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Watch Your Back; Honor the Old Ways

by Sai Marie Johnson 2 days ago in Young Adult · updated 2 days ago

Lest the new devour thee whole...

Watch Your Back; Honor the Old Ways
Photo by Rhett Wesley on Unsplash

There weren't always dragons in the Valley.

Some time ago they stayed hidden in the distant shadows in the dark patterns of the mountains of the Earth and while that happened humanity was allowed a brief respite; an opportunity to flourish and grow. In the early days, some people still believed in the value of magic, and there were a few shamans who would actually go forth to pay tribute to them so that they would stay at the forest edge but from time to time, as with all villages some folk; a precocious adolescent or the curious toddler, would find themselves making way into the depths of the forest to become a sacrifice that the shamans had no control over.

When this occurred never again were the children ever seen, but the voices and sounds of echoing screams and nightmarish screeches never seemed to cease, and they knew those beasts still thrived within their shadows. Still, with time, human beings began to advance and they became so egotistical that they forgot the magic of the old ways and soon enough all of the myths of the beasts that truly could destroy the Earth and everything therein became nothing more than fable, if not completely forgotten.

And so by the time the monsters began to emerge from the depths of their cavernous chambers, where they had laid dormant for so long, human beings had become so stuck in their belief in all that they could see, and not that which they could not, that the very idea that those beasts who now crept upon their bellies, devouring any life force that happened upon their way seemed impossible to comprehend. There were now only small factions of humans who remained, and very few who understood the ability that the shamanic tribes from the days of old had possessed. Rumor had it that none lived any longer, and all had been killed in the many battles that ensued since the foul serpents' emergence.

And yet one young woman was called out from the crowd long before she ever knew; Ileena River Eaglecrest.

'You shouldn't stand so close to the edge, Katani.' her voice held an uneasiness as she watched her younger brother aimlessly standing on the cliff's side. Sure, it wasn't a long drop but Ilie knew that Kai had a bad habit of being accident-prone no matter how unlikely it was.

"I think you worry too much, Ilie." Kai gave not a care, as usual, and Ilie found herself sighing in severe contemplation of leaving before things took a turn for the worst.

"And, know you don't worry nearly enough; at least for your own sake." She huffed and crinkled her nose in annoyance, lowering her hand to her hip as Kai's voice broke through,

"Oh, crap! Ilie; look!" Kai's finger lifted instantly and with a shaky hand he pointed out into the distance.

"What?" Ilie moved toward him slowly and noting where her footing was made sure to balance. At least one of them needed to make it back to their encampment,

"Easy, Kai," she reassured him as she came to stand at his side. Her eyes swept down over the valley curiously and soon enough the shimmering scales of a bluish-black dragon instantly reflected in the sunlight. It was astoundingly beautiful, and yet Ilie knew that to make one foul move could result in both her and Kai's deaths. It suddenly made falling off the ledge not nearly as important as getting as far away from the valley as was possible.

"I...Ilie, we should get out of here." Kai murmured, his voice so shrill that Ileena wondered if his vocal chords hadn't been severed upon the strike.

Young Adult

About the author

Sai Marie Johnson

A multi-genre author, poet, creative&creator. Resident of Oregon; where the flora, fauna, action & adventure that bred the Pioneer Spirit inspire, "Tantalizing, titillating and temptingly twisted" tales.

Pronouns: she/her

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