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Excerpt from The Legend of Jurgo Dragonslayer

....  The sky was coming over very dark again and I felt the slightest mist of cold rain against my face.  I was about to make one of my usual pithy remarks about the dreadful weather when Jurgo lifted his left hand while his right went to his sword and he stopped dead in his tracks.  Wulfred and I came quickly up to him.  ...............

 

“I can’t see it ”,  Jurgo whispered,  “but I believe the dragon to be close”.

 

As if to support this comment there was a hideous noise like a wild dog screaming against the world.  It froze the blood to the marrow.  The horse panicked and reared and tried to bolt, nearly wrenching my arm from it’s socket as it tore it’s head around.  I fell against it and tried to throw my arms around it’s neck to no avail.  Still screaming with fear it tore loose and bolted back down the road the way we had come.  I fell to the ground as Jurgo ran to me.  As I staggered to my feet I saw Wulfred jump into the centre of the road, his axe before him and his eyes fixed on the bend ahead of us.

 

Not a moment too soon.

 

The dragon came around the corner.

 

 How simple to say and how hard to describe.  What is a dragon?  All I know is that this monster was over twice the height of a man, perhaps thrice the height.  A lizard, certainly.  But such a lizard!  Grey and huge:  A mouth full of teeth like spears.  Breath so foul that men might truly believe it to be flame.  Tiny eyes in a great head that swung back and forth like a monstrous pendulum, watching birdlike as the tiny men below ran to and fro.  Skin of rancid leather.  Bred out of time into a world that has grown beyond myth and legend.  Monster:  Daemon Lizard.  Claws still wet with blood. Looking for flesh to rend and tear.  A daemon come to life in a waking nightmare.

 

 The dragon came around the corner.

 

 I think I cried out with the shock.  What is certain is that Wulfred ran straight at the monster, his axe singing through the rain.  (Is it raining?  I can’t remember when it began.  All I know is the sight of this huge beast filling my vision and my nightmares).  The dragon swung around and it’s huge tail swept around barely missing Wulfred, who darted between giant legs and let fly with a massive blow that slashed straight into the lizard’s leg.  Just below the groin, which is what he had obviously been aiming at. 

 

 The dragon gave a scream that nearly shattered rock and bloodied the brain.  I came to myself and began to fire my paltry arrows at the thing.  Jurgo .... where was Jurgo?  I quickly spun around as the creature began to fall to the ground, still screaming it’s pain and wrath:  thick red blood bubbling and oozing from the great wound in it’s leg.  Jurgo was climbing up above us on the sheer cliff.  I was so staggered that I almost forgot the dragon.  I could not believe that Jurgo was a coward.  So frightened that he had to run away.  But wait ... no coward at all.  I saw what he was doing.

 

 At the top of the cliff was perched a great rock, looking as though it was placed there for the very purpose.  Jurgo had crawled up and over the lip and was now heaving against the rock with all his might.  It began to rock back and forth dangerously.  I shouted at Wulfred to come away but he was too far gone in his berserker rage to hear me as he darted in and out, striking again and again at the dragon.  My arrows stuck out of it’s head like needles on a pine tree but still the monster was trying to get up and destroy it’s tormentors.

 

 I jumped back barely missing being swiped by one of the forelegs.  I ran around as far away from the beast as possible.  How to get a mad Northman to listen?  I threw some small stones. 

 

One hit Wulfred on the back of his head and he stopped yelling long enough to turn around at me.  I thought he was going to throw the axe at me then and I prepared to die but suddenly I heard the sound of Jurgo’s shout as the great rock gave way.  Wulfred looked up, his eyes clearing.  But, as he began to move into a run, the dragon lashed out again and caught him a glancing blow across his back.  The huge Northman flew forward and lay, prone, on the ground.  I ran to him and began to pull him away.  He weighed far more than I did so I made only a little progress, especially with the dragon crawling behind us, still bleeding and howling, reaching out with those dreadful upper arms.

 

The great rock fell....

Dragon fighter

“The dragon is coming” The old man said.

And the words that he spoke rang sharp in my head.

And I grabbed my shield and my short stabbing sword

And gave my soul over to God’s Holy Word.

 

I ran from the building and looked through the trees

And saw a sight there that had me to my knees.

A great, grey lizard come breaking the bush

Four times my height and all in a rush.

 

I gave myself over as dead on the spot

and waited to die from it’s breath so hot.

I fell, I think, from the fear in my heart

And the evil stink as the trees it did part

 

But as it stepped over not seeing me there

I thrust up my sword and cut it fair square.

It screamed and it thrashed and fell over in pain

So I jumped up in haste and slashed it again.

 

Its blood splashed high as its scream split the air

And it tried to reach me but I wasn’t there.

I jumped and I swerved I leaped left and right

And stabbed it again till it gave up the fight.

 

I give God the glory: I thought I would die

But I live to speak of his love for such as I.

Dragons may come and danger unknown

Which I fight as I travel till I get to His throne.

 

For life is a quest, a journey afar

And we travel after a mysterious star.

And live for the journey and for the love

Of the One who goes with us and Who waits Above.

 

Jurgo's song

I have lifted up my sword and swung my shield across my shoulder.

I have a trusted friend with me, my good companion,

as we travel over God’s world fighting the good fight.

But fighting is no answer to the evil that exists in men.

Only love and compassion works on people.

A violent response is for evil beasts and demons.

My sword is sharp and my shield of strong metal, forged by Roman smiths for use in the service of my God and Emperor.

But I would sooner succour the weak and have children sitting on my knees, while I spoke to them

of gentle kindnesses that I have received at Jesus’ hand.

But while there is evil in the world - Let us stand against it.

While there is love in the hearts of men - Let us look for it.

While the mercy of our God is available to all - Let us talk about it.

My sword is not constantly in my hand,

My shield is not always metal.

But God’s words and my faith in them.

My foes are not often flesh and blood,

But thoughts and emotions and spiritual wickedness.

These things I slay without compassion.


And count myself fortunate to serve as kind a Master as I do’

From “The Jurgo Cycle"© Robert P Mills 2004 - 2014

The Legend of Jurgo Dragonslayor is available through Amazon
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