Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Hidden Path - 4 - The Dragon

Henry was on his knees again, seconds after a fireball nearly cooked him. He peered into the darkness at the back of the cave. He didn’t know what to do.

After a few thunderous footsteps, the outline of something huge started to take shape. A deep voice roared, “MY GOLD! WHERE IS MY GOLD?”

Another fireball flew above Henry. The voice continued, “HOW DARE YOU STEAL MY HOARD!” 

Henry clenched his fists, tightening his grip on the Gold nuggets. It’s only five nuggets, Henry thought. Surely a dragon’s hoard would be much bigger.

The ground-shaking footsteps increased in speed. The dragon—if it was a dragon—was getting closer.

Henry realised he was still sitting. He should be running! He jumped to his feet and ran toward the cave entrance.

“OH NO YOU DON’T!” the voice erupted behind him. Another fireball rolled along the ceiling of the cave not far above Henry’s head and disappeared into the sunlight. 

The fireball had barely missed him. The cave ceiling was lower near the entrance. 

Running now, Henry’s feet picked up speed as he emerged from the cave. He spun around a rock outcrop at the cave entrance and slammed himself against the rough wall outside. Another fireball shot past and disappeared into a puff of smoke in the distance. 

“COME BACK, THIEF!” roared the voice from inside the cave.

Henry turned toward the path he had walked up so slowly just a few minutes ago and ran faster than he had ever run in his life — along the wide rocky path, into the trees, down the narrow path through the forest, through the vines and across the bridge. 
The Hidden Path
a fairytale by David Edgren

Only when he reached the waterwheel did Henry stop to look back. There was nothing to see. No dragon. No fireball. He was safe!

Slowly Henry opened his clenched fists. There, to his relief, were all five gold nuggets! He hadn’t dropped any of them in the mad dash down the mountain.

He piled the nuggets into one hand and pulled his little leather pouch out of his shirt with the other. Opening his pouch, he dropped the nuggets inside. Then he went home to tell his story.

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