(Please do not use without permission from the artist)
Gwawr’s eyes swam with unshed tears; after hours of waiting she desperately wanted to hear the shell crack, to see tiny dragon claws tearing at the sticky amniotic sac, and her baby emerging exhausted, but safe and she yearned to lick her offspring clean, tickling soft scales, watching baby dragon reflexes, anxious to see its tummy curling inwards as she roughly licked its sensitive newborn skin.
The opaque shell shivered and a resounding crack echoed through the cave; a long, thin crack ran down the side of the shell, it widened then clamped shut as the pressure from within collapsed – Gwawr uttered another frustrated cry and the fracture began to open again.
The unborn creature struggled and the egg rocked violently before coming to yet another standstill; the soft tapping restarted, and with each tap the thin cracks grew until suddenly a tiny horn protruded through the shell. The horn retreated into the egg then drove through, shell fragments splintered and littered the floor beneath the nest, and the baby dragon exerted every last bit of energy rupturing the thick sac surrounding it inside the confines of the egg.
A spout of water gushed and claws tore wildly at the shell, until thick pieces collapsed under the strain and a bedraggled, scrawny baby dragon fell out, as his lungs heaved and he struggled for breath, Gwawr snapped out of her trance and curled her tail protectively around her newborn, she licked and rubbed him, and sighed in relief as the tiny creature let out a cough and splutter, then she giggled almost uncontrollably and allowed her tears to drop, helping to wash the dragon clean.
I've wanted to write this piece for a bit, and I really wanted it to fit with this week's word: Delicate at Five Sentence Fiction from Lillie McFerrin. Take a look at all the entries...
I also want to thank artist Amanda Makepeace for giving me permission to use her digital painting The Dragon's Egg, it was the beautiful picture I had in my mind for this piece. You can find more of her amazing art available for sale on her site at www.redbubble.com/people/amandamakepeace.
And if anyone's wondering how to pronounce the Welsh name Gwawr it is: Gwour and means 'Dawn'.