74453

Raven Salvers

United States

Message from Writer

I am 17 and am an amateur writer for fun with a love of fiction. Although, if all the little people in my head could give me a hand every once and a while, that would be great. One problem I have though is when I create something I like, I try to turn it into a book. FYI, it's a bad idea/habit. Now, several unfinished books later, I am still going! Most of my pieces are short stories, so if you want to read them, it might take a little bit. I hope you like what you see, and if not, well... shit happens.

Disclaimer: I never said my writing was award worthy or anything, so read at your own risk peeps.

The Dark Dragon Chapter 1

February 28, 2016

FREE WRITING

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Prologue:

    He closed his eyes and willed his talent to emerge, his talent to tame the untamable. It came just as he wished it to, landing with a loud noise that shook the very earth underneath his feet. As he stared into the wild beast's eyes, he saw an intelligence that no one else had ever seen. As unusual eyes glittered back at him, he saw light from the full moon reflect off the animal's hard scales. He looked away. The creature was immense, and under his control. He looked the eyes of the living nightmare to men, and commanded it to do his bidding. Then, releasing the creature from his power, he stood and watched as it spread its giant black wings and sored off into the sky. The dragon was free of him for now, but is would still come at his call, the call of its master. As the wind whipped through his hair, a smile slowly spread across his face. The one he was looking for would soon be in his grasp. His master would be pleased with him, his master’s plans would come together soon enough. All that was left to do was find him, find the one whose power mirrored his own.



Chapter 1

      Mark and Thomas were supposed to be looking for fallen trees that their father could cut into pieces and dry out for their fire at home, but as usual, they were not. The brothers would use any excuse they could to go into the woods that surrounded their village because it was the only place they had not gotten to explore. So when their father asked them to go look in the forest and find some dead trees that he could chop up, the two eight-year-olds needed no more convincing.
Mark and Thomas were twins. They both had the same dark brown hair and green eyes, only Thomas had always been just slightly taller than Mark. “Let's go this way,” Thomas said enthusiastically while pointing left. “Ok,” Mark agreed. They began running in the direction Thomas had pointed. Mark was running right behind his brother when he tripped, and ended up falling and tripping Thomas as well. Mark landed on the ground hit his head on the side of Thomas’ shoe, narrowly missing his eye. The corner of his eye stung where it had made contact with Thomas’ shoe. Thomas was covered in leaves and had a scratch on his arm from scraping a twig on the ground, but besides that, was fine. Thomas stood up at the same time and Mark and said “Mark you tripped me!” “By accident!” Mark said annoyed. Thomas frowned saying, “You're bleeding.” Mark reached up and touched the area that stung. When he pulled it away he saw a small red smear on his index finger. Mark shrugged, “Let's keep going.” When Thomas did not say anything, Mark began to walk deeper into the forest. “Wait for me!” Thomas cried indignantly. Mark looked back at his brother, grinned, and then began to sprint.
    Mark managed to stay ahead of his brother for about a minute until Thomas, being the faster one of the two, barreled into him, knocking them both down for the second time that day. “Got you!” Thomas laughed” “Get off Thomas!” Mark said annoyed with his brother again. When Thomas got up Mark looked at his brother, when their eyes locked, he saw his brother’s mouth raise a fraction into a suppressed smile, and then Mark burst out laughing along with Thomas. When they stopped laughing, they looked around their surroundings. The trees were thicker here, casting large flickering shadows on the forest floor. The bark of the trees was thicker than anything Mark had ever seen in his life, and seemed to create faces in the trees that glowered down at the two brothers. Then, there was a rustling in the brush around them. Mark and Thomas instantly moved closer together, eyes wide and alert for any sign of the source of the noise. Leaves crunched in a crackling noise as the sound got closer. Whatever was out there was now just a few feet away. Mark tried not to make a sound, as the bushes in front of him shook, like there was some large animal hiding behind them. Sweat began beading on his head as he caught a glimpse of the silhouette of the creature. It walked on four legs, each sporting a foot with thick claws that could rip a man to shreds. Mark figured that if he was standing next to it, he would only reach one of the animal’s muscular legs. Long leathery wings were folded up against the side of the beast’s large body, each wing had five razor sharp points from which the thick skin of the monster was stretched, which would give it the power of flight. Its entire body was covered in hard scales that would withstand even a sword blow. Spikes ran up and down it’s spine, stopping at its head. When Mark saw the creature’s head, he knew exactly what it was. The head was slightly oval shaped with a thick snout and a mouth that Mark knew was home to deadly teeth. Mark looked at its eyes. They were violet and seemed to glow in the shadow of the forest. A dragon in the forest? Mark’s thoughts ran wild. Why would a dragon be so close to a human settlement? Dragon’s never go near humans. As he was thinking this, the dragon turned its head and looked in Mark and Thomas’ direction. Mark’s heart practically stopped when it looked into his eyes, then Thomas’, and then ignored them and walked away.
    As soon as the noise of the dragon’s feet crunching on the forest floor subsided, Mark let out a breath he had not known he was holding, and sat down on the ground. Thomas did similar. When his heart stopped pounding Mark asked his brother, “What was it doing here? Dragons hate humans!” “I don’t know!” Thomas answered, and during that moment, Mark got a very stupid idea. He knew the idea was stupid, but he could see on his twin’s face that Thomas shared his idea. “Let’s follow it,” they both said. So they set off quickly, but as quietly as possible.
    Mark and Thomas were normally quiet children who stayed out of trouble while they were by themselves. However, when they were together, the two of them could do practically everything they set out to do, as long as no adults saw them. One time when they were five, they found out that the chicken they were eating for their dinner was actually one of the chickens they loved to play with out in the yard. The next day they opened the chicken coop and let all the chickens out. To say the least, their parents were not pleased.
    After a quarter of an hour of following the trail the dragon left, Mark was ready to give up and head home, but Thomas thought otherwise. “Come on!” he whispered, “Just past these bushes, then we can go home!” Mark nodded. As Thomas crept towards the bushes they heard the unmistakable sound of leaves crunching. Thomas’ eyes widened and he quickly pulled the bush’s branches apart and climbed inside. Mark followed him into the bush. Once they were hidden they heard the loud footsteps of the dragon pass by them, heading the way they had come. If they had stayed out in the open the dragon would have clearly seen them, and they most likely would have witnessed their own destruction. Marked peeked through the branches just in time to see the triangular tip of the dragon’s tail disappear into the forest behind them. Mark stood up and got out of the bush, and Thomas followed suit. Then, together, the two of them walked in the direction the dragon had come from. What they saw made Mark ‘s breath catch in his throat. In front of them was a large pit filled with grasses, dried leaves, and what looked suspiciously like bird feathers. However, what was in the center of the pit was what drew Mark’s eyes. There were six white, oval shaped eggs that were a little bigger than Mark’s fist. The brothers stood stalk still for what felt like an eternity, until Thomas broke Mark’s trance, “We need to get home quick.” Mark blinked and then shook his head. Thomas was right, if the dragon found them here, it would kill them on the spot. Needing no further motivation, Mark sprinted in the direction they had come, Thomas right next to him.
    Thomas arrived back at the village first, with Mark close behind him. Even with a head start, Thomas could beat Mark. Mark noticed that they were filthy and covered with leaves. Luckily, that was not a problem because being eight year old boys, they were expected to be dirty all the time. The problem was that they had ripped their clothes while in the forest. They could think of an excuse later. Mark and Thomas ran to their house and almost ran straight into their older brother James, who was getting some wood from outside to presumably put on the fire. James was thirteen, a good five years older than Mark and Thomas. He shared their dark brown hair and green eyes, but his face was just a little longer than the twins, and he had their mother’s nose. As Thomas stopped Mark tried to stop but ran into him for the third time that day. Lucky James dropped the wood he was holding and caught the both of them before they hit the ground. Laughing he set them both back on their feet and said, “Mark, you have to learn how to stop. Poor Tom here probably would have been flattened if I wasn’t here.”
    James gave every single one of his siblings a nickname. Mark’s real name was actually Markus, although only his mother called him that. Tom was the nickname James had been using for Thomas for as long as Mark and Thomas could remember. Mark called Thomas by his real name because it seemed to suit his personality better than Tom. The boys also had one other sibling, their baby sister Sarah Fae, who James and the rest of the family called Sarah. It was ironic that James, who created all the nicknames in the house, did not have one of his own.
    Mark really did love his older brother, but sometimes James knew exactly how to annoy Mark. “I do too know how to stop!” Mark said, “I just didn’t see Thomas stop!” James raised an eyebrow, smiled, and said, “Tom, does Mark run into you often?” Thomas looked from Mark to James, realizing the situation his brother had put him in, tell the truth and annoy Mark, or lie and have James tease him all night. Making up his mind, Thomas said to James, “I ran into Mark earlier today in the forest, that’s why we are all dirty.” Mark beamed at his brother, not only had Thomas saved him from his brother’s taunts, but he also had created an excuse as to why they were all dirty. James obviously didn’t buy what Thomas had said, “So Tom, are you saying that you are the clumsy one now?” “No,” Thomas answered hesitantly. “Well then Mark is the clumsy one,” James said with conviction. “Hey!” Mark said. Mark was quickly becoming angry, but he knew that picking a fight with James would be useless. James could beat both Mark and Thomas in a fight at the same time easily. Mark did not want to listen to James anymore, so he went inside his house fuming.
    Mark and his family all lived in one small house near the edge of the village. Its walls were made of stone, but the floor and most of the furniture was made from wood. Their roof was a simple one made from thatch that kept out the rain but gave the house a cozy feeling by keeping the heat inside. There were three rooms in total. The room where Mark’s parents slept along with his little sister, the room that he shared with Thomas and James, and the room with the fireplace that served as a kitchen area and sitting area and was where the most activity took place.
    As soon as the door closed, his father looked up from near the fireplace and asked, “Where is Tom?” “He’s outside with James,” Mark answered. “I take it that James was bothering you two?” Mark’s father asked. Mark nodded his head. Mark’s father immediately left the fireplace where he was kindling a fire and walked outside to bring Thomas and James inside. After the door shut on his father, Mark’s mother appeared from in her room carrying Sarah. Mark’s mother was a pretty woman with dirty blonde hair and deep vibrant fern green eyes, unlike his father’s dark brown hair and brown eyes. Sarah was the spitting image of Mark’s mother. She had the same fern green eyes and dirty blonde hair, the only difference between the two was that Sarah was three years old and Mark’s mother was well past her thirties.
“There you are Markus,” Mark’s mother said, “I was wondering when you and Thomas were going to be home.” Mark answered his mother, “Thomas and I just got back.” Mark’s mother nodded her head that she had heard as she placed Sarah on the floor. Immediately, Sarah grabbed her mother’s leg and looked up at her as to say, “Pick me up again” Mark’s mother looked down at Sarah and said, “No honey, mommy has to make dinner.” Mark’s mother then looked up at him again and said, “What happened to your clothes?” Mark looked down at his clothes and then recalled what Thomas had said to James, “Thomas ran into me by accident and we both fell.” “Hmmm,” she said skeptically, but then asked in concern, “What happened to your eye?” “I scratched it on a tree branch.” Mark’s mother looked at him for a little longer before saying, “Why don’t you go change your clothes for dinner.” Mark nodded his head and ran to his room.
    After dinner, everyone was in the living room when Mark’s father said, “I heard that one of the sheep went missing earlier this week.” Mark looked up quizzically. “Did they find it?” James asked, who seemed as interested as Mark himself. “No,” their father said, “they didn’t find anything” James apparently did not want to take no for an answer, “But animals don’t just disappear.” “Well this one did, and we should hope that is is the last. If it’s not, that means that there is some predator out there that is eating our food.” Mark looked at Thomas. Thomas was already looking at him. They both knew that this predator was a dragon, and dragons were not to be messed with.
    Weeks went by with Mark and Thomas avoiding the forest at all costs. They did not want another encounter with the dragon. Unfortunately, their behavior was noticed. James was always looking out for his younger siblings. So when they started staying away from the one place they were always trying to go into, he noticed. Mark and Thomas were walking back from getting water from the well when James came out from behind a building. Mark knew something was wrong, especially when James did not smile when he walked up. Once James had matched their pace he asked, “So, is there anything you want to tell me?” Thomas jumped and spilled water everywhere. “James! You made me spill the water! Now we have to go back and get some more!” Thomas shouted in anger. James did not care. “Why are you two avoiding the forest? You all are always trying to go in there, and now you are avoiding it like the plague.” Thomas, who still looked angry with James said, “There is no plague here.” “Don’t try to avoid the question,” James said angrily, “You two haven’t wanted to go into the forest since the day you came running out of there covered in dirt and scratches. Mark’s eyes widened, “You saw us?” “Of course I saw you! You can see the forest from our house!” James practically shouted. Thomas looked over at Mark, and they silently agreed to tell James the truth.
    After they finished their story James stared at them, pale faced. “You two were lucky,” he said, “If that was probably a mother dragon, and they can be extremely protective of their eggs. If she had seen the two of you that close to her eggs she would have killed you two on the spot. Promise me that you won’t go back in there.” Mark and Thomas nodded their heads. “Are you going to tell anyone?” Thomas asked. “No,” James said, “They would never believe me.” James walked away, leaving the twins staring at nothing.
    Time seemed to fly by, and before anyone knew it, fall had replaced summer. Cool air now blew through the trees causing the red, orange, yellow, and brown leaves to fall to the ground. The water from the well grew cold, and people were now wearing extra layers of clothing to ward off the chill. Mark, Thomas, and James had not spoken about the dragon since the day by the well, but unfortunately the village paid the price of their silence. More and more animals were going missing, and the people of the village were starting the become suspicious. They had set a night guard around the livestock in the hopes of warding off the predator. No one else had seen the dragon, but Mark knew it was only a matter of time before someone found out.
    It was dark outside. Mark, Thomas, and James were all in their room trying to fall asleep. Mark could hear his parents talking in the other room, but could not understand what they were saying. Mark felt his eyelids grow heavy, and just as his eyes were closing, there was a blood curtailing scream from the opposite side of the village. Mark’s eyes shot open and he knew something was wrong. Next to him, Thomas sat up and looked around, while on his other side, James bolted out of bed. Mark looked at Thomas and making a split second decision, followed James out the door into the room where his parents were. Their father was already throwing on a coat and shoes before anyone could realize what was going on. “Dad what are you doing!” James shouted running to their father. Their father shot him a glare and said in a serious tone, “Stay here. All of you.” Then with that, he yanked open the door allowing the cold night air to enter the warm house, before slamming the door shut and sprinting away. James tried to follow, but their mother grabbed him and shouted “No! James stay here!” As she said that, more screams could be heard in the distance. There was the sound of breaking timber and the smell of burning filled the air. Once James stopped fighting their mother, she ran to get Sarah. James sat down on the floor by the fire and said, “I don’t think we need to guess what that is.” Mark and Thomas knew exactly what James was talking about. That dragon must have been spotted stealing the livestock, which led the villagers to try and defend themselves against an animal that would bring nothing but death to them. The worst part, now their father was a part of that hopeless fight.
    Mark did not know how long he, Thomas, James, their mother and Sarah sat together waiting for their father. Sarah, after an hour or so had fallen asleep in their mother’s arms, while he and Thomas sat on either side of James, who just stared at the fire as it slowly died, like their hope. Mark must have fallen asleep because he woke up leaning against James when there was a sudden bang. James and Thomas must have fallen asleep as well because they jumped at the sound as well. Mark turned around and saw his father standing in the doorway, looking tired and worn. He had a large gash on the side of his forehead that was bleeding down the side of his face, and many smaller scratches. When their mother saw him, she screamed his name, placed Sarah on the chair she was sitting on, and ran to him. Their father smiled at her, and gave her a large hug. Mark, Thomas, and James all ran up to their father and greeted him with a large group hug. Sarah, who had woken up after being placed on the chair, hopped off the chair and ran over to join everyone else. Their father picked up Sarah and said, “How’s my little girl!” Sarah squealed causing their father to smile. “What was out there?” James asked. “Not now James,” their father said, “I promise I will tell you all everything in the morning.” James sighed but obeyed. Mark followed his brothers into their room, but before he was all the way inside, he heard his father say “You to Sarah. Go to bed.”
    Mark woke up the next morning tired and feeling like he did not sleep at all. He looked around and saw that his brothers were already awake. Mark got out of bed and went to see what was going on. When he saw his mother, she looked tired, like she had gotten very little sleep, but when she saw him she smiled. “Your father is resting,” she said, “It was a long night for him.” Mark nodded his head. James and Thomas were already eating while Sarah was playing with a doll on the floor. Mark walked over and sat at the small table where the entire family ate and began to eat his breakfast.
    After a little while, Mark heard the sound of footsteps, and Sarah shout, “Daddy!” Mark turned and saw Sarah clinging to their father’s leg and staring up at him with big, excited eyes. Mark looked to see how his father was. The scratch on his head was wrapped in a white cloth bandage, and all the rest of his cuts were scabbed over, which prevented any bleeding. Their father smiled down at Sarah and put a hand on her little head. Mark looked at his mother, and saw she was frowning at his sister. “Come eat your breakfast Sarah Fae,” she said. Sarah looked at their mother, then then their father, before running over to the table. Once Sarah was sitting down, their father joined them at the table. James opened his mouth to say something but their father silenced him saying, “I suppose you want to know about last night.” James closed his mouth and nodded. “There isn’t much to tell. When I arrived, everything was in total disorder and ruin. Houses were on fire, several people were lying on the ground, dead or alive I did not know. But that wasn’t the real problem. The real problem was the dragon standing in one of the fields.” At this, James shot a glance at Mark and Thomas. Their father continued, “ It was fighting the men when I arrived, and although we fought hard, we couldn’t defeat it. We managed to pierce its hide with a well aimed pitchfork, which I think hurt it severely.” Mark had known the danger of dragons his whole life, but right now, even though this one had hurt his father, he still could not help but feel bad for the poor creature. It was only trying to protect its eggs and needed food to do that.
    Mark’s father continued with his story, “We followed it into the woods for a long time until we found the reason why it was here.” Mark’s stomach turned upside down at the thought of what had happened next. Next to him, Thomas seemed to share his opinion. “Would you believe it if I told you the dragon had created a nest in the forest!” James tried to look surprised but failed miserably. Their father was obviously not paying attention to their reactions, which was a good thing because that would have given them away instantly. “We fought the dragon for what felt like hours, trying to get it to move away from the nest. She was very protective and didn’t move until we used rusty sword that someone kept as a gift from some well to do knight.” James’ eyebrows knitted together in bewilderment, “I thought that you could not harm a dragon with a sword.” Their father smiled at James, “You can hurt one if you swing the sword against the scales of the dragon. That way it can get under the hard armor and to the soft skin below.” James nodded and asked their father to continue. “Once we managed to get the dragon to move, we destroyed all the eggs. The dragon was furious and she began to fight even harder. It took a long time afterwards, but the men and I think that we gave it a fatal wound with the sword. After we stabbed her, she ran off into the forest and we chose not to follow her.”
    Mark felt sick. His father and the rest of the people he knew had killed innocent unborn animals just because they existed. If that was bad enough they had caused the mother to watch as he unborn children were murdered right in front of her. Even James, who rarely showed any pity for the animals he and his father sometimes hunted for, looked shocked and disgusted. Mark did not even need to see his twin’s face to know exactly what he was thinking. Their mother noticing the reactions the story received said, “Boys, why don’t you all take Sarah Fae get some water, we are starting to run low again.” Needing no further excuse, Mark, Thomas, and James, holding Sarah’s hand, all filed out of the house in silence.
As Mark left the house and walked down the well-worn path with his siblings, the cold air ripped through his thin coat like it was made of nothing. Leaves blew from trees and rolled across the ground, where they were crushed by Mark’s feet. The sky was cloudy and overcast like it was going to rain. Everywhere the smell of burning met them. The villagers were all inside, making Mark and his family the only people outside.
    Nobody said anything for a long time. When the arrived at the well, the saw the damage that had been done the previous night. Crops were destroyed, rubble littered the ground everywhere, piles of charred wood stood in places that once belonged to houses, and smoke floated through the air like a toxic cloud. Seeing the destruction first hand was nothing like their father described. The village would take at the least a year to recover, if not more. James tore his eyes away from the damage first and said to Sarah, “Soon you will be old enough to get water by yourself, so I am going to teach you how.” Sarah watched as James threw the bucket down the well and pulled it back up using a rope, then dumped the water back down. Next he said, “Now can you push the bucket into the well?” Sarah grinned and ran to the edge, and with a big shove, sent the bucket down into the dark hole. James smiled at her and pulled the full bucket back up to fill their own. On the way back home, Mark and Thomas each held one of Sarah’s hands while James carried the bucket.
    Mark guided Sarah in the direction of home while Thomas talked to her and kept her entertained. The house was in sight and Mark was eager to go inside to escape the cold air. From in front of him, Mark heard a strange noise, like leaves crunching, but assumed that it was his father walking around somewhere behind the house. The house was less than thirty feet away when a loud roar broke the peace of the morning. Mark, Thomas, and James all froze in fear while Sarah screamed in fright. The dragon emerged from the forest in front of them, knocking over several trees in the process. Its eyes were mere slits, giving the impression of anger, and several scales were missing from its hide. She seemed to have trouble moving, like it hurt her. The dragon saw them and roared again, releasing a powerful gust of fire from its mouth that struck their house. Mark’s heart stopped as the flames quickly spread over the thatch roof. Their parents were inside. Mark tried to run inside, but James grabbed him from behind and pulled him back. Mark fought his brother, but as usual James won. The dragon began to slowly walk towards them. James scooped up Sarah and shouted at Mark and Thomas, “Come on!” Mark did not dare refuse. James looked desperate and scared, which was something that Mark had never seen on his brother. He and Thomas sprinted after James, who led them into the forest.
    James stopped just inside the treeline to look back. Mark turned around just as the roof of their house collapsed, destroying any hope that their parents were alive. Mark felt hot tears begin to flow down his face as he watched the dragon go from house to house, crushing and burning everything alive. People ran about trying to evade the dragon, but none succeeded. Mark watched in horror as everything he knew was ripped away from him. When the dragon finished its quest of revenge, she laid down on the ground, resting her head on the soft earth. She took several deep breaths, and then closed her violet eyes forever.
    Mark felt James put an arm around him and looked up. James was looking at their home while silent tears fell down his face. Thomas stared at nothing, as though he could not understand what had just happened. Sarah seemed to not understand what was happening as she looked at her older brothers in confusion. Mark did not know how long they stood there staring at the destruction before James said, “I think we should get away from here. There is nothing left here.” Thomas looked at James with scared eyes and said, “Where are we going?” “Where there is a beginning there is always an end. I thinks we should go through the forest and see what’s out there.” “No!” Thomas shouted, “Why can’t we go somewhere else?” James looked at his brother sadly, “You have heard father, there are bandits on the roads. They will have heard all the noise the dragon created and will investigate. We will be safer in the woods, for a little while at least.” Mark was confused, he did not know what bandits were. “James what are bandits?” James looked at him and said simply, “Bad people.” Then without further comment, James grabbed Sarah’s hand and started walking deeper into the forest.
 
I wrote a piece late last year called The Dark Dragon. I then recently decided to so something stupid, I started writing a book about it... (that makes a total of three stories I have started and never finished) *sigh*     Anyway... I thought that I would put this on here and see how people like the beginning of the plot... (I have turned my original piece into a prologue to the story)

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