Reads: 120


The Battle


He was descending rapidly, within minutes he would meet the ground.

It was said that the first Dragon came from the Sun; that the sun was the home to all Dragons, and it burned because of their fire.

He felt himself slipping through the protective Barrier the magi had erected around the platforms; and hot dry air gushed to meet him when he left the magically controlled climate.

That once Dragons were six winged, flying across infinitely vast spaces.

The chains slid from his hands as the magi removed it from above, and he felt strength returning to his limbs.

But one day a Dragon had seen a human, a human so beautiful, so ethereal that it had become obsessed, and unable to forget, had left the sun to come searching but when it finally found the person it yearned to meet, the human had trapped it, tamed it, and cut off four of its wings, to prevent it from ever returning to the sun.

The wind was rushing so fast and so strong, he had difficulty maintaining his balance as the ground loomed below, like a beast ready to swallow him.

And that was how Dragons came to the world.

The sulphurous fumes were wafting up, almost choking him.

Some said that the Dragons in the Sun still searched for their lost brother, and that was the reason the sun travelled the skies, and when they fell asleep, their fires burned out and night came on, until they woke back again to continue their endless quest.

The platform came to a halt.

He wondered if it was true, and the kind of power it must have taken for a human to do that…if the dragon below was there because it had once been deceived too, if it hated humans just as much as they feared it, or was just as alone as he was…

And he wondered….

He reached the pit.

…how such power and beauty and danger could even be given form...



He closed his eyes…


He saw it before he saw anything else, before he saw the molten pools of lava, the dark columns of smoke or the fiery ribbons of fire….the only thing he could see, the only thing in the world…

…was straight ahead, monstrous, scaly and so huge it covered his entire vision, a reddish black monstrosity like a gaping wound. Hideous red scales each large as a shield covered its enormous frame and a giant snake of a tail lay coiled at its foot, three rows of spikes lining its length, sharp and deadly at the top, flattened out on either side, and it was so huge he could have sworn a single deadly swipe would be enough to split the platforms above.

And the wings…two humongous red wings were folded at its sides, their span serrated and supported by huge columns of bones.

‘If they unfolded….they would cover the world…’

And its head was turned towards him.

Covered in scales, glistening like garnets, the colossal structure was at least as big as a triophant, a row of sharp black spikes covered its forehead extending on to its spine and two massive black horns rose backwards. Its jaw clenched back showing two rows of tightly woven teeth, big as swords.

It tilted its head as it noticed him, and eyes the size of plates; a brilliant amber, like liquid fire, narrowed fixing on him.

His first coherent thought was that he was still standing on the platform; he realized with a start that if he didn’t get off the Magi would begin melting it from above.

He jumped off hurriedly and heard the platform whizzing back upwards.

When he looked back the dragon was lurching toward him, crouched on four massive feet, long black claws racking deep lines on the earth.


A voice screamed and he took off.

The rocky mountain to his back prevented any escape away, so he cut a wide left, in a sweeping arc around the beast and heard the sound of its muscles uncoiling as it lifted its great bulk to follow, but he dared not look back.

And with a roar that made his blood run dry the dragon took to the sky, he reeled as the draft pushed him back against a clump of jagged rocks, lacerating his calf while the beast hovered fifty foot in the air, shrouding the sky in darkness.


He looked around wildly, searching for a cover, an outcrop, anything that might afford protection, but all around him, there were magma pools, boiling cauldrons of molten fire.

‘But stop and you are dead!’

The voice screamed again. The voice?

In desperation he ran blindly, zigzagging between vents and lava pools, behind him he sensed more than saw the dragon open its jaws, he fell to his knees and rolled, but a tad too slowly, a boiling jet of crimson flame grazed his side, narrowly missing his torso, but singing his entire left arm.

A cry of agony escaped him as a lance of white hot pain skewered through him, it felt as if his whole body was on fire, not just the arm, he crouched over panting and bit back a scream, the upper layer of skin was gone wrist up, the wound was charred black and glistened with burnt blood and pale pink cracks in the flesh.

It made him gag, clenching his teeth he looked away, vision blurry from pain, but thankfully he still had the use of his fingers.

The ground where the flames had met was melting, the rock and earth fused to form a glowing orange puddle; that explained all the magma pools, there were too many even for a volcano.

So this was dragon fire, he thought with a dark smile, the power to melt rock.

Wincing with every gasp, he forced himself to his feet, above him the dragon was bracing for another attack, there were deep fissures strewn in the ground between the rivers of fire, emitting gusts of steam and ash.

‘The Smoke!’

The mineral fumes stung his eyes as he plunged into them, the steam was almost as hot as fire, and the sky was obscured in a curtain of dirty black, blinding him.

‘But if you can’t see the dragon, the dragon can’t see you either!’

The voice whispered again, and he jumped, searching around frantically for someone, when he realized with a start it was coming from himself, his eyes widened, this was the fifth time, even in the haze of pain, the thought was unsettling…that was not his voice, it sounded so alien to his own ears!

But before he could even process the thought another searing blast of scarlet exploded behind him, thick black smoke rose from the melting ground, the toxic fumes burnt as he inhaled them, he coughed, his good hand covering his nose, but the dragon had missed him by more than just a few feet.

‘It is firing blindly.’

The voice again, but he ignored it and darted toward the still melting ground where the fire had landed, and crouched at the edge … if it was firing blindly it was not likely to target the same spot again and the more it fired, the more the smoke would grow, obscuring him further…

But notwithstanding the dragon flew in a circle pouring its flaming breath like a fiery falls… and even through the screen of smoke its brilliance was blinding, curling smoke rose around like grey ghosts.

He rolled as a tongue of crimson flame licked his feet and his shoe caught fire; his wounded hand throbbed and burnt as coarse earth dug into the raw flesh.

He reeled, stamping his foot frantically to put out the flame, when his head hit something, hard, and he rose to his knees, trying to regain balance as rivulets of sweat ran down his neck and chest, the sole of his right feet was burnt off, right through the cheap shoe he’d worn, and his leg was burnt black to the knee, half burnt leather clung to the skin and the flesh was cracked red and bleeding. He wouldn’t be able to keep dodging for long…he already had two gaping wounds…and his head was ringing … he felt light, dizzy….

 And the fire…the fire was everywhere….he started at it transfixed… it felt good to just sit….watching it…. the huge gouts of flame writhing around him with a life of their own… orange and yellow and scarlet…so beautiful…like sorcerers clad in veils of light….dancers inviting him to join them…if only he could go to them ….it would be so easy, just a few steps…how long could he run….he was hurt…and tired…so tired…and the flames were beautiful….so beautiful…

 ‘That’s exactly what everyone wants.’

Startled by the voice he had spoken aloud in (not his, not HIS…but it didn’t matter); he snapped out of the daze and realized he had been holding out his hands towards the flames.

God, what was happening to him?

Mercifully there was no answer.

He heard another roar, a bellow that split the world and nearer ….the dragon was flying lower…

A massive gust of dry wind washed over him like a storm, scalding hot and stinking of brimstone, he ducked low; hands over his head to shield from flying debris as the dragon beat its great wings. The smoke began to disperse as if it had never been there.

Within minutes it was completely gone, leaving him totally exposed.

He had not thought of this! How the Hell had he counted on smoke for cover when the dragon had the wind in control?

He starred at the beast as it hovered above him, too numb to think and for an instant it seemed to stare back at him, then it dived, swooping straight at him.

He had never imagined that something so huge could move so fast, it almost seemed to tear through the air as it plunged down.

But the scream wouldn’t come; it was caught in his throat as if invisible hands were strangling him.

There was no time to run, nowhere to run and no smoke to hide in. 

‘The dagger!’

He had completely forgotten.

And for a moment he was actually thankful for the voice.

He pulled it out and held it towards the sky with both hands like an offering.

The next thing he knew was a pain so sudden and terrible; it was as if a rock had slammed into his body. The recoil sent him skittering across the ground and his own scream of agony drowned out the dragon’s roar of rage.

And his hands were burning, and he stared in horror at the thick black liquid covering them, and it was searing hot, like boiling water.

Dragon Blood

Of course! It was scalding hot from its body heat and jet black due to extreme iron. And he had to get it off!!!

He rubbed his hands vigorously on his rough garb, not caring if the blood singed the fabric or the skin scrapped from his wounds, his shoulder was a mass of pain, and a more rational part of him whispered it might be dislocated, and from the way his arm felt, he had at least broken one bone…but it didn’t matter, the blood… he had to get it off or his flesh would burn off …off…the blood...

‘The blood… Did that mean?’

He looked up; the dragon was flying low, a slow thrumming growl at its throat, leaving behind a trail of black from its underbelly. And he realized what had happened.

Had it not been for the force of its descent or the suddenness of the attack, it would never have worked, but as it was the dragon had come down too fast and too sudden to alter course and trying to swerve upwards had torn a gash in its underbelly.

And had it been a sword and not dagger, the force would have snapped his arms in half.

And yet for all his efforts he hadn’t managed to inflict a mortal wound, the dragon circled low in the sky, slowly wading through air, dragging its enormous tail through the ground like a red snake.

Maybe it was the sight of the dagger reduced to a smouldering heap at his feet, or the fact that he was completely out of ideas or the looming certainty of his death…but as he watched the dragon’s hazy shape, the flat spikes of its tail cutting dark wounds on the earth…madness took hold of him.

Spurred on by a wildness born of desperation, he dashed towards the retreating tail of the beast, jumping across one molten puddle and another, his burnt foot would have been agony, but he ignored it or maybe he didn't feel it at all, he wasn't sure.

He lunged, made a grab with both his hands, the dust from the beast's lashing tail blinded him, but he felt his fingers close around something hard, something burning hot.

He wrapped both his arms around it, and felt himself being pulled forward with incredible force; he hung on like his life depended on it and heard an angry roar as the beast realized what had happened.

He had grabbed on to the lowest spike on the dragon’s tail!

The dragon thrashed its tail in mad fury almost throwing him off, when he wedged his burnt hand between two scales, pushing it in with every bit of his strength, the sharp edges scrapped his raw skin, and the agony was so excruciating that for a second he feared he might faint, but he kept going until his hand would go no further…The dragon veered around and took to the sky, tail lashing madly… and the wind was a beast trying to push him off, with his good hand he grabbed on to another spike but it kept slipping and dangling helplessly at his side, and his shoulder didn’t help either, so that the only thing that held him on was the burnt hand struck hopelessly between the scales, though blood kept running freely down its length drenching his robes, but the pain was dimming, the hand was rapidly growing numb.

The ground was receding at an alarming rate as the dragon ascended, down below he heard a the shouts and screams of the crowd, but most were drowned out by the wind, he tried climbing up the scales, but he might as well have tried flying for all the good it did, with the entire wind velocity against him. 

He had to jump before he reached too high, he realized, a soft landing like a clump of ashes, outside the perimeter of tents, then maybe he could hide till the soldiers stopped looking and slip away unnoticed…as delusional as it sounded he knew it was his only option, and if he were to miss and die…well what did it matter, he was set to die one way or other anyway…he looked down, the camp tents and even the Emperor’s massive wheelhouse were just black smudges, he was in the clouds now, no above them and it was growing difficult to see, his muscles were on fire and his back was a splitting agony from the effort of holding on…but before he could even scan the ground properly, before he could let go and was ready…the dragon swerved, turning in a sharp acute angle, and he heard a sound like that of wood breaking, surprisingly close even with the wind in his ears, at first he never felt it…but watching as his broken arm slipped from between the scales he realized with horror that it had been the sound of his wrist snapping…and from a height of almost five hundred feet, and directly from above deadly rocks and boiling magma….he fell.


 He fell....from so far and for so was a journey...past and future mingled and vanished until there was nothing but the instant…the fall…the wind…the clouds...the only things that mattered...and time had no meaning...

The dragon... was a dark red cloud above him, a cloud about to rain blood...his blood. It's golden red eyes staring down like twin suns...and the wings....God, the great beautiful wings…spread out endlessly…beneath the sky like another sky… a crimson sky….and he was right...they covered the world...

'But you don't have wings' the cold alien voice that was him, but not him whispered again...

'This is the only way you will ever fly'

'Yes...' he whispered back no longer surprised...'and when I land, it that freedom?'  He wondered calmly, even curiously, almost like a stranger…

'No' the voice answered...’but that is the only freedom you will have'

'Is that what you want?'


'Then what is it?’

'To fly...and to fly with you'

He gave a faint amused laugh, or thought he did, right now sanity was not important.

'But I don't have wings…and you know that…'

'Yes....and I cannot become your wings…' it said slowly, almost wistfully...'or your sword...nor your shield...' it finished quietly and there was something in the tone, a kind of lingering regret, that made him want to reach out to it… instead he said:

‘You are not me’


‘But you tried to save me’

He heard a faint hint of a laugh.

‘You are falling to your death…’

The dragon flew lower, as if to have a better look.

‘Are you a friend?’  It was a statement more than a question.

‘That cannot be…’

‘Why not?’

‘My arms… cannot reach you… cannot defend you….’

‘I see….’ He said slowly, somehow a part of him felt lost….’Are you human?’


The answer sent a shiver through his spine.

'Who are you?'

The dragon dived, lunging toward him, it appeared the beast intended to roast him, even before he had the chance to splatter on the bloody rocks below...

'Don't you know?'

The ground loomed below, pulling him increasingly if in a race with the beast...

'No...' he said desperately...’but I want to, I have to’ there wasn't much time left...


'Because...this is the only way I can fly and you cannot become my wings…'

He heard a laugh that might be half a sob… then a sigh, a murmured whisper of regret...

'Tell me...' he egged on... there may not be another chance ’...who are you?'

The silence that followed was so laden he thought the voice had disappeared...then he heard it, he spoke it...

"Your affinity"

Then the voice was gone.


A/N: So that’s part two of the Prologue, tell me if I’m going too slowly or too fast, and how you felt about the chapter in general. Read and review, it’s the only thing that motivates me to go on.

Submitted: January 23, 2014

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