Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Welcome back to my summer series! Part one is here: The Hidden Village. This week, part 7, 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, determined to find the village of dragons, headed up the mountain. By a lake he met a young man from the village, who agreed to show him the way. As they reached the village Flynn tried to think of a way to ditch his guide and find Calix.
Onto the story!
Previously on The Hidden Village:
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.
The village was quieter than Flynn expected it to be. The narrow grassy tracks between the houses held none of the hustle and bustle of the city, and as Arckia led him further through the winding streets he glanced at the ramshackle houses, face twisted in distaste.
‘This place is…’ Primitive. Poorly defended. He could think of a number of words to sum up the village but he couldn’t put it into words, at least not without offending his host.
‘Cool, huh?’ Arckia said, as he gestured to the wooden shacks. ‘You haven’t seen the best parts of the village yet either!’
Flynn sighed and glanced at him. ‘It’s bigger than I expected, given where we are.’ He nodded up to the spire, which loomed above them.
Arckia grinned. ‘Exactly. From below, you’d never know it was here!’
As they walked through deserted streets, Flynn couldn’t help but agree. The village was hidden, and there was no doubt in his mind the villagers wanted it to stay that way. The elder was sure to order Calix’s execution, and his own if he were caught. He needed to slip away and find him.
His eyes darted side to side as grassy paths became dirt tracks, and the houses grew larger and more ornate. Carved dragon heads ordained the walls by the doors, and above the top of each house lay a flat platform. Flynn gestured to it. ‘What’s that for?’
Arckia followed his gaze up towards the roof of the nearest house, and his eyes lit up. ‘Oh, this is the rider’s section of the village. They’re like the lords you have in your kingdom. At least, that’s what my dad said. They get bigger houses, with a place for their dragon to rest on top.’
Flynn nodded, and he followed Arckia further into the village. ‘He’s right. It’s similar.’
The young man grinned. ‘Come on, let’s find him!’
They wandered further into the village, and Flynn kept his eyes out for an alley he could duck into. The streets were deserted even here, and he tilted his head. ‘Where is everyone?’
‘It’s always quiet in the afternoon. Everyone’s at work, and after school we help our parents.’
Flynn brushed his fringe out of his eyes and looked away. ‘So why aren’t you?’
‘Mother’s busy, and Father had to take care of something in the village square.’
They emerged onto a long path, and a clearing that must be the village square loomed ahead. Flynn hung back a few steps, and his sharp eyes darted from side to side. There! Between two shops to the right, signs with pictures of food and tools swaying in the wind, was a small alleyway. It led away from the centre of the village and towards a large, ornate house, towering above the others at the back of the village near the spire.
He placed a hand on his hip and glanced ahead. Arckia was still walking, and had raised a hand to wave at a man in the distance. His father, presumably, stood with clenched fists in front of the rider from earlier, Steven, in the middle of a heated discussion. He had to move before they saw him, and if they were keeping Calix anywhere it would surely be in that house. He ducked into the alley and tore down it, veering right at the end and out of sight.
The large house loomed in front of him, but when he crept up to the windowsill and peered inside it was as empty as the streets. He cursed and ran a hand through his hair as he pondered his next move. As his eyes drifted from the window, and back the way he came, a shout cut through the air. Pounding footsteps drew closer, and he stalked behind the house and out of sight just as Steven, Arckia, and his father rounded the corner arguing loudly.
‘Not all outsiders are bad,’ an unfamiliar voice said. ‘Could be someone I met in the trade town.’
‘Orik heard him,’ Steven replied. ‘He wants to take our dragons. We have to protect the artefact.’
‘Everyone knows that thing hasn’t worked in years. There’s no point…’
‘If they make it work, it’ll be a disaster,’ Steven interrupted. ‘I’ll assemble some riders.’
‘What about the other prisoners?’
‘Mina’s guarding them on the other side of town. Stay here and watch the house.’
Flynn’s lips twisted into a grin. Time to find his mage and get out of here. He slipped away from the houses and towards the other side of the village. As he got further away from the square the houses became less clustered, and he emerged into a wide open field sprawling down the mountain. Flying low over the fields, claws dragging in the dirt, were five dragons.
He tilted his head towards the sky and leaned against a small shack. In all the obscure history books his uncle forced him to read, he’d never come across anything like this. These dragons weren’t fearsome beasts, they were workers, designed to plough fields and light fires. Flynn scoffed. How the mighty had fallen.
He tucked himself closer to the shadows as a woman and a large bulky man approached.
‘Did you hear?’ the man said. ‘Steven an’ Mina caught outsiders on the cliff today.’
The woman shuddered. ‘Really? Are we safe?’
‘Think they got ’em all. They’re locked up in the stables right now.’
Flynn sucked in a breath. Prisoners in the stables. He knew where to go next. He waited until the couple passed by, and then glanced around. On a hill, overlooking the fields, a large building stood apart from the rest. It looked a little like the stables they had in the castle grounds for horses, except it was much larger. Flynn shivered and jogged towards it. A dragon stable.
The large door was open, and saddles and thick reins made entirely of dragon skin lined the walls. He ran a hand over the scaled reins and froze when he heard a familiar voice.
‘Once I break whatever curse you’ve cast on me, you’ll regret taking me prisoner.’
A laugh cut through the air in response to Calix’s threat, and Flynn ducked behind one of the large saddles as the female rider from the cliff paced into view. ‘I’m not worried. Your magic is no match for our dragons.’
She turned her back on Flynn and hefted a saddle onto a table. Needle in one hand and saddle in the other, she was defenceless. He just needed a weapon.
His eyes roamed over the objects by the door. Hay bales. Barrels of fish. Ah, a pitchfork. That would do. He grabbed it, and crept up behind her to press the sharp prongs into her back. ‘Drop it, and don’t move.’
The saddle and needle clattered to the table, and as she raised her hands Calix’s voice floated over the stable door. ‘Flynn, is that you?’
‘I told you to get away.’
‘No man left behind. Not one as valuable as you anyway,’ Flynn said. He forced his prisoner to her knees and gestured to the large silver padlock hung on the stable door. ‘Where’s the key?’
She shook her head. Flynn scowled and dug the pitchfork in harder.
‘Two days ago you couldn’t stand me!’ Calix yelled.
‘That was before I got to know you,’ he yelled back with a grin, as the woman yelped and her eyes widened.
‘All right! It’s in my saddle bag.’
He shoved her against the table and reached over to grab her reins. As soon as her hands were bound to the table leg he dropped the pitchfork and rummaged in her saddlebag.
The moment his fingers closed around the key rough hands grabbed him from behind. He twisted and struggled but it was no use. The hands that held him were strong, and he yelped as his arms were twisted behind his back.
‘Toss him with the other one?’ his captor asked the bound woman.
She nodded. ‘Let the elder sort them out.’
Flynn winced as his hands were bound with another set of reins, and he was hoisted, kicking and struggling, over the edge of the stable door. He hit the floor with a thud and groaned as his head hit the wall.
Calix frowned and shuffled to sit beside him, rolling his eyes when Flynn tried to rub his head with his bound hands. He reached out to run long fingers through Flynn’s hair. ‘S’not cut, but it’ll bruise,’ he said after a moment.
Flynn nodded as Calix helped him lean against the wall of the stables. Now they were both trapped, and at the mercy of a man known only as the elder.
Thanks for reading!
Part eight will be posted next Sunday. I enjoyed writing this part a lot, and I think because of that it’s the longest part yet!
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:
Every day was the same. Set a trap, wait, catch the fish. Today should’ve been like any other, but it wasn’t. Today, my trap pulled up something far more interesting…
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!