Agnes was quietly singing to herself as she entered the High Wood in search of berries. She knew she would find the fruit she was after. Elderberries were just coming into season and the rich purple-black clusters would make for some excellent wine.
Agnes, a portly widow of about fifty, depended on the revenue from her wine to make ends meet. The Baron taxed the villagers so heavily, and every farthing now was precious.
How had it come to this? she wondered. Things had been so much happier when the old Baron ruled.
The “Old Baron” was gone, however. He husband and many other men had followed him out to meet the barbarian raiders. But alas, neither her Garth nor the Baron returned from the fray.
“Life goes on,” she intoned into her melody as she continued to hum her tune.
She was now approaching the best place for the berries. She knew there would be plenty, as the High Wood was beyond the boundaries of the village Woodward, and the locals believed it place to be inhabited by dark fairies (a mythology she did her best to foster).
She arrived at the place that she had seen an abundance of white elderflower at in the spring, but the branches were bare. This puzzled her. She went deeper into the wood, and at every copse of her precious elderberries she found the same.
How am I ever going to meet my orders? How am I even going to live? she lamented.
Then she heard a slow rhythmic rumbling sound. She pushed through the trees and found a large ancient dragon asleep in a clearing. It was snoring and its mouth was stained with the purple juice of elderberry.
What do I have to lose? she thought as she marched up to the sleeping beast.
She purposely stomped upon a tattered leathery wing as she approached and shouted.
“Hey, you! Don’t you realise that you have ruined me. You might as well eat me and get it over with. I am doomed anyway!”
The elderly beast slowly opened one eye and looked the irate woman up and down.
“Madame,” the dragon said courteously. “I am sorry if I have caused you any irritation, but exactly what have I done?”
“You ate all the bloody berries. That’s what,” she replied.
“Again, my apologies,” the great lizard said.
“So get on with it. Finish me off!” Agnes un-pacified demanded.
“Madame, while I appreciate the offer of what would be undoubtedly a filling meal, I have to tell you that human flesh, ‘maiden’ or otherwise, is bad for the digestion. I much prefer fruit. And please, may I ask, will you step off of my wing?”
Agnes, slowly stepped off of the wing and stood cross armed giving the beast an evil stare.
“How might I make amends?” the dragon asked.
Agnes thought about this for a moment.
“Roar for me,” she demanded.
The ancient beast let loose a terrifying bellow which shook the entire wood.
“Good,” Agnes said. “I want you to come with me, and we are going to pay a little visit to the Baron.”
Sunday Writing Prompt “5 by 5”
Pick a Mythological Creature:
Pick an Activity:
Pick a Fruit:
Pick a Time of Life:
Middle Age and [Old Age]
Pick a Concern:
The State of the World and [Money and/or Work]