Thursday, 20 April 2017

Dragon Diaries - Q is for Quianna - 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

Q is for Quianna

Quianna lives on a tropical isle in Polynesia. She is a sea dragon, her shimmering blue wings made for flying through water rather than air. She likes nothing better than to soar and dive in the surf that rolls onto the white sandy beaches of her home. She can spend up to an hour under the crystal clear waters, exploring the reefs and catching her dinner - she is particularly partial to crunchy brittle stars that she plucks away from the coral.

Quianna shares her home with humans, but she does not mix with them. She knows their ancestors brought her with them to the island as an egg, incubating her for decades in the active volcano that forms the landmass, until she finally hatched, but, neither she, nor the descendants of those seafarers can remember why. She hopes, one day, to understand.

~
Rumble

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Quianna lay on the wet sand, enjoying the hot sun beating down on her damp scales as the gentle surf lapped at her wing tips. The solar heat ran into her body just like the volcano’s power did, fueling the fire in her belly and loosening her muscles after the long morning swim she had just enjoyed. Idly, she listened to the breeze rustling the trees in the forest above the beach and the intermittent squawking of parrots as they squabbled over their mid-morning snacks.

Life was good.

It was then she felt the rumble of the old volcano. That was nothing unusual, it was always reminding the islanders that it still lived, even if it chose to remain a gentle giant. Yet this time, there was something different about the way the land moved under her feet. Quianna didn’t know why it was different, but it woke her from her reverie and she sat up, looking up to the wide peak that dominated the island.

There were often plumes of smoke rising from the great bowl that held a lake of lava, the very lava whose heat had incubated her, but this time she looked at a cloud that was darker than she had ever seen before.

One more rumble that rolled through her body, and Quianna knew the volcano was waking up from its sleep. Her next thought was the humans almost on the other side of the island: they would not understand the warning from above, there would be farmers on the slopes collecting fruit and kūmara, she had to warn them. She looked down at her feet where her webbed claws sunk into the sand. She could not run fast enough and her wings would not carry her into the air. Then she looked to the sea.

Crashing into the surf, Quianna threw herself back into the water, kicking quickly into the deeper ocean before she swung her long body and beat her stubby, but powerful wings. This was her element and her sleek scales let the water rush by as she headed round the island towards the human settlements. The waters were so clear that Quianna easily darted this way and that, avoiding sharks and dolphins, but powering straight through a shoal of bright silver fish that parted like a wave ahead of her.

Even as she swam, Quianna felt the volcano grumble again and she kicked and flew through the water even faster. It meant she almost careered into a fishing net that was waiting for creatures far smaller than her, but she swung right just in time and headed to the shore. Powering through the surf, Quianna pushed herself up and out of the water, leaping into the air and towards the beach. As soon as she was clear of the waves, she let out a bellow of alarm.

The eyes of everyone on the beach turned to her, wide and shocked. Fishermen, children playing, women weaving, all stopped to watch Quianna land gracefully on the beach and start running up the white sand, still roaring her warning. Bodies scattered, people screamed, men picked up their spears: they did not understand!

Quianna came to a halt before she reached the village proper, rearing onto her back legs, throwing her long neck up into the sky and spitting fire straight up into the air. The warriors were closing in on her, weapons raising. She tried again, flapping her wings as she pushed her flames upwards. This time, the volcano rumbled in time with her demonstration, and she screeched, tossing her head towards the slopes.

One of the men stopped in front of her, his spear lowering a little, his brow creasing and she saw the dawning of a little understanding, so she concentrated on him. Settling back to earth, she fixed him with her golden stare for a moment, then blinked, and then tipped her head towards the volcano once more, whining from the back of her throat. His stare widened again, and, with relief, Quianna recognised her message being heard. The young warrior turned and called to his people, pointing at the volcano, and quickly bodies began to sprint towards the slopes to warn the others.

Her task complete, exhaustion suddenly caught up with Quianna and she settled onto her haunches as her muscles told her quite how fast she had swum. Yet, she could not relax entirely, not until her people were safe. ‘Her people’, she had never thought like that before, but as she watched the men, women and children streaming out of the forest onto the safety of the beach, the idea settled in her mind. She didn’t even object when a small body crept under the safety of her wing, and she found herself surrounded by humans as they all watched and felt the explosion that shook the ground and threw rock and lava up and out over the slopes.

*

In the end, the eruption lasted a whole day and night, filling the sky with black clouds by day and creating a deep red glow through the  dark hours. Quianna felt it in her blood and in her body, the power that had birthed her roaring into the atmosphere. Many trees and crops were destroyed, but no humans lost their lives, and it seemed, even the animals of the forest had heard her warning cries. Quianna remained with the humans until the volcano’s rumbles had settled back down, comforting children and adults alike as they stayed close to her, a totem of protection against the mighty volcano.

Yet, as her people began to rebuild what nature had destroyed, she slipped quietly back into the sea, content her job had been done for now, and with a new sense of purpose to her life.


~

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14 comments:

  1. Hi Sophie - this is lovely and I love the name Quianna - what a beautiful story ... that would appeal to children and adults alike - wonderful .. cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/q-is-for-quirky-quizzy-facts-and-quaggas.html

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    1. Thanks - I struggled with this one, hence the latest of my post today, but when it slipped into place in my head, I enjoyed writing Quianna. :)

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  2. Awesome dragon! Love her story and her backstory. Happy A-to-Z-ing.

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  3. It looks like there was a reason why she was brought to the island all along. Great job creating the setting too - I could see the tropical beauty!

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    1. Her people knew what they were doing :)

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  4. Quianna - what a lovely dragonish name. Lovely to read about friendly dragons. Please keep in touch! Shirley Q is Quest for Quality as you Build a Better Blog. #AtoZchallenge.

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    1. I like the name as well, but I have no idea what it's derivation is.

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  5. Her name definitely has an island feel about it. Being able to spend an hour underwater would be really neat, and plenty of time to gather up a good meal of those crunchy stars.
    Discarded Darlings - Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction

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    1. You could dive to a real depth with that lung capacity :)

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  6. Sweet. For a moment, I thought she was going for a horrible end, but it ended in a good way :-)

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - 1940s Film Noir

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  7. Another dragon to fall in love with. Really great story with lots of emotions as usual.
    Pamela @ Highlands Days of Fun

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Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear from you. :)