Chapter 1: A new land

67 2 0

'It exists', Shervan thought amazed, landing onto the sandy beach as he closed his wings on his black scaled body and started walking.

Being on solid land was a welcome relief after such a long and desperate flight. Fresh water had been extremely scarce, the rain often being the only source, and islands to rest on were few and far between. Uncountable times the spectre of death had fallen on him but he had resisted, just like he had been resisting the human threat throughout his life. Now on the distant horizon, illuminated only by the pale moonlight, stood a mountain range with peaks almost seeming to reach the stars. The sight of it promised him the safety he had taken the risk of flying across the ocean for.

Shervan began walking on the ground, with his scales trembling from emotion, and inhaled two deep sniffs of that mythical place. The fresh scent of grass was a pleasant change after breathing so much saltiness. How many times, as a hatchling, had he heard of stories the land up in the north where dragons were safe from the threat of humans. A place separated by his original land by an immense expanse of sea, a safe haven for all dragons where no humans hunted them. And he had found it.

'Yes', the young dragon thought, 'maybe this time I am truly safe'.

He glanced at the scar in his right forepaw, the first one a human ever inflicted him, during the terrible night when he became a nomad. 'Mum, dad, sister... if your spirits up there are watching me, I greet you once more.'

Ten years of solitude, wandering through the mountains of two different continents and defending himself from human assaults. The scars that permeated his body were a remind of how they had destroyed in one night everything he loved. The land he had reached was his last hope.

Too many times he had revived that terrible night in his head. He was eighty seasons old, barely a teenager. His head still just reached the lower part of his father's chest. And little Shervan would ask him or his mother why, why the humans did hunt them so much, since they did not even eat them like dragons ate deer. The answer was straightforward: it was just how the world worked. But Shervan knew, inside of him, that it was not so. The world could not let him assist at their slaughter, in their very own cave, in front of his eyes, by those hairless monsters and their gigantic metal claw. All they were doing that night was dining around their fire and then he would play with his dear sister under their parents' sight. No way an action like that deserved such sudden and brutal death. If his father, in his last moments of life, hadn't roared him to fly away, he would have remained inside, ready to be murdered by those demons. But he survived. He didn't surrender, he didn't accept it to be reality. No matter what he could be told: it was not fair.

Now he was there, in the promised land of peace, conquered after forty seasons of flying around and fighting the monsters that would try to interrupt his path. He roared his triumph to the stars, and let a glimpse of fire burn up in the air.

'Here I declare my triumph! I emerged from pain and misery, and defeated the monsters that torment my race! I did it by remaining alive!'

He was tired of running away. Tired of daydreaming of the life he should have had as a dragon, like calling another female dragon his mate and have hatchlings. Tired of letting his inner rage unfold by spitting fire on some rocks. As he kept sniffing the air around with enjoyment, he smelled nothing but the same grass scent. No stone would fall victim to his angry fire, at least for the moment.

'I will rest here tonight', he decided, 'and then maybe head to those mountains'. He made himself comfortable in the grass and drifted into slumber, finally truly in peace.

Shervan's big yellow eyes opened caressed by the sunlight. He contemplated the sea before turning to that peaceful land and preparing his wings to fly. Full of optimism, he soared up above the ground, towards the peaks' direction, where he would probably find some fresh prey. He flew, full of hope and strength, above forests, coasts and mountains, stopping shortly for claiming a moose for himself, until he found a bunch of buildings, like the ones humans made. His certainties about their absence were put in doubt. Their number was massive – the greatest set of human constructions he had ever seen. But no scent of them came from there: only again grass, aging, and someway, death – human death, the smell of victory, which still could not delete his doubts.

Lohikarmen: A Tale of Humans and DragonsWhere stories live. Discover now