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
“ 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,
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
body..ye, 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
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 called....in 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 slayers..no 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
that thought was the memory of her grandfather being murdered..by 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.
“ 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?
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
he said softly “oh, aye milady, by yer grace” teron’s mouth dropped
“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
“ 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.