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St. George, a man, myth and legend has an important role in history and an even greater allegorical fable. To round out our first week of Fantastic Fables, we have Aiden from Heather McCorkle’s THE SECRET OF SPRUCE KNOLL (available August 15th from Abbott Press) here to give us his take on the St. George and the Dragon fable. Thanks to Heather, one of you who comment on this post will win a copy of the book! See details below
Aiden And The Dragon
(St. George And The Dragon)
The acrid, parched air stung Aiden’s throat with each forced breath and dust puffed up as his booted heals met with the blackened earth. Silence tightened around him like a shroud. Shrunken and twisted trees arched overhead, blocking out what little sunlight managed to filter through the cloud-choked sky. A sword hung like a dead weight against his side, not heavy due to its sturdy make, but to its dark purpose.
Blood seeped into his mouth from his cracked lips and he spit to get rid of the coppery taste. The ache in his legs, combined with the thirst that set his chest on fire, made it feel as though he’d been walking for days. Maybe he had, he couldn’t remember. White gleamed in the black path ahead. At first he saw only one sport, but as he drew closer there were more, scattered across the landscape like paint flung from an artist’s brush. As he came upon the first spot a gasp tore from him and his hand went to the hilt of his sword. The vacant eyes of a human skull stared up at him. The spots of white were all skulls, more than he could count.
Steel rasped against leather as he drew his sword. Power built within his chest and he reveled in the feel of it, knowing it would help him defeat the monster. Light bounced off his blade as his hand shook. It wasn’t the ravaged countryside, or even the ghastly white bones that struck such fear into him, it was knowing what else this monster was capable of. A greenish-yellow glow spread out from his hands to his sword, infusing it with his power. A long breath eased from him. He had the power to do this, if only he could stay focused.
The faded light of the gloomy day abruptly disappeared, leaving him in complete blackness. Hand gripping the hilt of his sword so tight the leather wrapping dug divots into his flesh, he stumbled back. Just as swiftly as the light had disappeared, it returned, and the sight before him made him wish it hadn’t.
Towering over him was a gray dragon, folding its leathery wings against its sides. It settled onto its massive haunches and twisted its long neck around to fix him with a reptilian glare.
“You can’t defeat me, you’re pathetic,” it said with a lisp due to the forked tongue that darted out between words.
The power surrounding Aiden’s sword glowed brighter. “I can and I will.”
The dragon laughed, a sound that made Aiden’s power vibrate and want to shrink in on itself. He fought against the sensation, pushing his power out from his core, trying to strengthen it. But the glow around his sword faded, and slowly drew back from the suffocating press of the dragon’s power, retreating first to his fists, then back into his body entirely. His breathing turned ragged and he stumbled back a step, then another. The dragon followed, twisting and changing as it came. It shrank, but instead of diminishing its ominous aura, it increased it. Within a few steps the dragon became a man, this guise more horrible than the other, for it was a man Aiden new all too well; his adopted father.
Aiden’s vision blurred then went black. Something sucked him back into a long tunnel, dropping him with a thud. His wrists hurt. One hand jerked to a stop when he moved and the pain intensified so much he cried out. He opened his eyes and found himself back in his cellar, chains holding him to the concrete wall.
“It’s stupid to fight me boy, when will you learn that?” his adopted father shot over his shoulder as he climbed the stairs out of the cellar.
Only after he heard the door close behind him, and the bolt thrown, did Aiden answer.
“Never. Someday I’ll defeat you.”
Resting his head back against the concrete, he tried to will the dream to return. Reality was so much worse than his nightmares.
I am an author of young adult fantasy, in all it’s many sub-genres. Entertaining readers, helping other writers, and supporting fabulous debut authors is my passion. When I’m not writing or surfing my favorite social networking sites I can be found on the slopes, the hiking trails, or on horseback. As a native Oregonian, I enjoy the outdoors nearly as much as the worlds I create on the pages. No need to travel to the Great Northwest though, you can find me here on my personal blog four days a week where I share my author’s journey, or on my critique group’s blog, Critique Sisters Corner. You can also find me every Monday night at 6:00pm PT on the #WritersRoad chat on Twitter. My lovely friend Tee (TS Tate) and I are the co-creators and moderators of the chat.
My young adult urban fantasy, The Secret Of Spruce Knoll will be releasing this August! Look for a blog tour and huge celebration (with giveaways!) next month. Currently I’m working on editing the sequel.
Want to read more from Heather McCorkle?
This giveaway is provided by Heather McCorkle
One winner will receive a copy of The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle
Available on August 15, 2011 from Abbott Press
About the Book:
Following the tragic death of her parents, Eren Donovan moves to Spruce Knoll to live with her aunt. Little does Eren know the entire town of Spruce Knoll is filled with “channelers”—a magical group of people who immigrated to the small Colorado town when they were driven out of their own lands. Channelers are tied to the fate of the world. As the world slowly dies, so do they~and they alone have the power to stop the destruction of Earth. Now, Eren learns she not only lives among them, but she is one.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
1. Leave a comment for Heather, let us know what you think of this fable, book or series.
2. +1 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).
3. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada.
4. Please include your email address in your comment.
5. All Fantastic Fables winners will be announced on September 7th.
6. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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