Readers, this is an excerpt of an unpublished scene in the continuing epic about my young adult fantasy heroine, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, and takes place after book 2, Henrietta and the Dragon Stone. Enjoy!
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“When you’re a world famous dragon slayer, there is no such thing as a summer vacation. You must roam from town to town taking care of pesky dragons who think sheep are their supper and sows their midnight snack.
No villager is equipped with the courage, expertise or experience to face down a three-story fire breathing creature.
Enter our intrepid hero, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, at your service.”
Henrietta bowed to the quiet crowd, circled around a blazing bonfire. The Horse people huddled in their long white hooded robes and watched her without expression.
Was she getting through to them?
She peered beyond the shadows of the fire, but couldn’t see anything of the dry flat plains beyond. She swept her gaze across the group again. At least they weren’t heckling her, like folks did back home in the taverns of the Kingdom of Bleuve.
Franc, her companion and more than friend, nodded at her, solemn as usual.
Antoine, the young boy she had so recently returned to his mother, stared at her with his big brown eyes.
His mother, the clan’s leader, gestured, her palm open. She spoke in accented Bleuvian, “Continue your tale. We like it. Many have never seen a dragon, and only a few of us have, from a distance.”
Henrietta stared into the fire and continued.
“This was two suns hence and I was a young thing at fifteen suns, but I already thought I knew the world and its wily ways. By this time, I had befriended and trained with my trusty companion, Sytiphell. And together we hunted dragons.
On this night, a full moon, much like this one, we tracked the seven-toed dragon to his lair in the foothills of the Middle Mountains — range of steep hills with many tricky canyons.”
She eyed the clan. Many men and women nodded. They had mountains like hers. Though hers were much wetter and colder than the ones in this dry, high desert land.
“Sytiphell and I crept quiet as mice into one canyon after another, hunting the lair of this dragon who had been terrorizing the Middle villages all spring and into the bloom of summer.
Finally when the moon was setting we found its lair.
Full of bones and treasures it was.
And such a smell, like the rottenest eggs you ever did smell! No one ever cleaned the lair of this large beast.”
Someone giggled. She scanned the group. Antoine had his two hands pressed against his mouth.
Henrietta smiled at him. It was good to see him happy.
“It was a hot summer. Sytiphell and I were tired from night after night of dragon hunting. We’d been tracking this particular dragon for days.
And here he was. In his beautiful, smelly glory, and snoring away in his lair.
I nodded to Sytiphell. She knew what to do. We’d done this many times before.
She crept left and I went right. We dragged a net with spikes between us.
On my signal, we ran the length of the dragon from head to toe, and encased him in our dangerous net.
The dragon must have been so tired from all his sheep and sows. He didn’t awake until we’d arrived at his long tail.
Then he awoke with a terrible roar.
We’d luckily clapped his mouth shut with our net, so he couldn’t breath fire. But he thrashed about mighty hard.
Sytiphell and I hung on the net and were thrown about like rag dolls.
After what seemed like hours passed, the dragon exhausted, we approached, swords drawn, and ended the life of this naughty beast. And walked into the village at dawn as well-greeted heroes.
High-pitched yiyis filled the air.
Henrietta stared at her crowd. They rushed to her and clapped her on the back, some still making the high-pitch yiyi cry that must signify applause.
Franc stood beside her, his presence comforting. “I think they liked your tall tale,” he whispered in her ear.
“Hey, it’s not tall. It’s true,” Henrietta protested.
“I know.” Franc smiled.
**I hope you like this! Maybe I’ll use this; maybe I won’t. What do you think about it?
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