Thursday, 24 May 2018

Eleanor and the Dragon

In a land far away from the one we know, a land with dragons that breath fire, dragons that roam the sea and make it steam, dragons that burn the crops that farmers carefully planted trying to feed families. A land where men were essentially stronger and better than girls in every way possible. In this land there was a small, scared but kind girl called Eleanor. She had straight auburn hair that went down just above her waist usually worn in 2 braids. Light blue eyes that twinkled when she stood in the light and a small nose. As far as her parents knew she was the prettiest girl in the village.

One night she was awoken by the sound of three bell chimes then a pause and then three more bell chimes. “DRAGON RAID!” Yelled the chief. Eleanor grabbed her bucket and then rushed to the well. She never liked the violence she saw to the dragons. Her mother was in the front of the line she grabbed some water and dragged it to the fires on her house. Eleanor was about to gently dip her bucket into the water when she saw an unbelievable thing. A night dragon, one of the most rare species in the land was shot down. She dropped her bucket and then sped in the direction she saw the dragon fall. She quickly grabbed a dropped knife about the size of her hand. “ELEANOR!” she heard her mother scream “GET BACK HERE THIS INSTANT!” Eleanor didn’t even look back. She had to free that dragon. She had to.

When Eleanor found unevenly sliced and skewered trees all leading in one direction she figured that was where the night dragon was. He was in a little dark cavern that she and her friends often played in, she needed light so she grabbed a stick and ripped a long strip of her brown dress off. When she had made the torch she rubbed 2 rocks together and then sparked the torch to life. She hastily climbed down into the cave. When she found the dragon she nearly cried.

It had been gashed five times across the side of its torso. She assumed the dragon had been gashed by the trees. Eleanor forced herself to look away from the oozing gashes, and noticed the dragon was staring at her. she cautiously walked up close to the dragon. The dragon just stared at her.
“That's weird shouldn’t you growl or snarl?” Eleanor said
“Just finish me off already” the dragon replied
Eleanor dropped her knife. The dragon looked down at it and then looked back to her. Eleanor was gaping at the large male dragon.
“Well are you going to kill me” said the dragon
“You did it again!” said Eleanor “You talked!”
“Yes I did, all dragons can do it. So are you going to kill me or what”
“Wait what?” Eleanor said confused “Why would I kill you? I’m not like the other people I came to free you.” To prove it she picked up the knife and skilfully started to cut him loose. Then she carefully slid the rope across his body which was as black as the Night Sky yet it shimmered and glowed with stars.

Once he had been fully freed he gracefully but limply climbed across the cavern. She never noticed the glow worms before. When he was on a ledge she could properly see his features. Apart from the gashes across his torso he was beautiful. He had a Gray underbelly that stopped at his neck. Purple horns and purple eyes, and black all over. He saw her examining him and shifted to match the glow worms on the roof. Eleanor stared in wonder. The dragon chuckled.
“Thank You” said the dragon
“No need to thank me.” said Eleanor “But may I ask you What is your name?”
“My name is Chardet”
“Well that's boring. I think i’ll call you Night Sky.”
“Night Sky. I like it”
Eleanor decided to see him every day and care for him. Until he was ready to go back to his own home.

The dragon raid was over when she got back, her plan was to play dumb when she got home. Her father and mother were talking to the chief. Eleanor silently tiptoed across to her room. She stashed the knife in her cabinet and climbed in bed. She ruffled up her hair, lied on her bed and worked hard on taking measured breaths. She heard the chief go and her parents walk over to her room.
“Oh.” said her mother “The heat must have gotten to me. I must have been hallucinating”
“But just in case.” said her father “We will question her in the morning”

The next morning her parents cornered her at breakfast.
“Where did you go last night?” Said her mother
“What do you Mean?” lied Eleanor “ I was with you the whole night putting out the fires.”
“Were you?” said her father “Because we have told you that every night once the fires are put out you come straight home and we searched all over and you weren’t anywhere”
“That’s because I was at Home…” Lied Eleanor “... In my bed”
“Very well.” said her father “Do your chores and then go play”

Once Eleanor had finished milking the cows and feeding the chickens. She changed out of the brown dress and replaced it with a tan dress and white apron. She grabbed a needle and a spool of thread, she hid the knife in her apron and quickly ran to the cave. When she got there she picked up the torch from the other night and lit it aflame. The dragon saw her and climbed down with that same limp grace from the other night.
“You’re going to have to come out of the cave if you want me to be able to stitch you” said Eleanor
The dragon just nodded and went out into daylight. When he walked out into the light Eleanor gasped. He was at least 16 metres high when he was on all fours.
“My goodness” said Eleanor
“What is it?” said Night Sky
“Your ferociously tall. I’ve never seen anything so big”
Night Sky chuckled deeply. He stood up on his hind legs , Eleanor gasped again he was at least double 16 metres now. Night Sky went down onto all fours and moved his wing so that the gashes could be fully seen. Eleanor took out her needle and thread and then started to stitch the dragon up. The dragon watched her with unmistakable curiosity.

“There you go.” said Eleanor “All stitched up. Um.. I hope you don't mind but can I see your wings?” Night Sky replied with a smile. He opened up beautifully even wings. They were about 13 metres each. Eleanor marvelled at their beauty and length. She decided to play around with him, he didn’t mind at all she wanted to see how strong the wings were, he showed her by slicing a tree clean off it's stump. She wanted to see if dragons had amazing healing factors. She looked at his gashes and then noticed that the blood was drawing itself back in and the scales were growing rapidly. Eleanor touched the stitches and they popped out immediately. She touched them all and then they all popped out. The gashes grew over. “Tomorrow.” Said Night Sky “I will take you on my back and fly you across the lands that you humans haven’t inhabited.” Eleanor liked the sound of that.

The next day Eleanor woke up early to get her chores done she harvested some corn today and gave her  mother a break. She grabbed some lunch and then went over to the cave where the dragon slept. When she got there the dragon was patiently waiting for her. He smiled when he saw her.
“Hello Eleanor” said Night Sky “Are you ready for the flight?”
“Yes” said Eleanor “Is it true that dragons can land on the clouds?”
“Yes it is. You could do it too if you wanted to”
“Really. Because I brought a picnic basket. Do you like steak?”
Night Sky chuckled “Yes it’s my favourite”
“Good because I packed it raw”
Night Sky lowered his wing. Eleanor hesitated before slowly walking onto it she went into the crouch position when she went onto his back and then magically he changed his skin so that it was sky blue. He got a running start and then he took off.

Eleanor dared herself to open her eyes and unbury her head from the crook of his neck. To her wonder she could see the ground from the side of Night Sky’s neck. It was beautiful, she could see a great waterfall landing into a crystal blue lake completely untouched by men. She saw free birds flying across moors covered in heather and snowdrops. She saw herds of dragons slumbering in caves dragons of all sorts. But most of all she saw the shedded scales that made the patterns in the jagged rocks spurting out of the ground.
“Can we go down there?” asked Eleanor
“You want to have a picnic down there?” said Night Sky
“No. I want to collect scales from all sorts of dragons. They look so nice on you.”
“OK. But promise me one thing, do not make any noise”
“I promise”

Night Sky flew down onto one of the jagged rocks Eleanor saw the dragons and felt a twinge of anxiety, but she swallowed it down. She looked at the ground for some scales, she found a royal red scale, then a midnight blue scale, and then a sparkly silver scale, until she found a scale that was a pure rose gold she walked over to get it. That was when everything went wrong. Eleanor didn’t notice the slippery surface on the ground until she picked up the scale and pivoted on her foot she fell backwards with a cry her hands broke her fall but the cry echoed. She put the scales in her picnic basket and then ran towards Night Sky. A few dragons woke up but Eleanor was already gone with Night Sky.

Once the flight was finished they landed on a fluffy white cloud. Eleanor lay her red checkered blanket on the ground. She threw Night Sky a hunk of raw steak. He chewed 2 times before he swallowed. Eleanor placed a meat pie on a plate. She grabbed her scales, and lay them down on the cloud.
“What kind of dragon does that one belong to” said Eleanor pointing to a snow white scale.
“Snow Dragon” Replied Night Sky
“What about that one?” a scale that changed around from Blue to orange and to gold
“Dawn dragon. They’re most strong at dawn.”
“Figures. How about this one?” The rose gold scale
“That one belongs to the queen of all dragons she is extremely strong she can live to 10,000 years and then generate her own egg to take her place, it must have shedded when she was flying across the land of dragons. If she finds out you have a scale she will have my head and yours and wreck your village so never take it out to the dragon lands”
Eleanor shivered at the image of such a beautiful creature causing so much destruction.
“Well then.” She said “Now that you’ve told me that I’m never going to let anyone see it except me and you.”
But they were already too late, because they never noticed the stealth dragon lurking in the clouds. It flew away to tell his master….. The queen.

To be continued…. 

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