Liathara 4 – The Apprentice

Liathara lay on the hillside in the sunshine. She had been given time to meditate and take in what she had learned. Her tutor, Clare, the old Dragon-woman, was having her afternoon nap.

She tried to focus on today’s exercise but today her mind was fit to wander. Daydreams about the stories she had been told. She had dreamed about the lady hermit, chased out of the village as a witch, who had spent her days alone in the cave learning the magic, becoming stronger and using her growing power to help the women of the village in return for gifts. Part of the power, it seemed, came from the hills themselves and the more time you became one with them, the more you could bend the world to you will. Or perhaps you became a conduit for the will of nature.

Either way, Liathara was to practice blending in with her surroundings and as she imagined becoming one with the grass and the earth she saw her legs become blurred, indistinct. “I am one with the hill” she murmured and  felt the air start to pass through her, not around.  She dreamed of how a man from the village had come to her predecessor begging for help, scared of an approaching army. How had the woman known how to make a dragon appear? She must have been strong indeed and with great imagination. What had it been like to challenge and whole army by herself even with such power? Such control as well. The dragon-woman had killed none of the men, just carried them off and scattered them but still stopped a war. Liathara lost herself in dreams of the battle such as it was.

“Wake up! You’re well hidden I’ll grant you but I could hear your snoring from my bed. You’ll wake the dragon if you’re not careful.”

Liathara murmured dreamily “I am the dragon. There is no dragon.”

“Not yet you aren’t and if you get found out in the open you might never be. You’re supposed to be dead, eaten by the dragon.”

“Sorry Clare.”

“You have so much to learn.”