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Dragonfire

July 2, 2010

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I think my #fridayflash this week has just turned into a novel, but I’ll share what I’ve written anyway so you can see what I was working on tonight.

Aidan looked to the sky as dusk settled on the horizon. The bright yellows and oranges flamed the atmosphere and he had to squint into the vibrant rays in order to see. To his right, dark clouds hovered over the mountain, signifying the coming storm.

“Aidan?” the young boy said as he tugged on Aidan’s shirt hem.

“Shh, Cody,” Aidan hushed. “I need to see if they’ll come tonight.” He concentrated on the horizon once more, studying the line between land and the heavens.

“The sky’s on fire,” Cody whispered, thinking Aidan meant for him to speak in a softer voice. “Doesn’t it mean they’ll come if it’s on fire?”

“Yes, Cody, but I have to be sure.” Aidan patted the top of the boy’s head, mussing up his hair, and pulled him to his side in a one-armed embrace. In the distance, a shadow shot into the horizon. Aidan jerked and pulled his telescope from his belt, quickly letting the boy go. “I think I see one.” The cylinder elongated with a pull and he brought it to his eye.

Black wings came into view and he scanned the length of its body in search of its rider. “Ah, there you are.” He lowered his telescope and looked down at Cody. “Go warn the others, they’re riding the skies tonight.”

Cody nodded and ran off into the fortress as Aidan continued to look for more dark-riders. A fiery glow hit the center of the clouds over the mountain, the kind that only magic could produce, and he hurried in his task. He spotted four more dark-riders before he closed his telescope and headed inside to prepare for the battle.

As Aidan walked at a brisk pace down the hall, Eric met him after leaving one of the long chamber rooms. Probably in a meeting with the manor’s lord, he thought and nodded at Eric in greeting.

“More dark-riders tonight?” Eric asked as he clamped a hand down on Aidan’s shoulder and walked in step with him.

“Aye,” Aidan replied. “And I believe there may be something else coming, for the sky burns brightly in two directions this eve.”

Eric raised a brow. “Two directions, you say?” Aidan nodded and stopped in front of the doorway that led to the stables. “You don’t think it’s … him, do you?”

“Aye, I do,” Aidan replied. “Best to get everyone underground.” By everyone, he meant the women and children. Of course, there was one woman who wouldn’t listen, and he’d find her on the battlefield with the rest, if not in the sky. “Try to get Siofra down there, would you?”

Eric laughed. “Stubborn woman, that one is. I’ll do my best, but you know how she can be. Last time, she nearly knocked me out.”

Aidan allowed a chuckle to escape. “Perhaps if you weren’t so weak, she wouldn’t have bested you.”

“She caught me off my guard,” Eric said with mock surprise.

Aidan’s hand dropped onto Eric’s shoulder, and he pulled the man forward a bit and grinned. “If that’s the story you wish to tell, Eric, so be it.” He lightly slapped the man’s face. “I must get to my ride. Be safe.”

“Ride well and be safe, Aidan,” Eric said with a nod before turning to head off toward the towers.

Aidan walked toward the stables, where he found others preparing to head out. He stepped into the farthest stable and was greeted with a puff of smoke.

He coughed. “It’s a good thing flames weren’t attached to that, Oona,” he said and smiled up at the black beast. She bobbed her head once, then shook it side to side and spit a fireball at the torch to relight it. The flames reflected off her armored pearlescent flesh and wings. “Are you ready for this flight?”

Oona cocked her head to the side and raised an eyebrow. Whoever said these creatures weren’t intelligent beings was a dolt, because Aidan could see the sarcasm behind Oona’s eyes, always. She hoofed the ground, once for yes.

“Very well, then,” he said. “Let’s get you geared up.” Once he’d fitted Oona with her harness and saddle, he patted her neck and said a short prayer. “Let’s ride,” he said and led her outside.

As he climbed onto Oona’s back, he heard the protests of a woman and looked back to find Siofra arguing with Fergus, the master of the guard. He pulled Oona’s reigns to turn her and they trotted up to the pair.

“Siofra, stop torturing the man with your whining,” he said, a small twinkle in his eye where his smile reached that wouldn’t show itself on his lips.

She glared up at him. “Whining? I’ll give you something to whine about, Aidan of Denrahm.”

He leaned forward on Oona. “You’re not flying tonight, Siofra. Go protect the children.”

“The children are protected well by Kayren and Isa,” she huffed, bringing her hands to her hips. “You could use me up there. I fly better than most.”

He couldn’t argue with that logic. It was true. Siofra was one of his better riders. But his feelings for her stopped all logic. He shook his head and mumbled, “Never fall for a rider.”

“What was that?” she asked.

“Nothing, Siofra,” he said. If truth be known, Siofra had only seen small battles, and the feeling in Aidan’s gut told him this one would be much too large for her. His ears pricked at the sounds coming from the south. The dark-riders were getting near.

“Will you let me ride,” she said and tilted her head, “or shall I just meet you in the air?”

He sighed and looked to the skies. “I don’t have time to argue with you. If you can find a harigon to ride, then do so.” He held up his hand to stop her before she spoke. “But, I don’t want you taking unnecessary risks. Do you understand?”

Siofra grinned and nodded. “Of course.”

His right brow rose. “If you do, I’ll ground you for a fortnight.”

“Thank you, Aidan,” she said and ran off.

As far as Aidan knew, all the harigon were occupied, so Siofra should remain safely on the ground. He turned Oona and headed for the launching site with a smile on his face. Siofra would be furious, but she’d be alive.

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. Grae permalink
    July 2, 2010 11:02 am

    Much potential I see in this one. Reads like a nice preface to a longer novel.

  2. July 2, 2010 11:33 am

    Yes! This definitely has the potential for something bigger than a Friday Flash! I’d love to see more of the world that you’re painting and actually meet some of the mysterious dark riders. My favorite part was the introduction of Oona – her description was well-done and I could see her clearly in my head. This story seems like something that is more suited for a longer format, since I only had a brief time to get to know everyone. 🙂 Great job!

    • NL Gervasio permalink*
      July 2, 2010 5:50 pm

      Thank you, Joanie. Yes, I realized at around 600 words that it was going to turn into a novel, but I thought I’d post it anyway. Glad you liked Oona. I’ll give more description of her later on because she is a fascinating creature!

  3. July 2, 2010 12:04 pm

    Yep, it has that book-wanna-be feel to it. Good stuff. Like the idea and want to know more about what’s going on, why and who’s involved. Great characterization. Plus already dappled with a hint of romance and humor. What’s not to love?!

  4. July 2, 2010 12:43 pm

    Some times the ideas explode under your fingertips. Good luck in expanding it. Hope it turns into a bang-up novel. The characters have good rapport – keep that up and it’ll be 300 quite readable pages.

    • NL Gervasio permalink*
      July 2, 2010 5:52 pm

      Thank you, John. 🙂 I hope I can do the story justice if it’s going to be a novel. Fantasy is not my normal genre.

  5. July 2, 2010 4:18 pm

    Looks like a good start to a longer piece. Great description and characterization.

  6. adamjkeeper permalink
    July 2, 2010 5:09 pm

    This is really epic, keep going!

  7. July 2, 2010 5:39 pm

    I agree with the others that this flash piece could very well be the opening chapter to a novel. Excellent description and scene setting, and makes a reader really want to continue spending time in this world!

    Well done. 🙂

  8. NL Gervasio permalink*
    July 2, 2010 5:53 pm

    Thank you everyone for your comments. I’ve already started the next section of the story. Looks like it’s definitely going to be something. 🙂

  9. Blackbirdsong permalink
    July 2, 2010 10:06 pm

    Very evocative beginning you have here. I look forward to reading more of this. Glad you decided to turn it into a longer piece.

    • NL Gervasio permalink*
      July 2, 2010 10:18 pm

      Thanks so much, Rach. Hope I can pull something decent out of it. 🙂

  10. July 2, 2010 10:09 pm

    LOVED IT!!!! Seriously, woman, this is intriguing and just downright cool. I see some Terry Brooks in this.

    • NL Gervasio permalink*
      July 2, 2010 10:19 pm

      Funny, I’ve never read Terry Brooks. lol Thanks, chica!

  11. July 3, 2010 12:41 pm

    Okay. Ready for the novel now. 🙂

    Great characters and very well written. Simply delightful.

  12. July 5, 2010 10:38 am

    That was rich and lovely. One of the things that I think really helped it flow was the wonderful choice of names you used throughout. It is hard to come up with names in a fantasy piece that don’t sound contrived, but these names all seem quite natural. The world you introduce here is quite compelling. I can see why you think this might end up as a novel. I love it when a short piece suddenly blossoms into something bigger – and this definitely has great potential.
    ~jon

  13. NL Gervasio permalink*
    July 5, 2010 10:57 pm

    Thank you, Gracie and Jon. I have about three parts written already and am beginning the world building aspect now. We’ll see where it takes me. 🙂

  14. July 6, 2010 7:02 am

    Beautifully described, highly imaginative with skilled writing – everyone’s right, this has the makings for a very thick book.
    Happy writing!

    • NL Gervasio permalink*
      July 6, 2010 4:11 pm

      Thank you, Cathy. 🙂

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  1. Characters and Characterization | Jinxie's World

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