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 Post subject: A Dragon's Heart
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:09 am
Posts: 1457
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Ok here is a short story i have written as a christmas present for a certain someone.... What do you guys think?

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It was a cool breezy afternoon as the young girl Rachel laid down upon the grass, starring with longing eyes up upon the distance mountain peaks. Little speaks of colours was all that could be seen at this distance of the great, majestic dragons that soared around the mountain peak. Rachel sighed as she imagined herself flying on top of one of those fine beasts, soaring through the thermal currents and feeling the powerful beats of those huge wings underneath her.

It was a dream that she had dreamt a hundred times over, ever since she was old enough to listen to those bed side tales her father use to tell her. Tales of extraordinary adventures taking place on the back of dragon wings in fare off lands, with brave adventurers battling evil tyrants and insane mages. And after every story Rachel would say to her father “I want to be like those Heroes, Daddy! I want to fly on a Dragon!”

And her father would chuckle in that warm, loving way he always did and say “The Dragon’s don’t let just anyone fly on their back. You have to have the Heart of a Dragon before they let you.”

“Who would take a dragon’s heart?” Rachel had asked the first time with eyes wide in concern. To her, harming a dragon was the greatest sin ever. Her father had just chuckled again.

“You can’t take a dragon’s heart. You have to be born with one. And only one person every hundreds years is born with such a thing.”

“When was the last person born?” Rachel asked eagerly.

“Oh,” Her father replied with a twinkle in his eye. “About a hundred years ago.”

“That means I could have one, right?” Responded Rachel.

“Of course it can, my girl.” Was the warm reply from her father, as he tucked the blankets around his drowsy daughter. Giving her a loving kiss on the head, he walked from the room saying in a low voice that was almost lost on Rachel as she drifted off into the dream world. “Of course you can...”

Years had passed since that first conversation, but Rachel’s dreams hadn’t diminished one bit. If anything, they had grown over time, going from a childhood dream to an adolescences ambition until young Rachel thought of nothing else in her spare time. She yearned for nothing else, and she had even made several blotched attempts to reach the summit of that mountain.

Her father had caught her every time before she even got halfway, telling her it was madness for one so young to attempt to climb that peak. “Even full grown men are weary to go to that peak.” He would say.

“Why Father?” She would reply, “Dragon’s are not scary.”

“They are to some,” he answered. “And even those who are not afraid are cautious. While they are noble creatures they can still be dangerous. Now promise me you won’t try this again.”

“Yes father.” She would say rather meekly, crossing her fingers behind her back, eager for another opportunity to sneak away. It had been four years since the first time, and many attempts had followed, but she couldn’t out climb her father.

Today, however, her father was travelling off to a nearby village, visiting an old friend. It was ideal, for no one but her father could keep up with her if she made another attempt for the summit. Rachel was excited just thinking about it, and she could barely keep that excitement hidden as she hugged her father goodbye. He had a slight frown on his face, and his eyes looked little worried, but Rachel didn’t notice any of this. She was surprised when he took her aside, made her promise to be careful and handed her a backpacked filled with climbing tools and a packed lunch. She had given her father a big hug for that, and assured him that she would be as careful as she always would, causing his frown to grow more pronounced.

So now she sat up in the little grassy clearing halfway up the mountain, refreshed enough to keep climbing. From this point on the climb got rather treacherous, with narrow paths facing right over the edge of the cliff faces as well as several dangerous straight climbs up. Any inexperienced climber would steer clear of this mountain, but Rachel had a life time of climbing experience to back her up. She flew up the cliff, using her climbing picks and making great time, and was almost at the summit when the sun was just setting, drawing levelling with her back.

A huge roar resonated out from above her, shaking loose dirt off of the mountain side and filling Rachel with a huge excitement. The dragons were just above her, almost within reach, and she was finally going to see them up close. Another roar sounded out, but this time Rachel detected a note of alarm in the roar. Surprised, Rachel thought ‘Surely they wouldn’t be angry at a little girl coming to see them?’ Looking upwards, Rachel saw a burst of bright red flame soar out over the cliff face, illuminating Rachel in bright red light.

Another noise reached Rachel’s ears as she continued to make her way upwards. It was the clash of metal on something hard, and the grunts and oaths of men. Men! The very thought of others making it to the top and becoming this generations Dragon heart filled her with dread. She doubled her speed, making a small clinking noise as she swung her picks upwards. Another alarmed roar sounded out, very close now, and a horrible suspicion started to dawn on her.

Suddenly her pick swung over the cliff face, striking level ground, and Rachel pulled herself up onto another clearing. It wasn’t quite the summit, but still was rather close to the top. The scene that met Rachel’s eyes stunned her, filled with heavily armed men wielding nasty looking spears and swords and throwing heavy nets over a magnificent red dragon. The dragon was thrashing about, attempting in vain to struggle free of tight nets and reach its attackers. Disbelief at what she was seeing filled Rachel, causing her to stand paralysed as another net was thrown over the dragon, this one trapping its head. Several men quickly jumped on the edges of the net, drawing the head down until it was touching the scorched earth.

One particularly burly man walked forward at that point, banishing his overly large sword and preparing for a massive overhead swipe. Rachel’s eyes meet the glowing globs of the dragon for a split second, and a cry for help seemed to pass through them. Without thinking, Rachel sprang into action, holding her sharp climbing pick up high and jumping at the back of the huge man. A sickening crunch sounded out as the pick pierced the man’s upper back, causing a surprised grunt of pain to sound out as he stood paralysed in shock. Every eye except that one men’s turned from the pick sticking out of their leaders back to Rachel, surprise clearing showing in all of them. The last thing they had expected was a deadly attack from a small, teenage girl.

Seizing that moment of stunned surprised, the dragon lashed out with its head, throwing the net and its holders into the air and head butting the leader square in the chest. The force of the blow sent him flying past Rachel and over the edge, where he screamed as he attempted to fly. The man closest to Rachel sprung towards her, his sword raised threateningly at the little girl. Without thinking Rachel dived forward, dodging under the dragon’s head. The man followed too closely, and the dragon lunged forward and caught him in its powerful jaws. Another sickening crunch sounded out as the man screamed his last scream.

With a huge roar and a massive effort, the dragon flung its wings outwards, knocking half of the remaining men off the cliff side and throwing all nets away. Swiftly the dragon’s front claw reached out and grasped hold of Rachel, before its powerful legs propelled it into the air. With several powerful strokes of its huge, red wings the dragon cleared the mountain clearing, leaving what was left of that hunting party stranded.

Looking backwards as they ascended, Rachel noticed with alarm that the remaining men had pulled out bows and all were drawing back arrows. Rachel shouted out in alarm, attempting to warn the dragon of this new danger. Seeming to read her mind, the dragon pulled its wings up close and barrel rolled to the side, both its front claws grasping Rachel protectively against its gigantic chest. The unlikely pair dropped several meters as the arrows harmlessly flew over top, before the dragon expanded its wings once move and turned towards the clearing.

As it flew close the dragon opened its powerful jaws and drew in a huge breath, as if to release a powerful bellow. Instead a stream of searing flame burst forward, bathing the small clearing in waves of terrible fire. Every last men swiftly jumped off the edge to avoid being seared alive, and several even managed to pull out climbing picks and grasp a hold on the cliff face before they fell to their doom.

Rachel let out a sigh as she realised the danger was over, and then she turned to face upwards as she realised just where she was. She was being held by a dragon, just as she had always wanted too, flying who knew where. Looking around, she realised that the dragon had stopped circling upwards and was now heading towards a cave, just off of the summit. Just as they drew close the dragon reared upwards, flaring its wings as it slowed for landing. Touching down, the dragon gently lowered Rachel to the ground and lowered its head, watching the girl as she walked a few steps away and turned around, seeing the full dragon close up.

“You’re beautiful,” Rachel said with a gasp, her eyes wide as she starred into the glowing blue globes that were the dragon’s eyes. “Absolutely amazing” She continued, reaching out to touch the tip of the dragon’s nose. A deep rumbling echoed through the cave, and Rachel looked around in alarm until she realised that the dragon was chuckling. Suddenly becoming offended in the way that only teenage girls could, Rachel said accusingly, “You’re laughing at me!”

“Of course” the dragon replied in a very deep voice, and Rachel suddenly realised that the dragon was male. “We dragons have been laughing at humankind for eons. At least at those not trying to kill us...” he added the last bit with a voice full of regret.

“Why would anyone try to hurt a dragon?” Rachel asked innocently, still not truly believing what had just happened.

“Envy, Greed, and other reasons even more evil. Humans always fear what they don’t understand, and we dragons are mysterious beasts.” A hint of smile, if you could call it that, touched the dragon’s scaled face. Rachel absently stroked the great beast’s nose as thought about what he had just said.

“I don’t fear you,” She replied confidently, causing the dragon to chuckle once again, filling the cave with those rumbling echoes.

“You are a rare girl then.” The dragon said, causing Rachel to smile brightly. “I owe you my life for intervening when you did. Those men were as evil as can be, and would have enjoyed finishing me off.”

“Oh, it was nothing” Rachel said, suddenly embarrassed by the dragon’s words. She had never imagined in her wildest dreams that she would be praised by a dragon.

“It was everything, at least to me. Tell me your name little girl?”

“Rachel. Do dragons have names?”

“Indeed we do, Rachel.” The dragon replied with another chuckle. “I am called Keith. Now tell me, what were you doing climbing this high by yourself? Don’t you know it’s dangerous for little girls up here?”

“I am not a little girl,” She replied hotly, “I am 15! And I came searching for you.” Rachel added that last bit softly.

“Me?” Keith replied in surprise.

“Well not exactly you. I was searching for dragons.”

“And why would you be searching for us dragons?” Keith asked, still surprised.

“Well,” Rachel hesitated, before diving headfirst into what she had to say. “I have loved dragons forever, and I really wanted to meet some of them and maybe fly with one of them, and my father told me that only people with the heart of a dragon could fly with them, and so I wanted to come up here and asked one of the dragons if I happened to have the heart of a dragon. Do I have the dragon heart?”

At first Keith was still, surprised by all that he heard, but after a while he replied in a deep thoughtful voice, “Well know, I think you just might. You did save my life from all those evil men, after all, and not many would save a dragon. So how about I give you a flight and we find out if you have what it takes to fly with a dragon?”

“Really?” Rachel asked, her eyes going very wide.

“Of course, now where would you like to fly too?” Keith asked as Rachel hurried forward, climbing onto his back after his front paw lifted her up.

“Oh, I don’t know. Anywhere would do.” She replied as she settled on his shoulders, grabbing firmly onto a few spikes. Keith turned around and walked up to the caves ledge.

“Let us just see what is over the horizon then. Hold on!” And with those last words Keith sprang up into the air, his powerful wings pumping as they flew away from the summit. Rachel could feel his powerful muscle at work underneath, and the wind soared past her face and her hair streamed wildly behind her. The whole feeling was exhilarating, and Rachel yelled out with pure joy as they flew. Keith answered her scream of joy with a roar of his own that echoed off of nearby mountain tops, announcing to the word that the dragon heart had been found at last.

_________________
Kylar, The Mercenary
"Your mother was a hamster; and your Father smelt of Elderberries!
Now, go away before I am forced to taunt you a second time!


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