Questing beast?

I feel the life within and around me with fierce joy. It is a glorious morning. Dew sparkles like living diamonds on the grass and the air is bright. Waking to such a day is pure pleasure. I stretch out my forelegs, rousing muscles stiff from sleep, and flex my wings. I strike the ground and a stream is born, pooling around my hoof, one of my father’s more useful gifts.

I drink, admiring my rippling reflection and then break my fast; the grass is young here and sweet and there are apples on the trees.

Once I have eaten, I set about preening my feathers… a laborious task, but necessary. There is an itch, just there on the leading edge. I twist around to reach it, a most ungainly position for one such as I… and find that I am being watched.

Beyond the spring, there is a young man. His athletic form is clad only a leather kilt and sandals. Beside him, thrust point-down into the earth, is a spear. His hair is as golden as the bridle he carries. I have seen it before, that bridle… it belongs to Athene. I know that the young man has been sent by the goddess.

I accept the inevitable… have you tried arguing with Athene?

Shrugging my wings, I allow the young man to approach. Does She have to pick the very young ones every time? He holds out one hand and slips the bridle into place with the other. Very confidently done. He tells me his name and says that the goddess has decreed that I should help him on his quest. Being what I am, I am not averse to a bit of questing… I wait for him to elaborate.

Slay the Chimera? Oh yeah… nice one, Lady! Have you seen the thing?

It is all very well, this nobility lark, but it does have its downsides. I hope the lad has a damned good plan… I don’t much fancy being eaten by a fire-breathing, lion-headed goat-snake. Or, even worse, getting my feathers singed!

He climbs on my back and with one hefty beat, we take to the sky. In spite of the task ahead, the pressure of the wind under my wings and the thrill in my stomach is a joy. We soar high in the wide blue above Lycia, heading towards the smoky hills on the eastern horizon.  He clutches my mane, perhaps just a little too tightly.

It takes only a few joyous minutes of flight before we can see the tell-tale scorching of the trees. Extending my wings, I glide lower, circling above the mouth of a cave. On the third pass, I see it, the lion’s maw buried in a bloodied carcass, the great, scaly tail writhing behind.

The lad shifts his position, gripping tightly with his thighs as he adjusts his grasp on the spear. I dive, tucking in my legs, folding my wings and stretching out my neck. The ground rushes towards us as frightening speed. My rider tenses as the spear whooshes past my right ear. A thud and a whoop of triumph. We watch the beast’s tail coil and uncoil as the beast’s own flames melt the lead-tipped spear into its flesh.

For Diana’s November challenge

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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44 Responses to Questing beast?

  1. Sadje says:

    Wonderful story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done, Sue. I was right there!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mungaithought says:

    The introduction part is terrific, I like the story,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jenanita01 says:

    The perfect story for Diana’s prompt, Sue. I loved it!

    Like

  5. Wonderful and exciting, Sue. You didn’t name the characters, but it’s so clear who they are. I liked the pov too. That was fun since I’ve only read the myth from the man’s perspective. Thanks so much for taking up the challenge. I’ll share later this morning. 🙂 Have a lovely day.

    Like

  6. memadtwo says:

    The gradual recognition echoes the dawn. The switch in point of view really enlarges the story. (K)

    Like

  7. Reblogged this on Myths of the Mirror and commented:
    A wonderful retelling of a mythic tale with a unique POV by Sue Vincent. I hope you enjoy.

    Like

  8. joylennick says:

    Drama, atmosphere and humour…what a winning combination! Excellent, Sue and Diana. xx

    Like

  9. Excellent! I love the humor you gave to Pegasus 🙂

    Like

  10. dgkaye says:

    Fantastic imagination for this prompt Sue. Almost sounds like the makings of book. 🙂 xx

    Like

  11. I love all the Unicorn stories. Not to mention the tapestries!

    Like

  12. My heart was in my throat, what a relief to read that the spear hit its mark!

    Like

  13. willowdot21 says:

    Oh! Sue this is brilliant you had me enthralled from the first word 💜

    Like

  14. Excellent, vivid retelling of the myth! I enjoyed it a great deal.

    Like

  15. Pingback: November Challenge Round Up | Myths of the Mirror

  16. kevin cooper says:

    Nice one, Sue! 🙂

    Like

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