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Despite what everyone had said, killing the dragon was by far not the hardest part.

A basic set of conjuration spells, a good pre-era sword (thank you, Grandpa) and a few tips from the on-duty castle magician had done that. What they should write about in the books is how impossible it is to get the damned head all the way to the capital. Now that’s a battle.

Now, I’m no idiot. Oh, no. I remember how the elf tutor my father had hired kept praising me for learning all of the sword dances in one go. He kept saying I was a “jewel”. All the ladies said so, too… Anyway, despite all my efforts and attempts to recall the textbooks, I could not remember anything about the head-carrying part.

The problem was it was too heavy to be tied casually to the saddle like in all those paintings my sisters like so much. I had to put together a pathetic parody of a carriage just to get it moving, and that kept falling apart every five yards. I had to change three horses on the five-day journey, that’s how heavy it was. And Feather spells were useless. Stupid dragons and their stupid enchanted heads.

I lucked out though, there were some bandits on the way with a nice new carriage they stole. It was still too small and the horns kept getting stuck in the branches, but at least I could go into the city with some grace. I can’t tell you how much I hated to gods-damned Queen and her bloody whims during those five days. When she got up to greet me in the throne room I almost threw a tantrum, but was too tired. I stopped hating the next day her when she granted me an early retirement and my own manor in the city, servants included.

The head is now in the middle of the castle hall, covered with a healthy layer of gold and sapphires, the horns polished regularly.

Needless to say, I still shudder every time I have to pass it.

Crumple, crumple — said the branches under her feet.

Rustle, rustle — said the leaves as she pushed them aside.

Howl, howl — cried the wind far away.

 

She had been here thousands of times, alone. Speaking to the leaves and the air. Forgetting herself in the forest when there was no other place left.

She swam in the light and danced through the trees, and she felt as if she was not herself. There was no point in sadness, even though the blood had not yet washed off her face.

Deeper, deeper she went into the forest. Further, further she went into her mind. The shade gathered around her, welcoming, as a friend does in memories. She did not feel the cold.

She ran, and everything ran around her. She stopped, and everything stopped around her. Even the air.

She opened her eyes. It was dark now. The sky was looking at her with a million eyes, and she looked back, and smiled.

The feathers embraced her as she sank into them, tired. This was going to be her home, just for tonight. Her soft, warm bed.

Sleep, sleep – said the trees.

Breathe, breathe – said the leaves.

Howl, howl – cried the wind.

You wake up. It’s bright. The first thing you see are the softly swaying branches in your window, letting in a serpentine pattern of sun rays. And now there is the smell – a pine forest, and a pine house – fresh, comforting.

The house is silent, as if empty. M’s sleeping face is turned to you as you try to get out from under the sheets without waking her. It’s cold without the layers of wool blankets, and you hurriedly pull on jeans and a sweater.

Nobody is awake yet. You quietly step out into the living room and breathe in the air. Behind the huge glass walls is the forest, the mountains and the sky, the spirits of this place.

The house is far away from the city. It is huge, yet one cannot find it without knowing the way, even when retracing one’s steps.

Here they have a piano and a fireplace. The powerful computers are kept in the basement, and the mirrors are dusty. Music is always playing, and sometimes, a deer comes to the porch.

Out on the terrace, you already have a favorite place to watch the mountains from, and that’s where you’ll wait for the others to wake up and come.

Tomorrow, you will leave this house for the last time. Through the years, it will fade in your memory, and so will the tranquility you felt here. But you will never forget the fragrance of this place. Someday, someone will give you a single pine branch from this forest. It will make you smile, but you will not remember why.

His steady hands, clumsy and slow in the huge metal-woven gloves, were spinning the rusty wheel of the bunker-like construction. The suit had been dosing him with the appropriate amount of adrenaline and artificial nutrients, preventing him from ever tiring, yet his breathing was slow and heavy.

“What’s taking so long?” – asked his redhead assistant, also in a space suit – the more expensive and excessively complicated one, covered in girly patterns and soft comforting colors. Rookie.

“Shut up, Sheila. I’m working.” – he said.

Sheila made a pouty grimace, but nobody saw it past her UV-protected helmet. Nobody watched, anyway. She wasn’t really offended though – getting in people’s way was was her method of making an imprint on the world.

Finally, something in the ancient mechanism started crackling. The old metal door creaked open, revealing nothing. Chaotic flashlight beams pierced the empty space as the team set out into the darkness.

“Okay, guys. Scanner says there’s still an atmosphere down here, we can take of the helmets” – he followed his own instructions without waiting for a response. Usually collected, he now resembled a little boy before Christmas – scurrying around, setting up equipment, helping the others do their job. – “Contact the base. Tell them we’re in.”

His words were hard to believe. The place had been sealed off for five thousand years, not a single atom coming in or out, not a single man making it here alive. And now, the first successful manned mission here. They were the first.

Slowly, the shock passed. Realization of the team’s success – imagined so many times before – began chaining through the people. Silence was replaced by the roar of everyone’s childhood dreams coming true. Forgetting about the weight of the suits and crates, the explorers started clapping, hugging, dancing, laughing, crying… Nobody had believed they could do it.

Nobody had believed they could unseal Serpantera’s Blog.

Well, here we are.

This day was bound to come sooner or later. There’s no running from it. I know it, you know it, even that suspicious-looking ninja behind you knows it.The time has come to hand the mic over to Captain Obvious, who seems to have a very important announcement:

“Hi guys, I’ve started my own blog.”

Thank you. Thank you very much, Captain.

Welcome to WordPress.com! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!

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