I’ve entered into a short story contest. Fourteen days to write, edit and submit a story fewer than five thousand words. I’m going to share my drafts and my revisions as I go along. Getting the story out with a word budget of 5k is going to be challenging.
Here’s the first bit, warts and all:
“Siobhan,” said the Archdruid. “We need to have a talk about your dragon.”
“He’s young,” said Siobhan.
“It’s a phase, many creatures go through awkward spells during adolescence.”
“Awkward?” the Archdruid crossed his arms and scowled at her. “He razed Rodagh Farm, ate every ox and sheep. He then plucked the arms and legs off Mr. Rodagh and left him to bleed out in his field. ”
“He doesn’t understand.” Siobhan shakes her head and looks away.
“Either do you apparently. The Circle will not abide by this. Dhoul, as you call him. He is Nilfailte.”
“Mo dearthair,” Siobhan presses her hands together and looks up at the Archdruid. His face is hard but his eyes are soft. “Let me show you how far he’s come. He can learn. He wants to learn. He is curious and youthful. He plays rough. I can show you he can be gentle. We have a duty to protect life.”
“We have a duty to preserve the natural balance of life.” said the Archdruid. “The Circle has already decided. I’m here out of courtesy, to let you know in person. So you wouldn’t be surprised. We shall drive him out. If he stays it is because of you. Do not lose sight of your purpose, if you are to become an Elder next spring your vision must be clear.”
“I will show you. He can be trained,” said Siobhan.
The Archdruid shakes his head.
“How can we call ourselves stewards of life and of the earth if we turn our backs on difficult subjects? It is they who need us most.”
“Tell that to Rodagh’s family. Who needs us most? You’re teetering on favoritism.”
“I will show you,” she said.