Dragon Thunder

The drumbeats grew faster as the night progressed. The dancers seemed to have worked themselves into a fever; limbs thrashing, hips gyrating, backs contorting into almost impossible positions.

Renowned anthropologist, Samantha Spader, began to feel giddy as the pungent smell of natural accelerant entwined with the smell of burning pine on the bonfires as the fire-eaters released tongues of flame skywards.

Still the dance grew even more frantic. The rhythm was intoxicating. Infectious. The fever even had her in its grip. Sam clasped her hand tightly about her pen and tried to focus on taking notes.

Though every fiber of her body cried out to join in, she was painfully aware that her presence amongst the primitive Micronesian tribe was still just barely tolerated. Any participation in the sacred ceremony on her part would be dealt with swiftly and severely.

Ecstatic cries rang out as more flames shot high into the air. The drums reached a sudden crescendo and then ceased abruptly.

An eerie silence settled over the clearing. Looking up from her notebook, Sam frowned to see the entire tribe kneeling prostrate, all of them facing south.

This was something she had never witnessed before in the ceremonies she’d been allowed to observe.

Thunder roared across the clear sky, washing over the tiny island in continuous waves. The Chief alone remained standing. He met Sam’s eyes and cried out something in the guttural language of his people, fear and exultancy in his tone.

Sam shook her head slightly, sure she had misheard him, or more likely, mistranslated his meaning.

Peals of thunder grew closer, its spine chilling bass thrumming through her. In the dark sky above, Sam saw the silhouette of a dozen enormous wings soaring toward them.

Her Western mind could not comprehend what she was seeing, but the primeval part of her brain screamed out in fear and longing. She had not misinterpreted the Chief.
The dance of the Dragon Thunder had worked and now the dragons came to pay homage.

© Alison Pearce 2009

Dragon Thunder

Alison Pearce

Logan Central, Australia

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Artist's Description

Written for Star Twister 35

Prompt – Fever

Word Count – 334

n.b. I have once again used the prompt to help me start off a new story. As always, contructive critiques are most welcome!

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