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There weren't always dragons in the Valley

By JaimiePublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Photo by KC Welch on Unsplash

There weren't always dragons in the Valley. There weren't always dragons. But there was always the Valley.

The Elders told tales of the old world beyond the buried cave at the base of the Valley. The old world where all of the creatures of this world first crawled through. From the pit of darkness that we scuttled and slid from on our battered hands and knees until we came to this world of our salvation.

The Valley was a sacred place. In truth, nothing more than a strip of sloping land, stretching between two towering mountain ranges made solely of hardened earth. A mirrored lake in the middle. Framed by trees. Shadowed by mountains.

Until the giant winged beasts touched down on the Valley ground. Since then, the Valley had bloomed with golden and copper flowers and plants, urged along by the beasts mystical fires. The Legends of the Elders say that the dragons flew in from the skies during a storm and had never left, that they had never spread far because the Valley was their home. They were from another world - a beautiful world.

The dragons were revered as gods.

Wheeling shadows landed across the nearby townships as the dragons soared through the purple hewn skies of the afternoon. Their playful shouts and chirping roars filled the air and the world around them paused to watch their happiness. It had become a routine in the afternoons. As mothers hung out their laundry, they would pause and watch the wild beasts. Children would pause in their games and stop to watch the creatures in awe as the sky lit up with puffs and sparks of fire. The men toiling soil laid their tools down to watch the beasts and prepared to finish for the day.

On this day, a hooded stranger joined them and sneered up at the magnificent beasts that were acting no differently from untrained pups.

That night was the last night that anyone saw or heard from the dragons.

That night, the stranger slipped into the Valley and as the last dragon - the smallest dragon - scuttled away from him, the reign of the dragons in the Valley fell and along with it went the future of our world.

The last dragon, shorter than the man and cowering in the corner, tucked in its wings and wrapping its tail around itself, shied away as the man approached. The man pulled the leather straps he had tied around his belt and held them in his hands as he approached.

The dragon snapped its jaws as if in warning. The stranger only smirked as he neared.

After a few days, the villagers in the town nearest the Valley, who were disturbed from their daily routines and concerned for the wellbeing of the creatures that they had come to adore, travelled into the mountains. They were expecting the dragons to become spooked and protect themselves. They were willing to die fiery deaths to know that the dragons were safe.

So up and up they travelled into the mountains, camping overnight in the woods. Each day that the dragons did not reappear in the skies, their trepidation grew.

But when they arrived in the Valley, the Valley was empty and the golden and copper flowers had crumpled and turned to ash. The mirrored lack had turned to black.

My grandmother was among the group that day. As a young, unmarried woman she had been allowed to come only because she had no business with the remaining members of her village. And as she tells the story, ash and flames filled her nose as she searched the Valley for any signs of the dragons. The villagers decided together that the dragons must have returned to the skies.

She didn't know until much later how wrong they were.

Young Adult

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Amateur writer

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