The Eelwife and Hannah’s Kingdom
The day began with calm. The air was warm outside as it often was in the months before the Feast of Rain. I left my lair and surveyed the rocky inlet. This was a portion of the morning I liked. Yes, the hot air burned at my scaling back, but the I liked the tickle of almost cooked skin. As dragons often do. I stared at the shore and thought about the nice things that I would hunt and eat that day. But something about the shore was different.
The water that softly lapped at the rocks seemed to stretch out farther than usual. The smaller rocks were totally submerged and the boulders sat with the water line at half mass. This wasn’t the way of things.
Far East of the dragon, the Eelwife was swimming swiftly. She swam large circles. She swam tighter circles. Her red hair billowed and bled behind hair. Then, in an instant, she stopped and froze. In that statuesque poise under the water she began to think about the last woman to come visit her to present her child-wish. She thought for a long while about the request, then resumed her circular laps.
She considered whether or not to give a child. She felt the egg-like beads in her hair. How much she loved her treasured pearls, her great power. It should not be shared. Yes, the woman asked to much. Why would someone take of her pearls? They were hers. These thoughts made her restless.
So she went to to find the Fishman.
The Fishman was hewing a spearing for hunting fish. He thought about how he loved the feel of the pieces of trees as they began to take on the form of a spear. He removed the knots and made smooth edges. He was a craftsman. And his work was coming along splendidly.
The Eelwife had hatched a plan. This was the Eelwife’s choice and would remain only hers.
She found the Fishman at his work. She wriggled from the water and placed her long hair in piles around her. She worked out the tangles with her hands. The Fishman stopped cutting at the wood and looked at her.
The red hair was like beautiful ropes that coiled upon the rock where she sat. She spoke, “Fishman, a woman came to me. The woman demanded I meet her request.”
“Eelwife, another woman? Your days are so long. What will you do?” he said.
“It is my gift to give. I will consider her request for some years. She ask so much of me.”
“You are wise, Eelwife. Perhaps you should sleep.”
“I will not sleep. This woman has upset me.”
“Eelwife, you should not be upset.”
“You know what is best. I know you will protect me.” She said.
“Yes, now go rest.” And with that she swam away and knew the storm would come.
The Fishman put down his carving tools. And instead, used his webbed hand to gather a fistful of water and throw it like a dart into the air.
The storm came fast upon the village. Hannah summoned me quickly and I flew to try and stop the thunderbolts.
I heard her screams. In my mind I saw the look of fear in her eyes. Her eyes said one thing: not again. I understood her. Not again, not more loss. Not more fear. Not a sky that turns against us.
I would go protect her.
It wasn’t far, and I left flew from my pacing by the shore. I looked down and saw a gray cloud upon the land. Into that fog with flashes of light, pouring rain and chaos I descended.
Would she be there for me to rescue?
I flew by the church, but saw no one within that sanctuary. She must be somewhere else. Hannah spent many days in the wood so I went there.
When I arrived at the forest I saw destruction. Fire and water crashing against nearby homes and destroying land. But worst of all was the lighting. With steady aim, each came from the sky to take a life. There were many men and women running anywhere to hide, seeking shelter. Where was Hannah?
There! There was her red coat hanging from the tree. She saw me coming and tried to scramble out of the tree then fell. I reached her just as lightning was coming for her. I reached out my arm and made a wall, using my skin as armor. She would live!
Her kids came from the trees also, and ran to me to hide under the wings. Lighting was hot around the forest. But the children found shelter with the dragon.
My wings could only shield Hannah and her children. Some of the villagers made it to the caves in time. Many were lost. Hannah wept and leaned against my side. Her children cuddled against my clawed feet. And I saw death around me.