Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Today marks week 8 of the 52 week writing challenge!
I get new ideas for prompts every week. My list is getting a bit long! Last week, Storm Doris blew our fence apart, so a future prompt will be: “Storms.”
Rather than leave a gaping hole where the fence once stood, we used garden mesh and wooden stakes to make a temporary barrier. It does nothing to keep dogs out. The neighbours cat, who arched and hissed like crazy when a dog appeared in our garden, can attest to that! Don’t worry, I rescued her, and soon we will have a new fence for her to climb on 🙂
This week, a new series of “Dragons: Race to the Edge,” was released on Netflix. I have been watching a few episodes a day, and I also re-watched “How to Train Your Dragon,” even though I’ve seen it so many times already!
Therefore the prompt for Sunday 26th February is “Dragons”:
My work in progress, Dragonspire, has dragons. I picked a scene from near the beginning of my notes, which I may use, and I tidied it up for this prompt. I still haven’t sorted out the first chapter. I have three ideas, but I can’t decide which to use!
Arckia: My main character. Arckia is bound to a dragon. Despite it being a great honour in his village, Arckia dislikes the bond, and all dragons, when his adventure begins.
Orik: Arckia’s dragon.
Mick: Arckia’s tutor.
Gregoria: Arckia’s father.
The first year of dragon training flew by, but Arckia did not graduate with his classmates. When the first daffodils opened in the spring, during his second year of a one year course, Arckia’s face did not brighten with the rest of the villagers.
Today, the whole village gathered around the training ground. Arckia’s gaze was drawn upwards with the rest, and he sent a hot glare towards his classmate, Rory, who soared above him with elegant grace.
A waving hand entered his peripheral vision. Arckia swung his gaze down and away towards the edge of the training ground. He lifted his arm in an awkward wave.
“Mother,” Arckia murmured to himself. “Please, go home.”
Arckia grimaced as his mother nodded towards Orik. His lips remained tense, and he did not smile as he continued to look her way, away from the dragon that sat beside him. When his tutor stepped up beside him with his own dragon, Arckia blinked and broke eye contact with his mother.
“Right,” Mick said. He rubbed his hands together with a confident grin and yelled, “Assemble, you lot!”
A gentle thud. Rory landed beside Arckia, and a small young woman joined them. Mick turned to the crowd.
Mick addressed the gathered villagers. “Time for our display. Only three in my class this year, so we shouldn’t take up too much of your time!”
The crowd shivered in appreciation and huddled further into their coats. Arckia rolled his eyes towards them and looked up towards the peak of the mountain. They knew nothing of the cold.
A young woman with a confident smile stepped forward. “I’m first.” She mounted her dragon with grace and took off into the sky.
“Each student will ascend to a great height, let go of their dragon, and free fall,” Mick explained to the gathered crowd as he patted his dragons nose. “They must direct their dragon to catch them before they hit the ground. The exercise will demonstrate how well they memorised the signals we learnt in class.”
Mick watched the crowd. A group of youngsters from last years class nodded and smiled fond smiles. The rest of the villagers were captivated by the young woman. She directed her dragon upwards, and released her hold on the reins. As she began to fall, she gave a swift, accurate, hand movement. Her dragon swooped in below her, and she was soon seated back on her saddle. The audience let out a loud cheer, and they began to clap in earnest. The woman landed her dragon beside Mick, and she gave a deep bow.
Mick grinned. “Perfect as always, Siti, you have a bright future ahead of you.”
Siti smiled and dragged her dragon over to her mother. She was met with a fierce embrace and a proud smile. Arckia looked away and bit his bottom lip.
“Right, Arckia next,” Mick said, with a hard look in Arckia’s direction.
“You said I could go last!” Arckia protested. His lips turned down as he looked up, and his hands clenched into fists by his sides.
“I lied,” Mick replied with a wry grin. “Last year I let you go last. By the time it got to your turn, you’d vanished.”
Arckia looked away towards his mother, cheeks flushed.
“Go on, show your mother what you’ve learned,” Mick said when he noticed the direction of Arckia’s gaze.
Arckia sighed, but he grabbed Orik’s reins with a huff. The dragon’s scales reflected the cold spring sunlight, and Arckia covered his eyes as he hefted himself onto Orik’s back with practised ease. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Mick grin. Arckia’s eye roll in response was a reflex action. They had practised for weeks just to get that right, whilst the others soared above them. Arckia shuffled into position and took the reins.
A silence descended over the training grounds. All eyes were on the young boy, tense and hesitant, aboard his dragon. Arckia sighed and released his right hand from the reins. As he began to raise it, he looked at the hard ground and shuddered. His right hand shot back towards the reins, and gripped tight. Arckia took a deep breath, and he released his left hand to raise it straight out in front of him instead.
Mick tilted his head as he watched Arckia’s arm begin to shake. “What the… the boy’s right handed… ” Mick muttered with a frown. His hand tightened on his own dragons reins, just in case.
Arckia’s left arm raised a little. Orik’s eyes flicked to Arckia’s arm, and he pushed off the ground so that they hovered a little way above it.
Panic flooded Arckia’s eyes, and he wobbled as he pulled his arm down abruptly. Orik thudded to the ground. A shudder travelled through Arckia, and his tight grip on the reins turned his knuckles white. He cast his mind back to the times he had ridden with his father, arms tight around his waist.
His father had not liked the signals much. Gregoria had preferred to whip the reins and dig his heels into his dragon’s sides. His dragon had soon learned what was expected of him, and Arckia’s father could keep both hands tight on the reins as they flew.
A grin split Arckia’s face. He maintained a strong hold on the reins and dug his heels into Orik’s side. Orik’s eyes widened, and his teeth bared as he let out a cry of anguish. The spikes on his back, normally soft, became as hard and unforgiving as ice. Arckia let out a sharp cry as they scraped his legs. Orik howled when he felt the pain through their bond, and he took off into the sky with haste.
Dragon and rider spiralled upwards. Arckia held on tight to Orik’s large ears as the world spun around him, his eyes shut tight against the startled faces of the villagers, and the worried look on his mothers face.
Orik growled, and his ears twitched as he struggled to free them. The dragon bucked his back as he twisted from left to right, but Arckia held fast, and Orik winced as his riders grip strengthened. The scales protruded further from Orik’s back, and they pierced Arckia’s leg.
Arckia let out a howl of agony. He relinquished his hold on Orik’s ears to grasp his injured leg, but the dragon continued to barrel upwards. Eyes wide with fear, Arckia felt himself slipping. He reached up to grasp at the reins, but his hand flailed in the wind and closed over nothing. Arckia fell.
Airborne, wild and out of control, Arckia spiralled towards the ground. Frantic, he twisted his body to try and wave towards his dragon. Orik continued upwards, without so much as a backward glance towards his rider. Arckia plummeted downwards. His cries for help were swallowed by sharp gusts of wind, and his throat constricted in fear. Arckia closed his eyes as hot tears leaked from his eyelids. As he braced for the impact, which he knew would kill him, his fists clenched.
Impact. But, instead of the hard embrace of the ground, warm, strong arms surrounded him. Arckia blinked open his eyes. Mick scowled down at him, but Arckia glanced back with a grateful smile as Mick’s dragon, Sasha, carried them towards the ground.
“Stupid boy,” Mick yelled when they had landed. He threw Arckia to the floor, and his face twisted into a scowl when he noticed the blood on the boys trousers. Mick turned to the sky and gave a loud, low whistle. Orik swooped down and landed beside him. Mick turned back to Arckia. “You took off using brute force, and now you pay the price for your actions!”
Arckia whimpered and clutched at his leg. “I thought that I could make it work! My father… “
“Your father was a traitor,” Mick replied with a scowl. Arckia’s eyes went wide. Mick bit the inside of his cheek.
“My father was innocent!” Arckia protested, eyes clouded with fear and pain.
“Two years, and yet you still refuse to believe the truth,” Mick replied, with a glance towards Orik.
Arckia pushed himself to his feet and stumbled, but he straightened and crossed his arms over his chest. “Maybe I don’t want to!”
Mick took a deep breath and sighed, “Look, regardless of what happened to your father, you are blessed with a dragon. It’s time you started acting like it!”
“A dragon killed my father. I will never consider a dragon a blessing,” Arckia said. He turned to kick dirt towards Orik.
“Get out of my sight!” Mick ordered. “Cool off, an’ get your head together. I want to see a better attitude from you in class tomorrow.”
Arckia huffed, and he turned away. His shoulders rose and fell as he took a deep breath.
Mick glared at him. “Not another word.”
Arckia sighed and began to limp away towards his mother. Orik trailed behind him at a distance, with a wary eye on his rider.
When Arckia reached the edge of the training ground and looked up, he winced. The assembled crowd stared at him with shock and horror. Three of the students from last years class giggled and whispered amongst themselves.
“What are you staring at?” Arckia asked, with a wave of his hand towards his injured leg.
The villagers dispersed, until all that remained was his mother. Arckia sighed, and he began to hobble away. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Arckia… ” his mother said as she followed her son. Her arm slipped around his shoulder, and he leaned on her with a grateful smile. “Come on, talk to me.”
Arckia sighed, and he relented, “All right, but back at the house?”
“Of course,” his mother replied, and together, they moved away with slow steps.
Arckia heard a low whimper from behind him, and he glanced back over his shoulder. Orik’s eyes were slanted and downcast as Mick led him away from the training grounds, in the direction of the stables. Arckia scoffed, and he ignored his mothers frown as they turned back towards the village.
Thanks for reading!
If you try the prompt yourself, let me know how you get on!
If you can attempt the prompt in less than 140 characters, you can also #sunscribbles on Twitter. I am super interested to see what you all come up with 🙂