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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Cooking or Baking (01/04/07)

TITLE: Dragon Stew
By Dennis Fletcher


Hanston, beaten and battered, lay in his cell wondering why he ever thought it would be a good idea to single handedly attack a red dragon and his army. He groaned a bit as his head throbbed and he wondered if he would even survive this escapade. He thought of his poor horse and wondered what type of recipe he would end up in; he knew this dragon, Farthon, was renowned for his cooking skills.

He remembered that his dragon, Derth, had recently purchased one of the cookbooks that Farthon had written a few centuries ago. He also remembered reading some of the entries and wondered what kind of dragon this Farthon really was. Then he remembered the recipes that Derth had ripped out of the book and destroyed. He was able to read one of those recipes and was astonished at how many ways a dragon could cook a human. Remembering this, Hanston knew he had to get up and out of there.

Drawing on all of his will power and calling on God for help, Hanston forced himself to move and get to his knees. At that point, his very breath was labored, his muscles screamed at him to stop and the throbbing in his head made him almost fall back down in despair. He knew he needed to push the limits farther than ever before, so he called on God once more and stood.

If it was bad before, it was almost intolerable now. He could barely focus from the pain in his head, and he could feel his muscles turning to wet noodles instantly. He took a step, his legs almost lost their ability to hold him up, and his head began to spin.

“Father,” He managed to whisper, “Help me move and get free. Take some of this pain that I might move.”

He took another step, feeling about the same. He looked up, towards light, he assumed it had to lead to some type of exit.

“Lord,” His whisper got louder, “Give me strength.”

He moved, a feeling of absolute pain coming over him as he forced his body to move the way he needed it to and silently promised it a very long rest if it would just cooperate with him now. He slowly, but with steady steps, made it to his cell door and pushed in hopes it was left open. He almost fell on his face when the door silently swung open, invited him to step out.

He slowly began to walk towards the light again, his legs beginning to act the way they should. His head was beginning to throb less, but the stiffness and pain in all of his muscles and joints more than made up for it. He strode forward, forcing himself to walk a little faster with each step.

As he focused on the simple act of walking, he was shocked to find that he had made it to the source of light so quickly, and was doubly shocked to see that it was a doorway that was left wide open. His senses told him something was wrong, that he should turn back and head the other way. His mind raced to try to find any kind of danger and in desperation, he opened the door.

Light, warm and bright, flooded the corridor and engulfed him. So bright was this light that he had to shut his eyes for several moments just to focus. When he opened it, he realized that he was outside and that it was just the sunlight. He looked around carefully and saw no danger, his first step into freedom seemed almost overwhelming, but he felt he could run now.

He could see one of the man doors in the wall of the fortress and decided that was his best chance. He made his move towards it and found no resistance. He slowly reached the door and shoved it open, ready to jump back if necessary. Nothing seemed to be moving.

Suddenly, without warning or sound, he was yanked into the air and carried high into the clouds. It happened so fast that he hadn’t even had the time to see what had him. He finally came to his senses and looked at the large claw that held him, fully expecting to see red scales.

“Next time,” Came Derth’s melodic voice, “Please let me know you want to meet Farthon. He is my uncle, after all.”

With that, Hanston lost all consciousness.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Powers 01/11/07
This was very imaginative and I could definitely feel all the emotions going through the poor man's mind as he faced the dangers. I was caught up in the story. Well written!
Caitlynn Lowe01/11/07
A nice little fantasy twist to this topic. The feelings of the protagonist were very understandable, and I definitely would've hated to be in poor Hanston's shoes. Also, the little surprise discovery at the end was interesting.
Delores Baber01/12/07
Completely spell binding. Haven't enjoyed a dragon story so much since someone submitted "There Be Dragons". The captives pain was so vivid I nearly took myself a Tylanol. I could feel each moment he made. Then the creative ending! Wow, you are a very good writer. You're bound to be bumped up to the advanced group anyday now.
Valerie Routhieaux01/15/07
Interesting. Your words certainly evoke pictures of the action taking place. Kept me reading and that's a plus.

You definitely have talent in fantasy. Keep writing. I would definitely love to see what else you have to offer.
Val Clark01/28/07
You've developed a likeable character that could be identified with. Loved your opening paragraph which connected brilliantly and creatively to the topic. Remember, if you're interested in placing keep the topic as a theme that runs throughout the piece.