Wednesday September 14th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the dragon rider.

Because Max has recently become very interested in dragons. Plus we were in a shop in town this afternoon and we saw a wooden carving of a Komodo dragon and that just sparked all sorts of questions.

Bakery was fairly quiet again this morning. Still doing good business, it's just such a stark contrast to the madness of the summer.

Mine:

There is still a chill in the air as he wakes to greet the dawn. Slipping out from beneath the twisted heap of rags he uses for bed sheets, he moves to the mouth of his cave and looks out over the valley he calls home.

For now.

The silence is unnatural, but he has grown accustomed to it. When a thing follows you wherever you go, there is little choice in the matter. So he doesn't miss the birdsong. He doesn't notice the absence of bushes and branches being disturbed by foraging animals.

All he hears is the steady, throbbing breathing of the dragon which is curled up on the cave floor behind him. Still asleep. Still dreaming? Perhaps. If so, he does not wish to know what of.

Soon enough they will take to the skies. To seek out breakfast. To feel the rush of wind in their faces. To search for signs of their pursuers.

For now, though, all is peaceful. He does not need to worry about their next destination, their next hideaway. He does not need to think of the family and friends his flight has forced him to leave behind. He does not need to concern himself with the punishments he and the dragon would incur should they be caught.

He does not need to, but he does anyway.

3 Comments:

Greg said...

Dragons and dinosaurs always get kids attention sooner or later, and I think dragons are more fun myself. Especially when you look at how the far Eastern cultures view them (as the Komodo dragon would seem to show!)
All the subtle details in your piece really bring it to life: from the rags for bedding to the lack of birdsong and the hints that this human-dragon liaison is frowned up. It all builds up a clever picture of a beginning... that needs a continuation ;-)

Posting as two (sorry); over the character limit again. I must learn to write more concisely.

The dragon rider
The lecture room was silent as the students took notes. The Wikkiel -- the goliath of fairies -- had been returned to the fairy realm and the lecturer had once again cleansed the room of the stench of the fae folk. Students had been much more careful this time; pages turned quickly face down or covered with unimportant papers so that they weren't cleansed along with everything else. Now they finished up their note-taking, some writing down additional thoughts to puruse later and some sitting and thinking quietly about what they'd just seen. The lecturer herself sat for a few minutes on a wooden laboratory stool, her bright eyes watching the class and alert for signs of puzzlement or of questions that she might answer.
"Ladies and Gentlemen," she said when she judged that 95% of the students were done. "We have one more fae to study today, in preparation for the lesson next week. Those of you who are keeping up with the homework -" her eyes scanned the class but no-one reacted, no guilty looks or eyes sliding sideways to their bags where their books undoubtedly were "- will be aware that the next lesson will be held outside, no matter the weather, and will involve the study of Gremshul ilk'beer. In order to do this we will need to enlist the help of the Rikkieb tal Gremshul, or Rikkieb for short. These fairies are naturally resistant to summoning and controlling, probably because they specialise in such areas themselves. This is not to say that it cannot be done, only that it requires more care and preparation."

Greg said...

The door opened and the acne'd assistant came in, carrying several large flat cases, not unlike pizza boxes, in his arms. He set them down on the U-shaped bench that ran around the room and began opening them. The lecturer walked over and helped him set up: several silver plates engraved with Hebraic letters around their circumference were set out in a specific order, and then small natural objects were placed on them; some centred, others offset.
"Why hebraic?" asked the lecturer as she worked. Students looked up from copying down the positions of the appartatus.
"No reason," answered one of the two middle-aged women. "It could be any language, but some creatures have an affinity for old languages and others for new ones."
"Correct. Do you think these plates are solid silver?"
A short pause and then an elderly man answered. "No. They are probably silver over a modern alloy such as Trimixon which has better resonance with magic."
"So why use silver at all?"
Another student now: "Because... because some races like the ostentation?"
"Correct."
The set up was finished, and the lecturer took up a position at the back of the room. "Watch and listen," she said. "We will review the details of the spell at the end of the lesson, but for now, observe."
She set her wand in its holster at her hip and set her feet firmly on the floor. Her knees bent slightly to settle her weight squarely over them, and the class all felt her gather power around her. She began to speak, the words rolling of her tongue and shaping the power she'd gathered, channeling it around her. The silver plates and their objects began to exert their influence on the power, adding and subtracting to its shape, and there were small gasps as the students suddenly realised that the power was being shaped into a semi-humanoid form. For a moment everything hung in a balance with a sense of foreboding, and then the power came together and a shape appeared in the middle of the air, beating mosquito-like wings the caused a sound like a shriek.
"Ladies and Gentlemen," said the lecturer with a smile, relaxing. "Rikkiel. The dragon-rider."

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, right now it's dinosaurs, dragons, elephants, and space that have his attention. Along with building and mechanic play. And sports. And... you know what? Never mind :P

Never apologize for writing too much. It wasn't that long ago that you didn't have time to write at all. So know that I am enjoying this stretch.

And to indulge in more of this setting? You're spoiling me now. Lovely work, as always. I am now beginning to appreciate the students and their diligence almost as much as their lecturer and her abilities!