This is an idea I’ve been playing with. The dragon is a man who had been turned into a lizard, and is clever enough to make a living while he is a lizard. He uses smoke and shadows to appear bigger than he is and he successfully scares the villagers so they don’t bother him. The girl is not afraid of confrontation with a dragon and doesn’t fall for his tricks. The lizard needs someone’s help to exact revenge on the warlock who turned him into a lizard.
couldn’t get much worse. She was staked
out in front of the dragon’s lair waiting to be burned to a crisp. She sighed and puffed her hair out of her
eyes. The sun was rising over the mouth
of the cave. If the blooming dragon
didn’t turn up soon she’d be roasted alive by a different fire source. Her hair was red and her skin was white,
rapidly turning pink. Getting a tan
wasn’t part of her life. She squinted up
at the hessian rope tying her to the stake.
Maybe the sun would burn through the rope and she would be free? She puffed again, this time in
exasperation. What had she done to get
to this point in life?
small, unobtrusive lizard watched from a rock nearby. His tongue flicked in and out and his eyes
swivelled in his head. He could feel the
warmth seeping into his cold scales. He
would wait a while.
never thought of herself as pretty. Who
could ever like red hair and freckles?
She’d been called names by the other children in the village since she
was born. Her mother always said that
having red hair was a gift and everyone was jealous of it. It didn’t feel like a gift when the other
pretty blonde girls poured ink over her head.
The boys pulled her hair and pushed her over. Her mother always gently washed her hair out and
cleaned her clothes and said it was all part of growing up. It had taught her self-reliance from an early
age if nothing else.
she grew up her hair had darkened and her freckles had scattered prettily
across her cheeks and boys stopped pushing her over and started arguing about
who could carry her books home. They
seemed to become tongue-tied in her presence.
The girls of course, still hated her.
But now it was for completely different reasons. Her self-reliance gave her an air of
independence which seemed to fascinate and attract members of the opposite
hadn’t cared a snit for any of the village idiots as she called them, but as
soon as the tall, dark stranger had ridden into town she had fallen. And fallen hard. And now look at her…
lizard felt his joints un-thawing finally.
He lifted one foot, then the other.
He flicked his tongue and swished his tail. All seemed to be working. He rolled his eyes. The damsel was still staked out. At least she was pretty. And she wasn’t crying or tearing her hair
out. She obviously had courage. Yes she might do. He needed a brave young lady to help him with
I think that I first was inspired with this character when I saw a figure in a hat on the back of my wardrobe door when I was a child. (It was actually a dressing gown/coats hung on a hook, but it could have been a mysterious figure like the Shadow Man! This is a small excerpt of a new story about a child who hears noises under the bed and has to go and investigate! Let me know what you think!
Silently a figure stepped out from among the folds of the dressing gown and coats hanging on the back of the door, dressed in a tricorne hat and a cloak with a deep red velvet lining. His boots were leather and glistened in the moonlight, and he wore a shiny sword in his belt. Noiselessly he moved around Jamie’s room calming the curtains dancing at the window and righting the sad pile of books lying twitching on the floor.
Jamie watched all this trembling under safety of his duvet, afraid to set foot on the floor, in case the shadows caught him and the fierce monster who lived in the chasm gobbled him up. The Shadow Man showed no fear of the noises under the bed. He stepped up to the edge of the bed, towering in the darkness. Jamie hid his head under the covers. Close up he was quite terrifying – he must have been a hundred feet tall and his face was scarred and his eyes were dark under his hat. He looked as though he might know all of your secrets. His hand rested on the sword in his belt and Jamie could now see that there was also a pistol tucked into the folds of his cloak – not one of the ones that soldiers had nowadays. This one looked old and worn but it shined as if it was polished regularly. “James,” he said, and his voice was soft and gravelly. How does he know my name? Jamie asked himself. “James, you must come with me. We have work to do.”
A race was developing between the two boats along the rocky coastline. The cliffs and hills created dead spots of wind where the smaller boat caught up until it found itself becalmed and the larger boat headed past the hill and into a fresh gust of wind. They went in fits and starts until they were beyond the headland and out in open sea. Then the real race began. The brothers tightened up the sheets to pick up speed.