Flash Friday Fiction: The Last of the Dragons

Dragon of Halong Bay (Vietnam). Photo by LoggaWiggler.
Dragon of Halong Bay (Vietnam). Photo by Logga Wiggler.

The Last of the Dragons
Margaret Locke (@Margaret Locke)
350 words

I have walked with dragons for a thousand years.

It was they who bore me to Avalon, though they knew no mortal magic could heal me. It was they who brought me to Glastonbury, where my bones rest beneath the Tor.

My spirit is not there.

It is not with the Lady of the Lake. It is not in Camelot, not at Camlann. Mordred and Morgan are just shades of my past, Guinevere and Lancelot mere echoes of betrayal. Percival, Galahad, Gawain, all markers of duty, honor, loyalty, all lie now under the cold ground.

And Merlin. Ah, Merlin. My master and my servant. My mentor and my maker. He, too, is lost to me, taken by the greatest of all forces – time.

These names, these places, these events long past are etched across my heart, seared into it as if by dragon flame itself.

I have borne witness to centuries of human history, to more wars than I care to count. Crusades. Revolutions. Civil wars. World Wars. I’ve stood as a shadow alongside Richard the Lion-Hearted, Henry VIII, Wellington, Churchill. I’ve watched the bodies pile higher and higher, grown weary of the carnage and catastrophe, the never-ending cycle of rage and retribution.

Where is the peace for which I fought? Evaporated into the mist, an ideal rarely achieved, never maintained.

We have learned nothing. For every Shakespeare there is a Stalin, for every hero a Hitler, for every Mother Theresa a Mengele.

I am Odysseus on an endless journey. I am Sisyphus, forever pushing against a destiny I cannot escape, trapped between promise and purgatory.

People claim dragons are myths. This disbelief slew the great beasts with more ease than any sword. They claim I am a myth. They are wrong.

The dragons know my name. I am Arthur Pendragon. The Once and Future King. A beacon of hope in a world of darkness. A symbol of salvation, yet I cannot save myself.

I am the last Dragon. Believe in me, so that I may return. So that I may, at last, bring eternal peace. And find it.

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But wait! It’s not Friday, you say? Well, this week is a special week over at Flash Friday Fiction: it’s the one-year Flashversary of this fabulous fiction-writing contest, and in celebration we’ve been given a full five days to craft a 350 word (no more, no fewer) story sparked by the photo prompt. (I wrote mine in two, because I needed to stop obsessing over this idea so that I can actually get other writing work accomplished.)

As always, I would love feedback – and invite you to give it a whirl yourself!

 

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