|The Face of Death
Max felt his strength waning. He ran to get the spear, but the run was far from his normal speed. Between the bloody wound and the bruises on his body, he had to slow down on his way back to the dragon.
"Why didn't the dragon charge me?", he thought.
Nearly in range of the beast's breath of fire, Max feigned jumping forward in an attempt to draw the flames. Suddenly the giant head reared back and then shot toward Max snapping at him, but Max was just out of range. As soon as the giant head completed its forward movement and her jaw ended its loud closing clap, Modoc lifted her face and moved her head up for a new strike. This was what Max was waiting for! He raced forward just below her. Modoc struck with the speed of a viper, her head moving rapidly down, her huge mouth wide open! Now she had won!
Max knew this move. Quickly he fell to the cavern floor and lifted the spear point straight up, the butt planted to the floor. As her mouth neared the spear's tip, Max let go and rolled to the side.
The last thing that entered Modoc's mind was the spear's pointy head which entered there from the roof of her mouth. Her head fell to the floor just above Max's head, but her monstrous neck nearly crushed Max as it fell on him. Then Max felt no more.
"Max!" screamed Gwendolyn.
She ran to where the dragon's neck lay across him, and struggled to move the head over. Finally, she was able to move the beast's head so that its neck no longer was on top of Max. She went to Max and held his head in her hands. She then sat down and put his head in her lap.
She sobbed and rocked from side to side in her grief.
Then, she controlled herself. She put her ear to his mouth and thought she could feel a breath. She began to remove his chain mail and then his shirt. She wrapped the cloth over the bleeding claw tears in his arm and the slashes across his chest and side. She saw that, while the rips were deep in places, no bones appeared to be broken. She removed his trousers and checked for more cuts or breaks but found only yellowish bruises which she knew would darken to black and blue. His teeth were chattering. He was shivering with cold. She had to get him warm. She tried to drag him but was afraid that she would hurt him.
She ran back into the opening that led to the weapon's storage cavern and looked for anything she could use to help her move or comfort Max. Seeing her sacrificial dress, she stumbled on a plan.
She took the dress and went back to where Max lay unconscious. She laid the dress alongside Max and rolled him onto it. Then she took the sleeves and tied them around Max. She took whatever bits of clothes and cloth that she could find and cocooned Max in the dress. She then took the end of the dress under Max's head and pulled him forward. Then she stopped. She had to find a place to take him.
There. By that weird, large, and rounded orchid boulder was a place warmed by a small crater of bubbling lava, next to a small stream of water.
She pulled him a little and then rested a little. He was heavy but she was used to the hard work of a peasant. Before she pulled him next to the pale purplish boulder, she had made a soft, smooth spot out of the fine, sand like gravel next to it. After she placed Max on the softer area, she adjusted the dress and wound dressings. She couldn't find more cloth, so she tore one of the short sleeves off her tunic. She then went down to the stream and soaked the rag in the water. She took the dripping rag to Max and wiped his hot forehead and face with it. She found that when she brought it near his mouth that he would swallow, so she put it to his lips and squeezed water from it.
Unconscious, he would suck her wet fingers. She knew she had seen wine skins in the storage tunnel so she ran back and grabbed several, plus she took a cup and a shield. She placed the shield on rocks that she positioned over the end of the lava pit and used the metal shield as a skillet to heat stones. These she put around Max, ever carefully touching them against her own skin first to make sure they would not burn him. The wine skins contained wine still, so she used the wine to dress the wounds. She also put some on her fingers and let him suck them.
After she had done all she could do for Max, she went over to the stream of water and shed the tunic which covered her from her neck to just below her thighs. She sank down into the lava warmed water and bathed herself.
After winding down in the water, she came out and, not wanting to get her tunic wet, she went over to the lava pit next to Max and heated herself dry. Then she put the tunic on again.
Suddenly, she was very hungry. She hadn't eaten all day, in fact, she was to be a served meal instead of ever being served one again. She took Max's knife from its sheath and went over to the dragon. She cut herself a big chunk of dragon meat. It was easier to cut through the scales and hide when the dragon wasn't moving and she could take the time to pick through the scales and use Max's knife to saw through the skin. She placed the meat on the shield and smelled the savory meat roasting over the hot lava. She knew the sun had already set outside the cavern, but the lava pits throughout the huge room lit the room with a soft reddish glow.
Soon she had eaten and, her strength drained, she sat beside Max. Gwendolyn was exhausted, but she knew she must stay awake and care for Max. She felt the sorrow flooding through her very being. Faint with weariness, she felt the inviting warmth of the cave's sand, here heated by the lava pit. She shifted her body so she would not feel the snugness. The meal had filled her tummy enticing her to give her mind over to the peaceful land of sleep. Gwendolyn fought the urge to escape into the comforting blackness.
"Dragons, Britons, and the Saxon Invasion" 13+: Dragons did exist on the planet Earth around the days of the Roman colony of Briton.
"When All Is Lost" 13+: Chapter 1: The disillusionment begins.
"A Ray of Hope" 18+: Chapter 2: Leaving the past.
"The Maiden in the Enchanted Garden" 13+: Chapter 3: Meeting new people. One to fight;one to fight for.
"Prepare to Die" 18+: Chapter 4: Beware the black knight
"The Dragon's Meal" 13+: Chapter 5 What do you say when you are on the menu?
"Building a Strategy" 13+: Chapter 6: How do you fight a mind reading dragon?
"The Return of the Warrior" 13+: Chapter 7: "Where are you going, Sir Knight?" "To victory!", he roared.
"The Strategy of the Damsel Warrior" 13+: Chapter 8: My heart sings
"The Wrath of the Dragon" 13+: Chapter 9: I dodge your scorching fire belched for my funeral pyre.
"The Dragon's Might" 13+: Chapter 10: The edge where courage ends and sheer folly begins.
"The Flight of the Dragon" 13+: Chapter 11: I was looking for adventure, but found you!
"He's Alive" 13+: Chapter 12: "He's alive! He's alive!"
"The Die is Cast" 13+: Chapter 13: Arena, actors, and agendas meet on life's stage.
"The Battle in the Dragon's Lair" 13+: Chapter 14: "Now you are mine!" Rang the dragon's victory cry in his mind.
"The Face of Death" 18+: Chapter 15: The dragon's sharp teeth sped for his body. "Now I win!"
"The Battle Has Just Begun" 13+: Chapter 16: Life is rolling waves crashing on a shore; struggles rise and fall.
"The Dragon's Riddle" 13+: Chapter 17: "A boone for you; an answer to your problems"
"The Fight For Life" 13+: Chapter 18: Where does one go when their world is dying?
"A New Friend" 13+: Chapter 19: Reality and perception; see the both at once.
"The Road to Recovery" 13+: Chapter 20: The beast ripped the flesh with knife like teeth.
"Through a Dragon's Mind" 13+: Chapter 21: Slipping behind Max, she crushed the berries into his hair.
"Preparing For The Future" 13+: Chapter 22: "Humans cannot name a dragon. I am Davyn"
"Facing the Past" 13+: Chapter 23: The fear and joy of going home.
"Epilog" 13+: Epilog: This is just the beginning...