by JD DeHart
From the land of ashes, there came a dragon. This dragon was unlike others of his species in stories because he was not interested in gold or princesses; no, this dragon wanted to find the Raven Man.
Some ancient cultures called the man Odin, moving with his one good eye through time. Other people had other names for him.
It was rumored that the Raven Man knew the location of the Clover. Not just any clover, but the Clover, which would allow its owner to reverse any course of action in history. The action could be small or large. The larger the action, the more emotion would be attached to the event.
Every villager and politician assumed the dragon wanted the Clover so that he could amass a fortune or conquer the world. They forged weapons against him to keep him at bay. The dragons motive was much simpler than that, recalling the deadly arrows that struck down his serpentine bride.
Every seventy-two and one half years, the Raven Man spent one night in a human body. This was known, as all legend and holy writ is always known. It was also predicted at least once every year until it happened. People had a way of losing count.
Odin did not tell the people he was coming and did not tell them when he arrived. He simply walked among them, his form that of a young man with dark hair. The ravens helped him with this endeavor, covering his gray hair with their feathers. No mortal knew the difference.
They pushed him around and no one would take Odin in. So the one good eye moved among them, searching for someone of worth. The night grew late and Odin heard the heaving breath of what the villagers would call a beast or monster. He perceived the heart of the creature, hidden in the rocks above.
In the morning, the townspeople were startled to see, just over the fences, two dragons playing in a field, pockets of clover freshly grown here and there. Before they could raise their weapons, the two dragons flew away, seeming to touch wings as they flew.
Some said it was odd while others wondered about the whereabouts of the raven-haired man. They never knew the truth that walked among them, instead picking the powerless clusters of clover that had grown among the behemoths.
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