Through the Mist

Fiction By Clare Marie // 2/29/2008

In a wide, golden field that stretched out until touching the border of a grim forest, lay a large town, in the midst of which rose triumphantly a castle with four, majestic towers. A cold fog lay on and around the metropolis, enveloping it in a thick cloud which caused even the castle's high turrets to lie hidden from sight. Although no sound came from behind the walls and the air was still, yet it was a dreadful quiet, one of horrible expectation, not tranquility.
Suddenly, the silence was broken by a terrible cry, a deep, throaty screech. A flapping of wings sounded, seeming evil and wraith-like in the clammy grey. Bright lights flashed over the fortress, and to an observer it would appear to be bolts of lightning shooting out of a thundercloud. Shouts of men and shrieks of women arose, mingling with the moans of children and the screams of frightened animals. Another flash, then the ghostly flapping, then again silence. Through the mist, that beast which we call dragon had attacked this city, as swiftly and cunningly as a striking snake, leaving behind him terror and destruction.

Ere the townsfolk had put out the fires and calmed their nerves, a man, a lone knight, came riding up out of the east. It seemed he had brought the sun, for as he drew closer the morning star rose, chasing away with its cheerful, yellow arms the fog, as a child shoos a chicken. The golden beams fell on the knight's silver helmet and jaunty plume, working their way down his shining armor and proud shield, down to his powerful grey palfrey. A lance he wielded in his gauntleted hand. The horse shook its head and snorted, but the rider had eyes only for the city, from which a black smoke sailed into the air. He stared in wonder, then spurred his steed on at a great pace and entered the town.
The man was told the events of less than half-hour before. He was grieved deeply, more so when he learned that such a tragedy happened quite often, thereby ensuring a steady decline in the population. The people could not even flee, for they said,
"Every day it (the dragon) flies overhead, watching us. If we tried to escape, it would destroy or devour every one of us as we ran. We can do nothing." The knight, though filled with pity for them, did not share their feeling of helplessness, and before an hour was gone, this gallant man took upon himself a dangerous quest: he was to seek out the dragon and kill it, therefore saving the lives of this people. Through the mist, that virtue which we call "courage" came riding in the form of a warrior to slay the enemy.

The knight mounted his horse amid the silent watchfulness of the townsfolk. They all feared for the brave young man, and thought it a shame that he should die so early in life; but they did not mention their doubts. He was scared enough already, they thought. As he rode down the street leading out of the city, the people threw flowers in his path, and as he urged his horse into a gallop once out of the town, they raised a cheer for his unselfishness and generosity.
Sir Knight rode in the direction the dragon had flown: westward. He thought with a shudder that he would have to make little effort in finding this beast; in all probability, it would find him first. So he rode at a leisurely pace, letting his horse gather strength for the upcoming battle, and tried to relax and collect his own strength. No sooner had he calmed down somewhat, when the noise of a great roar reached his ears, causing the very trees to tremble. The palfrey reared, and Sir Knight reached down quickly to soothe it, and prepare himself for the hideous sight of the great worm.
It was not long in coming, for hardly a few seconds had elapsed after the roar when up in the air flew a monstrous creature. Its close-fitting scales were a bright green, like poison, its wings were an evil black, shaped like a bat's, and gold were its cruel claws. The ridges on its back and tail were like spearheads, its blood-stained teeth like spikes in jaws of iron, but its eyes! Horrible were they, hypnotizing, yet dark and lifeless like a shark's, and a cold light glinted in them. From its nostrils and jaws sprouted flames, and the thing circled the air and screeched like a huge bird of prey. It was the most terrifying, disgusting, loathsome being that lived on this earth, and the like will never be seen again.
Sir Knight stared, awed, amazed, but above all extremely intimidated and frightened, and he seriously considered turning his horse and riding with all haste away from the place. But he remembered the sorrowful, quiet faces of the townspeople, and hate for this beast reared up in his heart and overpowered his fear. He whispered a prayer and asked the saints for protection, felt even more strengthened, then glanced around to decide where he should go, for he was a clever soldier and highly trained in the arts of combat, though perhaps not with a dragon. He noticed a grove of fir trees that sheltered a large pond, and spurred his horse towards it. The flying monster spotted him and gave chase. It spat out flames which burned the trees under whose shelter the knight was seeking refuge; and the heat and force of them was so powerful that many of the firs toppled over and fell into the lake. This was exactly what Sir Knight had planned, however, and he guided his steed away from the fire.
Smoke rose from the water as the burning trees were extinguished, and the dragon could not see the knight through this screen. The worm ascended into the air, and came hurtling down at a great rate, hoping to spout flames into the remaining trees and burn the man. But though he was invisible to the dragon, it was not concealed from him, and Sir Knight peered out of the misty steam, squinting, for the smoke hurt his eyes. He watched the beast, and as it came speeding down toward him, he held up his spear with a firm grasp, and waited, waited for a good opportunity....The creature came closer, he waited...closer still, he waited...the horse rose on its hind legs terrified; he let it, and as the dragon was opening its mouth to shoot out its scorching weapon, he shouted in a clear voice,
"For God and my Lady!" and threw his spear with all the strength he could muster into that fiery mouth: a deadly shot. The lance flew into the throat, and behold! The ghastly monster was stayed, and fell with a great shriek into the lake, never to rise from that watery grave. Through the mist the spear was cast, and through the mist the dragon fell.

The townsfolk all stared westward, waiting breathlessly, and each with a prayer in his heart. The battle was being fought behind a series of large hills, so they could not actually see the combat, but they saw flashes of fire, and heavy smoke rose high in the air. The people groaned; afterwards they heard a loud screech, causing them to wonder. What did it mean? Was it a cry of victory? Or one of defeat? They hardly dared hope the latter, but anxiously watched the west road, not knowing what to expect. Then, to their astonishment, they beheld not a monster, but a man, riding on a grey horse, riding toward the city. It was Sir Knight, the valiant but weary victor. A shout went up through the streets:
"The dragon is slain! We are saved!" All who were able ran out to greet the knight, and carried him to the castle midst tears, laughter and hurrahs. The king hiself came out to greet the warrior, and escort him into the keep, where his burns were tended, and a grand feast was held in his honor. Every citizen of the town, from the oldest man, to the littlest babe, bestowed kisses and handshakes of gratitude upon the mighty hands that slew the worm. The king showed his thanks by presenting a huge fortune to Sir Knight, who graciously and respectfully refused, wishing instead that it be given to the poor and needy. That day was one of wonderful celebration and much rejoicing, such as the city had not seen for many years.
Early on the morrow, Sir Knight bade farewell to the kind townspeople, and mounting his faithful steed, rode off into the fog. Through the mist, the good and courageous knight took his leave of that place, to give aid to other kingdoms that needed help; through the mist he departed, never to return except in fairy tales and legends, where he is remembered as St. George, the Victory Bringer.

Comments

nice

Such a fun, light-hearted read, and a nice interpretation of the classic story of St. George. I especially enjoyed the descriptive language you used. I hope to read more of your writing!

Christa | Tue, 03/04/2008

:)

Thanks!! Glad you enjoyed it!

Clare Marie | Tue, 03/04/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

BEAUTIFUL!!!! I like your

BEAUTIFUL!!!! I like your picture...you're pretty! :)
~eMiLy~

Emily | Thu, 04/24/2008

:O

Gee...thanks!

Clare Marie | Thu, 04/24/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Clare,

You suprised me! I did not know he was St. George until the end! I love the way you did that. Good job!

Elizabeth | Fri, 04/25/2008

************

The Holy Spirit is the quiet guest of our soul." -St. Augustine

:D

Surprise!! Thanks for commenting... ;)

Clare Marie | Fri, 04/25/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

I guess the general public

I guess the general public will never really learn what a rip off these stadium deals are because they are so complicated. I am trying to write a book about the sports spending arms race at UO. Going to call it "Brand U". Your columns are always interesting.

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Alaska18 (not verified) | Sat, 08/15/2009

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