Friday, 11 February 2011

The end

Monajjfyllena is a piece of online fantasy fiction loosely connected with my Dragoncharm novels. I wrote the story in 'real time', structuring it as a series of journal entries and progressing it on a daily basis, unplanned and unedited. And now it's finished.

Click here to start reading Monajjfyllena's story. Read the first entry - Moon Rising - then follow the entries in date order until you return to this page.

If you need a little extra orientation, visit my website:
Official Graham Edwards Website

Thursday, 19 March 2009


Something pulled me up away from the ironghyll sea. I looked up and saw it was the moon. Surrounded by rock, I could still see the moon. It lifted me like a tide, back to freedom. Back to the place where it all began.

That’s where I am now, trying desperately to cling to my thoughts before they all leak away. It’s all so clear now. The bones in the ceiling – the giant skeleton belongs to my poor son, Fleogan. He escaped me, even to the end. Who knows – perhaps he’s running from me still. Bones aren’t all we are. And the faery skeleton is poor Kathy, of course. Tiny now. The tunnel of all ends has played its tricks, and slipped them through time, turning them into something they never were, but which my human friend always wished she might be. I watched her precious faery bones dance again, the way I watched them before. I watched Kathy dance.

And me? Have I achieved my dream? I achieved it a long time ago, I think: to search. That’s the desire the tunnel drew from my mind, long ago, when we first met. So that’s what I do, still. And have always done.

Time drifts, and makes its last critical jump.

My name is Monajjfyllena, and I am the last dragon left in all the turned world. That’s all I remember now. Soon even that will be gone. I’ll be scoured again, and chasing my dream once more.

I stretch my wings; they feel like stone. There's stone all round me. I can't move. But there’s light ahead. Perhaps there I will find the answers. But not today. Today I’ll rest.

Tomorrow, let the journey begin.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Empty dreams

My son looks just as I remember him. But he’s made from steel, a metal giant, too big for this or any world. I fly into his shadow and he eclipses everything. His dragon wings wipe out the sky. He’s motionless, but his skin squirms. Soon I saw why: every scale is an ironghyll, writhing against its neighbour even while the hive-mind maintains the body whole.

‘It looks like a statue,’ says Kathy, breaking me out of my reverie. ‘A statue of a giant dragon. Is it him, Mona? It can’t be him, surely.’

‘It was him,’ I say as we swoop beneath his upstretched tail. ‘But he’s gone.’

The ironghylls must have heard me, because the statue suddenly breaks apart. Each scale swims on its own course through the coppery air, chaos transforming my son’s shell to moving dust. Inside the shell is nothing at all.

‘It delivers your dreams,’ Kathy says. She tightens her grip on my neck, leans round to speak directly into my face. ‘That’s what the tunnel of all ends does. It makes your dreams come true!’

‘What are you talking about?’ I say. ‘He’s gone. The very thing I came all this way to find is gone.’

‘Exactly. Think about it, Mona. When I asked you what you dreamed of, you said it was finding your son. And that’s what the tunnel’s enabled you to do … and it’s still doing it! You’re still finding him, Mona, even after you’ve found him.’

‘I don’t like the way this conversation is going.’

‘It’s the same for your son,’ she goes on. ‘You said it yourself – Fleogan was always running away. Well, I’ve got news for you – he still is!’

Now that they’ve released the image of their former prisoner, the ironghylls are swarming again. They rise up, a steel tsunami, ready to bring us down.

‘I think we should continue this discussion elsewhere,’ I say.

As I veer away from the onrushing ironghylls, I think about dreams. I try to remember what Kathy said she dreams of. But I can’t remember. I try harder – it seems important – but it’s too late: the ironghylls are already upon us. Their teeth are barbed and strong. I fling myself sideways. Kathy slips from my back. Her hands are slick with sweat. She falls into the metal tide, screaming. The ironghylls tear the flesh from her bones. And my human companion, after all we’ve been through together, is gone.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Metal ocean

... until we’re buried beneath an avalanche of living metal. The ironghylls surround us, their limbs like steel whips, their jaws peeling open until their bodies are turned inside-out. They fold over themselves, constantly unwrapping to reveal the hidden dimensions within. Kathy and I cling to each other, waiting for them to tear us apart … but they hold back.

I’m flying over a sea of steel, under an iron sky. Far ahead, something huge and familiar breaches the waves: a dragon, rising like an island from the depths. I gasp, because it’s a dragon I know by name: Fleogan. My son.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Into the swarm

... with Kathy’s arms tight round my neck I dive towards the ironghyll swarm. They seethe like the surface of the ocean, billions of fluid metal beasts swimming over and around each other. I can hear the thoughts of the hive-mind – they billow over us like clouds.

‘You never told me your mother’s name,’ says Kathy. I pump my wings, trying to slow us down, but it’s too late.

‘What does it matter now?’ I say.

‘Tell me anyway.’

‘Her name was Kythe, and she was the first dragon to open her wings on the world.’

‘And you’re the last?’

‘I think so.’

We plunge into the swarm. The ironghylls open up a gnashing metal mouth and admit us into a long metal throat. The throat closes over us, and scrabbling steel claws close over my dragon wings, and time hurls us forward on another of its long liquid beats ...

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Extreme sports

Kathy falls towards me, soft arms wide and useless against the air. I blink, and time skips, and she falls another mile. She’s screaming, but not through fear. I flatten my dragon wings, slowing my descent. Kathy hits me square in the centre of my back. It knocks the wind out of us both. She clings on, laughing, as I flounder.

‘I told you I like extreme sports!’ she shouts.

I blink again, and time skips once more ...

Saturday, 14 March 2009


We’re at the chasm’s edge. Each breath I take lasts a day. Years pass in a single heartbeat. Gaps are opening up in my thoughts – sometimes I’m just not here. Time is skipping, the way I used to skip. It’s the tunnel. The tunnel of all ends. Last time I was here I wasn’t ready. Now I am, and the tunnel knows it, and it’s playing with my mind. We’re detached from everything now, beyond everything. I think it’s just dawning on Kathy how strange this place is.

‘What do you dream?’ she said to me as we entered the tunnel.

‘Of finding my son,’ I said at once. ‘For a long time now that’s all I’ve dreamed of. If you were a mother you’d understand.’

‘And your son? What do you think he dreams of?’

It was an odd question. I stopped, flexed my wings to release the cramp, and thought. Then I laughed. ‘He always used to like running away,’ I said. ‘When he was tiny I could never keep track of him. When he grew older, he told me he dreamed about flying beyond the world.’ I paused. ‘What about you? What do you dream of?’

‘Of being the dancer I never was. Of not growing up big-boned and clumsy.’ Her face flushed and she turned away. ‘It’s a silly thing really.’

‘Dreams are never silly. They’re at the heart of us.’

We traipsed on. We were both hungry, and Kathy finally remarked on how little we’d had to eat during our travels. I explained about the air – it’s filled with charm, and the charm sustains us.

‘I thought the days of charm were long gone,’ she said.

‘They are,’ I replied. ‘But this is the tunnel of all ends, which goes everywhere. Somewhere it opens on that golden age, and on other worlds where charm delivers nourishment. I suppose the magic just sort of ... leaks through.’

After that we said no more, and now here we are at the precipice. This is the place, all right. Down there in the dark, the ironghylls are chattering. Hidden in their hive is my son – or whatever is left of him. I have no illusions about my quest. The idea that he may be alive is a tiny flame in a vast black emptiness. But it burns all the same.

I want to say goodbye, but in the end I can’t do it. I suppose that makes me a coward. I launch myself off the edge, tuck in my wings and dive into the abyss. Goodbye, Kathy. I’m nearly at the end of my path – good luck finding yours.

The air scrapes my face and flanks. It’s hot and sharp. I’m falling fast. The hive hurls itself towards me. I hear a cry from above. I twist my neck. Some pale in the dregs of the light from tunnel entrance. Something jumping after me, following me, falling without wings. Kathy!