Friday, 28 April 2017

Dragon Diaries - X is for Xena - A to Z Challenge 2017 #AtoZChallenge

Dragon Diaries

elcome to my contribution to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2017:


So, what does that mean? Well, each day, I'm going to tell you about a dragon - a dragon inspired by a name that I generated randomly using a name generator (I haven't looked up the derivation of any of these names, I have just run with how they make me feel, their sound on the tongue).

I'll tell you all about my Dragon of the Day, and share some flash fic about their lives. Any genre, any character, any look - prepare to be surprised and (I hope) entertained by my dragonly inspirations :).

~
Previous Posts

X is for Xena

A name like, Xena, comes with a certain warriorly reputation.

And Xena is a big dragon too. She stands head and shoulders above other females and easily equals the big male dragons. As befitted expectations of her family, Xema had become a soldier and she had excelled to the point she rose to the rank of beta. No one challenged Xena unless they wanted their arse tanned. She maintained order for her alpha, Karan, and everyone respected her, were even a little afraid.

There’s no messing with Xena.
~
Little Secrets

Wittegen Press
FREE
Amazon | Other
“...and stand!” Xena barked the order and her squad stepped back from the coordinated fire attack they had been practising. “Good dril, people, now get your arses down the mess for your grub,” she dismissed and turned away as the gammas let out various rumbles of approval.

Xena did not follow the troops: one of the perks of being beta meant she had her own quarters up near the top of the cliff which made up the barracks. She flew straight home and plodded into her cave. She’d chosen carefully when she’d been offered her own digs, this place had a small entrance, she barely fitted, and the corridor that led away from the outside world turned so tightly that any dragon of a significant size had to breathe in. Yet, Xena wanted it that way, it meant this place was private, it was all hers.

She stepped out of the passage into the wider darkness, leant over and breathed on the torch that was waiting there. The fire caught on the flammable material and then travelled around in a thin line along the cave wall, lighting up the room. Xena looked around and sighed warmly: home.

To the left was her hoard, a collection of human-handmade quilts that were a personal obsession and also lined the cave walls. It was a secret no one knew about, well, except her mother, since the collection had started from an early age, but there was also another secret curled up in the middle of the pile of quilts. Jemima lifted her fluffy head and meowed a greeting. Xena snorted and walked over to her. The cat stood up, arched her back and then rubbed herself all over Xena’s lowered snout.

“Hello, sweetie,” she greeted and nuzzled back. “Mummy needs a bath now.”

Jemima meowed again, but when Xena turned around and headed towards the most costly of the secret things she had had put in to her digs, the cat laid back down again. The best thing about being in this part of the cave system is that her cave had already had running water from a stream that trickled down the side of the room. Xena had had some of it diverted into an area she’d had dug out of the floor, and that sunken bath was heated.

With pausing, Xena walked into her bath and sank down under the warm water. There was nothing better for clearing the drill ground grime off her scales than the gently flowing liquid and Xena relaxed, placing her head on the side of the bath. This was it, this was heaven and nobody would ever know.


~

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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Dragon Diaries - W is for Wemba - A to Z Challenge 2017 #AtoZChallenge

Dragon Diaries

elcome to my contribution to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2017:


So, what does that mean? Well, each day, I'm going to tell you about a dragon - a dragon inspired by a name that I generated randomly using a name generator (I haven't looked up the derivation of any of these names, I have just run with how they make me feel, their sound on the tongue).

I'll tell you all about my Dragon of the Day, and share some flash fic about their lives. Any genre, any character, any look - prepare to be surprised and (I hope) entertained by my dragonly inspirations :).

~
Previous Posts

W is for Wemba

Wemba lives in a cave behind a waterfall. Most people would be excused from not noticing this cave, because its entrance is a mere 2 inches high and half an inch wide, which makes a very spacious home for a dragon who is, himself, only half an inch in height. He loves his home, where the entrance is curved just so that the water cannot come in, but that is filled with the soft rushing of the waterfall to sing him to sleep.

Being a very small dragon, almost everything is bigger than him, and therefore Wemba is not very brave. He prefers to run away and hide from big people and loud things like storms. He would do that all the time if it weren’t for his best friend, Asha, who is almost as small as him, being a fairy, but for whom an inch makes all the difference. Wemba thinks Asha is fantastic, but he does wish that sometimes she’d not be quite so brave.
~
Desperate Measures

Wittegen Press
FREE
Amazon | Other
“Come on, this way,” Asha called back over her shoulder to Wemba and ducked round a tree and into the thicket.

Wemba slowed down: he didn’t like dark places and the thicket was very dark for a dragon like him. Asha was always going off into dark, or big and always scary places, and he wondered if she would mind if he waited outside in the sunshine. Yet, as he glanced around at the nice way the sun lit the flowers in the clearing, a hand and arm zipped out from between the leaves, grabbed him by the front leg and hauled him right into the thicket. He squealed and closed his eyes tight.

Asha laughed and, letting go of his leg, elbowed him and urged, “Just take a look.”

It took another little nudge, but then Wemba opened one eye. Then he opened the other one and gasped, because the thicket wasn’t dark at all. The sunshine streamed down through the overlapping leaves, dappling the forest floor, which shone back up like jewels.

“Elfstones,” Asha explained as they both flew down to the earth to take a closer look at the rocks, which were buried in the ground except for the small points that glinted in the sunlight.

In some places, rainbows cascaded out from one side of the crystals, making the still, quiet environment even prettier.

“How did you find this place?” Wemba asked, dancing through one of the rainbows.

“I came exploring,” Asha shrugged and landed next to one of the stones, the exposed point of which was nearly as big as she was.

She folded her wings, crossed her arms and leant against the clear surface with one shoulder.

“What are they for?”

“They glitter,” Asha replied as if that explained everything and leapt up into the beams of light.

Wemba laughed and watched as Asha flitted around in the air, her dark wings shimmering in the light, singing a sweet little tune. Wemba settled down at the edge of the thicket to watch; this way and that, up and down, Asha darted around the lovely world she had found. It was lovely and peaceful and Wemba relaxed.

He hadn’t realised his eyes had closed until Asha’s scream forced them open again. Wemba jumped to his feet, heart hammering as, above him, he saw their safe thicket ripped open and a large human hand gripped around Asha’s legs.

“Told ya, told ya that was fairy singing,” the owner of the hand crowed and Asha screamed again as she was yanked out to be displayed to whoever was with him.

“It’s a midnight black,” a woman’s voice gushed. “It’s beautiful. Can i keep it?”

Calling Asha an ‘it’ made Wemba mad, but it was her cries of fear that cut right through him. He’d never heard her scream like that before, she was always the bold one, who laughed at him when he squealed. Yet. now her terror made his scales stand on end, and Wemba felt something rise out of his chest he had never felt before. He was not going to let this happen. No human would take his friend.

The fury and indignation pulsed around Wemba’s body and it found a magic he had never used before. Protective instinct took over and he called the magic to his will. He snarled at the world, demanding it listen and his anger erupted. Power pushed outwards from every cell. As his world whited out, Wemba put his head back and roared. The sound split the forest, deep, long and powerful. It reverberated in Wemba’s head as well, and, as the world came back, he found twigs and leave flying left and right and humans falling down before him.

One, a short, fat creature in shorts and a stained t-shirt dropped to his knees, eyes wide, jaw slack, and he let go of Asha, who flew up to hover beside Wemba’s neck. Wemba had lowered his head down to fix the quaking human with his fiercest stare before he fully realised his head was now very big and his had a body to match. Still, he was too angry for that to matter; he snorted smoked at the quivering wreck the fairy catcher had become. The man’s eyes watered with the smoke and his terror that had a moment ago been Asha’s, and Wemba held that for long seconds. The woman, a shadow in his periphery, was flat on the floor and whimpering.

Wemba knew when enough was enough: he put his head back, threw flames into the air and roared once more. Both humans screamed, scrabbled to their feet and ran.

Fairy and dragon watched the humans disappear through the trees, and Wemba felt his ire melting away along with the threat. He breathed out a sigh of relief and he felt the magic begin to recede. The world shimmered this time and it felt like a million butterflies flitted in his stomach, but then, everything returned to its normal giant size.

Wemba looked up at the blades of grass he was standing in, wobbled and sank against Asha as she grabbed him. She hugged him closed, still trembling herself.

“Thank you, thank you,” she whispered, her voice unsteady.

“My pleasure,” Wemba managed, sitting down as he finally had time to consider what he had done. "I don't know what happened."

"The big, brave dragon inside of you came out when we needed him," Asha told him firmly.


~

For information about Sophie's books, sign up for The Wittegen Press Newsletter:

We'll send you details of book releases, competitions and other news from our authors, BUT we WON'T spam you, or pass your details on to anyone else.
Wittegen Press

We will also give you 2 FREE ebooks just for signing up.

* indicates required