Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
We’re up to part four of my summer serial, and a big thanks to everyone who’s been following so far 🙂 This nine part series, related to my Dragonspire universe, will be updated weekly in line with the Sunday Scribbles prompt of the week. Part one is here: The Hidden Village.
Last time Prince Flynn was convinced he saw a dragon in the sky above the mountain where they took shelter, and he was shocked to find Calix actually agrees with him on something. It’s just too bad that something isn’t Flynn’s desire to capture a dragon!
Onto the story!
Previously on ‘The Hidden Village.’
Flynn smiled back and nudged him playfully. ‘You’d do the same for me. With your power and my sword skills, no one’ll challenge me as king.’
‘I dunno about no one,’ Calix said as his eyes slipped shut and he yawned. ‘I think they’ll try.’
Flynn grinned. Although they were stranded in a sprawling forest, had no idea where they were, and had a long trek ahead, perhaps this wasn’t so bad after all.
It was terrible. Flynn woke to a gnawing sensation in his stomach and a numbness in his right arm. He sucked in a harsh breath, but released it seconds later when he realised his arm hadn’t been torn off by a wild animal in the middle of the night, it was just pinned beneath Calix’s side.
He shoved Calix with his left arm and was rubbing feeling back into his right when Calix stirred and blinked open his eyes. ‘So kind of you to join us.’
Calix stifled a yawn and frowned as his eyes scanned the mossy floor, cascading waterfall, and damp cave walls. ‘Not the worst place I’ve slept. How about you, your highness?’
Flynn tilted his head to the side and raised a hand to his chin. ‘I’ve had worse. This has a rustic sort of appeal, don’t you think?’
‘Now that you mention it, it does,’ Calix replied with a wicked grin. ‘Fresh water, cold stone walls. If the birds weren’t singing and the trees weren’t rustling I’d think we were at the palace.’
‘My palace is nothing like a cave!’
Calix’s shoulders shook as he tried to stifle a laugh. ‘Matter of perspective.’
‘Whatever.’ He got to his feet and stretched as he exited the cave, Calix close behind. ‘I’m starving. We‘re more likely to find food lower down the mountain.’
‘Our priority should be finding out where we are,’ Calix said. He gestured to the forest at the base of the cliff, which led up to a rocky ridge halfway up. ‘Once we get our bearings we can find food on the way back to the road.’
Flynn shook his head and stalked over to the trees, where he yanked at a long tree branch. ‘We split up. You do that, I’ll find food.’
‘By destroying the scenery?’
The bushes rustled, Flynn flinched, and the branch gave an almighty creak as it snapped from the tree. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a large sky blue creature with spikes like icicles leap away into the forest. A dragon… He tossed the branch to Calix. ‘I lost my sword when the bandits took us, and I don’t fancy hunting with my bare hands. Sharpen this, will you?’
Calix fumbled with the branch and cursed as it hit the floor. ‘Little warning next time?’ He waved a hand over it. Wooden chips fell from the branch until the end was razor sharp, and he passed it to Flynn. ‘We shouldn’t split up. Come on, it’s not far to the ridge.’
Flynn shook his head and gestured to the forest. ‘I thought I saw something. Won’t take long.’
He began to walk away. Calix paused, sighed, and fell into step beside him. The canopy overhead was thin, and the early morning light shone through the leaves to illuminate large animal tracks. Flynn dropped to his knees and ran a finger over one of the paw shaped marks.
‘Are those bear tracks?’ Calix asked as he took in the circular print and five claw like marks.
‘Hmm? Oh… probably,’ Flynn replied with a glance away from Calix. The tracks led into the trees to the right, and he followed their winding path at a jog only to wind up back at the cliff.
‘Looks like we’re going up after all,’ Calix said with a smirk. He clapped Flynn on the shoulder and strode into the trees after the tracks.
Flynn hastened to follow him. The land inclined upward, and he huffed and shoved his damp fringe off his sweaty brow. The thin covering of trees did little to shelter them, and they continued to hike in silence.
After a long trek they emerged onto the small ridge halfway up the cliff, where the tracks stopped abruptly. He crept to the edge and peered down the sheer drop. No creature splattered the ground below, and the final tracks, dug deeper into the ground, suggested something had jumped off here. He was right, they were following a dragon. He just had to catch it.
Calix’s eyes flashed as he joined him at the edge. ‘We better not be hunting what I think we’re hunting…’
‘Sorry,’ Flynn said with a shrug as he eyed the scattered leaves and twigs behind the tracks. ‘I’m sure I saw one earlier, and I had to take a chance.’
‘And what were you planning to do if we found it?’ Calix asked. His eyes narrowed as the bushes at the edge of the forest behind them rustled.
‘Capture it of course,’ Flynn replied. He followed Calix’s gaze and shook his head as the bushes rustled again. ‘Ignore it. Probably more rabbits.’
Calix rolled his eyes. ‘You have a single spear and no armour. You can’t hunt a dragon like that!’
Flynn looked away. ‘I hadn’t really thought it through. There must be a way to control them though. My uncle said that long ago they were used to vanquish a great evil…’
‘The same uncle who tried to kill you?’
‘Nah, this one’s like a father to me. I trust him with my life.’
Calix frowned at the dragon prints. ‘We haven’t time to waste on a fools quest. Survival first.’
‘Fine,’ Flynn said with a sigh. He moved along the cliff towards a rocky outcrop.
‘Where are you going?’
‘You want to get our bearings, don’t you?’ he replied. He grasped a weathered stone and hefted himself up onto one of the larger rocks. ‘Better view from up here.’
As Calix took a step towards him the bushes rustled again, louder this time, and a blur of a creature shot past him. Flynn braced himself against the strong gust of wind it kicked up and grabbed onto a large rock to steady himself.
‘Are you all right?’ Calix asked as he pulled himself up beside him.
He nodded and pointed upwards with a grin. Above them, shooting higher into the sky, was a magnificent beast with sharp ridges on its back, a wide wingspan, and a sharp tail shaped like a star. Another dragon. ‘I’m fine. Any ideas?’
‘For catching it? No.’ Calix pointed towards a large castle, barely visible in the distance. ‘South’s that way though, and I think that’s the lord’s residence. All we need to do is get there, tell him our tale, and he’ll give you a new carriage so we can be on our way again.’
‘Fine. Let’s go,’ Flynn said, lips pressed into a thin line as he watched the dragon disappear into the clouds.
‘You’re not going anywhere,’ a familiar female voice said. A knife pressed against his throat for the second time in two days and Flynn flinched as he was manoeuvred around. Four bandits clambered up onto the rocks, and the female bandit he thought they’d escaped from gestured to Calix. ‘Resist, and your prince is dead.’
As Calix nodded and sank to his knees, Flynn tilted his head to the side to glare at the woman. His struggles were met with a strong arm around his waist, pinning him in place. The hunters had become the hunted. He was trapped, and he didn’t like it one bit.
Thanks for reading!
Part five will be posted next Sunday. There’ll be no Thursday post next week. I’m taking a break to focus on this serial and my two works in progress.
Why not write a short story or poem based on a prompt?
The last prompt of July is:
One word not enough? I post expanded prompts weekly on Pinterest:
Scattered tracks skirted the edge of the water, as if it were afraid. Fear would be its downfall. The hunt was on.
If you use one of the prompts feel free to share your story links below.
Feeling creative? I also run a weekly hashtag game on Twitter, #sunscribbles, where you can share one-off lines or quotes from a #WIP around the weekly prompt!
See you next week!