Dragon’s Ring — Snippet 01
DRAGON’S RING by Dave Freer
The dragon flew above the rage of the elements. Above the tumultuous maelstrom of ocean swirling into the void. Above the sheet lightnings and vortexes of dark energies released as the tower fell, with the vast granite masonry shattering into swirling dust.
A fierce delight filled his dragonish heart as he looked down on it.
The narrow — and, to Fionn’s strange vision — coruscating band of twisted and constrained elsewhere that was one of the seven anchors of the place of dragons, stretched. Torrents of energy, shimmering fountains of it, across all the spectra, crackled and shrieked away into parallel planes. Great gouts of paramatter appeared briefly to interact with here-matter, before reaching an implosive null-state, destroying more and more of the magical foundation of the guardian tower.
The tower fell at last, into the endless void . . . and the threads of constrained elsewhere parted.
The dragon, his work done, fled.
Even a dragon could be destroyed by that cataclysm he’d caused. Pieces of here and elsewhere roiled in the backlash wave, a tsunami of water and debris that bore all before it.
Nothing could live through that wave.
Except . . . something did.
Something small, soft and terribly fragile, which was torn from a desperate mother’s arms. A mother somewhere on the other side of elsewhere.
The dragon, winging his way south, was not aware of it, in all the chaos he had caused.
This was beyond the babe’s understanding too. She only knew that she was suddenly cold, wet and frightened. But the sea would not hold her, nor could the wild surge warm and caress her. She screamed, demanded that it be changed. She did not understand how or what was happening. But she wanted it to stop, NOW.
And it did. Her kind could not drown. The wave cast her up on the broken shell shingle. She wanted warmth, and she wanted a breast. For comfort, as much as anything. So she called for it.
“Leave it. It’s no mortal child, Hallgerd. Let the sea take it back to where it belongs.”
“It’s a baby, Wulfstan. I know a human baby when I see one,” said Hallgerd, picking up the girl-child up. It burrowed into her arms, nuzzling. She knew right then that she’d never give it up, no matter what the headman said. It filled the hole her own lost child left in her heart.
“It’s ill luck to cheat the sea of its meat,” he said, crossly.
“The sea spat it out,” said Hallgerd, unbuttoning her blouse.
Wulfstan spat too, onto the wet shingle. “Nothing good will come of it, mark my words.”