Rathadorn’s Bane

It had come to this, finally, and the ending was near. Trenton, Samuel, and Zonal took significant damage and became disarmed. The paladin and cleric began to say prayers to their Maker. The fighter, thinking he lost enough blood, believed himself delusional.

He watched Ellen, the bard, closely. She set her harp and bow aside. Both were useless, nearly unrecognizable; the dragon’s talons had their way. Zonal could not believe or understand what he saw.

Ellen stood only yards from the cruel beast. She had a small black notebook in her left and what must be a ruby pen in her right hand. He could not imagine writing poetry or songs in this dread situation. He had marked the bard as a unique character, but she must recognize the danger to them all. What could she be thinking?

The gigantic dragon shifted its weight upon its priceless bed of treasure, which included golden coins that scattered and clinked. The dragon’s richly furnished hoard was collected over many lifetimes of humanity.

Ellen stood exposed, writing, glancing at the human-killer occasionally, probably checking that it remained relaxed. Zonal guessed she wrote more than one page. He was aware that a bard might be akin to a mage. There was no prior evidence of this in their adventuring.

As she wrote, the notebook covers began to give off an ebon glow, and the pages lit her face with a creamy shine. The dragon growled like nearby thunder and shifted its dinosaur-like head in the bard’s direction.

She made a few additional notations and put the ruby pen in a pocket. She straightened her robes and seemed to stand straighter. Her emerald eyes almost sparked as she entirely focused on the dragon, Raptadorn.

She began to speak in her clear melodious tones:

“I stand before you honored Raptadorn, a bard of lesser renown, Ellen Whitskiene. I have heard your exploits and famous legends of the many humans you have removed from living lands.

Now, if I may but bring your attention to the fact that you grow less ferocious and decline into age. It is not my place to force you, but I think you must agree; it is time you retired into a pleasant secluded place. There no one would disturb your restful peace.

My friends and I shall take command of your hoard of money and rare items, which you may sign over as our reward. We will then refrain from killing you. We will make sure all you leave we competently disburse, so you need to suffer no remorse or lingering regret.”

Zonal could not believe this wisp of a woman was a bard powerful enough to enchant the deadly dragon. He watched Rathadorn as Ellen spoke when he could draw his eyes from her. All during the speech, the beast grew smaller. The creature, reduced in size, had humanoid proportions. Her voice seemed a melody. Zonal could almost remember the tune, but it was the most beautiful ever. He decided incredible magic was in play but was it the book or the words she said?

Where did this notebook and ruby pen originate? He concluded Ellen was no rookie bard. How had she hidden herself and the truth away?

The dragon becomes an aged man with an ivory staff and walks confidently over to Ellen. She retrieved her pen, placed it in Rathadorn’s hand, and held the notebook for his signature. After the elegant script swirled onto the page, she looked into his golden eyes and said, “Go now in peace, Rathadorn, and trouble the world and humankind no more.”

Zonal, Samuel, and Trenton watched as what was once a fearsome and magnificent dragon turned into a pure gold mist then disappeared.

Ellen looked at her companions and said, “Well, we have to rid this place of all the signs of dragon lair and treasure hoard quickly. Our trucks stand by; we have maybe a half-hour before the androids discover what we have done.”

The three look at one another and, in unison, say, “What? What just happened?”

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Sunday

It was Sunday again. She knew not because she could follow days, but because after feeding the chickens, Auntie insisted she take a bath.

It was a new thing, bathing herself alone; she was only a small girl.

Life was different now. Her Mama had gone away to someplace far, called Florida. Daddy said she would never be back.

Auntie had come to live in the little house because she was a widow- woman, alone. Sometimes she seemed strange with her black clothes and strict rules. She knew things like no one else did. People sent for her when someone was sick, or babies came, or people left this living.

She was mean at times, telling the little girl, “If you don’t behave, your Mama woman will come and take you away from here, and you will see your Daddy no more.” Tears and sobs would torment Hope because she loved her Daddy and Bubba more than all the things, including her one baby doll. She had night terrors of being snatched by the bad woman and taken away.

After she bathed in the tub of cold well water, Auntie pushed her dress, underwear, and shoes into her arms. She was careful in putting them on just right because Auntie was handy with a switch.

Soon Daddy, dressed in black, except his white shirt and the gray tie he wore, said it was time to begin the long walk to the church. It was dry now, so the road threw up little spurts of red dust as they strode along.

When they reached the bridge over the creek, Hope cried and wrapped herself, best she could around her Daddy’s legs; he could keep her safe from the harm of falling or being taken away.

Daddy reached down and effortlessly took her in his arms. Since the child could walk, she had been terribly afraid of falling through the cracks in the bridge. Now it was compounded by nightmares and his sister’s stories her mother might step out of the woods and steal her.

Auntie screeched, “You should put that child down and make her walk. You are spoiling her. She will turn out to be no good at all.”

Daddy looked at her, saying, “But she is only three, and she needs to learn love is a safe place, a safe person, she can trust when she is frightened. Hush up now; you are not the one supporting her weight. She is my precious Hope; she has lost a lot, it is okay that I carry her. Mind yourself, don’t be so cold-hearted.”

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I rarely tell stories, this one is based on reality. The little girl is my Mom.

Make It Yours

Whatever is stopping you
Remember days slip by
Like a doubtful sunrise
Glimpsed through curtains
Of cold cheerless rain.
Nothing waits forever,
If you have fantastic dreams
Do not let them fade away,
Build your chateau, sing your
Melodies, forgive the sorrows.
Say, “I LOVE YOU,” each chance
You may because hearts are fragile;
Time wings away like an eagle,
There is no turning clocks back
To bring moments past, alive.
Everyone is mortal, no getting
To life’s end, continuing to survive,
So, celebrate all the notable dates
Drink your refreshing libations,
Indulge in beautiful cake, ice cream.
If you can assist another –
Do it while you are able –
Aware time whimsically turns tables,
Generosity, kind words are actively
Loving the world God gave you.
Do not lose the blessings
Of fulfilling your purpose, reason,
Through perfectionism, procrastination,
Failures, mistakes are invaluable teachers
Improving facets, strengths of yours.
Seconds only come to you once
Do what you can when time is meet
It is no good leaving needful things
Until the arrival of tomorrow;
Nothing happens within the grave.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I only had a version of the final line to begin and wanted to build around the idea of how precious a lifetime is. We have one shot. Not knowing when the fuel will run out, we must accomplish all there is for us while there is energy.

Prompt: Take a truthful line, but perhaps uncouth, create something around it that is, if not beautiful, at least good.

Gratitude:
The weather has been warmer.
I have great books to entertain me.
Creative ideas are flowing.
My journal.
My dogs.

All of the work on Chronicles and Haphazard Creative is © Jo Ann J. A. Jordan. If you wish to follow, three opportunities are in the sidebar. Coming back is also an option. Your input in the form of likes, comments, shares, suggestions is welcome.

God be with you

Creative Offer

Broken,
A meager crust
Of bread on a platter;
My offering is before
You, from my heart, given,
Hope attempting to inspire,
Make
You step out, away,
From what dampens your roar,
Introducing sparks of
Creativity –
Drawing you into dawning,
The being you could become.
Even
As you turn away
Suddenly unimpressed,
I search my agile brain
Believing
I can bring you something
More like your desire,
Perfection –
Which might convince you
To believe in yourself
Knowing you have everything
Needed
To go after all those treasured
Dreams you hide behind half-smiles,
The prizes which belong to you.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Belong

The magic, romance,
As the clothes fall to the floor
A flush quick-rising
Paints smooth cheeks, open desire,
Hearts twined speed in beat, aglow.

Hardly able here
Now to stand apart, longing,
For warm arms, embrace,
Fully evident, high hopes,
Are revealed, alive, and real.

The words, the music,
Stolen moments, shared pastimes,
Have framed the structure –
Sound, fit, full of love, alight
Passion fashioned for delight.

Freedom together
Bonding, each kiss, touch, whispered,
“I Love You,” into
Places only two can go;
Belonging like never known.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I made this poem of conjoined tanka. I enjoy working with counted syllables.

Prompt: Explore a scene with an eye to creation.

Gratitude:
Freshly washed clothes
Hope
Faith
Understanding
Comfort

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May worthy dreams come true for you.