Let Sleeping Dragons Lie

“There’s no dragon in there,” said Halfdan Sigurdsson, folding his arms and directing his steeliest glare towards the already rugged face of Tor Svensson.

“There is so – why do you think they call it ‘Drage Hule?’ the chief’s son replied.

“I dunno; superstition maybe, kid’s stories, load of old dritt if you ask me.”

“No, Tor’s right,” exclaimed little Peder Nilsson, “My, my dad said he’s seen it, way out in the Black Moon Woods.”

“Well your dads an idiot!” spat Halfdan.

Peder Nilsson gritted his teeth and lunged straight at the young Viking, blocked only by the thickly muscled bulwark of Tor Svensson’s forearm.

“He’s not worth it Peder,” sneered Tor, “Bet the little half Dane doesn’t even have the testiklene to go in there and find out for himself.”

The small group of Vikings let out a cry of laughter that cut like a kniv through the early evening air. Halfdan lowered his gaze to the floor. He turned to stare into the dark mouth of the cave, its unfathomable innards disguised behind an impenetrable wall of shadow.

“I, I mean I would but it’s nearly solnedgang,” he muttered, “I’ll go in first thing tomorrow.”

“Sounds like Dansk blod talking. Why don’t you run home and cuddle up to your mumie instead?”

Halfdan could feel the blood beginning to rush to his cheeks. He ran his long fingers over the hilt of his sverd, strapped around his waist, and gripped it tightly; his knuckles turning white with the pressure. Noticing the tenseness in his adversaries muscles, Tor Svensson reached for the handle of his axe and bent his knees slightly, ready to pounce into action.

A smile crept across Halfdan’s face and he relaxed the grip on his svard.

“Just think of it,” he said “A half-Dane killing the Great Drage Hule beast, and all because the mighty chief’s son was too scared.” With that Halfdan Sigurdsson turned on his heels and sprinted off towards the beckoning chasm of the cave.

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Tim Waltho

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