Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Welcome back to my summer series! Part one is here: The Hidden Village. This week, part 8, 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 crept away into the village and found where Calix was being held. Unfortunately his departure didn’t go unnoticed, and although he was able to take out the guard, he was captured and thrown into the stables with Calix.
Previously on The Hidden Village:
Flynn sighed and tried to rub his head. Calix rolled his eyes, but carded long fingers through his hair. ‘S’not cut, but it’ll bruise.’
Flynn nodded and Calix helped him lean against the wall. Now they were both trapped, and at the mercy of a man known only as the elder.
Onto the story!
Silence descended over the stables, save for the snick snick snick as their guard sharpened what could only be a blade outside. Calix shuffled closer to Flynn to untie his hands. When the knotted reins fell free he opened his mouth as if to speak, but shut it again just as fast. Flynn sighed and glanced at the ceiling as he rubbed his wrists. Solid. The walls? Even more so. No obvious escape, unless they could barge down the door…
‘Why’d you come back for me?’ Calix asked eventually, voice barely above a whisper. ‘I told you to run.’
‘And miss this?’ Flynn replied with a laugh as he pushed his hand against the door. He turned serious when Calix rolled his eyes. ‘You’re useful.’
Calix huffed. ‘Yeah, right. My magic is useless against these dragons, and even if it weren’t they’ve poisoned me with something that’s blocking it.’
Flynn shrugged. ‘So we wait it out, and as soon as it’s back, we give ’em hell, steal this artefact they’re so worried about, and get back to civilisation. ‘
‘Hmm.’ Flynn tilted his head to focus on the floor. ‘Not sure what it does exactly, but they seemed to think it was a big deal.’
His head shot up as footsteps tracked into the stables, and a familiar voice said, ‘The cage is ready by the training fields. Prepare to move the prisoners.’
Flynn turned to Calix and gestured to the door. ‘When they open it, shove past and make a run for the forest. Follow the river, and we’ll meet by the lake.’
Calix nodded, and they crept to stand by the door. When it creaked open Flynn charged, only to find his arm in the vice-like grip of the bulky man from earlier.
‘You think we didn’t expect you to try and escape?’ Steven said, as Calix struggled in his grip. He inclined his head towards the bulky man. ‘Mick, you know what to do.’
The man nodded and secured a heavy net around them both. He dragged them outside, where dusk had fallen, and hefted them onto the back of a cart as if they weighed nothing.
Flynn yelped as his arm connected with the base hard. ‘Hey, watch it!’ He rubbed his elbow and glared at the man, but the man ignored him and pulled the cart away from the stables towards a wide open field. Tugging at the net did no good, it held fast. Waiting was their only option.
Lanterns hung at the side of the road, flickering behind bright glass panes, and the cart jerked to a stop in front of a large circle of them, where five dragons sat looking menacing and sharp in the dying sunlight. Flynn groaned as Calix was jostled against him as the man hefted them over his shoulder and flung them into a large wooden cage beside the circle.
The man slammed the door shut and padlocked it, grin menacing as he strode towards the centre of the circle and mounted the only riderless dragon. ‘Fly!’ he yelled, and the dragons rose into the air.
They swooped. They dived. They extended long claws and flew low over the cage, wing beats rattling the bars. Calix shuddered and shuffled to sit in the centre of the cage. Flynn stared at them, and a shiver ran down his spine as one of them vanished into the darkness, only to reappear behind them and let out an almighty roar.
‘They’re trying to scare us,’ Flynn said, eyes sparkling as one of the dragons set light to the grass in front of them.
‘It’s working,’ Calix said. He winced and backed away from the flames, arm held in front of Flynn to stop him moving closer.
The searing heat of the flames continued to flicker as the dragons bared their teeth and dive bombed a few more times, before a jet of water shot from one of their mouths and extinguished the fire. Flynn brushed his damp fringe from his eyes and turned to Calix with a grin. Calix nodded outside the cage, and his grin faded as an elderly man shuffled towards them.
‘I would like to ask you some questions, if you are amenable?’
Calix nodded. Flynn sighed and shoved him back. ‘Nothing better to do. I assume you’re the elder?’
‘Yes. What are your intentions here, prince?’
Flynn shrugged as he spotted Arckia running up to the, now landed, dragons. ‘Found this place by accident, but I’m glad I did. I’d like to propose a deal.’
The elder flinched almost imperceptibly, and his shoulders tensed. ‘I assure you, we do not make deals with outsiders.’
‘Really? That’s not what he said.’ Flynn gestured to Arckia, who froze when the elder looked his way.
‘Arckia?’ The elder gestured him closer. ‘What did you tell them, boy?’
Arckia shuffled to stand by the elder’s side, but he didn’t meet his eyes. ‘Only that we have trading parties who visit the towns below the mountain.’
The elder glared at him. Arckia kicked the dirt and glared back. ‘It won’t do any harm! Not all outsiders are bad. Me and dad-‘
‘Are exceptions to honoured traditions,’ the elder said. ‘These princes with their magic and their armies only care about power and how to keep it.’
Flynn scoffed. ‘I could give you riches beyond belief if you’d just sell me three or four dragons. Think of how much better you could make this dump of a village-‘ He winced as Calix elbowed him in the side and glared at him. ‘What?’
‘That’s enough. There will be no deals, and you will not leave. You’ll only return with an army to take our dragons by force, and I cannot let you do that.’ He turned to Arckia. ‘Tell your father to build the pyres.’
Arckia’s eyes widened. ‘But-‘
The elder held up a hand. ‘That’s enough boy. Go.’
The young man nodded and dashed towards the dragons and their riders. The elder fixed Flynn with a look of contempt and shuffled away. Flynn grabbed the bars and shook them hard, but the cage remained steadfast.
‘Nice going,’ Calix said with a roll of his eyes, but his hands were shaking as he held them towards the lock. ‘Could’ve told him we got lost.’
Flynn shrugged. ‘I thought he’d take the money.’ He looked at Calix’s open palms. ‘Your magic isn’t back yet?’
Calix shook his head as his eyes flitted towards the circle of lanterns, where three dragons tugged large branches into a pile.
‘There must be some way out of this,’ Flynn said. He tilted his head towards the lamp swinging in the wind above them. ‘If I don’t survive Sam’ll be king, and the kingdom will fall.’
‘Without my magic we’re stuck here,’ Calix said. He frowned as Flynn grabbed a rock from the floor. ‘What are you doing?’
‘Escaping,’ Flynn replied with a hopeful nod to the lamp. He tossed the rock out of the cage and up, and the glass shattered.
Calix clapped slowly. ‘You broke a lamp, congratulations.’
‘Shh,’ Flynn said, as the wind blew a few sparks out of the lamp and onto the cage. He cupped his hand around one and blew on it gently. His face split into a grin when the wooden bars caught light.
‘You’re going to get us killed,’ Calix hissed as the fire spread.
Flynn shook his head and waited for the flames to do their job, one eye on the dragons, before he kicked the weakened bars. They creaked, and with another hefty kick he dislodged a couple. He slid out of the cage and offered Calix his hand. ‘Come on!’
Calix took his hand as one of the dragon’s eyes flicked towards them. Flynn cursed and yanked Calix out of the cage as it nudged one of the riders. He dragged him along the path, veering off towards the forest as the dragon roared and shot along the ground, mouth open and sparking.
A bolt of lightning shot over his head and into a tree, but he didn’t slow down, even when Calix tugged his hand free and called out a warning. There was an almighty crack, a snap, and the tree crashed towards him. He tried to throw himself to the side, but it was futile. The trunk smashed into him, and he cried out as a branch smacked his skull.
As wet blood trickled down his neck his eyelids fluttered and his vision swam. It looked like two dragons had Calix pinned, and as the rider hopped off and strode towards him Flynn’s eyes slipped closed. His last thought before he passed out was of home, and if he’d survive long enough to make it back.
Thanks for reading!
The final part will be posted next Sunday. I’ve enjoyed writing about Flynn and Calix, and I’ve developed lots of new ideas for their role in the world of Dragonspire!
Why not write a short story or poem based on a prompt?
The last prompt for August is:
One word not enough? I post expanded prompts weekly on Pinterest:
‘I’m supposed to be a hero, but I did this! Let me go, I’ve gotta see if anyone needs help!’
‘Let it go, man. No one could’ve survived that. Oh, and welcome to the dark side.’
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!