Saturday, 29 April 2017

Dragon Diaries - Y is for Yuri - 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

Y is for Yuri

Cousin Yuri is a mystery. He left a long time ago and he lives a long way away. No one has heard from him in years.

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“This is it, kits,” the carter announced, turning to Kate and Leo, who were huddled down among the vegetables.

“Thank you, Sir,” Kate replied, nodding up to the kindly human, before guiding Leo with her wing towards the open end of the cart.

She climbed down first and lowered her wings so that Leo could shuffle down onto her back and then down onto the ground. He groaned a little, holding his broken wing close against his body and she turned and nuzzled him gently before she reached up and took the handle of their carpet bag in her mouth. Hauling it down, she then nodded her thanks again to the man who had picked them up from the side of the road as they had waited for a coach that he had told them had ceased to run several years ago.

“Take care, little ones,” he smiled back and winked and then yahed at his oxen, who just started to plod on once more with no more incentive.

“Where are we, Katie?” Leo asked, his voice small and tired.

“Not far now,” Kate reassured, moving them to the side of the crossroads under the hedge. “Cousin Yuri will meet us here, Hangfire Crossroads, Mrs Gibbons said so.”

Kate took Leo under her wing and hunkered down against the wind that was whistling through the hedge. It was a grey day and she looked up to the sky to check for their cousin, although she did not even know what he looked like.

Suddenly, there was a loud snort and a cough from behind the hedge. Kate and Leo both skittered back into the road and stared as a head appeared above the leaves. It was a male dragon, and, as she shook his crest, scales scattered over Kate’s head. He then stood up properly shrugged, scratched behind his ear with his foreclaw, at which point more scales sailed at the children, and only then did he seem to notice Kate and Leo.

“Wh’be-yeer then?” he seemed to be muttering more to himself than them as he bent a big, thick neck over the hedge; his head was wobbling.

“C-cousin?” Kate checked, shocked by the state of the dragon, who was, at least to her, clearly drunk.

The big grey laughed, eyes rolling, and Kate was not sure she had been heard. Discretely, she guided Leo behind her.

“Please, are you our cousin?”

“And why wo’I be?” he sniffed, sitting back down and scratching again.

“Please, Mrs Gibbons from the orphanage, she said Cousin Yuri would meet us here,” Kate explain. “We had to come by coach because Leo had broken his wing.”

“Ah,” the dragon raised his eyebrows and nodded like he agreed and Kate’s heart fell as it became even more likely that this creature was Cousin Yuri.

“Please, Sir, you’re our only relative, we have no-one else,” Kate tried to reason with the inebriated dragon before Leo caught cold in the damp, windy place.

Yuri chuckled to himself, eyes half closing and shook his head this time. Kate was tired, she was angry at such dismissal and she stamped her foot and puffed a small flame.

“Oo, Missy,” the dragon laughed even harder, tipping his head back and roaring his amusement.

Kate turned away, shielding Leo with her wings as she felt him tremble. Another roar came from the air and a shadow fell across them. Leo squeaked and Kate ducked over her brother as a large body descended over their heads and landed on the road.

“Curlew!” the big, silver and black dragon growled, “are you scaring my cousins?”

The effect was immediate, the drunk dragon sobered and stood up, bowing  his brow respectfully to the impressive sight who had revealed himself to be Yuri. Kate wasn’t sure she was any less scared as the huge male flapped his wings and drew, “Sorry, Master Yuri.”

Kate watched as those great wings were folded and Yuri lowered himself gracefully into proud stance, his head held high, looking down his snout at Curlew.

“Get you home, dragon, your mate will be waiting.”

The he turned to Kate. She kept in front of Leo again. Raised brows relaxed and Kate saw Yuri’s eyes soften.

“Hello, you are Kate and Leo?” Yuri greeted, voice suddenly much friendlier.

Kate nodded.

“I am sorry you have been left here alone. I expected you to be escorted,” Yuri explained and sounded genuinely remorseful.

“Mrs Gibbons couldn’t spare anyone, she gave me all the coach details,” Kate replied.

“And I told her the coach no longer runs,” Yuri sighed and looked up at the heavens as his tone hardened for a moment. When he looked down again, though, his expression was friendly again, “But no more of that. You are with me now, and we can forget Mrs Gibbons.”

Leo stuck his head out from under Kate’s wing and Yuri’s mouth opened a little. His eyes were smiling as he told them, “My goodness, you look so much like your mother, young man.”

Leo nodded: everyone had always said that.

“How do you know my mother?” Kate asked, more to stop the breaking feeling in her heart at the mention of her beloved parent.

“Your mother was my friend, she encouraged me when no-one else did,” Yuri explained. “I would never have had the courage to move here and write my music if it had not been for her. I should have kept in touch.”

“Music,” Kate repeated, because the large dragon before her and music did not immediately go together.

Yuri chuckled, deep and gentle. “That is what the rest of our family thought. My father wanted me to be a soldier. He cut me off when I followed my heart.”

“They’re all gone, in the fire,” Leo spoke, voice wavering, “and I hurt my wing.”

“You poor children,” Yuri looked forlorn for a second, but then recovered himself and lowered himself and his wing to the ground. “Climb onto my back and we shall go home. I have my mate, Evangie, waiting for us all with a good supper. You are with family again now, young ones.”

Kate helped Leo up onto the broad shoulders between Yuri’s wings and settled down beside him and their carpet bag. She didn’t know what the future held, but, as Yuri spread his wings and took off, she looked up to the back of his spread crest and hoped it was going to be better.


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