Thursday, February 20, 2020

Thursday's Fifth Scene Dragons of Fyre #MFRWAuthor #BWLAuthor #Fantasy #Romance #Dragons

Several days had passed since he and Radlan returned from the village. Drakon climbed the stairs past his room on the second level of the tower and continued until he reached the square area at the top. He walked around the wall surrounding the edge and halted at one of the corners. He rested his elbows on the cap stone and peered in the direction of Sea Cliff Tower.
     Though the distance was too far to see the tower, he remembered every moment of the five day journey by horse. He’d been forced to ride with Lagon. A gag  effectively prevented speech. All during the trip, Lagon gloated over his victory. At the journey’s end Drakon remembered how berry tea had been forced down his throat. When the agony of the headache had ceased he’d been aboard a slaver’s ship. Drakon sucked in a breath of cold air. Would Lagon ever pay for the death and destruction he had wrought?
     *Drakon, come.*
     *Old One, what’s wrong?*
     *She escapes.*
     *The last red of High Peak’s lineage. Soon she will lay her eggs. Eggs we need.*
     Drakon started to the door. *When will she arrive?*
     *She will not manage the distance. We must go to her.*
     *What can I do? How far must I ride?* Drakon did not like the thought of leaving High Peaks.
*You will fly with me.*
     “Men don’t fly.*
     *In the past, men and women rode on the backs of reds and blues. This is what you will need. A fur pad and long leather straps. Fur-lined sacks, stones to heat in a fire, and pieces of fur to cover them and cushion the eggs. Find the sleeping sacks. I will need an extra feeding of meat and thorns. You must also carry a feeding in a leather sack.*
     Drakon clattered down the steps. In the storeroom he gathered the supplies the yellow requested. He pulled on a heavy jacket and took a pair of gloves.
     When he entered the kitchen, Sofona appeared in the doorway of the hall leading to the quarters she shared with Radlan. “Is the Old One ill?”
     “No. We go to rescue a High Peaks red and her eggs.” He told her what the Old One wanted.
     “I’ll wake Radlan. He’ll bring the feedings.”
     “Make sure he packs a second one and adds thorns to both. I must figure how to fasten these things to the Old One’s back.”
     Sofona laughed. “You will fly like the men and women on the tapestry that once hung in the great hall.”
     Drakon nodded. He had vague memories of the massive wall hanging. Hadn’t he seen and used that weaving after his return? Maybe the tapestry had been a different one. “I believe I will.” He carried his gatherings to the cavern and placed them on the sand.
     The Old One sent pictures that Drakon followed, carefully placing the fur pad over the ridges on the dragon’s back. Because the yellow’s spinal ridges were narrower than the reds and blues there was no room for a saddle. He fastened the straps to the pad, ran one on either side of the Old One’s neck and united them with the pair drawn over the dragon’s rear legs.
     Radlan arrived with the feedings. While the yellow ate, Drakon added the rocks and furs to the two enormous sacks and tied them to the riding pad. As soon as the Old One had devoured the meal, Drakon climbed to the dragon’s back. He fastened himself to the pad. The yellow moved from the cavern, across the forecourt and stepped over the edge. The great wings unfurled.
     Drakon’s stomach felt as though it had dropped to the ground. Just before they crashed into a stand of towering firs, the Old One caught an updraft and they soared into the moonlit sky. With caution      Drakon relaxed his hold on the fur.
     *Drakon, open your speaker’s path and call the red.*
     Drakon sent a silent call to the High Peaks dragon. The yellow’s voice joined his. *I do not know your name. I am the son of the dead lord of High Peaks Tower. I want to help you.* Over and over he sent the message.
     *I am the Old One, a yellow of High Peaks’ lineage. I want to help you. Call us. Lead us to you.*
     *Who?* The voice carried undertones of pain, sadness, and fear. The emotions vibrated through Drakon.
     *Once I was called Jade. I am your controller. Where are you?*
     *Gone from Sea Cliff. Past the captive towers. I thought to reach the cavern, but I stayed too long. My mate is dead. The evil one set the other blues on him. My eggs arrive soon.*
     Drakon heard despair in the dragon’s voice and sought to give her hope. *You must live. We need your eggs, or the lineage is ended.*
     *We will take the eggs to safety,* the Old One said.
     *Will my dragonets be free from the evil one?*
     *You have my pledge,* Drakon said. *They will fly and I will be their speaker. I was a slave. Now I am free. Your offspring will be cherished. I will rebuild High Peaks Tower and see those of Sea Cliff punished for what they have done.*
     *Not the dragons,* she said. *Just the evil one. The dragons have no controller and their speakers must obey the evil one.* Her voice sounded louder. *I must land and wait for you. The eggs come soon.*
     Before long, Drakon saw a large dark shape on the ground. The moonlight revealed the red’s resting place. The Old One spiraled down and landed near the laboring dragon.
     *The eggs,* the red cried. *You have come in time. Care for them. High Peaks Tower will grow strong with honorable speakers and dragons.*
     Drakon quickly untied the straps and slid to the ground. He started a small fire to heat rocks to bury beneath the furs in the sacks. As he worked, he wondered what he could do to fulfill the red’s predictions. How could he rebuild the line of speakers? They were usually the sons of the tower’s lord. Thoughts of being with a woman filled him with panic. Memories of the conditioning by the priestesses of the Temple of Fyre bound him with iron bands.
     *Not always the sons,* the Old One said. *Speakers can be found among the kin both near and far.*
     *And in ones not tied by blood,* the red said.
     Were they right? Drakon sat beside the grieving red and encouraged her. The first egg arrived. He nearly protested when the Old One caught the blue egg in his talons and licked the shell.
      *Pick it up. Breathe on it,* the yellow dragon said. *Then place the egg in one of the sacks. There is no blue to perform the rite. Your breath must do.*
     When the red laid the second egg, the Old One licked the shell and rolled the egg to the female dragon. Her tongue moved over the surface.
     *Do not touch this one with your skin,* the Old One cautioned.
     The red began to shake. *Speaker, my time has come. Name the dragonets and care for them.*
     *I will.*
     *Old One, you must teach them.*
     *I will.*
     *There is a green of our lineage at Sea Cliff. He was hidden and cared for by Arana, who can speak to all the dragons the way you can.*
     Arana. Drakon’s thoughts drifted to his childhood in the tower. There had been a girl four years younger. His parents rescued her from the slavers. She earned her freedom because of her ability to care for the dragons. Could Arana the red spoke of be the same girl?
     *The evil one has made her a slave again,* the red said. *She helped me escape.*
     A picture of a young woman entered Drakon’s thoughts. Her hair, the color of flames, told him the truth. She was his friend and playmate. *Why did he enslave her? She was free.*
     *There are no free women at Sea Cliff. There are no free dragons, except the green. Verde is his name.* The red rose and unfurled her wings. She lumbered forward.
     Though she rose from the ground, Drakon knew she would never clear the trees. *Old One, stop her.*
     *She chooses death. Honor her choice and honor her. Open the feed sack. While I eat, call the green.*

No comments: