Wanderer of the Enchanted Forest

Image of Short Story
The sun slowly peeked over the horizon, illuminating the forest. The old oak trees loomed overhead and the pines stood idle in the light. Mushrooms littered the floor, and they seemed to glow with a turquoise light that faded with the rising sun. The mysterious creatures that called these woods home were starting to come out from their dens, ready for the day.

The somewhat large dragon had peeked out from the mouth of it's cave, squinting in the sunlight. It yawned and sat down, gazing at the forest that was below the rocky ledge where it's cave sat. The creature's tail swayed back and forth slowly, it's red scales shining in the light. It's horns stuck out from its head like branches. They curled down and stuck out beside its face. The dragon stood and stretched out, yawing as it did so.

Soon, it was on its way through the forest on a nice walk. It's golden underbelly caught the eyes of many forest animals, but none dared to get closed to the large beast. Its wings were folded at its sides as it trudged on through the trees. Large footprints lay in the grass before quickly being restored by the slight breeze.

The creature soon came upon a small clearing in the trees. It sat down, stopping to rest. It stared off, getting lost in its own thoughts, ignoring everything else around itself. The grass swayed in the breeze as the leaves rustled on the trees. The forest was calm and peaceful.

However, the peace was soon interrupted by the quick footsteps of a hooded figure. They held onto their hat as they fled through the forest, their cloak drifting behind them. It was a beautiful crimson cloak that seemed to shine in the light. Around the wanderer's waist was a belt that had many bright potions tied to it. The wanderer kept running until the distant barking of dogs faded away into the forest.

The dragon hadn't even noticed, but the wanderer had run right into the clearing. The wanderer froze, gazing up at the dragon in awe and terror. They started to back up slowly, but tripped over their own feet while doing so. They landed with a thud, causing the dragon to look up. It quickly spotted the human wanderer, and immediately went on guard, standing tall as drops of lava oozed from its jaws.

The wanderer stood up, and froze when they saw the dragon looming above them. The dragon pulled its head towards them, ready to attack, but the wanderer held out their hand. The dragon paused, and sniffed the wanderer curiously. The wanderer reached into their cloak and pulled out a satchel that was slung over their shoulder. They tossed a piece of meat out to the dragon, and it landed on the ground with a soft thud.

The dragon sniffed it cautiously before grabbing the meat and eating it. It then looked back to the wanderer once it was finished, and stared at them contently, wanting more. Terrified, the wanderer reached in and pulled out another piece of meat, this time holding it out to the beast. The dragon grabbed the meat and ate it. Soon, it sat down, watching as the wanderer peeked out from under their hat.

They stared at each other for a few quiet seconds, before the aggressive barking of dogs was head through the trees. The wanderer spun around, terrified. The large dragon stepped past the wanderer towards the barking, and soon came across a group of people with pitchforks and dogs on old leashes, barking wildly. The dogs soon went quiet, and the humans stopped running when they saw the dragon. It roared out into the forest, scaring birds from trees and causing the dogs to flee in the other direction. The humans stood there, but the ln quickly ran when the beast swung its paw.

Satisfied, it trotted back to the wanderer, where they quickly dumped out their satchel, giving up all of their meat as a thanks. The dragon sat down, and ate the meat. While the dragon was doing so, the wanderer came up and put their hand on the dragon's head. The dragon seemed to almost purr as they did so, and they started to pet the beast. They say there for what felt like hours, being quiet and gaining trust in one another. The dragon soon stood, and shook itself causing small blades of grass to fall off of it's scales. It looked at the wanderer before it walked away, back to it's cave.

To scared to return to the town they had flee from, the wanderer followed the dragon silently. Once the dragon had gotten inside the cave, the wanderer has sat down outside and waited. They were so dumbfounded by the dragon's presence that they felt almost safer around it. They waited and waited outside of the mouth of the cave, looking at maps and retying potions.

Soon, night fell, and the forest started to show it's true beauty. The mushrooms that were scattered across the forest floor started to glow brightly with a turquoise color, and they illuminated the ground. Dark blue flowers quickly bloomed near some trees, revealing a glowing yellow inside. The forest seemed to come alive and glow as the moon was raised and the cover of darkness fell upon the woods.

An eerie howl echoed through the trees as dark figures started to form at the base of the rocky ledge. Large wolf like animals with feathered wings fathered at the base, and howled once more. They quickly started flying up, parts of their fur and eyes glowing brightly. One swooped down at the wanderer, snarling. The wanderer ducked, but never felt the impact of the winged wolf. Instead, there was a whimper. They looked up to see the dragon holding the now injured winged wolf in its jaws.

It threw the wolf at the others, but it fell between them and landed on the ground with a satisfying thud. It laid there, unmoving. The other wolves swooped in, but the beast spit lava at them, causing one wolf to become badly burned. Soon, after a quickly but bloody battle, the surviving wolves landed and ran off, whining.

The wanderer looked up to the dragon, and saw that the creature had sat down beside them. They pet the beast slowly, and it didn't move. Instead, it just let them pet it. The wanderer soon stopped, and grabbed their hat. They pulled it off, no longer needing to hide their face. Her long brown hair fell to her shoulders as she grasped the hat in her hands. “Thank you...” She spoke with a soft tone, hoping the creature understood her.

“My pleasure.” The raspy voice of the dragon spoke back. “It's awfully dangerous out here, especially a human.” The wanderer chuckled nervously. “Yeah... I was fleeing from a mob...”
She set her hat down beside herself. “Oh, um... I'm Mystic by the way...”

“It's a pleasure to help you survive, Mystic.” -the dragon stared out. “I am Core. I hope I do not intimate you.” He looked down at her. “Only a little... I didn't know you could talk...” She looked up at him and smiled awkwardly. “Come inside my cave. I'm sure you'll need shelter for the night.” Core led Mystic into the cave, and the two soon fell asleep. For the next few days, they talked, took walks, and Mystic had began to ride Core. She helped him get used to having a human on his back, and he helped her get used to flying.

After weeks, a small hut was put up by the cave. Core had a saddle, and the two hung out very often. Sometimes, they'd fly over the town that had chased Mystic away, just to scare them. She had never thought she would ever get a dragon, and she never thought she'd meet one like this. They grew close, and Core protected Mystic fiercely. She had learned her ways through the forest, and had showed Core the different options. He had shown her his attacks, and they continued to live out in the enchanted woods that many creatures called home.

Every now and then, raiders would com to try and take Mystic and slay the dragon, but none prevailed. They continued to live in peace, and some say they're still out there to this day. If you listen closely, you might just hear the far off roar of the fierce dragon who protects the Wanderer of the Enchanted Forest.