Why a Dragon Whispers (Free Short Story)

Below is a fantasy story of 383 words (typically a one to two minute read). If you’d like updates on new free short stories and other posts, please follow my blog (upper right corner of the page). You can also download my fantasy novel, A Wizard of Light, for free when you join my newsletter. Thanks!!

Why a Dragon Whispers

“What is love?” the dragon asks me as I stand in the entrance to his cave. Behind him rests the Golden Cup of Life. It is a yellowish goblet with a never-ending supply of medicinal liquid. One drink and my mother who suffers near death in her bed back at the castle will live.

Also behind the scaly beast stands a treasure trove of unimaginable wealth—sparkling rubies, diamonds, and coins. The dragon steals it from people, while he needs none of it, and servants like myself and my mother usually die when our requirement just lays there.

“It is sacrifice,” I say.

“No,” the dragon grumbles. “That is just using one word for another word. You have two more tries. If wrong, I will kill you.” Smoke floats from his nostrils.

“It is an emotional and mental bond between people,” I say.

“Ah, the definition. No.” The dragon lifts his head. Fire dances out of his mouth like orange snakes toward my face. “One last try.”

I rush. “It is a glistening teardrop on a red rose. It is the warmth of the morning sun on your arms. It is a mother’s kiss on a child’s forehead.”

“Ah, the metaphors,” the dragon laughs, showing its sharp teeth. “Yours are not even poetic. No. Your time to die now.”

He blasts a column of fire against my shield. As he breathes in for another attack, I roll to the side and unsheathe the sword I stole from my Master at Arms. More fire. I move in close, feeling the heat. Too close for him now. He rears up to slice me open with his claws. I pivot and land a one-in-a-million strike into his heart as the weight of his body pins me against the stone wall.

He slumps to the ground and I wiggle free. Trembling, I stumble to the treasure and grab my prize. On my way out, the dragon offers his last dying whispers, “Love is madness, you know—a power I don’t understand.”

Moving past the loveless creature and clutching only the Golden Cup of Life, it dawns on me. I say to him, “Love is the very reason for life. Without it for yourself and others, death is your companion.”

I exit the cave toward the castle.

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Photo Credit: SilviaP_Design from Pixabay.

Clovis Whitman

Clovis Whitman is an independent author of coming of age and new adult fiction, because he has always been fascinated by the simple yet complex question of “Who are you?”

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