Wendig’s at it again, and so am I. Here’s the Challenge. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/04/03/flash-fiction-challenge-share-an-image-write-a-story/ The image I chose to write to is of some Standing Stones in Wales. Jana Denardo supplied the image here: http://smg.photobucket.com/user/DocDana/media/100_1362.jpg.html The name of my story is ‘Y Ddraig Goch’ (The Welsh Dragon). Enjoy.
“Can they see us, brother?” said Llew.
“They cannot. And they will not,” Myrrdin replied. “The Red Dragon will see them off, and he will see us home.”
In ‘The Tales of our Fathers’ The Standing Stones were erected by the Druid, those men and women whose lives were devoted to the mystical, and to the protection of the Folk. On our side of them was etched ‘Cymru am byth’, Wales Forever, and we of Caerphilly stood resolutely behind them, ready once more to see the invaders gone, or to see them dead.
“None shall pass, little brother. Bendith am Cymru. The Blessing of Wales. Y ddraig goch bendith am Cymru. The Red Dragon is the Blessing of Wales.”
It was an arcane chant, now taken up by the twenty warriors who had pledged their lives to preserve and protect Cymru, the home of the Folk, the Teg.
The sacred mist began rising and swirling from Myrrdin’s shoulders, and he dropped his breastplate and shield. His eyes darkened, transforming into deep red orbs like the glowing embers in the coal pits of Senghenydd. He grew, and his shoulders reshaped as his wings emerged. There in the sacred mist, Myrrdin Y Ddraig Goch came once more to the call of the Folk.
His footsteps trembled the ground as he walked resolutely through the Stones. The invaders recoiled in horror as the Red Dragon appeared, as if from nowhere, for the Stones were unseen by those who were not of the Folk. Deep rumbling breaths, as if from a massive bellows, thundered in the chest of the Dragon. He stood his ground, growling deeply, and looking slowly, menacingly, from left to right, surveying the two hundred and twenty invaders.
“We do not want war!” his voice boomed, echoing back from the hills on the other side of the lake, “But if you bring it you shall go home on your shields or be buried beneath them!” Small licks of fire leapt from his mouth as he spoke, and his talons tightened on his swords. A lone invader, quivering with shock and wide-eyed with terror, feebly threw his spear, his mind unaware of his action. It landed not far beyond his kinsmen.
The Dragon roared, the flames incinerating all but a few of his enemies, and then there was silence. “You have but twenty left,” he rumbled. “Carry home what remains of your dead, or join them in Eternity.” Shakily, and with eyes ever on the Dragon, they collected the charred corpses and mounded ashes of the dead and they made for the path around the lake, back onto their own soil.
“Never … come … back!” he bellowed at them, and those nearest him fell with the earth trembling under them. Thus was the legend of the Red Dragon reborn, and his name was Merlin.
I was born in Wales. These Stones and the historical legends are the stuff of my people. As history has shown, our home was invaded and now it’s occupied. We’ve seen it before. The Romans came with the same intention and we saw them off as friends. One day, we’ll see the English off in the same spirit. Sometimes, to understand the true value of freedom you have to lose it for a while.
Y Ddraig Goch Ddyry Cychwyn! The Red Dragon Will Rise Again!
Cymru am byth!
Note: Of course, this story isn’t part of Welsh mythology; I made it up for a Chuck Wendig Challenge. ‘The Tales of Our Fathers’ is only real in that I made that up for a novel I wrote a few years ago.