Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Welcome back to my summer series! Part one is here: The Hidden Village. This week, part 6, and 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.
Last time Flynn and Calix were ambushed by bandits on the cliff, but as they were about to be led away two dragon riders cornered them. Flynn escaped, but Calix was captured and taken to the dragon village. Flynn vowed to find and rescue him, but first he has to find the village!
Onto the story!
Previously on The Hidden Village:
He ran until he reached a river, and as he hopped from one rock to the next to cross the swirling waters he paused and glanced up. The tree cover was good here, and there was no sign of the dragon, but the wind whistled a warning around him, and he shuddered. Couldn’t be too careful. He stepped into the stream and waded against the current. With any luck the dragon would lose his trail, and the river would lead to the village, to Calix, and to a dragon he could call his own.
Flynn hefted his weary waterlogged feet over another rock and sighed. His stomach rumbled and his eyes darted above him. The leaves barely rustled in the early afternoon breeze, and the sun’s progress across the sky was a testament to how long he’d been walking.
It’d been hours since the dragon rider took Calix, and over a day since they’d been attacked on the road. Surely by now a traveller would’ve found his discarded sword, royal crest plain for all to see, and sent word to his father. Would he even look for him, or would he assume him dead and pass his royal duties straight to his brother?
No. Even if he tried, his brother would never allow it. Sam wouldn’t rest until he found him, or proof that he’d been done in. He was caring like that. Flynn scoffed. Mother thought that’d make him a good king, but with a civil war brewing she couldn’t be more wrong.
He shivered as a chill wind picked up and knocked a few leaves from the trees. The surface of the water rippled, and he leapt out of the river to crouch under a tree. As he peered up through the branches a dark shape flew overhead. The dragons were still looking for him, and they’d only increased in number since he’d escaped them on the ridge. ‘Just how many do they have?’
He’d counted five so far, distinguishable only by the large marks which glowed harshly on their shoulders. They always flew overhead, down the mountain, and back towards the same spot higher up. He was still lost, but at least he had a vague idea of where he was headed.
As the dragon faded into the distance he turned towards the mountain and began to follow the river again. The mountain loomed ominously in front of him, and he was reminded of a conversation he’d overheard in the inn they’d stayed in before the first attack on his carriage.
The locals called the mountain Terror Tower, and they avoided the area entirely. Cursed, one man claimed, and another young woman insisted the woods were infested with demons.
‘Ha, demons. More like dragons.’
He ducked out of sight and plastered himself to a tree as another one flew overhead. The people of his kingdom would lose their minds if they knew dragons still existed, and the one who controlled them? No one would dare challenge his leadership.
He grinned, and when the dragon was out of sight he stepped back into the water. A few gruelling steps further, and the river veered to the left. It widened into a large lake, and sitting beside it was a young man carving a piece of wood with a sharp knife.
He looked up as Flynn approached and gave him a once over. ‘You lost?’
‘Not really.’ Flynn pointed upstream. ‘Village is that way, right?’
‘Nope.’ He stood and gestured with his knife, over his shoulder to a deep forest of trees. ‘Through there. You a friend of my fathers?’
Flynn bit his lip. He couldn’t follow the river any more, and there were no landmarks to track his progress through the dark forest. Perhaps the kid would tell him about the dragons, maybe even lead him to the village, if he thought he knew his father? ‘Yeah, I am.’
He turned to kneel by the lake to cover his lie, and the water rippled as he cupped his hands to drink. The ripples cascaded out towards the centre of the lake, and he gasped as the reflection of a dragon flying high above shimmered within it. He leapt back and ducked out of sight.
The young man narrowed his eyes, and his knuckles were white on the hilt of his knife. ‘Is he expecting you?’
Flynn shook his head as his wide eyes tracked the dragon’s progress away from the lake. ‘I want to surprise him, so I can’t let the patrols see me.’
‘All right,’ he said with a small frown, as he sheathed his knife at his belt. ‘He’ll be pleased to see someone from back home. It’s been years since he left, and I know he misses it.’
‘Thanks kid.’ Flynn brushed his fringe out of his eyes and forced a smile. ‘Lead the way?’
A grin split his face. ‘All right, but only if you tell me what it’s like down there!’ He gestured wildly in the direction of the bottom of the mountain.
Flynn tilted his head as he followed him into the trees. ‘You’ve never been?’
‘Nope, not yet anyway. Maybe never. Unless you’re assigned to the trade party, like my dad, you don’t get to leave the mountain, and no one gets assigned anything until they’re seventeen.’
‘Yeah. We get dragons then! Or not, if we’re less lucky…’ He tailed off and sighed. ‘I probably shouldn’t talk about the dragons. The elder doesn’t like it.’
‘I won’t tell anyone,’ Flynn said with a suppressed smirk. Got him. ‘What are they like?’
The young man shook his head. ‘You’ll see when we get there and find my father.’
Flynn sighed. ‘All right. What do you want to know about the kingdom below…?’
‘Arckia,’ he replied, eyes gleaming as he rushed on. ‘What’s it like? Father says it’s too dangerous to visit, but it can’t be that bad because when he talks about it, it sounds awesome.’
‘When you consider the bandits, the civil war, and the general unrest, he has a point,’ Flynn replied with a shrug. ‘It’s not all bad though, especially here.’ He gestured to the bottom of the mountain. ‘This far from the capital there’s less trouble. The capital on the other hand…’
Arckia’s eyes lit up as they rounded another set of trees and continued further up the mountain. ‘Is that where you’re from? Are you a prince?’
Flynn looked away. ‘No,’ he said after a pause. ‘But I’ve passed through a few times.’
‘Oh.’ Arckia frowned. ‘Father grew up in the capital, would’ve been great if he was friends with one of the princes.’ He took a sharp right and stopped in a clearing. On the other side was a rickety wooden bridge over a deep chasm.
‘Hmm.’ Flynn glanced between the trees and the bridge, where, on the other side, a cluster of wooden houses dotted the side of the mountain. ‘The forest looks the same, how’d you find it?’
‘I grew up here,’ he replied with a shrug. He gestured to a large branch sticking out of the mountain high above. ‘That branch points North, towards the capital, and the bridge to the village is below it. Easy when you know what you’re looking for.’
He started walking again, and Flynn fell into step beside him as they approached the bridge. A thicket of trees bordered the edge of the cliff and shielded the village from view of anyone at the base of the mountain, and the sheer cliff of the mountain behind it protected it from the elements. It’d only be visible from the back of a dragon.
Flynn smirked as he followed Arckia across the bridge. Time to ditch the boy, find Calix, and discover the secrets of the village of dragons.
Thanks for reading!
Part seven will be posted next Sunday. Arckia, who features briefly here, is the main character from my Dragonspire work in progress, and I’m treating this series like a mini prequel to that!
Why not write a short story or poem based on a prompt?
The prompts for August are:
One word not enough? I post expanded prompts weekly on Pinterest:
Ever had one of those days where you lose things, but nothing significant? I wish today were one of those days, but it’s not. Today I lost something far more important.
If you use one of the prompts feel free to share your story links in the comments.
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!