Long Live the Scaled Queen

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Another requested story written for one of my patrons. This one takes place after the events of Where Dragons Rule Dissent.

Struggling with terrible news, Maggie decides her next move in redeeming herself.

Long Live the Scaled Queen

By Evan Drake

© 2020, Evan Drake, All Rights Reserved

 

 

Maggie examined herself in the mirror. The last few months had aged her horribly. Brown, bloodshot eyes sunken in a thin, tired face stared back at her. She ran a hand through her dry, red hair. It wasn’t falling out—not that she would’ve cared if it did. I swear if it would change things, I would pull it all out myself, she thought, turning away from the dresser.

 

The window rattled, calling her attention. It’s frost-covered panes rattled again. It’s going to be another bad storm. She thought. She grabbed the ratty old blanket on the bed and pulled it close, inhaling deeply. It still carried the slight scent of dragon. She closed her eyes and thought of a young dragon with celeste scales that wore the blanket every winter despite having no need for it. The dragon would wrap it around her body like a cloak and pretend she was heading to an important event. Once she tried to wear it like a scarf to a dinner party, but anyone could see what it truly was. The look on Aeris' face when told the "scarf" had to go hurt.

 

Tears streamed down her face at the memory, and she pulled the blanket tighter.

 

There came a light knock at the door before it opened and a dragon stepped inside, her long tail sweeping in time with her movements. Her sea-green scales shimmered the way water reflected off a pond. It made the scars stand out all the more because they didn't reflect the light. The fan-like fins on the sides of her head moved with each step. "So whaddya want?” Her piercing yellow eyes went straight to the blanket in Maggie’s arms.

 

Maggie squeezed the fabric. “Yes, I...wanted to ask you something. It’s just...I realized I have no idea what it is you actually do.”

 

Cutter tilted her head. “What does it matter? And shouldn’t you have thought about this before you tracked my ass down?

 

Yes, I wasn’t thinking at the time. I just knew I needed to do something to protect Aeris and...rumor has it you’re the dragon to call whenever someone wants something done.”

 

Surprised you didn’t go to a human.” She cut a sly smile. “Or Aubrey. She and Snowflake are friends, aren’t they?”

 

How do you--?”

 

That shit wasn't a secret. Every domesticate practically bragged about it." She crossed the room and climbed onto the bed. It groaned under their combined weight. “So why didn’t you go to her? Wait, wait, don’t tell me. You don’t want Snowflake to be in her debt.”

 

She thanked that her clenched fists were hidden under the blanket. Cutter wasn't like the other dragons she'd met. The dragoness seemed to delight in toying with others and made no attempts to hide it. It was too dangerous to reveal too much. “I just thought going to her would be too obvious. Lord Strauss would expect it.”

 

Cutter smiled and lay on her back, stretching her limbs towards the ceiling. "Right. But are you sure you want her in mine? I know you’ve heard the rumors about what I do.”

 

Yes, I...I heard. You manage a brothel.” It wasn’t all she heard. Other rumors claimed the dragon was a mistress of information and the brothel was nothing more than a means of extracting information. She couldn’t deny it was a smart and frightening practice. Not many would dare reveal they were in a whorehouse, especially one run by a dragon. Interspecies intimacy wasn’t a favored subject.

 

I love how you humans squirm when you talk about fucking something. Yeah, you heard right. But just so you know, all of my girls are there willingly. I don’t force that shit on anybody.”

 

I’ve heard different.”

 

You hear a lot of things; some of them I put out there myself."

 

You mean you put out false rumors about yourself? Why?”

 

History is a false promise borne on the lips of the hopeful.”

 

What does that mean?”

 

The dragon’s grin widened. “You’ll figure it out one day when you’re older.”

 

Maggie huffed. She was already approaching 50. Usually, it would be a good time to mention her maturity, but dragons lived far longer. To Cutter, she was probably no more than a child.

 

Anyway, I know you ain’t call me here for idle talk. So get to the damn point.”

 

"I...I want to kill Aaron Strauss."

 

Cutter raised her head. “That’s a tall order. And why should I do that, exactly?”

 

Because the man is a monster! He manipulated Aeris for years! He took advantage of her simply because he could! He tried to breed her like cattle to sell her eggs to the highest bidder then gunned her down because she refused!” She jumped to feet, glaring at the lounging matriarch. "How can you lie there and ask me why? I thought you cared about Aeris?"

 

Cutter continued to lay on her back, giving her a deadpan stare. “Honestly, if I killed every motherfucker that pissed me off, the world would be a lot lonelier. That’s not even the worst thing your kind has done.”

 

That’s not the point.”

 

The point is killing him won’t solve a damn thing," Cutter interjected loudly. Maggie's anger vanished. "Besides, I don’t want him. I want his partners. They’re gonna be looking for Snowflake even if he isn’t.”

 

The tightness in Maggie’s chest made her sit back down. It was a slip of the tongue. I heard her wrong. Don’t give me that hope. “Wh—what are you talking about?”

 

Cutter tilted her head. “C’mon, Mag, you know Snowflake isn’t dead, right?”

 

Without thinking, she was on top of the dragon, the questions flooding out of her. "But how? Where is she? Why haven’t you told me? Why are we wasting our time here?”

 

First, calm down. Second, it’s obvious. There’s no body. Aubrey’s been demanding to see it, and he’s blowing her off.”

 

Aubrey again, I’ll kiss her. “But if Aeris is alive then where--?”

 

"Hell if I know." In one smooth motion, she rolled from beneath Maggie and off the bed onto her paws. "But I got a good source we can ask to find out."

 

Maggie wasn’t sure if she was meant to follow, but she did. Walking felt like wading through water. She couldn’t get her thoughts in order. The news that Aeris was alive and well filled her with joy and apprehension.

 

If Aeris wasn’t with Aubrey, it meant she was out there alone. The young dragon didn’t know the first thing about surviving on her own. That meant she was out there somewhere scared and alone; possibly cold, hurt, or hungry. The wind howled and she shuddered despite the warmth indoors.

 

They descended into the basement. The unmistakable sounds of blows striking flesh made her cringe. The stairs led to another hall with a single metal door, twice as wide and tall as a normal door, at the end.

 

Cutter paused just long enough to say, “Wait here” before pulling the door open with ease and slipping inside. Maggie could easily slip through the crack in the door, but fear of what waited on the other side kept her in place.

 

So he say anything different?” Cutter asked.

 

Not really,” a female replied. “I don’t think we’re getting anything else out of him.”

 

A brief silence then a third voice. This one belonged to a man and was void of emotion. “We left the dragon and the girl in Strendor.”

 

Maggie leaned closer but stayed away from the gap to avoid being seen.

 

The girl?” the female asked.

 

A girl was with her. She called herself Janine.”

 

Another silence then Cutter spoke. “Where’d they go from there?”

 

They wanted to go to Auruem, but we didn’t go that far.”

 

Maggie covered her mouth to keep from saying anything. Auruem was the closest city to the dragon border. As a domesticate, Aeris would be in serious danger if she went there.

 

before she heard Cutter’s voice again. “Send word to Auruem. I wanna know the moment she gets there. The snow hopefully slowed her down.”

 

Footsteps approached so Maggie backed away and pretended to be occupied with a spot on the wall.

 

So, you get all that?”

 

I...yes. Why is she going to Auruem of all places?”

 

Probably because she thinks it's safer there. Her master won't go there looking for her. But him finding her will be the least of her problems if she gets caught."

 

So what’s our next move? We’re in Strendor. It’s possible--”

 

For now, get some sleep. We’ll figure it out in the morning.”

 

She wouldn't be able to sleep even if she tried. Not when Aeris was out there with nowhere to go. But with no leads and the snow coming down heavily, she wasn’t going anywhere tonight.

 

Her mind was jumbled with thoughts during the walk back to her. The most nagging question on her mind being why Aeris didn't seek help from Aubrey or Cutter. It made sense not to see Cutter, it took her weeks to track the dragoness down. But Aubrey was always there.

 

Her thoughts were interrupted by a female voice, “But that’s crazy! She’ll kill us if she finds out.”

 

She stopped and listened. The door beside her was ajar. The voice was unfamiliar but it belonged to a dragon. All dragons had a slight rumble and slur in their voice. Domesticates were the only exception.

 

Keep your voice down.”

 

That voice she did recognize. It was Giselle, Cutter’s righthand. Ever since meeting the woman, Maggie had heard her speak twice, but she had a distinctive deep timbre.

 

Cutter is going to get us all killed with her ‘pet project’,” Giselle said. “Five dead just getting the information on that damn dragon. How many more people is she going to get killed for her bullshit?”

 

Maggie checked if anyone was approaching then moved closer to the door. She peered inside and saw the woman, tall and wide, standing with her back to the door. Just visible in front of her was a dragon, a Short-Snout like Cutter. But this one didn’t have any scars and she was larger.

 

I don’t like this,” the dragon said. “If Cutter finds out--”

 

Then she won’t find out.”

 

But she’ll know. She always knows.”

 

I’ll make sure she doesn’t. Just be ready to take charge.”

 

But I’m not a Matriarch. I can’t—No, I won’t turn on Cutter. Even if I do hate that bitch Aeris.”

 

Maggie inhaled sharply. She had a mind to go inside and tell that dragon what for, but it would reveal her eavesdropping.

 

Her thought was cut off when the woman snatched her into the room by the shirt collar. With a flick of the wrist, she sent Maggie stumbling forward into the dresser. She grunted on impact, the air rushing out of her. A second woman caught her before she sank to the floor; this one looked like a younger version of Giselle, only thinner and with blond hair instead of brown. Her hair covered half of her face, hiding an eye patch. But Maggie saw fear in the exposed half.

 

Get out,” Giselle said.

 

but the dragon remained. It made Maggie uncomfortable the way she stared at her.

 

Rowen!”

 

The dragon blinked and turned to the woman.

 

Leave.”

 

Rown shot one last look in Maggie’s direction before leaving. Giselle closed the door behind the dragoness.

 

Maggie stayed put by the dresser and contemplated her options. She was no fighter and this woman was near twice her size. In her youth, running would have been an option, but her running days were long done. Shouting for help seemed her best chance. Hopefully, someone would hear before the woman crossed the gap and silenced her.

 

In two quick strides, Giselle and towered over her. "How much did you hear?"

 

She stared at the woman intimidated by her size and speed. Is this it? Am I going to die here before I see Aeris again? This woman can’t let me go, knowing what I know.

 

I won’t ask again.”

 

I didn’t hear anything.”

 

She gave a frightened cry as she was hoisted off her feet with ease.

 

Try again.”

 

She looked the woman in the eye. "What does it matter if I heard anything or not? You're not letting me leave this room anyway."

 

Maggie stood there with a dumb expression feeling relief and confusion.

 

The woman took the lighter and cigarette off the nightstand. She lit it the cigarette and took a long drag then exhaled a long plume of smoke towards the ceiling. “Stop being dramatic. I’m just vetting the girls.”

 

Maggie waved away the smoke then moved by the window. “I...you mean, you’re not planning to betray Cutter?”

 

Never. But some do. My job is to sniff them out.”

 

I thought Cutter trusted those who worked for her.”

 

Giselle took another puff of the cigarette. “She wouldn’t last long if she did. Humans and dragons want her dead. If you want to see your dragon again, you’ll help me.”

 

I’m sorry, but I have nothing to do with this. I don’t want--”

 

That wasn’t a question. Other people are looking for your dragon. They plan to use Cutter to do it.”

 

So they sent a spy,” Maggie said to herself. To Giselle, she asked, “But why are they so fixated on Aeris?”

 

The woman shrugged and sent a smoke ring into the air. “Cutter likes her. That makes her a problem.”

 

I’m fairly sure Cutter doesn’t need Aeris for whatever plans she has.”

 

A heavy sigh and another smoke ring was the response. “Think, woman. That dragon has popular with every noble in Rubellum. If she started working for Cutter it would mean bad things for everyone. And before you get any ideas, if Cutter dies, your dragon dies with her.”

 

Maggie studied the woman's face and body language. She had always considered herself a fairly good judge of character, but this woman was impossible to read.

 

 

“Very well. What do I have to do?”

 

Giselle put out her cigarette on the ashtray. “Easy. Start a fight. They’ll come to you.”

 

****

 

Maggie awoke to pitch darkness and a dull throb in her side. A strange odor filled her nose. It was then she realized she lay on something hard and cold. Did I fall out of bed onto the floor? She groaned and tried to stretch only to notice her arms and legs were bound.

 

She rolled over onto her stomach and scooted onto her knees. She then pushed herself around until she found the wall. Her breath came in hard starts as she struggled against her bindings.

 

The door opened and light surged inside. She shut her eyes until she heard the door close again. When she opened them, the light in the room had been turned on. The room reminded her of those torture chambers described in the fiction novels she once read to Aeris. Crude instruments lined the far wall and chains dangled from the center of the ceiling. Hanging from one of the chains by her arms was Giselle. Her chin rested on her chest and her hair blocked most of her face.

 

Maggie would have called out to the woman except the blond-haired woman from before stood by the door. Her hair was tied back in a bun revealing scared half.

 

Without a word, the woman crossed the room. Maggie scooted into the corner. The woman half-dragged her to the chain in the middle of the room, forcing her onto her toes. Maggie groaned at the weight being put on her wrists and arms.

 

The woman silently went to the table behind Maggie and rummaged about.

 

 

Before long, the woman returned. "Here's how this is going to go: I ask you questions, you answer them. You answer truthfully and you get out of this without pain. You lie to me"--she waved a small mallet in front of Maggie's face--"I break your bones. Understood?"

 

Maggie nodded vigorously. “Where’s Cutter?”

 

Hey, I ask the questions. I’ll let you have that one, but don’t do it again.” After Maggie nodded again, the woman continued. “Cutter is busy right now. More specifically, she’s unconscious until we’re ready to deal with her. We packed enough dreamwillow into her food to knock out a dragon twice her size. She’ll be sleeping a long time, assuming she wakes up at all.”

 

She struck Giselle with a hard backhand. “Wake up. It’s time to pay your debt.”

 

Giselle slowly raised her head revealing several bruises and dried blood around her nose and mouth.

 

Looks like they had to knock her out the hard way.

 

,” Giselle said. “After all I did for you.”

 

After all you did?” She grabbed Giselle’s face. “You got me tortured, beaten, and mutilated.” She ripped off her eye patch, revealing an empty socket. Maggie turned away. “Cutter forgot to mention this little hazard when she told me the job would be risky.”

 

It’s part of the job.”

 

There came a dull thud followed by Giselle coughing.

 

It’s all part of the job, huh? And what part of the job is being lied to? Or was I not supposed to figure out that you sent me in there as bait?”

 

You weren’t bait.”

 

Don’t lie to me!”

 

It's true, Addy. No one saw that ambush coming."

 

But you wasted no time taking advantage of it, did you? So long as Cutter gets what she wants, what does it matter what happens to anyone else?" She appeared in Maggie's vision. She focused her gaze on the woman's nose instead of her missing eye. "That includes you. Cutter only bothered to help you because you have something she wants."

 

Then why am I hanging from the ceiling?" Maggie asked, making no attempt to hide her frustration. "I have nothing to do with any of this!"

 

Addy shrugged and stepped back. "Because Cutter is the last wyrm you should've gone to."

 

The door opened again. This time a dragon entered. It was the same female Short-Snout Maggie saw last night. The moment she entered, she gave Maggie that same look of contempt.

 

Giselle spat on the floor. “I fucking knew it, Rowen. I knew you would try something.”

 

The dragoness ignored her and went to Maggie. “So, you’re Maggie. I expected someone more...impressive.”

 

Do I know you?”

 

No, but I’ve heard of you. That bitch loves you.”

 

Leave her alone,” Giselle said.

 

I’ll get to you.” She turned back to Maggie. “But first, I’m gonna do something I’ve been dying to do for a long time.”

 

Before Maggie could guess what the dragon meant, she lunged forward and sank her teeth into Maggie's leg. Slowly, the pressure increased until she howled, fighting the instinct to pull away knowing it would only tear the wound further. Rowen released her. The searing pain reduced to a burning throb, warmth and wetness running from the center of the injury.

 

were here to hear you scream.

 

Don’t toy with her too much,” Addy said. “The woman has nothing to do with this, so kill her quick and get it over with.”

 

What did I ever do to you?” Maggie cried. “I don’t even know Cutter that well!”

 

You? Nothing. It’s that bitch I can’t stand. Little miss perfect. The human’s favorite.” She paced and slapped the floor with her tail, her voice dripping with bitterness. “Everyone just loves her and her pretty scales, and her pretty voice, and her pretty manners.

 

Giselle gave a short laugh. “Seriously? You killed yourself because you’re jealous?” She spat on the floor and turned to Addy. “And that’s all it took to get her on board?”

 

Rowen whirled on the woman who fell silent. “I don’t expect you to understand.”

 

Maggie did. She understood perfectly. Having raised Aeris since the dragon hatched, she knew what the domesticates faced: abuse from their masters and prejudice from clan-borns. If domesticates weren’t outright ignored, they were receiving the wrong sort of attention. To anyone else, it would seem Aeris lived the good life. Sought after by the nobles. Praised instead of insulted. Welcome inside instead of waiting outside. She understood but she also knew Rowen had it wrong.

 

Aeris was no one’s favorite. At the end of the day, she was still a dragon. She suffered her own share of abuse and learned the hard way not everyone wanted to be her friend.

 

She didn’t dare say any of it aloud. Telling Rowen she had it wrong would not calm the dragon.

 

know that it’s Cutter’s fault and that’s good enough for me.”

 

You’re both idiots.”

 

Addy slapped her. “No! You’re the idiot! Cutter sees us—humans and dragons—as pawns! She would’ve turned on you, too. It was just a matter of time.”

 

That includes you,” Rowen said, lightly slapping Maggie’s wounded leg with her tail. She hissed through clenched teeth. "And little miss perfect. Even in Cutter’s eyes, she could do wrong. Everyone thought she was just so innocent. Did you know your precious dragon—little miss perfect, killed my brother? She took someone from me, so I’m taking someone from her.”

 

You’re lying,” Maggie said flatly. “Aeris would never do that.” She had only known Aeris to kill once in her life and the poor dragon had been pushed over her limit to do it. If Aeris had killed another dragon, she definitely would have heard about it.

 

Of course you don’t believe me. Who would ever believe that the perfect dragon would do that?”

 

Rowen, stop talking crazy,” Giselle said. “Lyndria killed your brother. She didn’t want him getting close to Aeris.”

 

Who’s Lyndria?”

 

The door swung open and Cutter shuffled into the room, yawning. Her face and claws tipped in red "Just once I'd like to go a week without killing a motherfucker," she mumbled. The rest of her rant was undiscernible as she stopped and stretched.

 

Rowen and Addy stood there, jaws hanging. Addy trembled, her eyes widening with every second. Even Rowen with blood dripping from her muzzle resembled a frightened hatchling.

 

Cutter stopped stretching and jerked her head towards Maggie and Giselle. “Cut ‘em down.”

 

Addy moved without hesitation, her movements stiff but precise. Maggie groaned as she put weight on her leg and collapsed to the floor. Giselle hurried to her side.

 

Hey, Giselle, take her upstairs to the others and take care of that leg.”

 

Wait, Cutter. Please don't--" Maggie began.

 

Mag, I wasn’t asking. And I won’t say it again.”

 

Giselle lifted Maggie and carried her out of the room. The moment they were in the hall, there came screams and roars of pain. Giselle continued without hesitation, moving through the bodies littering the floor.

 

She did all of this while we were in there? I didn’t hear any of it.

 

Fucking Addy. She convinced so many to join her,” Giselle said as she started up the stairs. “Sorry to get you wrapped up in this.”

 

It’s fine. I got myself wrapped up into this.”

 

They entered the hall again. More dead dragons and humans lay on the floor, almost as if sleeping. But the pools of blood gave away the truth. Light poured from the first room ahead of them so Giselle carried Maggie in there.

 

This room was clean and contained two women, a man, and a Nightstalker. Maggie didn't recognize any of them. They all looked as if they had survived a large brawl.

 

A skinny woman with ebony skin and even darker hair rushed towards them. “Giselle! Thank goodness you’re alive. When I woke up and they were standing over me, I thought--”

 

It doesn’t matter.” She gently placed Maggie on the empty bed. “Is this really all that’s left?”

 

There was no one else with you?” the man asked. He had short red hair and a similar beard. He approached Maggie and ripped her bloody pants’ leg. “Excuse me, miss, but we don’t have time to stand on ceremony. The bite doesn’t look too bad. You’re pretty lucky. Most of the time, I have to amputate after a dragon attack.”

 

Maggie was still shaken by the carnage and couldn’t speak so she nodded.

 

Cutter’s leaving only bodies behind,” Giselle said.

 

The woman handed Giselle a towel. “Then she’s cleaning house. Again.”

 

That broke Maggie’s paralysis. “Wait, she’s done this before? Just slaughtered everyone and started again?”

 

She’s only done it once that I know of. But that was also 60 years ago so the details are known only to her.”

 

Asking for those details didn’t sound like a good idea, so Maggie chose to let the matter drop. She hissed when the man began dressing her wound.

 

Sorry. I’ll try to be more careful,” he said.

 

To distract from the pain, she turned to Giselle. “I never thought they’d spring their trap this soon.”

 

Giselle shrugged. “They panicked after you caught us talking. That means they’re not who we’re looking for.”

 

Looking for?”

 

Other people are looking for your dragon." She picked up a packet of cigarettes on the nightstand and swore after finding it empty. "Cutter figured they would try to use us to do the work for them."

 

Aeris, what have you gotten yourself into?

 

The door opened and everyone whirled around. The Nightstalker growled and jumped to the front. Cutter strode into the room, her front painted red.

 

The Nightstalker immediately lowered his head and backed away.

 

Well, that was a lovely clusterfuck of a morning," Cutter said. "We're gonna have to clean up this mess. Pensen, get started dragging the bodies outside so they can be burned. The rest of you get started on cleaning up the blood.” She pointed her tail at Maggie. “Not you. I don’t want you walking on that leg.”

 

Everyone left the room except the man tending to Maggie's leg. She had lived among dragons her entire life—even raised one from a hatchling, but sitting before a blood-soaked Short-Snout put things in perspective.

 

It was strange to see: this creature, dripping with blood, sitting before her wearing a look of remorse. She was reminded of Aeris. That dragon would apologize over everything and loathed the idea of harming others despite her body being designed to do just that.

 

And everyone thinks dragons are nothing more than blood-thirsty beasts

 

You okay?” Cutter asked.

 

"Yes, my leg hurts, but I'll live." She hissed as the man began bandaging the wound. "Unfortunately, I'm no stranger to pain. For years I was at the whims of an abusive man."

 

Sorry to hear that. Just like I’m sorry I dragged you into this shit. I knew how Rowen felt and I still assumed she would put that aside.”

 

Did she truly hate Aeris that much?”

 

Dragons are pretty fucking vain, Mag. We don’t like being second best.”

 

According to Aeris, being the best isn't that fun either. "And what about Addy? She said you set her up.”

 

Cutter sighed and her fins sagged. “Addy lost too fucking much. She’ll believe anything if it makes her feel better. The plan was never to get her caught.”

 

But you didn’t rush to her rescue.”

 

I had to get what I needed first.”

 

I’m beginning to understand why she turned on you.

 

Cutter stretched and headed for the door. "Anyway, get some rest, Maggie. Once the storm clears up, I want to go looking for Snowflake."

 

 

****

 

It took most of the day to get things back in order. Maggie was the only one not exhausted. They gave her a cane to use for the times she did have to move but was told to stay off her leg as much as possible. It was a direct order from Cutter, and after seeing the burning pile of bodies of those who defied her, she didn't dare disobey.

 

 

The storm had stopped after two days but left over two feet of snow. Cutter warned not to bother melting it or it would just freeze over into ice. The moment the snow stopped, Cutter ordered people to go and gather information. Visits to the outside were heavily monitored and no one was allowed to leave alone—not even to shovel the walkway.

 

The tension of waiting was the worst part. There was no one to talk to most of the time. No one said it, but Maggie heard them crying alone in their rooms. Asking around, she learned that many of them had known each other for years. Addy was Giselle's sister. She couldn't begin to understand what the woman was going through. She couldn’t help but feel guilty. If Cutter hadn’t been so focused on helping her, perhaps things would be different.

 

After a week, Maggie decided to see if any progress had been made in the search for Aeris. She trusted Cutter to keep her word, but her nerves were getting to her.

 

She went to knock on Cutter’s door when she heard voices inside.

 

Maybe she got out unseen,” Giselle said.

 

Snowflake? In this blizzard?” Cutter replied. “Nah, she’s hold up somewhere. No way would she brave this when she’s never left home before. Just make sure not to tell Mag. I don’t want her tearing apart the city.”

 

Are you sure?”

 

There’s no other way to play it. Right now, Snowflake will need to look after herself. Our job is to make sure no one gets in her way while she recovers.” There was a long pause before she continued. “Her whole world’s just been shattered. It’s going to take a lot for her to bounce back.”

 

What makes you think she will?”

 

Snowflake doesn’t know it, but she’s awakening her Call. She’ll bounce back. Matriarchs don’t fold that easy. No matter what knocks us down, we always get back up to kick the world in its ass.”

 

Giselle chuckled. “You sound confident.”

 

Because a Matriarch is more than just a title. There was a time when humans knew that. Now you’re too fucking high on yourselves to understand.”

 

And dragons are more humble?”

 

Cutter laughed. “Not gonna argue with that!”

 

Maggie knocked on the door then waited for a reply before going inside. Cutter and Giselle were the only ones inside.

 

Cutter was quick to speak. "So, Mag, about Snowflake. We haven't gotten word about where she is, but we have another problem." She nodded to Giselle who left the room. Once they were alone, she spoke again. “We need to get other people to call off the search for her. We can’t go looking for her when she’s got other people all over her ass.”

 

 

The words, “Cutter is the last dragon you should’ve gone to.” resonated in her mind. I know you’re lying, but for Aeris’ sake, I’ll play along. “What do we need to do?”

 

Something really un-fucking-pleasant. Talk to your old boss.”

 

Maggie clenched her jaw. “If we must.”

 

I know you don't like him; I can't stand the prick either. But he knows people. People I can't get close to. Through him, we'll get to them.”

 

And you’re certain it must be this way?”

 

You really think I’d suggest it if I didn’t?”

 

“Of course not.”


Submitted: October 23, 2020

© Copyright 2020 Evan Drake. All rights reserved.

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ThatGreenWriter

Wow! This is so gripping, and the use of language here is amazing! Do you have any tips on writing fantasy? I'm writing my first novel and would love to hear any advice. Keep up the great writing, amazing!

Sat, October 24th, 2020 5:07pm

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Thanks so much! Glad you like the story! As for tips on writing fantasy, honestly, I'm making it up as I go along! But one thing I think helped a lot with writing this story is having a base for the world it takes place in. I don't have all the details fleshed out, but I have enough to build on. Take a look at the world you've built and ask "is this the universe I want to write in?" and see where it goes. Good luck with you story. Sorry I don't have anything more helpful.

Sat, October 24th, 2020 10:33am

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