Last minute idea for the Cramp!
|Strangely, the bells were silent that morning. Morak's war band muttered at the lack of greeting as they entered the small town. Their arrival had always brought terror and screaming. And bells.
"Where is everyone?" Tern asked. Morak glared into his second in command's woaded face. Ignoring the uneasy feeling in his belly, he laughed and yanked his sword from the scabbard on his back.
"Looks like the village has made itself easy picking for us, lads!" Raising his sword to the sky, he kicked his heels into his horse and led the charge into the town square.
A boy stepped out from behind an apple cart and Morak's horse skid to a stop. The thundering hooves of the war band also halted. With a whinny, Morak's steed reared and side stepped. The war leader's eyes narrowed at the child.
"Where's your kinsfolk, lad?" he sneered, "Or have they sent ya out alone to face the Mighty Morak?" he booming laugh died as the boy stepped forward. His wild red hair stood on end as he grinned.
Morak found the site disturbing. Nobody challenged him! Sliding off his horse, he pointed the tip of his sword at the boy's face. He managed one step forward before gasping. The boy was changing. His arms and legs grew long and scaly, his neck stretched, and his face elongated. His blue eyes transformed into dark pools and his mouth opened to reveal a set of sharp teeth.
Morak's face grew white and he stumbled back in fear, "You're a...a..."
"Dragon!" Tern screamed as a whoosh of fire exploded from the creature's mouth. The war band scattered as their leader disintegrated, his sword clattering to the ground next to his ashes.
"That didn't take long, my boy," a red-cheeked woman slipped out of a cottage and patted the dragon on his sharp claw. The dragon slowly shrank in size and changed back into his original form.
"Thanks, ma," dragon-boy grinned.
From then on, each generation chose a boy to be guardian of their village. There was no to ring the emergency bells with a dragon on duty!