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Dragon Flight: Wings of Terror

by Sapphire Blackgaard 4 months ago in Fantasy
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The pain of loss is immeasurable, especially the loss of family and home. What do you do when the cause is a great beast? How do you ever stand again?

Dragon Flight: Wings of Terror
Photo by Adam Wilson on Unsplash

There weren't always dragons in the Valley. They were just suddenly there one day, with flames and thunder. I can still remember it. The smoke, the screams, the ashes. The vile smell of sulphur and, if you paid attention, even the fear had a smell beneath the burning.

Of course, no one was paying attention to every little detail. If anything, my mind adds details, I suppose. I just know that it gets worse every time I close my eyes. Forgive me, I'm rambling.

The dragons came two years ago. I was sixteen at the time and until then had no reason to fear anything. The Valley had been peaceful and safe. It had been home.

To this day, I'm not sure how I survived. All I know is that I froze as one of the great beasts seemed to hover over me, like it was debating about swallowing me whole or burning me to a crisp. After that, nothing, at least until much later, when everything was quieter, and I was simply running. I had no idea where I was. I only knew that nothing looked familiar, and I was alone.

I don't know how long I'd been running before I finally tripped. I remember laying there, feeling like my heart would burst from my chest and my breath would never be regained. My muscles burned from a strain I did not fully remember. My eyes burned too as I gazed up at the cloudy sky, having managed to turn mid fall.

When I could actually breathe again and my heart no longer pounded in my ears, the silence descended upon me like a blanket of dread. In that silence, the feeling of being utterly vulnerable and alone sunk into me like a crushing rock. I don't know how long I simply laid there, but it was so dark and cold by the time I could convince my body to move, that I guess it was hours.

From there it's just one painfilled mind numbing blur.

Eventually, I fell in with other survivors and learned my parents had been killed in the attack. Many of the survivors were orphans. I don't think any of us had a clear thought. The only thing that was clear was that we had no home.

Some left the group and fell in with bad people. Others were able to find good places and make a new home, leaving behind the nightmare. At least as near as you can leave such a nightmare behind in two years.

Then there were those of us who remained together. We could never leave the nightmare behind, though we tried. We ran to the corners of the earth, trying to escape from it, but it always caught up and when it did . . . we relived every moment we could clearly remember.

There were people who tried to help us, to heal our wounds, but how do you heal a wound deep beneath the skin? How do you understand a terror that you have never felt? Or a grief that can never be adequately described?

We simply wander now, unable to settle anywhere in our restlessness. What would we do if we lost another home? I don't think any of us can bare to think of that.

What was that?! I snap my head up and look around quickly. I'm sure I heard something. I carefully put my journal aside and rise, every sense alert.

‘Please not another dragon, we barely fended off the one last week! Granted it was a small one, but that's beside the point!’ I think in mild panic.

A flicker of movement catches the corner of my eye and before I can think my body dodges right. I feel something move through the air of where I'd just been. I look up and barely dodge another object by jumping back, only to feel arms grab me from behind.

I cry out and struggle furiously, but the hold is too strong for me to break. I see one of my companions and yell. "Get away! Get the others!" By the quick response I know it's John. He's the fastest in our group.

A strong hand clamps over my mouth with bruising force. "Shut up!" A voice hisses in my ear. I feel myself being pulled back, away from the fire light. I struggle until I feel something prick my skin. "Be still or you'll die!"

I stop resisting and allow myself to be taken into the bushes. The blade leaves my throat and before I can react a shadow passes overhead, over where I'd been sitting. I freeze when I see it. I know that shadow far too well. The shadow of a dragon and one far bigger than the one from last week.

I shudder as I realize that I would have been seen by the beast if I hadn't been dragged out of sight. The grip on me loosens and then lets go. I sag to the ground, relief and gratitude washing over me. About five minutes later I hear the person speak again and realize it's a man that saved me.

"You must be out of your mind to sit somewhere that exposed with dragons about, boy." I snap around at that, fire flashing through my veins.

"I am not!" I snarl.

"Not a boy or not out of your mind?"

"Out of my mind." I huff as I get back on my feet. "Who in their right mind attacks someone to get them into cover?"

"Someone in their left mind."


"Sorry, it's what I do at times. I like a battle of wits. Anyway, I'll be on my way now." The man begins to walk away while I try to understand what just happened.

"W-wait!" I call and he pauses. "Who are you?"

"Jack." That's all he says before continuing to move off. I'm about to call out again when another large shadow passes over. I freeze and the words catch in my throat as every sense lends itself to keep track of the dragon. Jack does the same. I hardly dare to breathe as the shadow starts to circle, sending every hair on my body tingling.

My eyes watch the shadow as best they can without moving my head. Every cell in my body feels like it's vibrating with the same earnest wish. That wish does not seem to be granted as the shadow gets bigger. A tear manages to form and slide down my cheek as my eyes close. I haven't felt this fear and dread since that day.

I can feel my heart in my throat as I feel the air move with the sound of giant wing beats. A tremor goes through my body as I feel the barest hint of warm sulphur tinged breath. I must stay still in this thicker cover or else it'll see me! Yet my body feels like it's wound as tight as a spring! I'm not even sure I'm breathing at this point.

Then with terrifying suddenness, there's a snort and soon slowly fading wing beats. I slowly open my eyes and barely see the dragon just at the edge of my vision. Slowly, ever so slowly, it leaves, its shadow being the final piece to leave. I wait for a tense ten extra minutes before I release my breath.

I collapse with my heart pounding in my ears as I relearn how to breathe. I feel a hand on my shoulder and look up into the stormy blue eyes of the man, Jack. "Are you alright?" He asks and I feel stunned by the realization that he actually looks concerned.

"I'm fine." I wheeze. Something flickers in his eyes that I can't understand.

"You're not nearly the ignorant fool I first took you for, are you?" I stare at him in disbelief, but he goes on. "No, I see it now. You have the look in your eyes. The look that only one who's survived an attack by dragons would have." Surprise ripples through me as I finally pin down compassion in his chiseled and grimy face. "What's your name, boy?"



About the author

Sapphire Blackgaard

I've always loved stories, both reading and writing. I always have a story in my head. I've been wanting to make money with my stories and decided to give Vocal a try. I hope you enjoy my stories!

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