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The Hatchling

Author Avengers February 2024

By Kelsey ClareyPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - April 2024

This story was written in response to a monthly prompt as part of the Author Avengers group on Ko-Fi. You can read all my prompt fills for that group first by following me here.

The dragon squinted at the sudden brightness shining down into her small nest as she stretched her neck out from the mess of eggshells surrounding her. Mixing with the smell of the earth around her was the smell of the fresh air from above, making its way down the long tunnel to her nostrils, sending tendrils of black smoke back in response. She could hear a din of voices that she didn't understand coming from above as well, and after her eyes had a chance to adjust, she could see clouds passing far overhead. She shifted slightly, craning her neck as high as possible while attempting to reach her feet. The space was cramped, and she struggled to maneuver within it. What had served as a nice nest for an incubating egg over the last thousand years was much too small for the newly hatched dragon. There wasn't even enough room to unfurl her wings!

Intrigued by all her senses picked up from the world above and desperate for a little more freedom of movement, the baby dragon twisted herself around until she could press her front against the wall and pull herself up slightly. Her claws dug into the damp earth as she began to climb, moving up the tunnel until the earth gave way to stone. Though tough, her claws still managed to maintain their grip as she climbed closer and closer to the opening, smoke continuing to rise from her exhalations.

When she reached the top, the little dragon cautiously poked her head out. On the left of the structure she peeked out of lay the remains of the stone obelisk that once protected her nest, now cut away and smashed on the ground. All around her, humans stared. Some stared in fear, some in awe, and some in both. The din of their voices died down, and the dragon ducked her head back into the tunnel slightly, afraid of what the humans might do if she fully emerged. Her eyes landed on one human in particular: a woman holding a large, heavy-looking sword and staring back at the hatchling intently. They locked eyes, and the dragon pulled herself back into the obelisk even more, eyeing the sword fearfully. The woman's gaze relaxed slightly at that, and she laid the sword down on the ground and outstretched a hand. With the sword out of the way, the dragon began to see this woman more clearly. She wore long, dark robes and a gold circlet around her head in the image of a dragon. The hatchling pulled herself out of the safety of the obelisk a little more again, and the woman smiled, waving her hand as if beckoning her forward. The little dragon's instincts were not screaming out that she was in danger.

She pulled herself out of the obelisk further, spreading her wings as her body entered the open air. She moved forward slowly, approaching the woman, who had now taken a knee to get closer to her eye level. Tentatively, the hatchling pushed her head into the woman's hand, instantly feeling a spark of connection between them that told her she was safe.

"Hello, little guardian," the woman wearing the dragon circlet beamed. "We've been waiting a long time for you."

And the crowd erupted into cheers.


About the Creator

Kelsey Clarey

She/Her/Fae/Faer. I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. I mostly write poetry and flash fiction currently, a lot of it fantasy/folklore/fairy tale inspired. I also like to do a lot of fiber arts and design TTRPGs.

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Comments (16)

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  • The Writer about a month ago


  • Shirley Belk2 months ago

    So sweet and genuine....loved it.

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    That was lovely. Congrats on the TS.

  • ROCK 2 months ago

    A very sweet and stirring tale; congratulations!

  • Ian Read2 months ago

    Congrats, Kelsey! Well done!!

  • Esala Gunathilake2 months ago

    Congrats on the TS.

  • Lamar Wiggins2 months ago

    Nice! I was ready for more of this enchanting tale. Great work, Kelsey and congrats!

  • M.B Hesperia 2 months ago

    Congratulations 🎉 on this achievement. Looking forward for more great stories❤️

  • Ameer Bibi2 months ago

    Congratulations 🎉🎉 for top story 💐💐 wonderfull excellent story

  • Oneg In The Arctic2 months ago

    And the Vocal crowd erupted in cheers as well! Woooo! Haha/. Congrats on TS :)

  • Stephanie Hoogstad2 months ago

    This is an enchanting story. I hope that you plan to do more with this; I would love to see what this little guardian is destined to do. Congrats on the top story!

  • Naziashahid Raisa2 months ago

    Its too good congrats on your sucessssss

  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Blake Booth2 months ago

    Loved it all the way through.

  • Blake Booth2 months ago

    Super fun.

  • John Cox2 months ago

    Wonderful opening for what I hope proves to be a much longer story!

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