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The Sweetest Sound

by Heather Hubler 25 days ago in Fantasy
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a dragon's story

"Hush now, don't cry," she murmured, stroking the soft snow-white hair of her precious cargo as she raced through the woods. "Everything will be fine, just fine." Though the desperation in her tone and her labored breathing gave away the truth–it was only a matter of time.

Iana knew the hunters were out there. She could feel their tainted magick searching for the girl.

Tears streamed down her face as her gait began to slow, her legs tired and shaking. A tree root caused her to stumble, and her ankle give way. The two of them went crashing to the ground.

Iana tried to get up, but it was no use.

This was it.

She had no weapons, no other form, nothing to fight them off. She knew without a doubt that they'd kill her and take the child, or worse, kill them both.

"Iana enough," one of the hunters hissed, his magick-laden voice sending waves of pain through her already battered body.

She fought through the agony, peeling back the blanket to reveal a pair of palest eyes. Ignoring the hunters surrounding them, Iana gave the child the only thing she had left to give and hoped it would be enough.

Cradling this gift from the fates for the last time, she let her words flow out in a rush, pushing her life force along with them.

"I love you, precious one. No time or distance or realm will change that. Now take my spark and live."

Then the whole world exploded in a sea of white.

* * *

"Is that how you saw this ending?" Neth inquired, as he turned from the scene playing out before them. "It seems a little anti-climatic, if you ask me. Where was the fighting? Alas, I do tend to find your ways tediously boring."

"Is that so," his twin-self replied, sighing heavily. "I wasn't aware this was for your entertainment, brother. The end result is the same whether it excites you or bores you to tears. She's gone."

"Yes, yes, you're right about that," Neth replied, his face lighting up with manic glee. "We need to celebrate! Come on you colossal stick in the mud, let's go find some faerie wine," his voice drifted off as he moved further into the castle, planning his debauchery.

Noth stood there staring at the devastation in the looking glass. Their reign would be unrivaled now, but the price had been steep.

Noth shook his head, trying to stave off the guilt and uncertainty. They couldn't change what they'd done. It was finished. The fates be damned.

His brother was right, it was time to celebrate. This was a new age.

* * *

A ripple swept through the trees. Just a small disturbance, hardly something to cause an alarm. And yet the forest fell silent and a stillness spread. The Black Wood and its inhabitants recognized the arrival of primordial blood. Like calling to like.

In its depths lay a youngling, unconscious and alone, with an aura saturated in grief. A tiny creature that somehow contained the most ancient of magick. The Black Wood felt her destiny and would not deny its kin. She would be protected and provided for her until the time was right.

Tender roots burst forth from the undergrowth, curling and circling, scooping up soft moss to form a downy nest. A wood nymph carefully lifted the tiny mass of alabaster curls and pale skin, cradling her gently and placing her in the cocoon.

Then the Wood called its most loyal creatures to stand guard. It would only be a matter of time before Sazo felt the call and came looking. She would need him to fulfill her purpose, though convincing him would be no easy task.

Time stood still while the whole of the Black Wood watched and waited.

And then the chuff of a dragon drifted by on the wind.

He was here.

The Wood's guardians slowly faded back into the trees as the lumbering beast approached.

Deep gravely notes rolled over the child's sleeping form, crackling with power, "What is the meaning of this?"

Smoke curled from the dragon's nostrils floating down to the nest where the smallest sneeze escaped. It was the most precious sound Sazo had heard in centuries, and he instantly disliked it.

Who dared abandon a youngling in his forest? He looked closer and found a pale little thing with barely any hair and no scales at all. He vaguely remembered seeing something similar to it before, but it'd been ages. Hmm, perhaps it was a–

His thoughts were interrupted when a little squeal escaped the small thing as it stretched and scootched, eventually opening its eyes to reveal irises so pale they looked leeched of all color.

What was this creature? And where was it from?

His tongue slipped out, kissing the air and searching for answers. Ahhhh. Sazo was in the Black Wood. In his haste to find the disturbance, he didn't realize he wandered quite this far.

Although part of his domain, the Black Wood was an entity unto itself. It was a place without time, ruled by magick more ancient than Sazo himself. Knowing where he was now, it made this mystery all the more perplexing. The Wood had clearly been sheltering this youngling but why?

Sazo scented the air again, reaching closer to the nest and received a rather unpleasant surprise. The little thing moved quick as lightning and now hung off his tongue, dangling in the air.

"Ge oth me," Sazo rumbled, slightly annoyed. He shook his head from side to side, but the white demon hung on, laughing and crying out in delight.

Sazo sighed. He was too old for this nonsense. He just wanted quiet days to fly and swim and sunbath. Maybe char a tree or two. Certainly not this. He should just eat it and move on.

"Do oo unerstan me?" he tried again, carefully lowering it back to the ground.

Two huge eyes blinked up at him.

"Unerstan," it spoke quietly, all the previous moment's playfulness gone.

"Well that is helpful," he mused. "So, what do I call you? What are you, and where have you come from?" His large tail twitched as he waited for a response. Maybe they could clear this up quickly, and he could get back to his day.

"Iana no more. Bad men no more. I safe. I s-s-ad," at the last word its lips began to wobble, and it sunk down into a huddled ball.

Oh fates. This was going to take forever. Sazo chuffed in frustration.

"Uh, there there," he tried to console the miserable thing. His spiny feet and talons weren't made for coddling, so his soothing voice would have to do.

"Maybe if you tell me where you're from, I can help you get back to your nest mates or whatever they're called. I mean you can't be from Desmoria so the Wood must have allowed you entry. But why would it do that? And you all alone," Sazo continued his mumbled musings, forgetting that he was waiting for an answer as he tried to puzzle out this mess.

Eventually he realized he'd never received a response. Pausing his mystery solving, he swung his head back to the little ball...which was no longer there.

A sharp tugging sensation along Sazo's spine quickly alerted him to the whereabouts of his current dilemma. The white demon was certainly quiet and fast. He was rarely taken off guard, and he didn't care for it.

"Now see here, you can't just go climbing about on dragons. Stop this at once and come down where I can see you."

The pressure on his spine was gone so suddenly, Sazo yelped in surprise and spun around. His blue scales flashed as he hopped about in a circle looking for the tiny terror.

He spied it crouched against a black Orinth tree, the white of the creature standing out in stark relief. Its shoulders shaking in silent laughter.

He growled, and a plume of angry smoke trailed from his snout.

"Alright, no more tricks and games. I want to know what you are and where you're from," Sazo fumed, stalking over to the youngling, no more pretense of being nice.

He was mere steps away, when he noticed something alarming, stopping short in astonishment.

It was growing. Rapidly.

Sazo blinked. And blinked again.

He was dumbfounded by what he saw. A larger version of the small thing he found now rose to its feet. It had transformed into something ethereal.

She was like the embodiment of Desmoria's most beautiful moon–shimmering, graceful, alabaster from head to toe. There was no mistaking now that the creature was a female as she stood bare before him.

In fact, he felt something tickling his memory at the vision she presented.

Sazo finally found his voice, "You look like a pri-"

"Silence."

The words died in his throat, her tone sending a chill up his spine.

"What I am or what I am not will be revealed in time."

Sazo waited for more of an explanation, but she remained silent.

As his stare turned to a pointed glare, she begrudgingly added, "I do apologize for the non-answer, but know this, I am on the side of dragons. I mean this world no harm."

Well, he guessed that was something. But he still had more questions than answers.

"And thank you for not eating me," she added with a grin. As she spoke her hands moved, weaving a dress straight from the air itself.

"You may call me Aerin. And you are...perhaps the Great Dragon of the Forest? The All-Powerful Knowing One?"

Sazo chuffed out a laugh. She sure had sass for one so small.

"I am Sazo," he said proudly, puffing up his chest and spreading his enormous wings.

He didn't mind showing off a bit and was pleased to see Aerin looked appropriately in awe of his magnificence. He continued posturing about enjoying the attention until he came full round.

Magick crackled in the air as their eyes locked and an invisible tether snapped into place connecting the two. Sazo panicked, desperately trying to pull away, but finding it impossible.

What was happening to him?

To make matters worse, he began moving as if pulled by strings, tucking his wings and bowing low before her. Aerin glided over to him and gently placed her palms against his scales, reaching to kiss the space between his eyes.

"Sazo," she whispered against his brow. "I am called to right the wrongs that have plagued the worlds, but I need a powerful dragon to aide me. The fates have chosen you. Will you answer the call?"

Sazo's heart beat frantically as those words washed over him. He could feel the rightness of uttering that simple word 'yes', and yet he hesitated, unable to blindly agree.

Answer the call? Take on the wrongs of the worlds? Those things were so far from what he wanted in life. He was just fine lazing about all day, doing as he pleased. Those care-free days would be a thing of the past.

Did he want that? He didn't even know her. Why was he even considering this at all?

"I understand what I'm asking of you and know it's not a path you would've chosen for yourself," she sighed against his brow. "I'm not sure I would've chosen this for myself if given the chance. But here we are."

Sazo appreciated her honesty at least.

"Can I ask questions before I give my answer? Or am I not really allowed to choose?" he bit out, clenching his teeth to keep a 'yes' from slipping past.

"I'll answer as honestly as I'm able, although this is still new to me. And if you really must, you can refuse. The tether will eventually dissolve." With that, Aerin dropped her hands from his face.

Sazo almost cried out at the loss of their physical connection. He hadn't realized how grounded her touch made him feel. It must be a result of that weird tether, because he never needed anyone to make him feel anything.

Dragons often went in cycles of living in nests and living alone. Their long lives making it near impossible to find compatible mates for life.

But Sazo had always lived alone. He'd never succumbed to the mating dance, never fathered younglings. He was alone and happy. Relationships were too much trouble.

And yet this tether to the white demon made him feel like he belonged for once. He didn't like how easy it felt. Not at all. This had to be some kind of trap.

Tendrils of smoke started pouring out the more he thought about it. A vicious flick to the tip of his snout pulled him back to the present.

"Ouch! What was that for?" he complained.

"You were clearly overthinking things, you big grouch. Why don't you ask me whatever questions you had before you went off in your mind somewhere?" Aerin arched a delicate brow, tapping her foot with impatience.

"What, me? Er, questions? Wait, did you just call me a grouch? Well, I nev-"

"Sazo," she cut him off.

He chuffed in irritation. At her tone. At the way this meeting felt forced. At his slipping grip on his whole way of life.

"Alright," he snapped. "What is this gods-forsaken quest you're trying to drag me on? And why me?"

She stared at him for a moment, her brows pinched together, "Are you really going to be this difficult all the time? Honestly, the fates could've chosen someone a little less stubborn. I mean, didn't you feel the magick securing our bond? Is that not enough to convince you?"

Sazo's mouth popped open in shock, revealing rows of sharp teeth. It would've been a scary sight if the image of such a large beast with his mouth hanging slack didn't look so comical.

Aerin covered her mouth, smothering a chuckle.

"Well, if I'm difficult and stubborn, you're, you're...silly," he spluttered. "Yes! All you do is laugh and giggle. Maybe the fates shouldn't have chosen you! What do you know anyway? You just went through puberty five minutes ago."

Ha! The expression on her face was priceless. Until she opened her mouth.

"Listen you overgrown lizard, I don't need a whiny, miserable sidekick. I'll just go find another dragon. Someone worthy. I guess the fates made a mistake picking you!" she shouted, stomping off into the depths of the Black Wood and disappearing from sight.

Sazo stood frozen, stunned at this turn of events. Was he more insulted she deemed him unworthy or happy she left?

He didn't like his answer.

Sazo immediately took to the sky looking for his tormentor and releasing his frustrations. A mighty roar and a stream of fire burst forth from his wide maw rattling the heavens.

There! He caught a flash of white just at the edge of the Wood's domain. He roared again, tucking his wings and diving down, ready to cut her off the moment she stepped foot from the treeline.

Aerin's feet were swift, more so than any other species he'd met on two legs, but he was faster.

Sazo's sleek form slammed down into the grassy field just as she burst from the trees and immediately crumpled to the ground, her body bouncing hard. Sazo lurched forward but couldn't break her fall. She lay like a broken doll, pale limbs splayed across the ground.

What in the fates just happened?

He felt her life spark fading fast but found no obvious injuries. He had no idea what to do or how to help.

A rustle in the trees just beyond them had a menacing rumble forming in his throat. He curled his tail around Aerin's prone form ready to defend her.

A slender wood nymph slipped from behind an Orinth tree and stood watching them.

"What do you want?" Sazo's gruff voice rang out.

"The Black Wood has sent me to aide you," its musical cadence washed over him, calming his frayed nerves.

He nodded at the nymph to continue.

"You must get the pri–, Aerin, to the Wystine System and quickly. She needs the healing power of another primordial forest. It was no accident that she ended up here in the Black Wood. Her blood sought its kin."

"Okay, I won't pretend to understand half of what you've said, but I do know there's a major flaw to this plan–I'm not a portal walker. How are we to get there?"

"You must use the tether to access her power. She won't have the strength to deny you for long, but you must be quick. If she doesn't get there soon, all will be lost."

"Wait, why am I not able to move her back to the Black Wood? That's clearly a primordial forest, isn't it?" Sazo pleaded, trying to understand this crazy situation.

But the nymph was already melting back into the safety of its home. It turned once more before fading from sight, its eyes brimming with hope. "Her time here is done. She has taken all she can. May the fates bless your journey and order be restored."

When they were alone once more, Sazo closed his eyes and felt around in his chest for the tether. It was there but still fading fast.

He focused on grabbing hold and following it back to her essence. Slowly but surely, Sazo reached the end. His mind lit up with the overwhelming power he found there.

Straining not to lose himself, he pushed just a bit further and hit an invisible wall. She was shielding herself. From him.

"Aerin," he breathed. "Let me in. I–, I'm sorry. I'm trying to understand. I can't take back the way I acted, but I can fix this. Just let me in. Please."

Sazo held his breath and waited.

All at once, the wall dissolved and he fell.

And fell.

* * *

Noth sat straight up in bed, gasping, his heart beating wildly. He whipped his head from side to side looking for the threat. Twenty years ago, he would've had a knife in his hands, ready to defend himself. But it had been so long since anyone dared challenge him.

As the silence stretched and no attacker came forth, his breathing finally calmed. With each passing moment, he was more and more certain that it must've been a bad dream.

He felt silly now for thinking there was someone after him, for who could stand against the twins? Secure in visions of his power, he drifted back to sleep.

Until Neth burst in with a blood-chilling message.

"She survived. We need to prepare."

* * *

The first thing he noticed was the lack of smell. What was wrong with his nose? He blinked profusely. Why was his vision so blurry? Where was...

"Aerin!" Sazo roared but all that came out was a strangled squeak.

His pulse beat staccato as he slowly looked down, seeing blurry naked flesh where dazzling blue scales should've been.

And promptly passed out.

"Sazo," a melodic voice crooned. "Sazzooo," she called again.

"Oh come now, don't be so dramatic. We have things to do," she huffed.

He felt a strong nudge in his side and then an itchy sensation on the underside of his foot. His foot?

"Gahh! Stop that!" he cried, pulling away.

"Ah, there you are. Have a nice little nap?" Aerin questioned, standing over him with her arms crossed.

Well, she was being a little rude towering over him like that. Wait, why was he so low to the ground? Either she grew again or...

"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?" he shrieked.

"Isn't it obvious? You've been changed to another form by the magick here. I had nothing to do with it."

"Well, change me back! You've got magick I've never seen before, so I know you can do it," Sazo panted.

He didn't like not being able to chuff or blow smoke or fly, and he wanted to do all three right now. "Just change me back, please." He was already itching to get out of this bag of skin.

Aerin's eyes filled with sympathy at his plea, "I'm sorry, Sazo, but being here has fully restored my mind and revealed to me all that's at stake. You need to remain in this form for now. I'll change you back at the right time. I promise."

Sazo remained silent. This was all too much. He was fates-only-knew how far from home and turned into a useless lump. His life was bordering on madness.

"You're stewing again," Aerin gently chided, resting her hand on his arm, her touch immediately calming him. He could actually feel their tether settle at the brief contact.

"Ah, if you don't mind, I'm going to weave you some clothes. As nice as your new form is to look at, creatures with no fur normally cover themselves."

Sazo felt his cheeks warm. Was this embarrassment?

He nodded a quick assent and soon felt the softest texture covering his new body.

"Alright, now that that's done, we need to talk about our plans," Aerin began as she started walking towards a small, stone structure.

Wait, when did he actually agree to all this?

He tried jumping up to follow her and fell flat on his face.

"Are you coming or not?" she asked, twisting to look back. Her devilish smile letting him know she was completely aware of his delay and the cause.

Oh fates, save him.

* * *

Sazo understood now. He wished he didn't. He was as equally horrified as he was ready to take up arms and fight.

Aerin was a priestess, a vessel of the fates, and they were decidedly not happy with the state of the worlds.

It seemed only a short while that the two were in the Black Wood, but time was skewed there. Twenty years had passed in the blink of an eye. The Wood's magick allowed Aerin to age quickly, but her body felt the effects the moment she stepped foot from the ancient land, while he'd felt nothing, two decades just a blip in his long life.

Now they were back in another time-bending forest.

They'd have no idea how long they were there until they emerged, but one thing was for certain, they'd be rea–.

"Oh for fates' sake, are you all in your head again? We need to keep training. Stop dramatizing everything!" Aerin called just as a wooden practice sword came sailing at him.

"Ahh!" Sazo fumbled the catch, the sword falling heavily to the ground. He was going to need a lot of training. He knew why he needed to stay in this form, but he sorely missed being a dragon. He longed to char something.

Snatching up the weapon, he readied himself. "Alright, you white demon, let's go."

* * *

They checked and double checked. Everything was ready. The plan was simple–portal in undetected, kill the twins, restore order. How hard could that be?

Sazo grabbed Aerin's hand, lacing their fingers together. His nerves were strung taught. They had to succeed; he couldn't lose her.

In the time they spent training and planning, Sazo fell in love with the sassy demon. Her fierce determination and loyalty were unmatched. When this was all over, Sazo was going to ask her to be his mate.

He felt a tug on his hand as Aerin looked at him in question, "I asked if you were ready?"

Sazo took the opportunity to let his eyes rove over her lovely face, "I am."

"Me too." She swallowed hard, looking out into the distance. When she spoke again, her voice was thick with emotion, "For Iana's brave sacrifice, for the innocents of the worlds that have suffered. We will make this right."

Together they stepped past the treeline. Aerin sagged with the weight of leaving the ancient forest, but quickly straightened, a true sign of how much her magick had grown. Then she portaled them directly to the twins' castle.

And all hell broke loose.

"Grab her!" Neth shouted as guards burst forth from every direction.

Sazo wasted no time brandishing his weapons. The element of surprise was clearly lost, but they were going to win the battle. They couldn't fail.

He sliced through one faceless guard after another, spinning and hacking until his muscles burned, Aerin's blade keeping pace with his. She couldn't risk using her magick to go on the offense. Every last drop was needed to make this work.

Just as Sazo kicked off one guard and turned to the next, a blur of white crossing the room caught his eye. And the distraction cost him.

He managed to dodge a killing blow to the head, but the blade caught his thigh instead, slicing deep. He could feel his lifeblood pouring onto the floor as he staggered and fell.

Aerin was almost to the twins when Sazo's grunt of pain registered. Her gaze snapped to his bloody wound, but Sazo clenched his teeth and shook his head, assuring her he'd be fine. She needed to finish this.

Even in the midst of battle, she gave him an exasperated look, and raced back to his side, freezing the entire room in its place. Before Sazo could form a protest, she was pumping healing magick into his body, knitting the flesh back together, saving him but condemning herself.

"Ah, you broody dragon, my life was never my own. Deep down, you've known that all along. I was created by the fates to restore balance and that is what I must do."

Sazo opened his mouth to protest.

"But if it was my choice," she said softly, "I would spend all my days with you." She cupped his face, brushing a feather-light kiss to his lips, pulling back only to murmur, "This ends now. You know what to do."

Sazo's heart was breaking, but he couldn't deny her.

"It will be done."

Aerin pushed to standing, turning to address the twins.

"Noth, Neth. The fates have sent me to stop this madness. Your reign has been a blight on the worlds causing devastation, chaos and terror. You've stolen and polluted ancient magick you had no right to claim. It ends today. You will forfeit your lives." At that bold declaration, she eased the magick on the brothers to allow them to speak.

"I'd like to see you try," Neth responded haughtily. "We've prepared for this moment and put protections in place. You will not succeed."

Aerin stared Neth down. "I know all about your stolen protections. And they won't survive this."

She waved her hand in a furious arc, releasing a flare of magick and forcing Sazo back to his dragon form.

He bellowed out a mighty roar, chuffing and swiping his tail through bodies and stone as his huge form filled the space.

Neth's jaw went slack, his eyes rounding in horror.

Dragon's fire was the only way to destroy the subverted magick protecting the twins and cleanse it of their evil. It was the fates secret weapon.

The giant dragon roared again as he swung his scaled head to look at Aerin and caught her smothering a grin.

What? He liked to preen. It had been awhile.

Her amusement quickly faded though as the moment had arrived. The air sizzled with magick and the promise of justice being served.

Neth began sobbing and pleading, while his twin looked on stoically.

"Nothing to say, Noth?" she inquired.

Noth looked at her, a deep sadness in his gaze, "I knew this day would come. Do what you must."

Aerin paused at that unexpected admission, but then her expression hardened. She gave Sazo a nod.

That was the dragon's cue.

He drew a deep, lingering breath then blew out a torrent of pure blue flame, scorching the twins to ash where they stood.

It was done.

And Aerin was still here.

He quickly turned to her in question but felt his heart stall at the look on her face.

"Sazo, don't fight this."

Her plea tore at him but he wouldn't accept this. He couldn't.

"Then use my life instead," he begged.

"That's not how this works. I need to go, but I can't bear to feel your sorrow," she rasped. "You've finally opened your heart to love, promise me that you'll try again."

Sazo's voice broke as he stared into her eyes willing her to see the truth, "You know I can't promise that."

But she had only been stalling for time, knowing he wouldn't let go. Her hands finished weaving the moment he looked down and watched with horror as her life spark poured into the stone beneath.

"No!" he shouted, grabbing the tether between them and pushing everything he had at her just as she collapsed.

And then his world dissolved.

* * *

"Where are we?" Sazo asked in wonder. He was back in his two-legged form lying next to Aerin, staring at a stunning purple sky. "Is this the afterlife?"

"No, you stupid, stubborn dragon. Your crazy sacrifice saved us both. The fates intervened on our behalf," she replied, her voice thick with unshed tears. "But my magick is gone and so is your dragon."

Sazo pulled his gaze from the dazzling view to look at one more amazing, "I don't care about any of that. Only that I'm with you."

She smiled brightly, then clucked her tongue.

"Now before you go off in your head trying to puzzle this out, we're in the primordial woods of Aerin the White, previously known as Obin. The twins almost destroyed this place, but our sacrifice restored its magick."

Sazo looked around in awe.

Then the name registered, "Wait a minute, why isn't it 'Sazo the Blue?' or 'The Great Dragon Woods?'"

Aerin's answering laugh was the sweetest sound.

Fantasy

About the author

Heather Hubler

Coffee/reading/writing/family–my favorite things in life. I have a degree in biochemistry but my split personality loves creative writing just as much!

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https://www.facebook.com/therealhhlynn

@heather_hubler on Twitter

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  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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    Creative use of language & vocab

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    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (39)

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  • John Eva9 days ago

    What great dialogue and inner dialogue, you definitely nail genuine character interaction =)

  • GREAT job on world building! Great story, too!! As usual, the dialog between the characters carries the story well from one thing to the next. I always like your characters!

  • Carol Townend10 days ago

    This is brilliant. You have written it really well, and every minute spent reading it was well worth it.

  • Gal Mux13 days ago

    I enjoyed the banter between Sazo and Aerin. Very funny and well done. it captured the nature of the great friendship between the characters. You have also used easy to understand language that helps the flow of the story. And it has a happy ending! Great story.

  • Kit Tomlinson14 days ago

    I love the names you chose, and the range of magical beings included. Great dialogue also! :)

  • Angel Whelan14 days ago

    Very magical! And a little heart breaking like all good stories

  • K. Bensley14 days ago

    Another awesome story, so many well done and fully fleshed aspect.

  • Dana Stewart14 days ago

    You’ve created the ultimate transformation story! Great concept Heather! Well done!

  • Samantha Rowe15 days ago

    Beautiful story! I instantly fell in love with the characters and got hooked on the plot!

  • EJ Ferguson17 days ago

    You've created a really solid story and backdrop here, and I love how the relationship between your two protagonists drove this story forward. I absolutely love the concept of the primordial blood and the forests causing those time shifts, that was a great touch. It reworked the prompt in a very compelling way. Sazo the dragon in human form and Aerin the priestess determined by the fates to right the balance of the world - it's an epic idea and pairing, I was invested! Work to be proud of, right here.

  • Alina Z18 days ago

    Inciting rhythm and great character portrayal. You have a razor-sharp sense for action scenes! Enjoyed your visuals - i.e 'tendrils of smoke', how elegant is this?!

  • Morgana Miller18 days ago

    Oh, Heather! There are so many things I love about this story! The dynamic between Sazo and Aerin is dripping with that butter that certain character pairings have which can really carry a story—I love that their relationship was central to the plot and that I got to see it evolve. I really appreciate that you introduced the conflict of the realm right out the gate with that cut scene, it made me 100% invested in the progression and the outcome. You tackled one of the challenges of this prompt perfectly (how to give a lost toddler motive and purpose in a story) with Aelin’s transformation… And the magic system & the premise were both truly fascinating. Totally in the pocket with this one, this is a definite contender!

  • Great juxtaposition between these two characters. Loved the "pri-" fake out too.

  • I loved how nature was personified in the opening, how the Dark Wood itself assisted the child. I think it would be cool to see this story in a longer form because pieces of it were forced to be a bit fast-paced because of the word limit, but the story and romance were intriguing. I’d love to see it in a longer format where that character and relationship development can be slowly built and fleshed out!

  • I loved how you opened in the action. A lot of entrees I’m reading tell more than show. You did a good job a showing us. Thanks for sharing. Would love your feedback on my entree :)

  • Max Russell20 days ago

    The opening intro was a great hook into the dark and dangerous world. Cool story!

  • Kevin I. Barkman20 days ago

    Beautiful!

  • Wow the fantasy elements here are beautiful ❤️ I feel a part of it all

  • Grantt Ennis21 days ago

    Fun characterisations and great use of language! Thanks for sharing!

  • Dylan Crice21 days ago

    Very beautiful prose and great relationship between characters. I could visualize every seen as I read and great structuring of your story. Good luck in competition.

  • Lamar Wiggins21 days ago

    Wow! what a great adventure. I loved the idea of the tether. It opened up so many possible directions the writer (you) could take this, and you ran with it. thanks for sharing.

  • Scott Wade21 days ago

    A most excellent adventure! Go ahead write the script. ❤️‘D

  • Michelle Truman21 days ago

    I love it! I'm such a sucker for strong imagery, and I can see your whole world throughout the story. Plus, it made me laugh out loud and you can't beat that.

  • Subhi Najar21 days ago

    " Then the whole world exploded in a sea of white." wow.......you have created a new world of beauty. Many thanks. I really enjoyed it super mcuh

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