47 comments

Fantasy

“En garde, Devil's Spawn!”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Hellbeast! Talketh not to me. I come in the name of mine own sov'reign king."

“Why?”

“To bring glory to his name.” 

“Bring glory to some old goat’s name? That’s quite the undertaking.”

“Silence! I shall not listen to another word slithering from your forkéd tongue!” 

“Then we won’t have much to discuss, will we?”

“I claimeth this mountaintop in the name of the Lord of the Realm!”

“You are far too winded to claim anything. That’s quite a climb up those treacherous rocks—and in full armor, too. But so many young men are willing to die for glory these days—tsk tsk.” 

“Feel nay pity for me, Horror of the Sky. Feel pity for the monstrosity who birthed thee into being!”

“Leave my dear mother out of this. Now tell me again, which king pressed you into such strenuous service?”

“Know ye not the blessed Earl of Thornberry, Duke of Lexington, Baron of Carrick, and Lord of the Black Isles?”

“All in one person? That seems excessive.”

“As is thy lust for gold! I have pledged my troth in recouping the king’s plundered treasure. Bring it forth or die!” 

“Why?”

“It is not thine. Returneth it now or taste the edge of mine own iron blade!”

“All right, lad. Put down your broadsword and come in at once. Mind your head—mind your head. The cave’s entrance is a wee bit low. Follow me.”

“Shall I follow thee to my death, Curséd Dragon?”

“Let’s get one thing straight, Sir Knight. I’m a Wyvern, not a Dragon.”

“There be a difference?”

“There’s a distinction. Dragons have four legs. Look at me. See? Two wings. Two legs. Pointy, poisonous tail.”

“Oh.”

“Don’t worry about the tail. If I had wanted you dead, I’d have flung you off the cliff when I first saw you approach.” 

“I am not afraid of thee—Vile Descendant of Cain.”

“Could we stop with the name calling? That must violate your code of chivalry on some level. Besides, we’re alone here. Save the theatrics for another day—like when a lusty maiden needs rescuing or an unsuspecting town needs pillaging.”

“Not another word of your deceitful trickery, Wyvern—or I shall cleave thy beastly head from your neck.”

“Yes, yes. Of course. You are simply terrifying. Now follow me, young man. It isn’t very far…See? We are here already. Welcome to my lair.”

“O, eternal heaven above…”

“It’s not to your liking?”

“It is not what I did expect. Everything is so—”

“Clean? Orderly? Pristine?”

“I merely thought—”

“You just thought I was a dirty Dragon—dumping my ill-gotten gain into one filthy heap onto the floor and sitting on it like a 24-karat hemorrhoid.”

“Wyvern, I doth not understand.”

“What’s there to understand? I like things sorted. Pearls here. Emeralds there. Opals, sapphires, and rubies—each and everything in its place.”

“And the golden treasure?”

“Gold? Bah! I’ve melted my gold down into ingots—all numbered, stacked, and weighed. It’s there on pallets. Take it with you when you leave. Now put down your broadsword. We have so much to discuss.” 

“Thou art giving me thy gold?”

“To be fair, some of it may be your king’s loot, but the majority of it was stolen from realms far and wide when I was young like you—when I was so sure of myself.”

“Prithee, bid me wherefore—”

“Why? Why is what all Wyverns wonder. Why, indeed.”

“Oh.”

“I see I’ve offended you, Sir Knight. Please. Ask me what you wish.” 

“Wherefore art thou giving me thy gold?”

“Well, I suppose I want to help you with your quest. Youth is the perfect time to make your mark in this world. How glorious it will be for you to return this wealth to your sovereign king! Or does seeing the gold for yourself warp your worthiness?” 

“It is quite beautiful, Wyvern. Perhaps I shall taketh a bar for payment of services rendered.”

“Of course, lad. I don’t think your king will miss an ingot or two. Feel its heft. Gold is surprisingly heavy, is it not?”

“Indeed, Wyvern. Weighty yet malleable. It warms to the touch.”

“And what else, Sir Knight? What else of gold?”

“I liketh the feel of it. It sparkles…”

“Gold doesn’t sparkle. Gold glows.”

“Yes! Thy speech be sooth. Gold doth glow…”

“I should know. I’ve meticulously accumulated my hoard nugget by nugget. A handful of doubloons here. An alluvial deposit there. All safely stored in my lair since time immemorial.” 

“Then wherefore givest it to me?”

“I have no need for it any longer. In fact, I never needed it.”

“I have heard all mine own days that Dragons loveth gold.”

“Dragons may love gold, but we Wyverns have evolved past base, gilded desires. Over the eons, we’ve been horribly misled by dragon hegemony.”

“Dragon hegemony?”

“Dragon dominance over our species. What lies they’ve spun! Why should the acquisition of gold be anyone’s sole purpose?”

“If I may, gold doth proveth useful in ruling a kingdom…buying up armies and navies and such.”

“Well, I came to the realization that I didn’t own my gold. The. gold. owned. me.”

“There are worse taskmasters, Wyvern.”

“No worse than greed! Needless to say, I melted down all of my gold to get it out of the way.”

“Out of the way?”

“Clutter! Piles of golden clutter that did not serve me anymore. So I say take it and be gone. Here. I will help you fill your bags. If you put your broadsword down, it will make the task much easier.”

“May God grant you mercy. Until the end of my days, I shall tell tales of the Temperate Wyvern who overcame the deadliest of sins.”

“That’s the thing about sin. When one purges an obsession, another appears to take its place.”   

“Pray tell, Wyvern. What hast replaced the love of gold in your heart?”

“Iron, Sir Knight. Iron and blood." 

🜋 🜋 🜋 

“Pearls here. Emeralds there. Opals, sapphires, rubies, broadswords and bones—each and everything in its place.


February 16, 2023 17:33

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47 comments

Jon Casper
20:04 Feb 20, 2023

Love the ending, Deidra, Dutchess of Dialogue. Great character, the Wyvern. Your story both sparkles and glows.

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21:11 Feb 20, 2023

*stage bow*

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Suma Jayachandar
07:32 Feb 17, 2023

The ending cometh as pure gold! Nay, iron!!

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14:02 Feb 17, 2023

NAY BLOOD

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Suma Jayachandar
14:07 Feb 17, 2023

Aye, thou shalt not forget the bones😂

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14:14 Feb 17, 2023

This is one of those stories that did NOT come easy. The final 3 paragraphs were especially irksome, but the smartest writer I know gave me the perfect advice. Hooray for group efforts and beta readers.

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Suma Jayachandar
14:32 Feb 17, 2023

But you make it look so easy! Congratulations on that. Yeah, hooray for group efforts. And the generosity with which the Reedsy community gives feedback.

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14:48 Feb 17, 2023

And hooray for Suma and English teachers and ice cream. Amen.

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04:49 Feb 25, 2023

Absolutely love the creativity. It's very clear you put a lot of work into this!

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14:50 Feb 26, 2023

I probably stole most of it from Monty Python :)

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Roger Scypion
03:57 Dec 03, 2023

Excellent Story, colorful and well written! 24 karat hemorrhoid...the best description!!!

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Tamra Holms
00:01 May 29, 2023

I was waiting for a twist ending. Waiting! And I got it. This is wonderfully told and I like how it was mostly dialog but done so well. The humor and logic.

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12:16 May 22, 2023

Ha! This makes me want to take the idea and create something of my own with it, which in my opinion is about the best compliment I can give. For me, it was Hugh Grant as the Wyvern. And I have a friend who would fit the role of the Knight perfectly... Excellent. No critique needed.

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Gabriela Wels
00:48 Feb 25, 2023

Oh that twist at the end! Clever girl! You don't need me to say it, but awesome job! :)

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Kayla Marie
18:12 Feb 23, 2023

I love how the story was all dialogue, I love the comedic undertones, I love the twists at the end. I love everything about it!

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16:51 Feb 24, 2023

Thanks Kayla! It was a blast to write :)

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Delbert Griffith
12:29 Feb 23, 2023

I think this is the most dangerous of wyverns: a calculating, cunning one. Using logic and natural temptation, the wyvern is indeed a formidable foe. Your characterization was wonderful and the ending really rounded out the full scope of the wyvern's character. Loved the dialogue, Deidra. Snark, sarcasm and a touch of smarminess made this a charming read. Well done and masterful, as per. Nicely done, my friend. Nicely done.

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16:53 Feb 24, 2023

Del! I'm just getting through my comments and I love your alliterative one. (There's quite a poet in your mathematical heart...) I traffick in snark, sarcasm and smarminess. It makes the world go round.

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Susan Catucci
16:37 Feb 22, 2023

I read this entire story with the voice of the Wyvern being none other than Robin Williams. (The Knight? Billy Crystal. 'course.) Wow! Not that this wasn't captivating, entertaining, I'd say flawless, all on its own. I loved it. Every word in its place and each one a shining gem. :)

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17:42 Feb 22, 2023

I had Monty Python in my head (haha). I do love your casting. As for me? Jeremy Irons as Wyvern. (Of course.)

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Susan Catucci
17:53 Feb 22, 2023

Ooooooh, now that's some good casting. Wyvern did exude upper class. Sorry, Robin! And opposite, Jeremy? Eric Idle? Mr. Bean?

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18:06 Feb 22, 2023

Eric Idle for Sir Knight John Cleese for Wyvern

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Susan Catucci
18:09 Feb 22, 2023

Can't top that. Why would anyone?

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18:22 Feb 22, 2023

"I'm not dead yet," - Sir Knight

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14:27 Feb 21, 2023

Good job. Love this as always.

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17:45 Feb 22, 2023

Thanks Faith! This was a challenge to write, but kinda fun.

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Dylan Patrick
22:59 Feb 20, 2023

This was an interesting read. It was the first full-dialogue story that I've read on Reedsy, and it also tickled my fancy for fantasy. Overall, I liked the back and forth and the knight's more medieval way of speaking that gave the story character.

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17:46 Feb 22, 2023

Thanks, Dylan. :) Try writing full-dialogue stories sometime. It's a very good way to build up dialogue writing skills.

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MJ Simons
09:42 Feb 20, 2023

I enjoyed this story. It's very creative. Nice job.

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17:46 Feb 22, 2023

Appreciate the read :)

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Irene Duchess
03:18 Feb 20, 2023

great story! a good ending... I'm guessing the knight didn't quite make it? :) thanks for sharing!

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17:46 Feb 22, 2023

Chomp chomp chomp (urp)

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Wendy Kaminski
19:26 Feb 19, 2023

"Surprise... wyvern!" is not on anyone's list of wants, I'd venture to say. This was lovely, Deidra: so lulling as intended, then a packed-punch at the end! (Iron fist in a velvet glove, perhaps!) I got a chuckle out of so many of the lines, but "Yes, yes. Of course. You are simply terrifying. Now follow me, young man." and "sitting on it like a 24-karat hemorrhoid.” had to be my favorites. Great story, very enjoyable!

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17:47 Feb 22, 2023

Hi Wendy! Writing this was a lark. I'm taking breaks between editing a novel and need to write some fluff to clear the cobwebs outta my skull.

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Russell Mickler
17:49 Feb 19, 2023

Okay, this totally made me laugh: “All in one person? That seems excessive.” This made me cackle: “Dragon hegemony?” And here, I keeled over: “Iron, Sir Knight. Iron and blood." Fun dialogue. I do thing Wyverns get a bad rap. Symbols of war, strength, and envy in medieval heraldry. They're not as romanticized as dragons and are somewhat lost from memory. I think you bring it back to its roots with the ending :) R

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18:12 Feb 19, 2023

Thanks, R. Turns out that Wyverns really need a union. This turned into more of a Marxist piece than I had planned. :)

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Michelle Oliver
04:24 Feb 19, 2023

What a fantastic story. Your dialogue was so good! I loved the different voice you gave to each character. Echoes of Beowulf and Grendel here, so well told and authentic. Your wyvern might be my new favourite character. His wit is so dry. “All in one person? That seems excessive.” Loved it had a chuckle. And your ending was so tidy and neat! Everything in its place.

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18:15 Feb 19, 2023

Spoken like a true English teacher, I assume, Ms. Oliver? If so, join the club. There are a lot of us here on Reedsy. :) If you like your wit dry as vermouth, I made COVID a Victorian dandy at an 18th c. London bar...meeting some of his other Plague friends. (I'm going to get my youngest son to animate these ascot-wearing diseases.) https://blog.reedsy.com/short-story/invaxu/

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Michelle Oliver
22:44 Feb 19, 2023

Ooo I loved your ascot wearing Covid. Such a dandy! Wouldn’t it have been funny if covid was in a rush to leave because he was committed to a Corona virus family gathering which included is ancient grandmother common cold. How he and his cousins SARS and MERS, are mortified by her “common” birth and tried to hide her from society. I am a teacher, but don’t teach English, although that’s what I wanted to teach, life just didn’t end up taking me in that direction. I teach music. Maybe I will get a late life career change.

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23:25 Feb 19, 2023

You realize I'm stealing all your plot points for my sequel for "The Sixth Wave." God bless you for teaching music. I hope that doesn't involve middle school (any part of it) or elementary school recorders. I do hope you go all Terence Fletcher on them.

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Michelle Oliver
23:27 Feb 19, 2023

Sigh elementary school recorders and ukulele for me!

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Lily Finch
23:15 Feb 16, 2023

Deidra, The dialogue swept us into the mix of this one. It seemed off that the Wyvern was being so kind and accommodating to the Knight. Kind of had that feeling of "here it comes" <cue psycho music shower scene>. I liked how it wrapped up into a tight bow at the end. "Well, I came to the realization that I didn’t own my gold. The. gold. owned. me.” And then, of course, one of the seven deadly sins is greed. It makes you wonder if giving up one vice for another is what people do to get through addictions of some kind. I recognized the langu...

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00:07 Feb 17, 2023

This one was for us English teachers. (A tip of the hat to John Gardner's Grendel.) Good point here, LF6: "It makes you wonder if giving up one vice for another is what people do to get through addictions of some kind." That's definitely has been true in my life. Thankfully, I'm addicting to writing these days, a very inexpensive addiction :) I love to see your name on my page. Your comments and support are so appreciated! (I'm addicting to them, too.) Thank you Thank you Thank you

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Lily Finch
02:55 Feb 17, 2023

Deidra, You are the sweetest. Thank you. LF6.

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Michał Przywara
21:49 Feb 16, 2023

Great :) Nice tight ending. Almost didn't see it coming, as the Wyvern was quite eloquent and convincing, but it asked the knight to put his sword down just *one* too many times :) Of course, by then, it was too late. There's a moral here, something about old age and treachery… I was going to say the dialogue was good - and it was - but reflecting on it I missed it was an all-dialogue story. Which is to say, the action and setting were clear. "Why is what all Wyverns wonder." :D "Dragons may love gold, but we Wyverns have evolved past...

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23:59 Feb 16, 2023

You know, this could be an allegory for Jeff Bezos. I taught British literature to 12th graders for almost a decade. Beowulf was the first Old English text and used an unbelievable amount of alliteration throughout its monster-crunching action. I want to do the same for my wily Wyvern. Also, the Anglo-Saxons defined a good life as: 1) dying in battle and 2) accumulating wealth. No turning the other cheek or helping thy neighbor for our forefathers! Beowulf literally gathers his material possessions around him when he dies. Then everyone goe...

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Michał Przywara
02:41 Feb 17, 2023

Could also be a decent band name :) Yeah, that whole live-by-the-sword/die-by-the-sword attitude seemed to be embraced in a lot of places, but I wonder how it all actually looked. Did all the warriors truly look forward to meeting their gods with their heads held high, or was it more a kind of "workplace culture" the CEOs of the day invented to keep the workforce in line. "Glorious death for thee and the gold for me."

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