>Dragon vs. Slayer
Dragon vs Slayer
Jenny Wren Moore

(illustration way down at the bottom)

She cursed silently, even as she swallowed, feeling the rough lump move convulsively down her throat, fighting the whole way, until it became an uncomfortable feeling in her stomach. Sudden pain lanced through her, as he punched the blue dragon, hard, and from the inside. She doubled over in pain. Another sharp stab of pain lanced through her. Apparently the slayer had a dagger in addition to the broadsword, which now lay in the grass, glinting in the light. She could still hear him, even from within her. She could hear his bellowing.

“Bloody dragon! Take mi Bloody sword, an’ then Bloody EAT me! Ye’ll pay fer this Dragon! I’ll nae die without a Bloody fight! Ye Bloody Hellspawn! Bloody misbegotten bastard of a giant an’ a lizard! Ye coward! Cannae ye fight me on equal ground!” he continued to bellow insults long after she had, futilely, covered her abused ears. Why can't he just die like a decent being? She thought wistfully.

She hadn’t started the fight in the first place, she had been napping when this one had ridden up yelling war-cries. She hadn't even meant to eat him. Slayers taste worst than they smell, and slayers often competed with week old carrion for the worse smell. Another sharp stab of pain ripped through her, bringing with it nausea. She couldn't help it. She threw up. when she finally got her rebellious stomach back under control, all she did was wait patiently for the wet, sodden, miserable heap that was the slayer to collect itself and resume the conflict. When the slayer made no sign that he was going to move anytime soon she went to the stream that was the main reason she had chosen this glade and washed the taste of slayer, bile, and the faint taste of her own blood out of her mouth, watching him out of the corner of her eye. He was moving now, slowly, looking for his sword.

“ I hope yer nae plannin’ tae use tha’ on me again,” she said dryly, without turning around. From the shocked look on his face, he either hadn’t known she could see him, or the idiot hadn’t realized that dragons can talk, probably both. The man looked like a fish with his mouth hanging open that way. She turned around her expression clearly amused. The slayer opened and closed his mouth a few times, but no sound came out. “Were ye aware tha’ ye look exactly like a fish when ye do tha’?” His mouth snapped closed, and his expression was one of pure venom.

“ I donnae ‘ave tae take this from ye, ya stinkin’ lizard!”

“‘Stinkin’? ME? I’m nae the one who smells like ‘e just climbed out from under a midden heap, slayer,” some how she managed to make the word “slayer” sound like the vilest word she’d ever uttered.

“Misbegotten . . . ”

“Stupid . . . ”

“Hellspawn . . . ”

“Stinking . . . ”



They glared at each other.

“I am nae called ‘slayer’, dragon, I ‘ave a name.”

“An’ why would I be wantin’ tae know it, slayer? In a few moments all ye’ll be is a comfortable feeling in mi stomach!” she snapped at him, and he blanched, turning absolutely white. “Unless o’ course ye choose tae stop this senseless battling o’ yers,” she added, dryly.

“An’ ‘ow dae ye know tha’ ye’d be tha one winnin’?” He asked, puffing back up. She just kept looking at him steadily and he deflated. “But this is nae ‘ow its s’pose tae work” he said under his breath.

“ An ‘ow is it s’pose tae work?” She asked, once again startling him.

“whhy ththe ggood always trriumphs o’er evil . . . ”

“An ye know I'm evil, how?”

“Yer a dragon!”

“Oh” she managed to put vast amounts of disapproval and lack of faith in his intelligence into that one syllable. He looked crushed. “Ye’ve nae been knighted long, ‘ave ye? An’ I'm probably tha’ first dragon ye’ve found, right?”

He nodded, his eyes wide, “‘Owed ye know tha’?”

“Because iffen there’d been others before me, ye’d ‘ad already been dead, an’ only knights fresh out of training still believe anythin’ those fools in tha castle told them.” The man looked like he’d just been poleaxed. She moved away, seeking another place to nap. She walked through the woods relaxing in the cool shade of the trees. She whirled around at a twig snapping behind her. There was the knight, sword drawn, he swallowed convulsively.

“Stand an’ fight, loathsome Hellspawn!” He yelled, but there was a quaver in his voice to match the trembling in his hands. The man looked like he was about to wet himself. She sighed.

“So then we are goin’ tae continue this pointless battle? What a waste.” Her tail lashed out striking the sword from his hands, and she grabbed him, shaking him to remove the other weapons. Then she popped him into her mouth. It wasn’t any better the second time. Swallowing convulsively she moved off to finish her nap. Her expression clearly showing her distaste for what had just transpired, either that or indigestion, probably both. She wasn’t inclined towards violence, but one had to live; still, she hadn’t wanted to do that. She flopped down on the ground in the new clearing and closed her eyes. Ignoring the muffled exclamation from within her. She didn’t like this at all. One simply does not eat thinking beings. It isn’t civilized or right. One simply does not extinguish a life-spark in that manner. Simply feeling him move within her, feeling his life pulse, was making her sick. There was another disturbing thing,. where before the slayer ad cursed at her, now he was weeping. It was breaking her heart, which was none too hard in the first place. she thought about the problem, her eyes open, unable to sleep any more. She couldn’t let him live, he’d just keep trying to kill her, or he’d kill another dragon. But she didn't think he deserved death. especially not this way she touched his mind, softly, with hers, like a feather on a baby’s skin, then strengthened the touch when she met no opposition. No she wouldn’t let this one die, his, it was already acid-burned and badly, she could heal that..but the scars would be crippling..she would let his body die. She held his mind and life-spark within hers, much like the way a child holds a butterfly cupped in its hands. she allowed him access to her senses, but wouldn't allow him to influence her body, or see her mind. It was nessicary. But the pain filled mind-cry as he felt his body die was almost more than she could bare.

I will give you a new life, a new body, she whispered silently to him, and knew that at this moment it was no comfort, that right now he felt she had commented the greater of the two evils in keeping his mind alive. she closed her eyes again and ignored the weeping coming from the isolated corner of her mind. At least I wont have to hunt for a while. She though absently. Slayers might not taste good but apparently they’d do for a meal. her mind colored with guilt over that thought.

I was named Christopher, He wept. I was one of the youngest of my group to be knighted. I was going to make my father proud of me...

I am this place an time..Loneliness. behind that name he sensed many others. a few clearly . Toy, FemmeDraco, SongBird, Wren, and another that he couldn't quiet grasp, that was behind them all.

None of this mattered to the one who had been watching. he had known the knight would fail. it was the dragon that he’d been interested in. he was trying to determine if she was good or evil. and now he thought he new the answer. she had killed the man. with apparently no guilt. eaten a thinking being and then gone back to her nap as if this was ordinary for her. clearly an evil being. because he knew that she had know that the knight hadn’t stood a chance against her. as a known man-killer. he could justify killing her. an he knew how. soon the mage-teachers pet would be dead and he could take the head of the class. where he was meant to be, before she came.

Loneliness was unaware of the observation of her class mate and was peacefully sleeping now. the problem was solved. she would give this man a new body. tomorrow, she couldn’t change forms while digesting something so large.....and so she slept.

 She awoke the next morning to birdsong, in the early morning light. She stretches, cat-like feeling rested and content. Then she remembered why. she delicately probed the his name is christopher. Christopher’s mind. he’d gone to “sleep” which was a mercy..she stretched again working out all the kinks. then she modestly hid in the trees and dug a large hole, and did her business and covered the hole...the her form burred and changed. she became elven. with cat-slit blue eyes. that definitely startled christopher out of his nap

yer..nae a dragon? his thoughts were very confused

my grandfather was. on a world far from this one. I am a changeling behind that thought was the memory of her grandfather being a slayer..infront of the three year old girl that was her.then she started hiking back to the mage-school, cursing at the brambles that get in her way. quietly of course. or at least as quietly as a person who is up in the pre-dawn light stumbling through brambles can be.she neared the wall surrounding the school and, scaled it, carefully , and VERY quietly. its against school rules to be out all night..she jumps down on the other side making a soft “thud” ans she landed on the loamy ground inside the compound. winces at that slight noise.she seeked over to the girls dormitory and carefulyl eased the window up and started to slip inside. and there was the head mage. looking like the gods own vengence.

“heh.. ‘ello..”

“ an what exactly do ye think yer doing? an’ where ‘ave ye been?”his foot was tapping. tap.tap.tap.


“ye’ve got kitchen duty fer a week. yer luckey yer getting off so well. if I didnae know that yer as close to a vowed celebate as one can get with out taking the actual vows it’d be worse.” and her turned and took himself out of the rooms

great. kitchen duty.not that she would have to cook. she was going to have to wash the dishes for the entire school. and this wasnt a small school.. she collapsed onto her bed and pulled the overs up. classes wouldnt start for hours. mages are lazy.which is why head master Jorden was so mad at being up this early.she reluctantly concluded that this would be a perfect time to give Christopher his new body. Which meant she would have to get out of bed. She was just as lazy as the other mages. how ever she had promised...shegot back up and crept out of her room. wincing at every squeeky floorboard. she eased the door of the library open and went In lighting the candles with an absent thought. that was something these mages couldn’t do. she probed gently at christopher’s mind. Are ye awake? she got a drowsy affirmative. I am fulfilling mipromise tae ye. tell me christopher, whats yer favorite animal. a sleepy image drifted into her mind. a falcon. and a slightly perplexed query.

why do ye ask?

ye will see

She sat cross-legged on the floor, and closed her eyes. to normal sight, there was only a faint glow, almost lost in the candle light. but to Other sight, she was incandescent with drawn power. a shape began to take form in from of her. Any adept could create a body. its the soul that cant be create. and although in this school she was a novice, in many others, on other worlds, she had acheived at least master rank and in a few cases adept. the vague shape became more defined, and she put her own mark into its making, a white bird withthe shape of a falcon and the inate ability to change forms. to the man christopher had been, though it retain the rapter’s eyes, and always be oddly falcon-like nomatter the form. it was not yet alive. she reached out on hand and gave it christopher’s life-spark to start its heart, and it took its first breath. her glow died as she released the power she held, and she slumped a little obviously tired, for although she didnt use her own energy for this, it did take a lot of her personal energy to control that much power. the falcon examined itsself fastidiously. then it looked at her and made a noise that was clearly an inquiry, how christopher managed that with only the voice of the bird to work with she had no idea. ::her mind touched his and she explained silently how to Change using only images.and she sensed slow comprehension from him. not only of how to Change forms. but of what she had done. he could never go back to being what he was. she had marked him, as something touched by a being so alien that few would ever understand her. the touch of the fae. the fair folk. the faerie. and should his formor “brothers” see him they would hunt him. as he had hunted Lonliness. there was a brief flare of anger and hatered, quickly spent, and replaced by resignation. after all. Lonliness had a right to live. and while he had remained a slayer, she wouldn’t have been able to. when she finally sensed the change in him, she allowed herself the rest she needed so badly. the falcon watched her collapse and curl up into a tight ball on the floor, and haltingly it became a man.. he picked up the clothes she had , thoughtfully brought for him, a little tight across the shouldes and loose on the chest and hips but they fit, the were probibly some of her own. then he picked her up and carried her back, using the slightly fuzzy, sleepy memory of coming to the library to guide him. and then he sat gard right nside her door. he owed her his life. by all rights she should have killed him. and this was as good a purpose as any. he couldnt go back. so he would stay. and protect this girl-woman. for that brief time in her mind had shown him a few things about her that no one else would ever geuss.

. . .

His name was Teron Alilis, he knew that the one he had watched so carefully yesterday had returned. Why did she ‘ave ta pick such an unholy hour tae come back? he thought as he, wincing at the cold floor, crept out of his bed. he made his way to the headmaster’s room, and was almost knocked over halfway there by a surge of Power, the likes of which he had never heard of. he stumbled, then broke into a run, panicked by it, for he knew Loneliness had something to do with it.

. . .

“ ye’re sure, Teron?”

“ I saw it with mi own eyes, headmaster, she Changed into a dragon, an’ she devoured a man whole.” they were going to Loneliness’s room. the head master knocked on the door, there was an odd noise as christopher, startled resumed that body’s original form and flew to perk on the window sill. they let themselves in when she didn’t answer.Teron swaggered over to her bed and slapped her face smartly to awaken her with a little smirk on his face.her eyes blinked open blurrily.


“yer charged with murder an’ canabalism” he sneered at her.

her eyes widened as his thoughs and emotions became apparent to her. “there is no blood on mihands. i’ve killed no one.”

“its yer word against his, Loneliness. and there is no way tae prove yer innocence.” her eyes blazed and teron took a step back involentarily.

“ oh is there not?””she looked at the falcon on the window sill”ye are ver’ much alive, are ye not, Christoper?::the falcon blurred becoming the young knight.

he said softly “oh, aye milady, by yer grace” teron’s mouth dropped open.

“bbut yyer dead” he sputtered.christopher gave him an ironic smile

` “I certainly donnae feel dead”he looked around to wren “ did someone kill me an’ ferget tae tell me about it?

“yer a dragon” teron said to wren accusingly

she nodded her head once in acknowledgement once “ i’m nae human. but i’m nae a monster. she looked the headmaster directly in the eyes and he watched her pupils change, they became cat-slitted.he blinked. she had changed all over, the only obvious changed though were her eyes..and that her eartips were now pointed. it looked almost as if she had been refined.

“ ye are an elf” he breathed

“an elven changeling” she corrected him , nodding. teron was trying to sneak out the door. everyone knew how long elves held grudges. she glanced at him and he froze in hs tracks, unable to move, then she looked at the head master and opened teron’s mind to him. the head master stared at teron in horror, as he learned how many of the accedents, mostly fatal and at least incapasitating, that had plauged so many promissing students had been teron’s doing. teron would never be more than a journiman class mage, but he couldnt accept the fact that he woud never make master.

“ may I give him justice, headmaster? sence I was his intended victum this time. Jorden nodded. she got out of bed and streched. then walked outside, teron following woodenly. trapped by her will. the other two followed curiously.when she got outside she took a moment to enjoy the morning and stretched, and kept stretching blurring and growing becoming a blue dragon. who gave jorden and christopher anamiable wink then turned her attention on teron. “ye ment to kill me” she told him.but ye will nae die horribly fer it. then she whispered under her breath. “ true sight be taken fromthyr eyes, yer senses they will tell thee lies. truth will be denied to thee, thy senses now belong to me.” she cast a faerie illusion on him, a glamourae. he just stood there with this goofy smile on his face.

“what did ye do to him?” jorden whispered

“ I made his fondest dream a reality fer him” she looked speculatively at teron. she needed to eat. it had taken most of her energy in that one spell this morning then these two small spell had finished draining her. “ if ye two would kindly turn around?” they looked at each other and obliged her. she picked teron up and muttered. “ well he can’t taste worse than a dragon slayer” christopher didnt know whether to be relieved or insulted about that. “ ye can turn back around. they did. there was no sign of teron and if christopher wasnt mistaken she looked a little fatter than before.

“ he wont be in any pain?” christopher said hesitantly. she shook her head.

“ he will only drift to sleep. an ne’er awaken. she looked at jorden “ I trust ye will ferget about this?” he nodded dumbly.. then waked back inside with a dazed look. she laid down on the ground and closed her eyes, trusting christpher to gaurd her sleep. he was amazed at the depth of her trust. he sat dow leaning against her side and tried to take a light nap..but her innards were making all kinds of distracting noises as they digested..her latest meal. he tried very hard not to think about what that meal was. he owed her his life, by all rights he should be dead.. like Teron. he didnt know what to think anymore, he’d always been taught that dragons were evil, and that they were beasts. no one ever told him they were intellegent, that they could think and reason. and now here was this dragon, who wasn.t a dragon, and yet was... and he had seen her kill a man, and do it with out regret, the way one would kill particularly nasty vermin.