Friday Snippet: from MOONROADS

I wrote this and liked it. It’s a bit after the last snippet, but not so much that you can’t ellipse the missing action and figure out things have not gone well.

NOTICE: This material is copyrighted, unedited raw first draft, probably buggy, possibly not even going to be in the final book. Do not quote or repost anywhere or in any format. Thanks.

The dragon said, “It was quite clever on their part. And sure as sunrise in the morning. Because no one who walks into my lair walks back out. The bones of my victims line the passages, and the screams of the sacrifices who have been thrown to me echo still through all these chambers. Your deaths will end a lot of people’s plans, and bring joy to some nasty fellows.”

“But,” I said. “But. You know the truth. And you do not sound like you love the rich old men and all their power. Surely you’ll let us go.”

“Surely I won’t,” the dragon said. “If any lived who had walked into my domain, do you think humans or nightlings would still fear me? Do you not think they would then send in hunters to kill me for my skin, and meat, and bones. Do you not think a pack of them would sneak in here intent upon claiming my head to hang above their fireplaces, forever after to have the bragging rights for having killed me?”

His head lowered until it lay almost on the floor, and he said, “None who walk into my lair walk back out. None. Not even little human girls who have my sympathy. “

His great jaws gaped wide, and he roared to deafen us both. We screamed. Oh, Spirit and little gods preserve me, but I screamed until I was sure my throat would tear itself apart. I was in his mouth, his teeth a cage around me, and Catri was with me. His tongue pushed at me, at her, and I toppled into a great bag of skin I thought must be his stomach, and Catri was gone. I kept screaming. Screaming, and flailing. I had my dagger yet, and I tried to stab anything, anything.

I did not even scratch him. Catri was gone, though I could hear her screaming, too. And beyond the gaps between the dragon’s teeth, which the light around my neck still showed me, I heard cheering from a distance.

The cheering of men and monsters.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

7 comments… add one
  • Mokierock Oct 7, 2007 @ 20:56

    Ah, and that’s why I really like dragons. He certainly doesn’t have to worry about troublesome neighbors or guests. Of course, the girls will have an,um, messy time getting back out of the dragon again. Ew.

  • PolarBear Oct 5, 2007 @ 21:08

    I’m imagining the sheer size of this dragon that can fit two girls/women with room to spare. And the size of the tongue! Oh, my.

  • cherylp Oct 5, 2007 @ 20:55

    Wow! Loved it! And that’s how we get in trouble, isn’t it? We try to preserve our reputation at the expense of honesty. I think I know how the dragon circumvents his own reputation–but I’ll not post it in case I’m right–and in case I’m wrong. (grin)

  • Joy Renee Oct 5, 2007 @ 16:24

    is that a loop hole in the dragon’s stipulation? That they can’t walk out? Well they aren’t walking now, that’s for sure.

  • Gabriele Oct 5, 2007 @ 13:59

    Oh my. You have put your characters into bad places, but the mouth of a dragon surely must top them. 🙂

  • joelysue Oct 5, 2007 @ 13:18

    What a perfectly wretched turn of events! I love it.

  • IanT Oct 5, 2007 @ 12:25

    Superb – loved the dragon’s justification.

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