The Beast of Loch Cliodha

Fiction By Ariel // 2/23/2010

Note: This isn't usually the type of thing I write, but here it is anyway. I entered this in a contest...still haven't heard anything though. Every time I read it over I change it a little bit but i'm still not happy with it so suggestions are WELCOME! Anyway - enjoy :D

            Listen to my story. I have traveled the world; seen wonders; witnessed kings ascend and fall; tasted oceans and scaled the highest mountains, yet this is the tale I tell. The story is simple, but the thing we can learn: priceless.

            Not long ago, a beast did roam across the moors. Great and terrible it was, with eyes of flame and jaws of iron. All feared it, even the knights that were sworn to protect the people. Many a man set off with his sword drawn and his shield at the ready to destroy the accused monster. But not one of those brave warriors ever came back and their women still weep for them. Even the king was frightened at the roars from the creature echoing over his great city. His heart weakened inside him at the thought of having to meet the beast in battle, yet he knew something had to be done.

            So the king swore to himself that the innocent would be protected. Walls were raised around his city, watch-men assigned to high towers, and the great gate closed forever. The creature could not come in and the people could not go out. The city he built was to be forever closed until there arose a warrior who knew where the strength lay that was needed to vanquish the Monster of Loch Cliodhna [CLEE-uh-nuh] for all eternity.

---

            Years passed and the people inside the city became restless. The food was hard and stale; the water was stagnate in the great fountain; the cows had no more green fields to graze on and even the dogs grew skinny. Babies cried in the homes and mud from the streets colored everything. The city the king had built was no longer a shining landmark of power, but a lifeless mud-hole.

            Eventually, the king grew ill and nothing could be found in the city to cure him. The people mourned together for their king; and great wailing was heard while the church bells tolled. The king lay in his bed with his daughter kneeling beside him and wept at the sounds that rose from his people’s lips. He wished that he possessed the courage and strength to deliver his people and open the gates forever.

            While the elders of the city met with heavy hearts in the great council chamber that day, a young man was brought in to stand before them. Padraic, the son of a coppersmith, was a noble lad, brave and strong, although he still had much to learn.

            “I come before you now to ask for permission to go beyond our city walls and defeat this monster that is a curse upon our land.” he announced.

            “The gates are sealed tight and you are not trained for battle against this creature,” was the slow but firm reply.

            “I may be but a coppersmith’s son, but at least I have the courage that everyone else seems to lack,” Padraic spat at them. The men around him jumped to their feet, their hands on their swords and shouts of rage filling the room until one of the eldest leaders spoke.

            “How dare you insult us as well as your King?! It is because of his wisdom that the walls were built and we have not all been eradicated by the dragon beyond them.”

            Padraic lifted his head and stared straight into the eyes of the men before him, “I have lived my whole life behind these walls. I can see the blue sky beyond; smell the breezes coming off the loch; I can hear the birds singing in the trees that grow beyond; I have climbed to the top of the wall and seen a land that is alive, not dead like this ‘safe’ mud-hole we live in. It is ours for the taking yet we cower because of a dumb beast that circles us. It is time for us to stop hiding like children and take back our lands.” The men around the boy nodded slowly, but the anger at his conceited proposition still showed in their faces. “I will never rest until those gates are opened forever…do I have your consent?”

            One by one they nodded their heads while the eldest of their assembly again spoke, “We agree, but you must first speak with the king.”

---

            The king lay on his deathbed, a shadow of the leader he had once been. His voice was halting as he spoke.

            “I have always wanted to do what you have asked permission for today, but I would do it for a different reason. You want it for yourself, to prove that you, a coppersmith’s son, can rise above.” He paused and looked into the face of his subject. “I only want my people to be free. Go now, but remember, the only way you can win is by putting your fate before God Almighty and imploring Him to guide your sword; He does not care about station.”

            So Padraic left the castle in the finest armor the king possessed, but with pride still filling his heart.

---

            The monster had sprung out of the loch on that first day and a terrible fight ensued. Finding a place between two rocks, he was once again safe from the creature’s wrath. As weeks of failure went by, a great despair consumed him. This day he knew that he would either defeat the beast or fall into the heather himself, never to move again.

            Teeth passed near his head; he ducked, blinking water out of his eyes. The mud under his boots was slick as he scrambled beyond those snapping jaws. The creature’s breath was on his heels; his strength was giving out; safety loomed before him.

            He dove into his sanctuary and waited. The beast and the death his jaws brought had never been so close. He remembered the words of his king. I only wanted to see my people free. Padraic realized his desires were nothing. The only way you can win against the monster is by putting your fate before God Almighty…and imploring Him to guide your sword. The boy lowered his head and prayed.

            “Guide my sword, Lord, and deliver my people. Create in me a heart of humility that I may no longer serve the want for renown, but a desire to serve You.” He lifted his face and readied his sword. The beast outside roared and he caught sight of the single spot of vulnerability on his prey. With a cry to his Lord, he shot out of the rock and drove the shining sword into the creature’s heart. It trembled but a moment and fell dead at his feet.

---

            The gates to the kingdom were opened and the city again flourished. The king was borne to the field and with his daughter looking on, he laid his sword on the lad’s shoulder and spoke these words, “Man alone cannot defeat the beasts that trap us, it is only through God that we can truly win the battle,”

            The tale may change over time, but the truth never will. Thus ends the story.

Comments

Dear...

 Ariel, you're amazing. I just thought you should know that. 

Your entry is awesome! I can't believe you said you didn't like it when you sent it in! This was really good, but a totally different side of your writing, haha. I especially like the second to last paragraph, it was very well written, and my favorite part.

Annie | Tue, 02/23/2010

That was good! I liked it. It

That was good! I liked it. It seemed like it could have been much longer, like it was supposed to go on into this huge, epic saga, but it was still incredibly awesome!

Clare | Wed, 02/24/2010

This was a superb (my new

This was a superb (my new word, lol) story :-). My only suggestions would be to make Padraic have a bit more struggle in deciding between his self-centered thoughts and his open-minded ones. And make the battle with the beast go on longer, because I thought that was a good scene :-)

Overall, this was excellent! I hope you do well in the contest!!!

E | Sat, 02/27/2010

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

...

Aww. Thanks for all your comments girls!

Annie!!!! I'm so glad you finally got on. Thanks for liking it. Yours was probably AMAZING! I can't wait to read your stuff.

Clare - Thank you so much! I'll explain why it wasn't any longer in a second :P

Erin - Those things you pointed out are exactly why I didn't like this! I could have gone on for pages and pages, but that silly contest had a 1,200 word count limit. I had to cut out a ton of stuff to even finish it. Maybe someday I'll go back and REALLY finish it :D

Ariel | Sat, 02/27/2010

*****************************************
"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

Only 1,200 words???? Gosh,

Only 1,200 words???? Gosh, that's really short. I do hope that you come back and finish-finish it sometime :-D

E | Sun, 02/28/2010

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Did you enter this in the

Did you enter this in the Vision Forum contest? I like this story, btw. It did feel a mite short--darn those word limits! :0)

Heather | Mon, 04/05/2010

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

:)

Yes it was the Vision Forum contest. I was so upset about the word limit. I had to cut out so many important things!!! Maybe I'll think about re-doing this...in about 20 years! :P  

Ariel | Wed, 04/07/2010

*****************************************
"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

Really, really good

 I can't believe I've waited until now to read this! I think it's amazing I shall insist on reading the finished version!

Is this based a little bit on David and Goliath? 

Keri | Wed, 04/07/2010

Navigation

User login

Please read this before creating a new account.