A dragon mother must make a dire decision to deliver her young-ling from danger.
Titus gazed at the red gem in her forehead. “Mother, why does everybody have glowing things in their heads?”
Therna laughed. “They are called Dragon Stones. It is what makes us live forever and gives us our enchanted essence.”
“What would happen if it came off?”
Therna took a deep breath. “We would die without them. That is why we stay away from humans. They want our Dragon Stones and they would kill us and steal them.”
“Where do humans live?” asked Titus.
“They live beyond the Mystic Mountains.” Therna stood and stretched her wings. “It’s time to hunt.”
The two darted into the air with a loud swoosh. Soon they left the misty plains and flew over a thick forest. At last they set down at the hedge of an open lake. They stepped off the shore into the water. It was cool and Titus sighed.
“Remember to be patient. Wait until the animals are close enough for us to pounce on them from out of the water, “said Therna.
Mother and son took a big breath as their chests expanded then they submerged themselves into the lake. They held their breath until two large elk came to drink from the water’s edge. Moments later Therna burst from the surface and snagged both of them with her scythe-like claws. The elk struggled a bit. Then a few minutes later, they were still.
Therna let Titus carry one of the elk back to the camp. As they flew, Therna made out dotted flickering lights at the dragon camp. She gasped in horror and a knot of tension weld up inside her. Humans! Attacking the camp! She looked down and saw a burning boulder in a pulley of some kind. Suddenly, the fiery boulder went hurling at her. Therna dove under it just in time.
She landed on the ground and a legion of human warriors charge at her and Titus. They had flaming rods and they cast them at Therna. She deflected them with her wing and gave a vibrating roar. She spewed a stream of fire at the men but they hid behind flat metal objects like giant scales.
Then she turned around her. She and Titus were being surrounded. As they were being closed in, a human warrior out of her line of sight threw a burning rod at Titus. It penetrated his chest and he fell over shrieking.
“No!” Therna cried. Then she became full of wrath, such as she had never had before. Therna breathed a great bellowing cloud of fire that devoured her enemies roundabout. A drove of humans rushed at her. They were caught off guard and her cedar-like tail struck them all down in one fell motion.
Therna looked for Titus. Then horror overcame her as she saw her son writhing in pain with the sharp rod in his chest. Something else alarmed her even more; his Dragon Stone was gone!
The battle waged on for several more minutes until the side of victory swayed to the dragon’s side when dragons from the Westlands came to help. With the combined forces, the humans began to flee. The fighting raged on with both sides suffering hefty fatalities.
All the while, Therna wept over her son. Without a Dragon Stone he would die in minutes. Another Dragon came to her side. “Therna, I’m sorry. I wish there is something we could do.”
Therna gazed down at the twitching youngling. She bowed her head. Then she took a clawed finger and was about to pluck out her Stone. “Don’t try and stop me Nimbus.”
“It’s your life and your child. I will not do any such thing,” said the other dragon.
With that, Therna pried out her own stone and placed it in Titus’ forehead. “Live forever my young darling.” Then the sacrificing mother dragon, collapsed. As the life drained out of her body, she prepared to speak to Nimbus.
Around her the human forces were thinning. They were beginning to retreat. Soon, all that was left was dead carcasses of man and dragon. The smell of death was in the air driven by a slight gale.
Therna spoke on. “Nimbus, will you look after him?”
Titus, fully restored, cried over his mother. “Mother don’t go!”
Nimbus nodded. “I will take care of Titus. Leave in peace Therna.”
The fallen dragon uttered to her son. “Titus, live a full life if you wish to please me. That is my final desire.”
Then something Titus never felt came over him-bitterness. “I’ll kill whoever did this!”
Therna corrected her son. “Don’t seek revenge my son. It will only breed more anger.”
“Yes mother,” Titus obeyed.
A tear fell from Therna’s face and she closed her eyes.