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.

Spectacular Indifference

Sometimes Colleen wanted more than her quiet life, tucked away on the edge of reality. The music she loved, songs she sang led her to believe the world was full of love. Her experience of it had been ages ago.

Men looked through her, chasing more exotic women. Men consulted Colleen for advice but seldom noticed her. Deep need never disappeared, but she was not in the proper place or time.

Once or twice, a man engaged her in conversation; most never caught her availability because she failed to flaunt it. Other women beguiled those who missed seeing her vibrance.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I meant it to be a Drabble; it did not quite work out. I have stories that refuse to conform to one hundred words.

I wrote this in my journal. It shifted a bit, as most things transposed do. I suppose I should chase the story, maybe one day.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Haphazard Creative. The follow button is available, or you might come back when you have time. I hope the holiday season is bringing you cheer. After 2020 I think all of us need some sparkle and love.

Trying The Drabble

Time is fundamental. It may be said, “Time governs the world, and especially the fortunes of humankind.”

However, time is a radical thing, capricious and mutable. It might propose futures bright and pleasurable but may deliver obstacles multifariously.

When Allen sat down on the floor of the house he had lived in for three years, he tried to sort out the confusion that plagued him. The moments sped as tears fell. The future, always held within his command, now came undone and became unknown. Depression took a shot at his psyche. Time, he knew, could be made, melded, or overcome.


A drabble is a story of 100 words. The above text is my first try. Generally, my stories are more verbose. Probably, I should take this further, but maybe or not. I have been reading short stories to acquaint myself with the form better.

As a prompt, write a drabble. If you like, toss me a link, and I will check it out.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative, there is a follow button, or I hope you will come read in the future. Comments are always welcome, and participation is a boon.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

Chance

She held out her hand, and he clasped it in the largeness of his own. His grip was tender but enveloping, and she clung to him with the strength of a rising raptor.

“I never thought to see you here,” she whispered.

As he let go of her hand, which he had gingerly shaken, he said, “Neither did I anticipate your presence.”

“We must be lucky,” she said, a smile lifting her lips and lightening her eyes.

He stepped backward, “I would not say it that way. It is another life for us both these days.”

Shadows seemed to gather grayly, blackly, round her, some clouding her previously radiant face. Her voice quivered, choked, “Ah, then, I will be getting on my way. Fare thee well, and never you stop to worry yourself over the one who dearly loved you on that long misbegotten yesterday. It is now over; as have you, so have I forgotten that love we partook.”

The crimson skirt and ebon cape swirled, like ripples in a pond, around her as she turned and stalked away. His dark eyes followed her until the fog swallowed her form. Then he wondered, was she a specter imagined, or the reality that haunted every passing dream.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan