“There Be Dragons Here” Writing Contest – Entry One

by darkjade68

“There Be Dragons Here” Writing Contest

Entry One

by Pankaj Jathar

Rakheinir was shocked to see just a wisp coming out. He tried again, this time putting everything in to it. Not even a wisp. “Ice gust”! He cursed involuntarily, immediately looking around to see if anyone had heard him. He was glad to be alone, more than the curse he was mortified that his friends would discover that he had lost the ability to breath fire. He lived in the remote Laptev Sea, just below the Arctic Circle, with a small clan of dragons. They had successfully avoided conflict with humans for a long time by remaining inconspicuous. Rakheinir had never encountered one.

Rakheinir was quite small in size and was generally the butt of jokes. However his ability to make flames held the humor at bay. But now, he thought he might as well just bury himself in the snow.

Breathing fire was a necessary skill for the dragons to survive in the extreme cold climate. Their bodies needed to exhale fire every few hours to regulate their temperature.

Just then he saw Meizhir his closest friend swoop down. Meizhir, an exuberant dragon, usually happy to show-off, had a grim expression on his face. He came close to Rakheinir and whispered, “Rakh, can I trust you with something?”

“Sure!”

“Well, it’s like this you see, I have not been able to make even a spark since yesterday! If I don’t figure this out, I might freeze to death”

“Really!” Rakheinir was surprised, secretly he felt a little relieved too, but he was not about to tell Meizhir about his own inability.

Rakheinir asked him, “Do you think this has happened to anyone else?”

Meizhir replied, “You know, come to think of it, I am not sure, but I think I have seen very few flames these last couple of days”

“Let’s go and talk to elder Drameinir, shall we”

They both flew the short distance to Drameinir’s rock where the grand old dragon was seated in his usual dignified pose facing the north and looking ponderous. His leathery white skin looked really old and he was rumored to be at least three hundred years old.

As the two approached the rock, they saw that there were a number of other dragons there in what looked like a serious meeting. Rakheinir strolled up during a lull in the conversation and coughed a little.

Drameinir looked down at the two of them and pointedly ignoring them went back to addressing his audience, “I know what’s happening, I am surprised this day came so late, all you young folk seem to take your fire breathing for granted. A lot has changed in the world and we no longer eat what we once used to. Our bodies need something more powerful, the fish we eat have somehow lost their potency. If we don’t find a solution, we might all die a cold freezing death” he said this in a matter-of-fact way but his sonorous baritone made it sound like a dire prophecy.

They both flew over to their favorite spot on the island, a small rock which jutted out over the sea.  They deliberated over Drameinir’s words. They concluded that being the youngest of the lot it was their responsibility to do something.

Rakheinir suggested that, being small, he would be the best choice to go inconspicuously and discover some power food. Leaving the island was forbidden to the dragons. Not one of them had stepped beyond its confines for hundreds of years. However, the current crisis meant that such taboos had to be broken. Steeling his heart Rakheinir set out.

He flew for many hours; he was secretly hoping to come across human beings. He was convinced that even if they existed in huge numbers, they were completely harmless and the legends were just stories to scare dragonlings. As luck would have it he did not see any humans at all. The sun was setting and he was not sure about flying in the dark in strange lands.  He decided to quietly rest somewhere and was looking for an outcrop but could not see anything suitable. Just then in the distance he spotted a tree like structure. It looked like a good potential resting place.

The thing was much further than he had initially estimated it to be. By the time he reached it he was really tired. It looked like nothing he had ever seen before. It was a tall tree with black branches but no leaves. There were two thin branches which seemed to connect it to another similar tree in the distance.

He was too tired to try and solve this mystery and decided that if it looked like a tree, he could rest on it. He had barely touched down when he felt a massive jolt that sent a shiver through his whole body. He took off immediately, gasping for breath. He coughed a little and a bright orange flame came out. He was shocked. He tried to make a large flame but it sputtered and winked out.

He decided that this tree must be a powerful totem and steeling himself perched on it again. He let the shiver run through his body till he could take it no more. He was sure that he could now breathe fire as good as ever

 

 

 

His entire story was repeated to the whole clan. Soon everyone wanted to see the magic tree. Drameinir warned them, “this sounds like human magic, beware of humans they are very powerful. We should look to the sea for power food. If we come in contact with humans we die”. Not one dragon wanted to heed his words.

Rakheinir, the hero, basked in the adulation of having discovered the magic tree. Next morning he led the clan to see the tree and recharge themselves.

Recharged, the dragons felt really alive. Meizhir suggested they explore some more. Flying south they encountered humans for the first time. Their terror at seeing flying beasts in the sky made the dragons laugh.

Meizhir remarked, “These humans are very puny Rakh, they are no bigger than you. I think we have been misled for hundreds of years. I am sure we could fry a couple of them and they wouldn’t be able to do anything.”

Even as Rakheinir shouted to him to stay away, he swooped down and breathed fire at two humans. One of them died on the spot, the other seemed quite burned as well. This caused a great deal of mirth among the dragons. Rakheinir was now seriously worried. What had he gotten them in to?

Suddenly a loud boom sounded, Meizhir gave out a cry and fell straight down, dead before he hit the ground. They did not understand what was happening but they all took off followed by the loud booms, leaving Meizhir’s body lying on the ground. The dragons made straight for their home.

They held an emergency meeting that night. Drameinir announced, “We should leave before the humans come”.

Just then a large ship came up to the island and the whole place was bathed in light. The booms started in earnest.

Rakheinir knew he had caused the end of his race.

 

 

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One Comment to ““There Be Dragons Here” Writing Contest – Entry One”

  1. Reblogged this on Mini Fiction and commented:
    My entry for the Dragons contest ! Read and let me know what you think please.
    cheers

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