Sun, Shadow, and Smaug

Shadow of the Dragon

1. 1


The whole world is on fire- or at least, that is how it seems to Gwyrith.

She runs blindly, eyes stinging with tears, ears deafened by terror.

How could this have happened, she wonders- how could such a bright, beautiful day have come to such a brutal, blazing end?

A moment's lapse of concentration and she is lost- a single misplaced footstep and she slips, skids on blood-slicked cobblestones, slips and skids and sprawls full-length in the street, pain jarring through her, her cry but one tiny chord in a symphony of misery that day.

There was no warning, no chance to flee, no nothing…

It was a beautiful day- the bells in the churches were ringing, the birds were singing, the flags were rippling in the breeze, the children's kites were soaring and swooping…

Now Dale is become nothing less than a veritable Hell on Earth.

Man and women run hither and yon screaming in panic. Children stand howling and ash-streaked in the wreckage of streets where once they played. Everywhere is death, everywhere destruction, and yet…

…and yet even now, Gwyrith thinks as she tries to haul herself to her grazed knees with bloodied hands- even as she fights for breath through smoke-choked lungs, she cannot quite believe her eyes…

 …even now the sky is blue, whipped through with fluffy white clouds.

Even now the sun is still high in the sky.

The murder of her home- the massacre and mutilation of everything the Lake-folk have striven so hard to build these last long centuries- has taken the beast mere minutes.

The beast shrieks with triumphant joy as he topples another tower with a casual flick of his massive tail, sending rubble cascading into the streets in a dusty waterfall of death and crushing destruction- such terrible, wanton cruelty is almost an afterthought to him, Gwyrith thinks, watching as hundreds of years of history is brought to a hideous, shattering end in the blink of an eye.

Family and friends are gone now- all that remains is fear and flame, mayhem and misery, death and destruction…

She tries to rise, to run, but it is useless- the beast's devastation is everywhere. Even if she could flee his malice she might be crushed by falling masonry, or incinerated by the countless fires his breath has ignited,…

As it is, she cannot flee. The fall was worse than she thought- bone pierces through ravaged flesh of her shin, and even the slightest attempt to put weight on the smashed limb leads to futile, agonised screams.

The clouds themselves- once white and fluffy- now darken, now seem to bleed and burn in sympathy with her poor broken, beloved Dale.

The beast screams again and wheels above the blazing ruins, exulting in the devastation he has wrought, blocking out the light- huge and hateful, fire and flame and fury, shadow-winged and slimy, a veritable mountain of murder made flesh…

…Gwyrith closes her eyes and prays the end will be swift.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.


In Challenges

Story Information

Author: Aruthir

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 01/14/14

Original Post: 01/14/14

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