The Night of Elvarg This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

April 22, 2010
The full moon dimly lit the small town of Cloud Village. The homes were made of blackened wood and the roofs were mangled and had large gashes scattered on them. Their windows consisted of warped glass that distorted any images that were seen through them. All the trees in the town and around the town were dead with charred bark that was rotting. Every last one of them were very small and stocky. Their branches were jagged and sharp-ended. They bore no leaves or greenery, let alone any sign of ever having any before. The distant scenery was nothing but bare mountains and dry riverbeds.
It was around midnight when a bloodcurdling scream echoed throughout the air above the town. No sooner than the scream had been heard, a gargantuan blood-red dragon rose from the streets and swiftly flew off into the distance carrying a limp body in its gnarly claws. “No!” a helpless woman screamed in despair. The woman dropped to her knees and cried in the middle of the dirt road that lead out of the town. A tall young man quickly ran to her side and picked up the sobbing old woman. He then turned around and began running as fast as possible back into town, where he busted the door of a random house down and went inside. “No! We must go after Elvarg! She has my husband!” the old woman wailed. “Ma’am I’m sorry. It’s too late for your husband.” the young man said softly. His hair was short and spiked. Most of it slanted towards the right and it had a mixed color of green and yellow, which gave it a neon green tint. On his back was an extremely large sword with a very wide blade. It was as long as he was tall and gleamed in the lantern’s light. He laid the old woman down in a leather wing-chair that was placed oddly in the center of the house. His hands bore brown leather gloves without fingers. They seemed to be a bit worn, as if they had been used in a fight. He was wearing a black leather cloak that dragged on the ground a little behind him as he walked. Its collar was short and folded down around the neck. Its sleeves ended at his wrists and the material it was made from slightly reflected the dim light of the lanterns. The young man attempted to comfort the old lady, but all she could do was wail and cry. Angered by Elvarg’s strife, he reached behind him and drew his massive blade. Because it was a single-edge blade, he was able to rest it on his shoulder. “Elvarg must pay. Cloud Village has suffered too long. I will not allow innocent people to suffer her wrath any longer.” he said. As if she was taking a break from her mourning she asked him, “What is your name?” He didn’t move. The young man simply stood still and stared into the darkness. After a long pause he finally said, “My name is Ratíl.” Then he walked out of the doorway with sword in hand, and strolled down the middle of the dirt street. This has gone on long enough. Ratíl thought. His face was overrun with determination as he confidently made his way out of town. With his sword resting on his shoulder he strode past the last damaged house on the edge of Cloud Village.
Satisfied that he was now out of the town, Ratíl stabbed the end of his sword into the ground in front of him, crossed his arms and rested them on the pommel. He surveyed the distant mountains for a possible lair that Elvarg might be hiding in. His dark blue eyes seemed as if they saw everything there was to see. Far off into the distance, among the Dead Mountains he saw a dark spot that was hidden in a small crevice. I’ll start searching there. It looks like a small cave. Ratíl pulled his sword from the ground and put it back in the long, leather sheath that was strapped to his back. He took a deep breath and started walking.
After hours of hiking through dead and dying trees and jagged rocky terrain, Ratíl was finally at the mouth of the cave. It didn’t appear to go very deep into the mountain, but it was extremely dark. He felt a sense of danger and dread. Very slowly he reached for his sword and drew it. The brave swordsman strolled into the cave holding the berserker’s sword with both hands on its handle. He tightly gripped the rough cloth that wrapped it as he cautiously yet confidently strode deeper into the cave. The darkness of the cave blinded Ratíl. He accidently kicked a fist-sized rock and it tumbled forward making cracking sounds that echoed throughout the dank cave. Suddenly there was a light far down at what seemed to be the end of the tunnel. At first it glowed dimly, but it gradually got closer and brighter. Elvarg! Ratíl turned around and ran out the mouth of the cave, followed by a cloud of fire that bellowed behind him with ferocious force. Ratíl hid behind a nearby dead tree. It was wide enough to protect him from Elvarg’s sudden wave of flames. The force of the blast blew a few large branches off of the top of the dead tree, but Ratíl was safe. Carefully he peered around the side of the tree to see the massive blood-red dragon named Elvarg standing on four heavily scaled legs. Her wings were spread wide in an attempt to appear more threatening than she already was. Her snout was elongated and her lips concealed the hundreds of teeth in her mouth, though the very tips of the deadly looking teeth could still be seen slightly. Jagged horns covered the back of her head, each of them bleach white and located in random places. Her neck was lined with a row of small but sharp horns and that extended all the way to the end of her tail. Her entire body was covered in dark red thick scales that acted as battle armor. She looked like a demon straight from Hell. Her ferocity stood out not only through her appearance, but also through her behavior and stature. Elvarg stood tall and proud as if she was daring Ratíl to fight. Her sickeningly bright yellow eyes rapidly searched for the young swordsman. Eventually she realized he was hiding behind the dead tree and swung her front foot, her deadly claws cleaved the tree in two with no barely any effort at all. But Ratíl was too quick for her. He wasn’t behind the tree’s burnt stump. He was gone and nowhere in sight. Angry, Elvarg searched the forest of dead trees for the cunning young man, but he wasn’t anywhere to be seen.
Suddenly Ratíl appeared on top of the cave’s mouth and jumped. He soared through the air and landed on Elvarg’s back, stabbing his sword deep into her back on touchdown. She screeched in agony and shook her body, knocking him off of her back. He hit the ground hard, but recovered his senses quickly and ran for cover again. This time Ratíl hid behind a large boulder about four times his size and crouched down. In the heat of battle it took him a while to realize that his sword was still stuck in Elvarg’s back. Damn. Now how am I going to get my sword back? I’ve already attacked by jumping from the top of the cave’s mouth. If I do it again she’ll see it coming and probably severely injure me. Or even worse, catch me with her fire. There wasn’t much time to think about what to do. Elvarg was sniffing him out fast and she had already figured out he was behind the boulder. As quickly as he could he took his cloak off, picked up a large spike-like tree branch that was close by and a fist-sized stone. He stabbed the tree branch straight into the ground and put his cloak on it and then threw the stone to his right far into the woods and it made the leaves rustle. This got Elvarg’s attention; making her look in the direction he threw the stone. Ratíl seized the opportunity he created and ran into the cave. This is risky, but it’s my only chance. He noticed a steep rock formation that was shaped like a small mountain and he climbed it, where he crouched down and waited for Elvarg to come back into the cave.
Clueless, Elvarg wondered around the edge of the forest that consisted of dead trees searching for her potential prey. Minutes went by as she pointlessly searched for Ratíl. Finally she had enough and went back into her cave. As she passed the formation that the swordsman was on, Ratíl jumped from its ledge and landed on her back yet again. He quickly yanked his sword from her back and she roared in pain. Furious, Elvarg extended and beat her wings and the gust from them blew Ratíl off of her back yet again. The young man grinned, for he now had his weapon in his grasp once again. He was determined to be the cause of Elvarg’s fall. Ratíl let out a loud war cry and slashed at the ankle of her back left leg. There was a clanging sound as his sword ricocheted off of her tough scales. Elvarg turned her head to look at the swordsman and opened her mouth wide. As soon as she had opened it, fire exploded from the back of her throat and rushed towards Ratíl with terrifying force. Quickly he dove underneath her stomach and brutally stabbed his sword straight up into her poorly-protected stomach. Elvarg reared up onto her hind legs and spewed fire into the air as a demonstration of her pain. Ratíl managed to pull his sword out of her stomach before she reared up and swiftly sheathed the large blade.
Weakened and in agony, Elvarg fell onto her back, crushing her wings and breaking the bones in them. The snapping sound made Ratíl shiver at the thought of the pain Elvarg must be in. No longer able to fly, Elvarg was furious, despite the agony that surged throughout her massive body she was inclined to fight more than ever. When she turned around Ratíl was nowhere in sight. This put her on edge and heightened her senses greatly. Her black eyes flickered all around in a maddened attempt to find her opponent. Just as she looked into her cave Ratíl suddenly appeared below her breast and speedily slashed at her throat and cut deep into her skin. She let out her very last roar, reared onto her hind legs once more and fell onto her back. She lied motionless on the rocky ground. The pattern of her chest rising began to grow slower as each second passed by. With an accomplished and confident expression on his face, Ratíl wiped the blood off of his sword using the grass on the ground. After he looked at his reflection using his sword he sheathed his massive sword and retrieved his cloak from where he had left it and put it back on. Finally, it is done. He began walking through the dead woods, but just before he was almost too far away from the cave to see it clearly, he turned around and looked sincerely at the corpse of Elvarg. I never wanted it to come to this, but I guess Elvarg has had her night. She may have lost her life, but she lost it with honor. He turned back around and slowly walked off into the distance.





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