Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
This Sunday’s prompt is: Sunrise
Welcome back to my summer series! Part one is here: The Hidden Village. Thanks to everyone who’s been following so far 🙂 This series is related to my Dragonspire universe, and this is the last part!
Last time Flynn and Calix made an escape attempt, but it was thwarted by a dragon and its rider. Flynn passed out, and their fate remained uncertain…
Previously on The Hidden Village:
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.
Onto the story:
Flynn groaned and placed a hand on the soft surface beneath him as he attempted to sit up, eyes squeezed shut and unwilling to face the world just yet. A lance of agony shot through his side, and he groaned and eased himself back down with a whimper as his ribs twinged in protest. His eyes fluttered open to stare at the large high beams of the ceiling above. ‘Huh. Ceiling? I could’ve sworn we were outside…’
‘You were, before you were flattened by a tree. Try not to move, idiot.’
‘That’s ‘Your Highness’ to you,’ Flynn said with a glare.
Calix rolled his eyes and slipped an arm around his shoulders to help him sit up.
Flynn tilted his head and sighed as he leaned back against a worn headboard. ‘Where are we?’ Callused fingers met rough bandages around his head, and he flinched. ‘How long was I out?’
‘It’s well after midnight, so a few hours,’ Calix replied. He glanced around the small wooden shack. ‘Gregoria brought us to an abandoned hunting lodge at the edge of the village.’
‘The outsider’s father.’
Flynn stretched. ‘Thought for sure they’d leave us for dead.’ His eyes flitted around the room, and as he leant forward to get a closer look at a large saddle by the door his chest twinged.
‘You’ve broken a rib or two,’ Calix said with a frown. ‘You’ll have lots of bruises, but you’re lucky.’
He met his bodyguard’s eyes, but looked away quickly when he saw the raw emotion in them. ‘What now?’
‘Gregoria’s offered us a ride down the mountain, when you feel up to it.’
The door banged open. Flynn flinched, and he stared at the tall dark-haired man in the doorway.
‘Can’t wait, lads, sorry. If anyone finds out you’re not dead, we’re in trouble.’
Calix’s jaw dropped, but Flynn laughed. ‘Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve faked my death to get out of a sticky situation.’
Gregoria smirked. ‘I like you, Prince Flynn.’
‘I imagine you do, given your actions tonight,’ Flynn said with a cheeky grin and a gesture to the bandages. ‘I owe you my life.’
‘Gotta get you outta here first,’ Gregoria said. He grabbed the reins and saddle from the back of the door and shoved it open. ‘Come on, let’s get you home.’
Flynn leant on Calix and huffed as he got to his feet. The motion sent a lance of pain through his chest, and he groaned as he allowed Calix to lead him out of the door and into the forest. Spaced out, and wracked with pain, he knocked into him when he stopped dead in a clearing.
In the centre sat the dragon who’d pounced Calix earlier. Calix tensed and took a step back.
Flynn scoffed and pulled away from him as he took a step forward. ‘It’ll be fine.’
‘I know,’ Calix said, wary eyes on the dragon. ‘But these dragons are like nothing I’ve ever seen, and my magic does nothing to stop them. I don’t like it.’
Flynn sighed and took a step back, voice low. ‘Don’t worry. One day we’ll own them. Can’t let something with the power to stop my court sorcerer fly around unchecked.’
Calix shook his head and took a step forward. ‘A promotion? Nice. All right, let’s do this.’
They approached the dragon, now saddled, and Flynn froze as sharp eyes pinned him in place. ‘Can I touch it?’
‘Him,’ Gregoria corrected. He secured the reins and tugged the dragon closer. Sparks leapt from its back, and its eyes crackled with lightning. ‘Behave, Pero. They’ll be riding with us tonight.’
Pero snorted and scratched the ground, but he ducked his head and the sparks subsided. Gregoria nodded between Flynn and the dragon.
‘Be careful,’ Calix said softly, crinkled eyes never leaving the dragon.
Flynn nodded. A giddy smile stretched across his face as his hand connected with the rough skin of the dragon’s side and a few sparks danced around his palm.
Gregoria fixed him with a hard stare. ‘He’s still a little prickly. Probably worried you’ll come back with an army.’
‘I wouldn’t dream of it,’ Flynn lied. He sucked in a breath and winced as his ribs twinged, but he forced a smile. ‘If you ever tire of him and want to sell him though, send word to the palace.’
‘The only thing I’d trade him for is the throne itself, your highness.’
Flynn’s face split into a grin. ‘Alas, your price is too steep.’
Gregoria hoisted himself onto the saddle. ‘If you change your mind, you know where I am.’ He held out a hand towards Flynn.
Calix shuddered and grabbed Flynn’s arm. ‘You sure about this?’
Flynn glanced at the snow-topped spire and grasped his side. ‘Yeah.’ He dropped his voice to a whisper. ‘Much as I want the artefact, and the dragons, I’m in no shape to fight.’
He stepped towards the dragon, and Calix helped him settle onto the saddle behind Gregoria before he took his place behind Flynn.
‘Hold on tight,’ Gregoria said, and he urged Pero into the air with a few quick hand signals.
Calix slipped his arms around Flynn’s waist, and they tightened as the dragon raised its wings. With one giant wing-beat, and a hefty jolt, they shot into the air. He didn’t relax his grip even when they levelled out over the treetops.
Flynn winced, and he sighed as the cool night air mussed his hair and drove his fringe into his mouth. He coughed and spluttered, but he didn’t dare let go of the man in front of him lest he topple from the beast to his death. A shudder wracked his frame as darkness consumed them. From up here, your enemies would never see you coming.
He craned his head and squinted behind him, but, at the base of the spire, the lanterns where he knew the village sat looked like fireflies dancing across the landscape. It was invisible.
‘You’d never know it was there,’ he murmured under his breath.
Gregoria laughed. ‘That’s the idea. Elder doesn’t want any more to do with the outside world than necessary, especially given the current political climate.’
Flynn nodded. His eyes lit up as they neared the bottom of the mountain, and the dragon soared over the trees and swooped into a clearing. Giddy with excitement, he nudged Calix as soon as they landed. ‘That was awesome!’
‘Yeah… Awesome,’ Calix said with a roll of his eyes. ‘I can’t feel my fingers.’
‘Well maybe if you didn’t hold on so tight, you’d be able to. I can’t feel my ribs.’
‘Sorry,’ Calix muttered. He relaxed his hold and slid off the dragon’s back. Shaking hands found his knees, and he bent over to huff out a few breaths.
Flynn sighed and shifted his leg over the saddle. ‘Gimme a hand?’
Calix straightened and moved on unsteady legs to help him down. He turned to their saviour and bowed low. ‘Thank you.’ He nudged a silent Flynn in the side.
‘Yes, thank you,’ Flynn said, face twisted into a forced smile. He held out a hand. ‘If you ever need anything, send word to the palace.’
Gregoria reached down and clasped his hand. ‘Sure. An’ if you ever have need of me an’ Pero, I visit the town just north of here every new moon. Just keep ya head down. If Steven or the others in the trading party saw ya, we’d both be in trouble.’
Flynn nodded. ‘I’ll keep it in mind.’
‘Till next time,’ Gregoria said with a smirk, and with a single hand gesture Pero took off.
Flynn raised a hand to shield his eyes from the dust the dragon kicked up. When it settled he turned to a choking Calix and gestured through the trees. ‘Come on. The lord’s castle isn’t far.’
Calix coughed and peered into the distance through watery eyes. A ramshackle wooden castle stood inside a walled town surrounded by the colourful awnings of market stalls. ‘That’s it?’
‘Yup. It’s got nothing on the palace, but it’ll do for now.’
Flynn smirked and nodded. ‘I’m sure father will send reinforcements to deal with the bandits that attacked us if I ask.’
‘But the bandits are…’ Calix tailed off and glared at him. ‘We’re going back to the village?’
‘Not yet, but some day soon.’
Calix sighed. ‘All right. I must be crazy, but I’ll help.’ He raised his hand and grinned when sparks gathered on his palm. ‘Much better.’
Flynn’s lips twitched into a smile as the sun rose behind the spire, and he shivered as it bathed the forest in light. He’d never forget the man who’d saved their lives, or his son, but if they stood in his way when he returned for the dragons he’d show them no mercy. With Calix by his side, and an army of men too, they wouldn’t fail the next time they visited the hidden village.
Thanks for reading!
I’ve tied up the village story line, in that Flynn and Calix escaped, but I know these two have more adventures because they feature heavily in my trilogy. Calix was created when I started this series, but Flynn already existed. Writing a mini series was interesting, considering I had the vaguest of plans and pantsed my way through it! It’s helped me reconnect with my first work in progress and develop my characters too 🙂
I’m starting university soon, and I’m not sure what the workload will be like but I don’t want to overload myself again. I’ll be posting short stories every two weeks instead of weekly from now on, but I’ll still run Sunday Scribbles every week on Twitter!
Why not write a short story or poem based on a prompt?
The prompts for September are:
One word not enough? I post expanded prompts weekly on Pinterest:
The sun rose on the horizon, but it brought me no joy. We were still a long way from home, and my best friend may not live to see another sunrise.
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!