Nobody ever said death would be easy
(Scene from Chapter 17)
through her pounding heart, the artist in Sachi couldn’t help appreciating the
creature’s beauty. It was enormous, reptilian, and winged, with gleaming
obsidian scales tinged with flashes of electric blue. As it studied her, one of
its forelegs began to stamp, making the timber fences on either side of the
laneway rattle. Smoke furled out from its nostrils and when it stretched its
wings Sachi gasped, her hand flying to her mouth. In the narrow laneway, it wasn’t
able to expand its wings to their full span of what Sachi assumed had to be at
least twenty metres, but instead flexed them upwards—a gesture Sachi was sure
was meant for intimidation purposes. And it was working. She was completely
frozen in place, her body ignoring every single one of the flight response
commands being sent by her brain.
dragon folded its wings back down and began creeping toward Sachi, smoke
billowing from its nostrils. As it got to about five metres away, it reared up
and let out a burst of flame. Sachi just barely managed to duck before the
flames passed over her head.
god, oh god, oh god, oh god. I’m gonna be eaten by a dragon!
scampered back as far as she could get, knowing it wouldn’t be much good. What
was she going to do? No one was home, and even if they were she wouldn’t want
Nikko and Ella out here, it would be just as dangerous for them. Maybe she
could call the fire brigade? At least they had flame retardant suits… Yeah, she
could see that call right now:
zero, what’s your emergency?’
fucking dragon’s trying to kill me!’
she’d probably be fined for wasting the valuable time and resources of
Melbourne’s emergency services. And then the phone call would end up on one of
those reality shows: World’s Craziest Emercency Calls. So, triple zero wasn’t
an option. She was going to die, burnt to a crisp by this dragon, and on her
tombstone it would say She shouldn’t have opened the gate.
dragon reared up for another attack, but it never came. Instead, a familiar
figure appeared out of the shadows, brandishing a sword and beating the dragon
back, away from Sachi.
watched, awestruck, as Griffin gracefully dodged and ducked the dragon’s fire
and weaved around its snapping jaws and thrashing claws before finally
thrusting his sword through its stomach. The dragon reared up with an agonised
roar and Griffin yanked the sword out, only to thrust it in once more, this
time through the dragon’s heart. The creature slumped to the ground with a thud
that merited a Richter scale reading.
spun around to face Sachi, looking like a freaking knight. He was wearing that
cape thing again, and now she was seeing him up close she could tell the black
long-sleeved top she’d seen him in that first night at The Veil was actually
made out of gleaming onyx chainmail. It was all very medieval-chic.
thing it was only a baby,’ he said.
a baby?’ Sachi squeaked.
grown, yes, but still a hatchling. An adult would not have hesitated to kill
you, love. Not very fond of humans, dragons.’
account of all the hunting—your Saint George and his ilk nearly drove them to
had never considered the situation like that. Of course, up until twenty
minutes ago she hadn’t even known dragons were real, but now that she did she
found she was sorry this one was dead. Naturally, in a choice between her life
and the dragon’s she would choose her own, but nevertheless, she was sorry.
looked at the dragon’s body, with those beautiful obsidian scales. ‘It sounds
stupid, but I kinda wish you hadn’t killed it.’
snapped her gaze back to Griffin to find him studying her curiously, sword
hanging by his side in a loose grip. It was an interesting weapon: thin and
slightly curved. It looked like it had been stolen from Jack Sparrow. ‘What?’
two things can kill a creature of The Shadowlands—Celestial fire and beheading.
The blow to his heart has stunned him, however, so we have a few moments.’
head was spinning. ‘A few moments for what?’
ran his eyes carefully over her face. ‘Do you trust me, love?’
that was a loaded question if she’d ever heard one. He had saved her life, yes,
but something about him warned her to stay on her guard. After considering the
situation, she shook her head. ‘I’m grateful you saved my life and everything,
but no, sorry, I don’t trust you.’
eyes flashed, the corner of his mouth turning up with amusement. ‘Smart girl.’
then all Sachi could feel was a cold, icy fire as Griffin’s sword tore through
her chest, burying itself in her heart.
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