Dragon Actually:Dragon Kin 01

By: G.A.Aiken

Chapter 1

He’d heard the sounds of battle for quite some time. But, as always, he ignored it. The wars of men meant nothing to him. Never had. But those same sounds right outside his den? Well, that did stir him to move.

His tail unwound from around his body and he slowly moved to the entrance of his home. He didn’t know what to expect and was not sure he even cared, but things were pretty boring right now and this just might prove interesting. Or, at the very least, provide dinner.

The blade entered Annwyl’s side, ripping through armor and flesh and tearing through organs. Blood flowed and she knew she was dying. The soldier smiled at her cry of pain, which only brought out the telltale rage Annwyl had become famous for.

She raised her blade and, with a cry of pure bloodcurdling fury, swung it. The steel sang through the air as it swiped through the man, separating his head from his neck. His blood slashed across her face and arm. The other soldiers stopped. They had handily disposed of her small band of warriors without much trouble once they had them backed into this desolate glen. But she never allowed them an easy path to the killing blow. Until now.

Her life’s blood drained from her body and she knew her time grew short. Her vision hazy, she felt weaker and lighter. She struggled to breathe. But she’d fight as long as she had breath in her body. Annwyl raised her sword, clasping the handle in both bloody hands, and waited for the next attack.

One of the men stepped forward. She could tell by the look on his face that he wanted to be the one to take her head. Present it to her brother so he could keep it as a trophy and warning to others who would dare question his reign.

She watched him move with assured slowness. Clearly,he also knew she was dying. Knew she couldn’t fight much longer.

Her legs shook as her strength fled, and her body ached to lie down for just a few minutes and sleep. Just a little nap… .

Annwyl’s eyes snapped open and she realized the soldier was that much closer. She swung her sword and he easily parried the blow. He smiled and Annwyl would give her soul for just one last surge of strength to wipe that smug smile off his face.

The soldier looked back at his comrades, making sure they were all watching before he killed her. But he left himself open. And one thing her father always taught her … never let an obvious opportunity pass by. She ran him through with her blade, slamming the steel into his stomach as his head snapped back around to look at her in horror. For good measure, she twisted her sword in his gut, watching in satisfaction as he opened his mouth to scream but left the world with nothing more than a whimper.

She yanked her blade out of him and he dropped to the ground. She knew that would be her last kill, but she would still die with her blade raised. She turned to the remaining men but they, to her surprise, no longer found her of any interest. They looked past her. Into the cave she now stood in front of.

Annwyl tried to figure out what new trick this could be, but she never took her fading eyes off the men in front of her. Even as the ground shook under her. Even as they backed away from her in obvious horror. Even as the enormous shadow fell across her body, completely blocking out the sun.

It wasn’t until the men screamed and began to run that she glanced up to see black scales hovering just above her. When the scales moved, as a large breath was inhaled into even larger lungs, she finally looked back at the fleeing soldiers.

The stream of fire flew across the glen, destroying trees, flowers, and, eventually, men. Using her sword now to prop herself up, she watched as the enemy soldiers were engulfed in flame, their bodies writhing as they desperately fought to put out the fires that covered them.

A small sense of satisfaction rippled through her, even with the knowledge that she would be next. As the screams died away, Annwyl again looked up to find the dragon now looking down at her. He watched her with obvious curiosity and made no move to blast her into oblivion. At least not yet.

“I’d fear you, Lord Dragon,” she got out as the little strength left fled her body and she dropped to one knee, her hand still holding her blood-covered sword. “If I weren’t already dying.” She gave a bitter half-smile. “Sorry to deny you that tasty morsel.” She coughed and blood flowed onto her chin and down her burnished steel armor. Annwyl’s body dropped to the ground. And, soon after, she felt herself moving. She didn’t know whether her soul had passed over to the land of her ancestors or into the mouth of a beast, but either way she was done with this life.

Chapter 2

Annwyl heard moaning. Incessant, loud moaning. It took her several long moments to realize that she was the one making the annoying sound.