Dragon of the Lake

A horse transfigured into a dragon. A piece I wrote for a story I'm working on.

The rain pours down in relentless sheets, the thunder echoing off the cliffs surrounding the valley. Lightning strikes high on the cliff, striking a tree that instantly catches fire. It doesn’t burn long in the heavy rain, but it burns all the same, suddenly twisted and broken, like some castaway piece of scrap. the sky is filled with dark clouds that seem to glare down at the valley and its inhabitants as it releases its rain as if trying to drown them all. The people in the valley run around frantically trying to herd their animals to higher ground in the hopes that the lake doesn’t wash them away as it grows larger every minute from the intense rain. One of the horses at the back of the herd stumbles and falls, frightened by another flash of lightning and crash of thunder. The men at the back try to help it up, but they stumble and fall as well and are unable to help the horse. Deciding that it wasn’t worth their lives, they instead hurry on back to the herd to make sure that the rest of the animals continued on.

The horse starts to slide down towards the black lake, the rain carrying it farther from the rest of the animals and people. It panics as it falls into the expanding lake and tries to get up swim to the shore, but it is held back by the rush of the rain. The black water grabs the animal and drags it out farther and farther until it rests in the center of the ever expanding lake. The water starts to churn around the animal, as if something was going on underneath the surface.
A man turns back to look at the lake and sees the horse and the churning water and shouts to the others, pointing at the disturbance. The others yell at him to stop staring at things and to help move the animals. The man reluctantly turns away and continues urging the animals farther up the slope leading the safe ground where the children and elderly had already taken refuge.

On the other side of the valley, standing high on the cliff next to the burned and twisted tree, a man stares down over the lake. He watches the animal as it flounders in the water that churns and bubbles all around it. He watches as the color of the horse darkens, its once grey coat becoming deeper and blacker, drawing in the blackness of the lake as the moon’s silver light is hidden by the roiling thunderheads. He watches as the horse is drawn under the water and is held still by the powerful water, its flailing and kicking ignored by the lake. Lightning strikes on the far hill, close to the retreating village people as they push their animals farther up and away from the deadly waters. One of the horses panics, this time a white stallion, and it rears up and charges back down the hill, away from safety and towards the lake. The men chase after it, not wanting to lose one of their precious stallions, but they stumble and fall and roll down the hill, unable to catch the renegade stallion.

The End

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