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Curse of the Dragons

The Dragon Chronicles

By Fiona HowellPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Curse of the Dragons
Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

Curse of the Dragons

Fiona Howell

Chapter One

There weren’t always dragons in the valley. The valley used to be a quiet and peaceful place, a place that was perfectly safe. A place where anyone would want to raise their children. The dragons came when the witch died.

The valley didn’t like the witch and wanted her gone, so they put her to the stake. She cursed us as she burned. The dragons came before the ashes from the fire cooled. They ate everything, from the livestock to the children of the valley. Everyone has lost something to the dragons.

The town of Eshena was a small one, with only three hundred people. We had the Wise Ones to govern us when necessary. They didn’t have to intervene very often, however. The people of Eshena liked to keep the peace and help each other instead of arguing.

The valley was beautiful with its mountains, hills, and glittering streams. The forest was where I spent most of my time. I learned to hunt for us. Sometimes, I wished for a sibling for company, but I found comfort in the woods and with the animals instead.

I was determined to break the curse and get rid of the dragons. No one knows how to break the curse. I wanted to find another witch to discover how. All I knew was that another witch was rumored to be very far away. All the way in Astor. Astor was across the entire continent of Estaria. I had never been away from home before. I didn’t know where anything was or how to get there, except to take the main road.

“You can’t go by yourself, Eamon,” my mother told me. I rolled my eyes.

“Yes, I can,” I sounded more confident than I felt. She tutted at me as I packed for my long journey. The dragons might eat me along the way, but I could hide in the forest when I had to. The forest would protect me.

“The Wise Ones will do this job,” she went on.

“The Wise Ones don’t know what to do,” I countered as I put apples into my bag.

“They will send other men! Actual men, who are older and stronger than you!” She huffed as she pounded the bread she was making. I knew she just wanted to protect me and keep me safe at home. I knew she was angry that I wasn’t allowing her to do her own job as a mother. I wanted to keep the whole valley safe. I wanted peace in the valley again and no more loss.

Loss was eating the people away and turning them into ghosts of their former selves. Anyone who lost a child to the dragons wasn’t the same afterwards. They retreated into themselves and stayed home. None of the parents with lost children participated in any town business anymore. They kept to themselves so no one would ask them how they were doing. They stopped living entirely.

I started packing some extra clothes as my mother kept scowling and arguing with me about going. I didn’t blame her for trying, but I just wanted to get on my way in peace. I grabbed my walking stick, the stick my father had made for himself. It was still a bit too tall for me.

I made a mental list of things I should bring with me and went through them quickly. I had enough food for a few days and some extra clothing.

We didn’t even know how many dragons we had because there was always a new one surrounding the valley and the town.

“Here,” my mother shoved a piece of paper at me. I took it and unfolded the paper. It was a map. It was a map that had Astor on the very edge. It seemed to be at the very edge of the world. I swallowed the lump in my throat down.

“Thank you,” I said quietly and gave her a sudden deep hug. She squeezed me tightly.

“You better come back,” she said into my hair. That made me smile into her shoulder.

“I will do my best,” I didn’t want to make a promise that I couldn’t even keep. I didn’t know what would happen to me out on the road to Astor. I just knew that I needed to do something to save my people from utter destruction.


About the Creator

Fiona Howell

I am Fiona Howell, an Irish musician and a writer hailing from New Hampshire, US. I have two books out on Amazon: The Locked Box and Blackwood. I have three poems published in anthologies by the Peterborough Poetry Project.

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