The Lost Sky

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story is about a young dragon named Star who ventures out of his home to follow an eerie feeling that he had during the night. Star and his sister, Morning, are young ice dragon hatchlings. They have to make their way through a series of obstacles as they slowly capture the truth about the unknown mystery.

Submitted: April 04, 2017

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Submitted: April 04, 2017

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Prologue

Dark shapes slipped out from the river and swiftly wove through the trees until they paused at the bottom of a rocky slope. They raced up, barely stopping on each stone, then hesitated as a cry of warning split the night and agile, small figures leaped from the rocks and into the dark sky. They spread their wings wide and soared through the clouds, riding the winds as they darted away. But the rocks suddenly came alive with battle as their pursuers took to the air. Their wings were damp with water, but large enough to carry their bodies. The attackers began to swerve through the clouds, sometimes darting down to pick up a large stone and fling it at the tiny shapes racing through the wind. The smaller creatures were suddenly confused and doubled back, but their opponents were waiting for them. Blood rained down from the sky as the deadly battle began.

 

Part One

Star jerked awake. Something didn’t seem right. A malevolent feeling stirred the air around him, and as he stared up at the moon, a cloud passed and hid it completely.

Tearing his gaze away, he stretched his legs and watched the other dragons as they began to wake themselves. Their eyes were bleary with sleep, and they seemed ready for another normal day. Star didn’t see any point in worrying about the odd sensation. He watched the sun as it rose into the sky, then crept out of his cave and shook out his wings in the clearing, gazing down at the dragons around him. Their leader, Spark that Glints on Ice, or just Spark, was assembling watches for the day. Star suddenly felt small and vulnerable. He was still a hatchling, so he couldn’t leave the center of the forest. There were watches around it anyways, so he would probably be caught if he tried. Still, the thought of searching for whatever was wrong excited him. A moment later he saw his sister, Morning, crawl out of the den. Star knew that this was the perfect moment to talk to her alone, when the dragons were just waking and the clearing was busy. Carefully he made his way over to his sister.

Morning was picking through the hatchlings’ prey-pile. Regretfully, Star stared around at the hunters’ den. Their pile was full and neatly stocked, much larger than the meager offerings that had been carelessly dumped inside of his. A moment later, he felt a strong wing on his back, and saw that Morning was pushing him towards a large rabbit. Star gave a grateful nod and began to tear into it, ravenously gulping up the large animal. Moments later he felt strong and brave once more, and turned to talk to his sister.

“I felt something weird last night. Like something was watching me and making the whole sky dark.” Star struggled to put his feelings into words.

Morning gazed at him for a long moment before she replied. “Star, last night was cloudy and dark. Besides, you were half-asleep. Don’t you think that you might be overreacting a bit?”

“No!” Star hissed with frustration. “There was definitely something there. Something dark happened last night, Morning. Please believe me. I need to find it and figure out what it was.”

Morning hesitated before she replied. “Are you sure? We’re not allowed to leave the clearing; you know that. This is a big risk. We can’t get caught, and if we do, we’ll be punished for moons!”  But Morning’s eyes were full of excitement, and Star felt a wave of happiness welling up inside of him.

“Let’s go, Morning,” he urged her. “We have to leave now!”

 

Morning and Star made their way around to the edge of the clearing. Star secretly envied Morning’s darker gray scales. His were already beginning to whiten as he grew into a full ice dragon, but Morning, being several days younger, could still manage to blend in with the cloudy gray sky. He led her to the edge and glanced quickly around before diving into the undergrowth.

They made their way through the forest on foot, their small bodies slipping easily through the dense vegetation. Soon they came to the first burn mark in the forest. This mark had a large stone in the center, signaling that, directly above it, a watchdragon would be placed. Star, though, had thought everything out beforehand. The watchdragons were just beginning to switch shifts, so, for a few moments, the sky would be clear. They raced on.

After a while, they came to the second burn mark. There was an X made out of logs in the middle of this one. This was where the hunting grounds started.

Morning began to slow down. She, being younger than Star, was running out of energy. Star felt panic begin to rise inside of him. Desperately he yowled, “Morning, you can’t stop here! The hunters are going to come out any minute now, and we’ll be taken back to camp! Please, keep going!”

Morning hissed and dragged herself forward. “My wings are bursting with energy, but my legs are dropping off. Why can’t we fly out yet?” Her voice was strained with exhaustion. “Please?”

Star fervently began to change his plan. It was more risky, but they had to use it. Morning couldn’t keep running. They had to fly.

“Morning,” Star whispered quickly, “if we fly low, and we don’t break through the tree cover, we can make it to the end of the territory. The only problem is that it’s a lot easier to crash into something and make a lot of noise. If that happens, our only choice will be to break the tree cover and try our luck at the clouds instead. Got it?” He hoped that he had thought everything through, and that there were no hidden problems in his plan.

“Okay, Star,” Morning murmured. “We have to do this.”

Swiftly the two of them took to the air and raced through the trees. It seemed like just a moment had passed before they crossed the border, marked with a line of ashes. Star knew that this line bordered the whole territory. Now they had left it.

Quietly, Star dropped to the ground. “Time to fly out of the trees. Ready?”

Morning narrowed her eyes in determination. “Yes. Let’s go.” She lifted her wings and soared through the tree cover. Her grayish scales quickly blended in with the stormy sky. Star glanced down at his sparkling white ones before leaping after her.

As he stared down at the ground, Star realized for the first time that they were doing something that could easily get them killed. Then he shook the thought away. It’s not time to think about that sort of thing. I’ve got to find out what happened last night and get back to camp as quickly as I can. Star spread his wings as far as they went, then pushed with all of his might against the air beneath and behind him, letting out a churr of laughter as he shot ahead of Morning.

It wasn’t long before the two of them left ice dragon territory. The land below them was quickly changing from a colder, evergreen forest to a lush green one with plenty of birches and maples. The air was noticeably warmer, and Star felt uncomfortably hot, his thick scales trapping too much heat. More streams and rivers ran through the territory, and several blurry, dark blue dragons could be seen in the distance. Star looked back for Morning, and let out a sigh of relief as he spotted his sister right behind him. Morning’s sky-blue eyes were narrowed against the hot winds blowing towards them, but her strong wings easily pushed through the currents. As Star let her catch up, she murmured, “This is water dragon territory. We really shouldn’t be here. I heard that the water dragons have a new leader, and she’s been acting really weird lately.”

Star’s eyes stretched wide. “What is she doing? Feeding rocks to her dragons? What could she do, anyways?”

“Really, Star. This is important. Their leader, River that Runs through Forest, is acting really aggressive and violent. There’s been a rumor that she’s been plotting to take over sky dragon territory.” Morning’s voice was serious.

“Sky dragon territory? What could water dragons, of all the groups, do with that pile of rocks?” Star couldn’t believe his ears. Sky dragon territory wasn’t supposed to have any lakes and only a few tiny streams running through it. Star suddenly felt a spark of panic. Could River be trying to take over all of the dragons?

“Star, I’m just as confused as you are. I know that the water dragons have no use for that land. But if you think about it, there’s still a reason that she could be attacking them. Their dragons are strong fliers and good thinkers. Their small bodies make it easy for them to ride the winds and hide in unexpected places. If River takes them as prisoners, then isn’t it possible that she could build the water dragons’ empire even larger? That would give her enough of a head start to conquer the other dragons, one at a time, unless we all stuck together. I can’t think of any other reason why she would attack the sky dragons.”

“Unless she was really crazy,” Star mused to himself, “she would have to have a reason, wouldn’t she?”

“Star!” Morning’s voice was taut with excitement. “You could be right! She could be driven mad by hate, fear, or some other feeling that would make her try to destroy the sky dragons! Maybe, a long while ago, one of them captured her chick or other important object and held it hostage until it died! It makes perfect sense that she would want revenge against the sky dragons for something like that.” Morning’s wings were literally trembling with wonder.

“Then our mission is obvious. We have to find out if River is really planning to attack the sky dragons for revenge. If she is, then we must figure out exactly what they stole from her.”

 

Part Two

Star and Morning swooped through the clouds, swerving around some and racing through others. Finally they arrived at the center of the lake in the middle of water dragon territory. There was a small island there, and it was busy with dark blue dragons. A moment later, one of their watchdragons turned his head, eyes darting warily around. Star desperately darted into one of the clouds, beckoning Morning with his tail. But she wasn’t fast enough. The watcher fixed his eyes on her gray shape and let out a warning cry that resonated far and wide. Star gasped in horror and dove down to Morning. If they had to be taken, then they would be taken together.

A moment later, three large water dragons appeared out of nowhere and circled Star and Morning. They appeared to be skilled fighters and fliers, and Star knew that his last hope of escape was gone. They were now prisoners of the water dragons.

The dragons escorted Star and Morning down to the island, where another one was waiting for them. Her wings were wet with droplets of water, and she seemed to radiate with the same glow that Spark, Star’s leader, did. She must be River. Star’s breath caught in his throat. Could this really be the leader who was rumored to be planning to destroy the sky dragons?

“Why are you here?” Her voice was raspy and deadly quiet. “Why have you flown all this way? Well?”

Star stood there, frozen in her malevolent gaze. Suddenly something clicked inside of his mind, and he jerked with excitement. “We’re lost ice dragons. We just wanted to go hunting, and we couldn’t find our way back!” Star forced himself to wail the last words. “Please, can you help us?”

For a brief second, River’s eyes softened. Then, a moment later, her ice-cold gaze came back, and she narrowed her green eyes. “Don’t ice dragons enforce the rules? I thought that tiny hatchlings like you weren’t even allowed to leave your camp!”

Then Morning pushed forward. “We left at dawn. No one saw us. We couldn’t have been stopped.” Her voice was hard and determined. “Please, you need to show us the way back. We’re really sorry that we came here.”

“We’ll see about that.” River glanced around, then beckoned a smaller dragon over. “Stream, make a nest for these two hatchlings. Make sure that they don’t escape.”

The younger dragon nodded. “Okay, River. Should I bring them any prey?” Stream obviously thought that they should be well cared for.

River stared at her. “No. They are our prisoners, at least for now, until we decide what to do with them next. Do not feed them. I will take care of that.” Then River spread her wings and flew out over the lake. Star felt a wave of fear course through him. Would they ever get off of the island?

 

Many days later, River crept into Star’s nest, her eyes glinting in the light. A moment later, there was a thump and another, louder crash. Two objects landed in the woven moss and bracken. But before he had a chance to investigate, River narrowed her eyes and pushed closer. “Don’t even think about trying to escape. We have guards everywhere. It won’t be as easy to run away from here as it was to run away from your little ice dragon home.” Her voice was a soft hiss. “Got it?”

Star trembled with fear. “Y-yes…” His voice trailed off and he shivered in River’s malevolent gaze. Before he could say anything more, she pushed through the entrance and disappeared, leaving Star alone once more. At once, he bent down and nosed the two objects. One was a scraggly mouse, half eaten by maggots. The other was a larger rabbit. It was good enough to eat, and Star suspected that the mouse had only been sent to show him that he was just a lowly prisoner. Gingerly grasping the mouse in his jaws, Star tossed it out of the cave, then tore hungrily into the soft flesh of the rabbit. He hadn’t eaten in days, and he finished the meal in a matter of seconds.

Now Star could actually think about other things. First of all, he wanted to see Morning. His sister had been taken to another nest on the far side of the camp, for River had specifically asked that they be separated. I would be so much happier if she was here. Star’s heart ached. What if she hasn’t gotten anything to eat? If only I could see her. As the young ice dragon thought about his sister, he heard the leaves rustle at the entrance. Stream shoved her way into his nest. Shaking, Star edged away from her, to the back. Has she also come to torment me? He prepared to defend himself from any of her accusations, but there was no need. She spoke quietly and briskly.

“Pebble and I have agreed that you shouldn’t be here. We’re coming to help you escape.” In a lower tone, she added, “River, our leader, has been acting odd lately. Us water dragons are nearly divided. Some of us agree with what she’s doing. The rest of us want to flee from her grasp.”

Star couldn’t think of anything to say. Finally, he murmured, “Is Morning with you? She needs to leave also!” Fear rose in his chest. “You have to rescue her, too!”

But River had no plans to leave Star’s sister imprisoned in the camp. “Don’t worry, young one. We have plans to get her out also. But you’re our first priority. This is the only time when both Pebble and I will be your guards. You have to leave, now.” The small, dark blue dragon peeked out of the nest, then flicked her tail for Star to follow. “Be careful. We can’t let you be seen. You need to crawl behind this cave as fast as you can.” She hesitated, then pushed Star easily through the entrance. “Go! Now!”

Star scrambled into the tiny space and hurriedly tucked his wings and tail in behind him. He was out of the sight of the water dragons. A moment later, he heard a desperate whisper from behind him.

“The rest of your trail is clear! Quickly! Climb up the wall and tuck yourself into the gap between the two rocks!”

Star turned and grasped onto the first clawhold in front of him. In a moment, he had made his way easily to the top. As soon as he had done so, he caught sight of the gap between the two rocks, and a wave of dismay washed through him. The tiny hole was too small! It would be impossible to fit between there!

Then he remembered his sister. Morning’s escape depended on him. Swiftly, Star crept over to the dark space and fit his wing through. The camp was in plain sight. Tearing his eyes away, he pushed himself farther inside. To Star’s surprise, the tiny crack was a hidden entrance to the cave that lay beyond. Struggling into the refreshingly open space, Star pressed an eye to the crack and peered out.

Just below him, there was a movement in the vines and Morning’s gray face peeked up at him. Star, knowing that she couldn’t see that he was there, willed his sister on with all his might. Come on, Morning, he thought quietly. You can do this. Star let his eyes wander below, to the camp, where Pebble was huddled in a group with some other water dragons. That’s our distraction. Star then looked around for Stream, and saw her a moment later, pretending to gulp up a scrawny rabbit. But her wings were spread wide, and he knew that Stream was trying to hide his sister.

Suddenly, a wing jabbed Star’s eye and he recoiled in pain, then surprise, as Morning forced herself into the cave. “You scared me!” Star kept his voice low, so that the guards couldn’t hear him.

“Really? Did you think that I would actually know that you were here? You scared me just as much,” she muttered back in reply, though Star thought he could sense a flicker of amusement in her voice.

“Whatever. Let’s watch Stream and Pebble. They should be down there, but what are they going to do now?”

Morning agreed, and the two of them pressed their faces to the crack and looked out. The scene was not what they had expected. Instead, Pebble was lashing out at some of the other dragons, and River towered threateningly over Stream.

Oh, no. Star felt a wave of dread welling up inside of him. They messed up. Somewhere, they messed up. But he kept his gaze fixed on the battle. What would happen now? Where was the mistake in Stream’s plans?

 
 


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