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Preview of "The Silver Dragon"
The Silver Dragon
This was a short story I wrote, probably at about age nineteen, about a young buchie, which is a race I invented. Buchies are similar to elves, only a little bit taller. They are a proud warlike race and aren’t even given names until they prove themselves in battle.
The youngest daughter of Zeldin looked out the window of her small bedroom of the family’s large stone compound. She admitted that it was a beautiful view but she desperately wished she could actually go outside.
She could see the younger children playing happily in a nearby lake. Yesterday she would have been out there with them, but today was her ninth birthday. Now she had to learn sword fighting and birfel riding. Now she had to worry about earning her name and her place among the other buchies.
Normally she wouldn’t have had to worry about any of this until age twelve but there was a war going on and all children over the age of eight were required to spend time training and then join their comrades in battle.
The young buchie’s thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door. She took one last longing glance out the window and then walked across the room to see who was there. She gave a fleeting hopeful thought that perhaps it was Kaza, the servant for this portion of the compound, but that was shattered when she opened the door to reveal her brother, Zeldoc, her new weapons trainer and birfel riding instructor.
The youngest daughter of Zeldin flew toward her target, sword drawn. The small sphere hit the ground of the training room with a satisfying thump. She looked back at her brother, her face swelled with pride. Suddenly her mount flew straight up, sending her straight down. Luckily the entire training arena was lined with soft padding.
“You idiot!” Zeldoc shouted, “If this were a real battle you would be dead right now…”
“Well that thing,” his sister replied, “Is too hard to control. If you’d just let me train with Duldin…”
“No! And will you stop calling him that, he’s just a dragon. Dragon’s don’t deserve names.”
Zeldoc was more jealous than angry. Duldin was the silver dragon that Zeldoc had claimed as his own after slaying the hatchlings mother several years earlier. It had taken months for Zeldoc to bond with the dragon enough to ride it, a task his sister had accomplished within seconds.
The female buchie tried to keep her voice even, “You treat him like some sort of animal.”
“He is an animal! He doesn’t have thoughts or feelings.”
“He’s a lot smarter than you.”
Zeldoc flushed red with anger. He reached to his side and removed a wicked looking leather whip, “How many times must I punish you before you learn your place?”
The whip came down for twenty lashes. The young buchie didn’t scream and in fact hardly reacted to the punishment. She had been the subject of her brother’s sadistic torture her entire life and after a while she had simply grown used to it.
The youngest daughter of Zeldin took off her bloody clothing and handed them to Kaza. The servant’s wolf-like features stretched into the shape of a sympathetic wince, “Does it hurt badly?”
“Just as bad as always.” The buchie mumbled as she put on her night clothes, “Let’s just say I’ll have to sleep on my back for a while.”
“Shall I fetch you some medicine?”
“No thank you, Kaza. I’ll be fine.”
As soon as the servant left, the young buchie stood up and looked out her window once again. There across the starry sky two tiny glowing figures flew toward her. As they approached she whispered, “It’s about time you two got here.”
“Sorry,” one of them said in her buzzing pixie voice, “We were busy preparing your gift!”
Both pixies held out a small package. The buchie reached for the small parcel, hoping there wasn’t anything fragile in it since it was no larger than her finger. She carefully unwrapped it to reveal a silver ring.
“Oh it’s beautiful!” she exclaimed putting it on, “Thank you, Sunflower! Thank you, Snapdragon!”
“Oh good it works!” exclaimed Sunflower.
“What do you mean?”
“Well we can’t see you,” replied Snapdragon.
“Can’t see me?” the young buchie cried, “What do you mean you can’t see me?”
“The ring is enchanted.” Sunflower explained, “Each time you put it on it will grant you the power of invisibility.”
“Now you can visit Duldin without Zeldoc finding out!” added Snapdragon.
The young buchie was speechless. No one had ever acknowledged her birthday before, other than forcing her into training, and no one had ever given her such a nice gift or any gift for that matter. Examining the ring more closely she noticed an inscription.
“What does ‘Junlar’ mean?”
“It’s pixie language for ‘wise one’.” Sunflower replied.
“We figure you’re the smartest person we know.” Snapdragon said.
“And you’re brave too,” Sunflower added, “standing up for your beliefs the way you do.”
“Don’t remind me…” the buchie groaned, reaching behind to rub her back.
“Another punishment, hmm?” sighed Sunflower.
“What happened this time?” Snapdragon demanded.
“I told Zeldoc to stop treating Duldin like an animal.”
“I just wish you had been born a pixie!” Sunflower exclaimed, “Pixie children are encouraged to speak their minds and stand up for themselves.”
“Snapdragon must be a model student.” The buchie and both pixies shared a laugh.
“Speaking of speaking my mind,” Snapdragon mused, “why don’t you just use your new ring to escape?”
“Escape?” gasped the buchie, “But no one’s ever tried to escape Flying Falls and lived to tell the tale!”
“Yeah but no one else who’s tried to escape has had the power of invisibility at their fingertips.” Snapdragon reminded her.
“Well yeah but they’re still bound to see a two ton dragon with glistening silver scales.”
“Yeah but it’ll be the night watch in charge. Do you really think those clumsy oafs will be able to stop a dragon?” Sunflower jumped in, wanting to be part of the plan that was starting to formulate.
“If I did escape… would you two come with me?”
“Of course we will!” Snapdragon answered right away.
Sunflower’s face, however, widened with shock, “Leave the Pixie Kingdom? But what about our duties to the flowers and the animals?”
“Oh the flowers will survive without us. Princess Daisy probably won’t even notice we’re gone.” Sunflower was still biting her fingernails so Snapdragon continued, “Come on, Sunflower, a pixie’s life is so routine. We’ll still use our powers to help nature… buchies and dragons are part of the ecosystem too!”
Snapdragon and the young buchie fixed such imploring gazes on their friend that she finally gave in, “Oh all right but only until we get Junlar and Duldin somewhere safe, after that we go straight back to the Pixie Grove!”
“Does anyone know where that safe place might be?” the buchie asked.
“Oh I’ve always wanted to see the sea!” exclaimed Snapdragon.
Sunflower rolled her eyes, “This isn’t a vacation, Snapdragon!”
“What’s ‘the sea’?”
Snapdragon held his arms out as wide as they would go (which wasn’t very wide, considering he was only an inch or so tall), “The sea is the biggest body of water in the world. There are giant boats called ships and they’ll take you anywhere you want to go!”
“Sounds nice.” The young buchie admitted.
“Oh all right let’s get Junlar and Duldin to the sea and on a ship to somewhere safe and then we’ll come right back home!”
To read more of my poetry and short stories download my new eBook!
- The Rise of Dawn: A Collection of Poetry and Short Stories: Dawn Collins: Amazon.com: Kindle Store
Only $2.99! A collection of poetry and short stories. The short stories include "The Silver Dragon" the story of a young girl from a race known as the 'buchies' and the start of an adventure with two pixies and a dragon, "Forever Eight" the story of