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Return of Welbeth Pike   Leave a comment

Welbeth pushed the bicycle up the rocky mountain path. She had always known that mountains were tall, but did they have to be this tall? Her feet ached in her shoes. They felt broken and rubbed against her socks. Her bloomers and shirt clung to her wet skin. Her mouth and throat ached for water. The sky was blue above her, an achey, empty blue.

What a stupid story, she thought.

She heard the scraping and the rumbling; it came from far off, farther than from her fashionable rubber tires rubbing against the rocks.

It raised its head, triangular and orange against the shimmering blue sky. Its eyes stuck out on the side of its head. Only one could face Welbeth at a time, and only one faced Welbeth now. It narrowed that eye, and narrowed its pupil. Welbeth froze in its gaze.

Her eyes followed down the dragon’s neck. Down. Down. Down. Down. Its body was wrapped up in its wings. Two oddly human-like hands were folded in front of a rather flat chest. A long tail wrapped around its body. It looked rather comfy like that, actually. Long tail and folded hands. The dragon regarded her lazily.

Someone ought to say something. So finally Welbeth did. “You wouldn’t happen to know where the Crown of the God of War is, would you?”

“N O,” rumbled the dragon.

“Oh,” said Welbeth. “I was hoping you might. I thought that it might be in the mountains, since lots of mining happens here.”

“N O T A S M U C H A S B E F O R E,” the dragon said. Welbeth could have sworn it was smiling.

“I need it so I can raise the new Dawn King,” said Welbeth. “It’s important.”

“I S E E,” said the dragon.

“I’m Welbeth,” said Welbeth.

“I A M C A L L E D S C A L Y B Y S O M E,” said the dragon.

“But not all?” asked Welbeth.

“C L E A R L Y,” said the dragon.

“What’s the other name then?”

“Y O U C A N N O T C O M P R E H E N D T H E V A S T N E S S O F T H E D R A G O N T O N G U E,” said the dragon.

“I bet your tongue is pretty big,” said Welbeth. “I bet it’s like a mile long altogether. I heard tongues go all the way down into the stomach.”

“I D O U B T I T D U E T O S T O M A C H A C I D,” said the dragon

“It’s still really long,” said Welbeth. “Maybe it’s part of your esophagus!”

“I S H A L L A S K M Y N E X T M E A L,” said the dragon. “T H E Y W I L L S C R E A M E V E R Y T H I R T Y S E C O N D S U N T I L T H E Y R E A C H T H E E N D O F M Y T O N G U E. T H E N I S H A L L K N O W.”

“Are your meals that intelligent though?” asked Welbeth.

“N O,” said the dragon. “M Y L A S T M E A L W A S A S E T O F M I N E R S.”

“Miners?” asked Welbeth. “Human miners?”

“A R E T H E R E O T H E R C R E A T U R E S W H O D I G I N T O T H E G R O U N D F O R N O G O O D R E A S O N?”

“No, but they were human!”

“W H A T I S Y O U R P O I N T?”

“They were human beings. They had hopes and dreams and now they’re gone!”

“A N D N O W I A M F E D.”

“But…they were alive! You don’t care? You don’t care that your food had hopes and dreams and wanted things too?”

“T H E Y W E R E S M A L L S O T H E Y C O U L D N O T H A V E H A D B I G D R E A M S.”

“And I’m even smaller! Are you going to eat me?”

“I A M D I G E S T I N G.”

That didn’t make Welbeth feel any better. She started pushing her bike along again. She had a lot of thinking to do.

Posted August 17, 2015 by agentksilver in writing

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