"Tell me, little thief, why I should not end you here and now?"
I gulp in answer- it is all I can do.
Smaug is as magnificent as my mother would have had me believe when she told me to stay away from his cave- as her mother had her believe, as her mother had her believe…
Great and golden and glorious…
"Why should I not blast you into atoms, little thief? Why should I not destroy you utterly and entirely?"
I shrug- it is all I can do.
I cannot meet his eyes- he is a hurricane made flesh, a thunderclap incarnate, bestial and brutal and brilliant…
The great dragon chuckles at my discomfort, and the echoing clamor of his mirth is like being trapped at the heart of a thunderstorm. Any second now I will die, I think- any second now there will be a blast of heat and light and then…
One second passes, then another, then another.
I hold my breath, awaiting my inevitable destruction…
…and then he chuckles again.
"Tell me your name, little thief."
I blink, shocked.
"Tell me your name, little thief, so that I might remember your audacity in years to come."
I am confused. He wants my name?
"You are a thief, but you cannot help it. You were born a thief and will die a thief."
I watch, awe-struck, as he picks up a coin- delicate as a seamstress and devastating as a storm- and flickers it between his fingers.
"I was born a hoarder and will die a hoarder, little thief- we are not so different, you and I, do you not think?"
The coin glitters in the dim sunlight that enters the cave mouth, and my mouth waters. I must have it, I must, I-
"Take this coin with my blessing- take it and treasure it, little thief."
I nod frantically, unable to believe my luck.
"Take it and begin your own hoard… but give me your own name first."
I clutch the coin tightly- it is warm from his touch, why did I not think it would be?
"Tell me your name, little thief… that I might know you if you are fool enough to seek to rob me in future."
I nod, acknowledging his justice, and he smiles- or at least, what passes for a smile amongst his kind.
I do not speak his language- my throat does not allow me to- but I understand it utterly. Clutching the coin in my claws, I nod once more to the beast before speaking my one word.
Smaug nods, and that one movement dismisses me. I flee in a frantic flutter of wings, crying my name over and over again in the hope that he does not retract his promise.
I cannot use the coin, but I do not care- I am naught but a jackdaw, after all, transfixed by shiny objects.
Smaug does not use his coins either.
I wonder if he cares…
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.