Alore drifted with elitist elegance, her long neck bowing in acknowledgment of the guests we passed at the Ball. Their gasps did not go unnoticed and she paused, waiting for me to draw closer before whispering, “Why are they staring so? Is it the amulet that draws their attention?”
I nodded, smiling at the awkward glances of the older guests who obviously knew my bloodline. Dre’gons descended from their fire breathing ancestors with a mixed history of bloodshed and hatred. My ancestors were known for their unflinching cruelty towards other realms and the amulet had been used to wipe out usurpers daring to contradict the Dre’gon rule. The less than amorous stares were from the families who had tasted our wrath and I watched their anger at my presence. Alore was too young to know the history and her devotion to me would be lost in an instance if she knew the power I held over the amulet. The sooner we returned it to the keeper of the realm, the better.
A curly haired man approached us and welcomed us to the ball. We followed him as he led us through various rooms, accessing worlds so wonderful and sometimes dangerous as we tried to find the hostess keeping all in order. He introduced himself as James, a close friend of the keeper’s, and since she was busy pulling threads of destiny and time together to contain the various visitors, she had asked him to play co-host. My attention was drawn to a stunning woman dressed in a devils’s outfit with fiery red hair. She ran past us dropping her red leather mask on the floor. A sturdy gentleman followed suit and picked the mask up, holding it with passion as he placed it over his own face.
Suddenly, a shadow in a green cloak flittered past, sending shivers down my spine. I recognised the spectre and knew trouble would be brewing soon. We had to find the keeper.
I watched as Dre’gon’s attention waned from the she-devil to the green spectre. The amulet felt hot against my skin and I clutched it tight, feeling the burning imprint of its scaly dragon shape into my palm. Not much time was left at the Ball and soon all the worlds would return to their orders, far away in different lands. I had to act now.
“James, does the keeper know that we have the amulet of destiny?” I asked. He nodded slightly, taken aback as I showed him what lay in my hand. The amulet glowed, heat emanating from its tiny gems scattered across its scaly surface. A pulse of energy scoured through my body, throwing me against Dre’gon’s solid chest. He caught me to him, steadying my thin frame as the amulet pulsed again.
“We must find the keeper of the realms now!” growled Dre’gon. His shocking blue eyes glittered and little green flecks filtered through, turning clear blue to an almost Aqua. The gems on the amulet lit up, matching his eyes and the dragon shaped bracelet lifted into the air, escaping my desperate clawing hands and cries. The creatures in masks around us stopped to watch as the threads above us suddenly became visible and the amulet drew them together. Guests screamed in alarm, fighting to escape the ornately decorated room. Flashes of reds, greens, blues burst and crackled above everyones’ heads and screams drowned out my voice.
Lifting my arms up slowly, I used the power of the souls I had harvested to tether the threads. Cracks appeared in the wooden carvings framing doorways and windows and the earth shook. Dre’gon seemed to grow as the amulet drew out more power from the threads, his red hair spiking up as his feet levitated. I screamed for him to help me but all was in vain. Somehow he was linked to this amulet. Of course! The dragon! Fire! Wrath! My mind cried out as the childhood stories of horror and desolation flashed through. Dre’gon belonged to the warlord family that had slayed millions in order to keep their rule. I choked down the tears as my powers stuttered. The flashes were spiralling above us and James had run away with the rest of the guests. Only Dre’gon and I remained in a once beautiful room as we fought for the powers of the amulet.
My focus had to remain on destroying the amulet. If Alore succeeded in stopping me then all would continue on forever. But how to tell her to cease this battle? How to let her know that only I could bring this all to an end and if she continued her attack, deaths would continue?
I felt her powers against me, but my soul was not as others. My soul was something she did not want to taste. I had to destroy the amulet and fight against her attack, both in order to save her.
“Lady Alore,” I heard James call out.
Her focus wavered. I put all my efforts into destruction. The final layer of metal melted away and the blood of ancestors flowed onto my skin. The explosion of light and wind was all engulfing.
Screams met my ears as I opened my eyes. The world was a different place. I no longer saw things in the hues as they were in reality. I looked down at the fear on their faces, the horror on that of Alore. The betrayal in her eyes.
“You beast!” She yelled at me. Her powers could not even touch my thickened hide.
All those that had returned with James turned at the sound of the woman’s voice.
“Keeper,” said James. “Lord Dre’gon has betrayed the Lady Alore and attacked us. And now he has turned into that!”
“No.” The keeper’s voice was calm and the room went quiet. She walked towards me. “I have waited a long time for one of you to come and take back what you left here. Take back the pains, the agonies, the tears.”
“What do you mean?” Alore asked.
The keeper looked from my now red scaly hide to the beautiful lady that had been my love. “Only one of the Dre’gons could bring peace to this place. No longer is there a need for protection. A Dre’gon of pure heart had to make the sacrifice and take back the blood left here by his ancestors when the deaths were caused, and with that sacrifice he also has taken on the suffering of those dying moments inside of him, and will holds these excruciating agonies until he dies.”
Alore looked at me and calmly walked up to my now enormous body. “You knew, when I asked you to come here, what you would do. You saw the amulet. You knew you would sacrifice, be this. And you still came.” I felt her loving touch more painfully than all her power combined.
I stepped back from her. No more of this. It was now time to leave. To go where my kind lived. The keeper knew. She nodded as a giant doorway opened before me and allowed me through.
With one last look back, I saw Alore being held by the keeper.
Not every story has a happy ending. She lives, that is enough for me.
A Halloween story by Ronovan and Eloise
In case you missed the first and second instalments, please click on the links below.
Picture from coolchaser.com