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CREATIVE WRITING: THE DRAGON
Every once in a while I go through my folder of writings to see what's in there. From college papers to story snippets, it's a fun rabbit hole to go down. This week's creative blog is a scene from a high-fantasy story that I wrote back in 2002. I know the last name of one of the characters I've used in another novel, but hey, that's part of being a writer. Who knows? This could be the makings of another novel maybe? Enjoy!
The door to the Inn slammed opened, startling the patrons that were bent over their drinks. They stared at the group standing there. There were four of them, dressed in the colors of the forest and meadows, longbows over their shoulders. No one said a word as the elves parted, allowing another through. This one was smaller. The elf pushed back the claret hood that covered its face, revealing the delicate features of a woman.
"I am looking for the one they call Alec Juriath," she announced. Her voice was clear and strong, despite her delicate features. A pair of sapphire blue eyes, slightly slanted, gazed over the room, her bow-shaped lips pursed in concentration.
"I'm Juriath," a drunk man cried from her right.
She nodded to one of her guards. The elf moved towards the drunk, grabbing his wrist and pushing up the dirty tunic sleeve in one swift motion. "He does not carry the mark," the guard remarked in elven.
The woman pushed her cloak back, revealing the hilt of the broadsword at her side. "Would anyone else like to try?"
"What do you want him for?" the barkeep asked curiously.
She turned to him, her eyes piercing. "That is none of your concern." The woman motioned to her guards, turning on her heel to leave. As she was crossing the threshold, a voice stopped her.
"I'm Juriath." The voice was clear, deep and rough, but sober. She turned back to the room to see him walking through the crowd towards her. Most did not care for elves, allowing them to come and go as they pleased through the villages as long as they kept to themselves. Alec Juriath on the other hand preferred elves. He stood before the woman, his tunic sleeve up, his left forearm bare. "I'm Alec Juriath."
The woman looked at the mark on his arm and dropped to one knee. "Lord Juriath, I am glad I found you."
"Lookie 'ere, Juriath thinks 'e's some type o' lord," a voice called out.
Alec ignored it. "Please, rise. What do you need? Why are you looking for me?"
The woman stood, her eyes downcast. "I have been asked by my people to secure your help."
"Doing what?" Alec crossed his arms, waiting. The woman looked up at him and he realized that she had elven blood by the pointed ears that were hiding in the thick brown hair that fell past her shoulders. "What do you need my help with?"
"I need your help to capture a dragon."
Alec laughed, throwing his head back as his laugh echoed across the Inn. When he was done, he wiped the tears from his eyes. "Look Lady, I've never been close enough to a dragon to touch it, let alone want to help some half-breed elf capture one. I'm sorry." He turned away, returning to the bar and his ale.
She turned away, storming out of the Inn, tears glistening on her face as she broke into a run. She headed into the forest and collapsed in tears in a clearing, her body wracked with sobs.
"So the mighty Alec Juriath refused you. Well, Cerridwyn, you don't need him." The air around Cerridwyn shimmered. The half-elf was laying on the tail of a very large, very blue dragon. "We can find that flying blackguard ourselves."
Cerridwyn sat up, gazing into her wise friend's eyes. "That wasn't it."
The dragon nodded, his head stirring the leaves above him. He lowered his face down to her level. "He called you a half-breed did he?" Cerridwyn nodded, biting her lower lip. The dragon tucked the tip of his nose under her chin. She wrapped her arms around him, laying her head on his warm nose. "Well, Juriath can just stay here, then. We will find my sister and that evil Baldur."
Cerridwyn heard a noise below her and gazed down. Standing below the dragon were her four guards.
And Alec Juriath.
"Okay, so now I can say that I've been close enough to a dragon to touch it." Alec nodded at the dragon.
"I should fry you where you stand, little man, for upsetting Lady Cerridwyn," the dragon grumbled.
Alec noticed the guards backed away from him. "I didn't mean to. I honestly thought she was joking. I…" Alec stopped. "Did you say Cerridwyn?"
"Yes." The dragon lowered his head until he could stare at Alec, nose to face. "Why?"
"As in Lady Cerridwyn Dragondancer?"
"The one and the same." The dragon's eyes grew into slits.
Alec noticed Cerridwyn walking up the dragon's length, settling herself just above the great wings on what appeared to be a saddle. "Lady Cerridwyn, it's I that should've been bowing to you. I wish you had told me who you were beforehand."
"Why? So you could've insulted me sooner?" she asked.
"No. Please, let me accompany you. Your reputation as a mage and dragon friend precedes you."
The dragon stood, stretching to his full height. He turned his head behind him to gaze at Cerridwyn. "Do we let him come along?"
"We need his help, Rain. But watch him closely," Cerridwyn whispered.
The dragon nodded and turned his face to the sky. He let out a tremendous roar that shook the ground. As Alec watched, four more dragons landed within the clearing, all smaller than Rain, each a different color. Rain leaned down, grasping Alec by the back of his tunic, lifting him up onto his back. "Hold on, little man."
Cerridwyn smiled. She had slid far enough back in the saddle to allow Rain to dump Alec before her. She wrapped the safety harness around him, pulling it tight. "Wrap your hands around the pommel," Cerridwyn instructed as she grabbed the reins. "Rain, whenever you are ready my friend."
With one powerful push of his hind legs, the blue dragon took to the air, his enormous wings flapping, gaining altitude until he caught the current, gliding through the vale and towards home.
Copyright 2002, 2021, Beth A. Freely
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