chasing the dragon
Writhing in agony on the rocky shore, Sherlock attempted to warn her of the animal’s approach but no sound would pass his lips. It took the clicking of a thousand scales and the buffeting gusts of salty air to finally tear Joan’s focus away from her partner’s contorted form.
The sack she carried dropped to the ground beside Sherlock. Joan reached for the hilt of her silver sword. Fiercely, she pivoted to face the winged creature.
Golden and glistening, as beautiful as it was terrifying, it screeched in anger at the intrusion. “He belongs to me! The oracle has so declared!” The beast swayed its long tale as it reared itself high into the sky, taking aim at the armored warrior. “Run, mortal woman, run while you can!”
Enraged, Joan stood taller. Her voice exploded from deep within her plated chest, full in its power, “We do not fear thee, dragon. Be gone. You have no power here.” She raised her sword high and prepared to plunge it deep into the dark heart of the shimmering lizard. Sherlock, now on his knees behind Joan, watched in terror.
The animal’s laugh, like the ringing of a hundred bells, filled the air. It opened its mouth sending forth a sphere of orange flames that enveloped Joan’s weapon. The molten metal fell from her hand, puddling like mercury in the sand before her.
Joan screamed, doubled over, and turned away from her enemy. Sherlock expecting to see the defeated face of his partner, was shocked at the smile on face.
She whispered, “Give me the sack, and close your eyes. No matter what you hear, do not open them until I say it is safe.”
Dumbfounded, he did as he was told. Joan took the sack and reached in, clamping tight on the mass within. She pulled out the blond-tressed head of the Medusa, cast her own eyes to the ground and raised it high before the dragon…
The keen of the dying beast entwined with the cold wails of Moriarty’s head as it swung from her hand filled the air, piercing and shrill, reverberated through her chest until her whole body shook. Her eyes clamped shut, she heard Sherlock call out her name over and over …..
“Watson! Watson!” He shook her again, trying to break the hold of whatever terror had chased her through her dreams tonight.
With a rattling intake of breath, Joan awoke to the sight of Sherlock’s eyes, full of pain and fear for her. Bringing her breathing under control, she laid her hand on his, “It’s okay. ….. It’s okay…”
The story is from last year’s Watson’s Woes that I edited slightly here. The image is an attempt to capture what I tried to describe in words. Not quite… dragons are not my forte but I do like the figure of Sherlock cowering behind Joan.
ETA - adding a second version of the image - not sure if it’s better or worse…