns had knelt before his father, the king, and sworn he wouldn't return until Ayrradex was defeated.
He glanced at this corpse lying before him, spilling its blood onto the meadow. The grass sizzled as the liquid dribbled through the blades. Kicking at the short spike on the end of the tail, Hawkyns snarled in frustration.
Even the smaller ones gave fierce battle. As he searched for a place to bed down for the night, he had stumbled across this dragon feasting on a cow's carcass. Startled, the beast released a screech then flew into the sky and plunged towards him with talons poised and ready.
Hawkyns jumped from his horse, Gladur, then slapped his rump to shoo him into the cover of the forest. He raised his sword and slashed at the spiked claws. The dragon heaved a downbeat with his wings and rose above the sharp blade. Its gargled inhale spurred Hawkyns to race towards a boulder for cover. The ground rumbled when the creature landed. Each step echoed off the forest.
Staying low, Hawkyns charged to a dense copse of trees. He squinted into the blackness of the night trying to locate the dragon. There was a gentle movement to the air, but as long as he was out of the path of the dragon’s nose, his scent would be difficult to catch. Confident he was safe, he allowed himself a moment to relax.
The enormous beast plodded about, sniffing, searching for his prey. Frustration boiled, and the dragon released his fiery breath with an air-ripping howl. Dark red and orange flames spewed forth engulfing the trees and bushes in its path.
Experience having taught him a dragon is weakest the few moments after exhaling fire, Hawkyns seized the instant to attack. Sword raised, he rushed out. As he neared the right flank, he swung, but the dragon had not been caught unaware. It lifted its wing, snagged Hawkyns' feet, and tossed him across the meadow.
A blast of air ejected from his lungs as he hit the ground a short distance from the bank of the river. The sword bounced out of his grasp. Pain gripped him as he tried to force air back into his chest. Keeping his gaze on the dragon, he groped for his weapon. His fingers felt no metal.
The monster twisted its head, sniffing the air then paused, tilted its snout and inhaled once more. Heaving its great body around, the dragon plodded away from the flames and towards its half-eaten meal.
The evening dew settled on the meadow grass and the chill seeped through Hawkyns' clothing. He was not dressed for battle, nor did he have his shield or helmet. Just his sword. Pushing to his knees, he turned. The reflection of the fire glowed off the blade. He glanced at the dragon, reached for his weapon then stood. His body swayed, but he shook himself, clearing his head. Running to where he expected his horse had fled, he emitted a short sharp whistle.
The dragon lifted his face from the cow. Chunks of bloodied meat dangled from his mouth. His jaws flexed as he ground his teeth into the flesh. Bones crunched under the force. Tossing his head back, he gulped his food then bent his head to his meal.
Hawkyns whistled again. Gladur stepped out of the brush and walked to his owner.
The charger stood still as Hawkyns placed a foot in the stirrup and grabbed a handful of mane to hoist himself onto the animal. “Ye know what to do.” He clicked Gladur onwards.
Across the meadow, he directed the horse towards the left hind flank of the eating dragon. When near it, he stopped. Both horse and rider remained motionless and alert. If the dragon turned, Hawkyns would spur Gladur charge to the cover of the forest.
The dragon swallowed the last gulp of cow and sniffed the ground. It raised his head and wrinkled its nose. Stretching out its wings, the beast curled them around itself, like a blanket and rested his head on the blood-stained grass. Hawkyns waited. Gladur twitched an ear towards a sound. At last, the breaths of the dragon slowed to a rhythmic pace. Its tail twitched and wrapped against its body.
What's happening in December on Romance – Sweet to Heat
16 – Book Hooks #MFRWhooks #MFRWAuthor
17 – My Blog. My Post. My Books.
18 – Fridays in Space
19 – SPOTLIGHT – Bobbi Schemerhorn - The Realm Warden Series
20 – Weekend Writing Warriors #8Sunday
21 – SPOTLIGHT –
22 – Book Release – Daryl Devore’s
23 – Book Hooks #MFRWhooks #MFRWAuthor
24 – Thursday #Yoga
25 – Blog closed for Christmas
26 – Blog closed for Christmas
27 – Weekend Writing Warriors #8Sunday
28 – SPOTLIGHT – Flashette
29 – TBA–
30 – Book Hooks #MFRWhooks #MFRWAuthor
31 – Blog closed for New Years