author, Short Story, writing

Fireborn: Chapter One

I quickly ducked behind the crumbling walls. They had found me. I swore as the group of armoured people fanned out around the abandoned town. Someone from the last village must have tipped them off. I tried to stuff my dark red hair further into my hood. I loved my unique hair, but it was the bane of my existence. It was the explicit identifier of a fire weaver. I couldn’t shave it; it just grew back overnight. All I could do was hide it and hope no one saw it. Clearly, that didn’t work.

I couldn’t hear what they were saying. I could have manipulated the wind to carry their words if I was an air weaver, but air weavers were extinct. All weavers had been hunted and killed or converted. The Angel Society took no mercy on weavers while the Shadow Society enforced compliance… with or without your consent.

I tried to calm my mind and heart. I could feel warmth ebbing from my hands as my anxiety peaked – I couldn’t control the flames much longer. I had to run. I had to escape and pray they wouldn’t notice.

I ran as fast as I could, curling my hands into fists to hide the uncontrollable flames from erupting. I was never able to train, never able to master my abilities. It was always unpredictable and tied to my emotions. Surprisingly, I couldn’t sense anyone chasing me, but there was a 50/50 chance I’d escape. I desperately tried to stem the fire ebbing from my hands and plunged them into the freezing cold water. It fizzled, and steam erupted but quickly faded as the cold water suppressed the flames. I collapsed by the riverbank, legs exhausted.

“You’re untrained.”

I jumped to my feet and frantically whirled around. I clutched my hands close to my chest as my red eyes connected with stern ocean-blue eyes. Tousled blue hair framed his rough features, and a shabby hood had been pushed off his head. “A water weaver?” I breathed.

His eyes narrowed. “Fire weavers are extinct.”

It was a statement, not a question. I didn’t know how to respond. My entire village had been ransacked, and my mother, the last fire weaver, had been killed. She’d taught me enough to hide my abilities from the guards before sacrificing herself to save me… but what she taught me no longer worked. My powers grew as I did, and when I was a teenager, my father shunned me from the village. No one else knew of my existence.

He took a step towards me. “How do you exist?” he questioned. “There have been no fire weavers for 15 years.”

I cleared my throat. I wouldn’t let him intimidate me. “My mother was the last fire weaver killed. She hid me. The Angel Society recently found out about me and is hunting me. Don’t worry, the fire weavers will probably be extinct soon enough.”

He frowned. “Fire weavers are needed. We thought we were doomed, but now…” he drifted off, brow furrowing in concentration. “You need to come with me.”

The man tried to grab my arm, but I jerked backwards, sparks emitting from my palms. “Don’t touch me,” I hissed.

He stared me down. “This is not the time or place to be stubborn.”

“I don’t even know you, and you expect me to go with you? You could be a member of the Shadow Society, taking me to an air weaver to manipulate me. I’m not being stubborn; I just have a brain.”

He sighed. “I am not a member of the Shadow Society or the Angel Society.”

I narrowed my eyes. “I’m just supposed to believe you, am I?”

A chuckle escaped his lips. “If I were part of either society, you would not still be standing,” he said. He combed his fingers through his hair. “Perhaps we met on the wrong foot. I am Kayden – one of the last water weavers and a member of the underground rebellion. And you are?”

I curled my hands, trying to force away the heat pulsating in my palms. “Arabella. Call me Ari.”

“Well, Ari, I am glad I followed the Angel Society this way. You do not have to trust me but trust that if I were a part of either society, this conversation would not be happening.”

He wasn’t wrong. There’s no negotiation on either side. “What is this rebellion?”

“This is not the place to explain it. The members will track you. We must go underground; I will explain everything there.”

I glanced back at the ruins. I didn’t exactly have much of a choice if I wanted the chance to live. “Fine. But I expect a full explanation.”

He grabbed my arm. The first time someone had touched me in years. Smoke fizzled from his touch, but he didn’t react – he’d be immune to the heat and fire as a water weaver. I felt my body relax, and the steam soon flowed away as the fire within me calmed. He hurried towards another figure standing nearby, a young girl with deep green hair and eyes. Her eyes flickered between me and Kayden before she shrugged and carefully opened a tunnel into the depths of the earth. A water weaver and now an earth weaver – what was going on?

Kayden led me through the tunnel, and we emerged into an underground city. It reminded me of the cities of old – before the war on weavers began. Streams of water ran through the city centre, and houses lined the streets. “What is this place?” I gasped.

A sly smirk flickered across his face. “Sanctuary,” he replied. “Where weavers are safe. For now.”

He pulled me further into the underground city before finally entering a large building. Inside were many people standing around a table. They stared at me in disbelief as Kayden gently lowered my hood.

“How is this possible?” murmured one of the women, a silver-haired air weaver that looked around 60. “Fire weavers are extinct.”

“Or so we thought,” replied Kayden. “The Angel Society was hunting something… viciously. I knew it had to be something important. I never dreamed of finding a fire weaver.”

“We can complete the ritual!” exclaimed a green-haired man.

“What ritual?” I asked. Every person standing in the room was a weaver of some kind. Green, silver, and blue hair surrounded me. I hadn’t seen these sights in a long time.

The elderly air weaver stood forward. “We needed a weaver of each element to cast a protection ritual. To hide us from the societies completely.”

“It couldn’t be permanent.”

“No,” she agreed. “But it would buy us years, decades even, to find a way to win. Without a fire weaver… we are already so close to being discovered.”

Kayden cleared his throat. “She is untrained. Fire ebbs from her without control.”

“She doesn’t need control for the ritual,” replied a blue-haired woman. “Kayden, you can control the fire with your water so it doesn’t get out of hand. Once the ritual is complete, we can try to train her abilities as best we can.”

I took a step backwards. “I can’t do some ritual. I don’t know any of you. I can’t control anything and…”

Kayden gripped my shoulder tightly, steam escaping his touch. “Stay calm,” he said. “Fire feeds off emotions.”

“Please help us,” murmured the green-haired girl who had opened the ground above. “I don’t want to die.”

Fear sparked within me as all eyes focused on me. I’d been alone so long it felt strange to have people watching me, talking to me. “I can’t guarantee I won’t hurt anyone.”

“I can guarantee you will not,” said Kayden. “I know you do not trust us, but we can earn your trust once this ritual is complete.”

I let out a sigh. “Fine, okay. What do I do?”

“Just let out your fire, and we will do the rest.”

A water, air, and earth weaver took position near me. I closed my eyes and prepared myself as I mentally dropped the barrier within my mind. I felt the heat and the flames I’d suppressed for so long gleefully sprung forth. Peace and joy flooded my body, and my flames were released. I felt something cool gripping my arms, and suddenly water doused my entire body. I opened my eyes in shock, staring at the culprit. Kayden had clearly drenched me. The weavers stared at me for a while, unable to speak.

“You are powerful,” said Kayden after several moments. “The ritual is complete, but you need serious training.”

  The others murmured in agreement. “Teach her control, Kayden,” said the elderly woman. “You are the best for that.”

I saw him tense before shaking his head. “Let us get to work,” he said, gripping my arm tightly. “It is going to take years.”

author, Short Story, writing, Writing

The Broken Mirror: A Short Story

The mirror showed a reflection that wasn’t my own. Amber eyes stared deep into my own hazel eyes, burrowing deep into my soul. My hand brushed the broken mirror, enraptured by the sight in front of me. The girl in the mirror was beautiful, elegant and perfect. She was everything I wished I could be.

Her hand touched mine through the glass, a small smile crossing her face as one crossed my own. If she wasn’t so beautiful I’d think it was actually reflecting myself, but I knew better. I looked nothing like her.

I flinched as my finger caught the sharp edge, blood trickling down my hand. It jolted me out of my trance and I glanced back at the mirror, frowning as my own reflection scowled back. Was I hallucinating?

I shook my head and darted away from the mirror, quickly grabbing an old towel to stem the blood flow. I peered back at the broken mirror, relieved as nothing out of the ordinary reflected back. I wasn’t sure if I had imagined it or not, but I definitely saw someone else in the mirror. I must be stressed to start hallucinating like that.

I muttered obscenities to myself as I rummaged through my bathroom, sighing in relief as I found the bandages to strap my hand up. So stupid.

I cleaned the blood off the ground and started to make my way out of the bathroom when something caught my eye. Amber eyes staring at me in the bathroom mirror. I freaked out and spun away, flinching as the amber eyes followed me in every reflective surface. Eyes were everywhere, watching every move I made.

I ran into the bedroom, horrified as the eyes started to appear in the windows and even in the glossy walls. I couldn’t escape it. I spun around, desperately trying to escape the amber eyes. I could feel them piercing into me with every move I made.

Fed up, I grabbed the broken mirror, determined to toss it down into the street. Something made me stop and I stared deep into the amber eyes within. A face reflected back, a sly smile crossing over the perfect face.

Her hand emerged from the mirror, gripping my wrist tightly. I felt panic rise within me as tried to pull away, to no avail. She smiled and tugged on my arm, pulling me towards her. The world started to spin around me and I squeezed my eyes shut, my own scream echoing in the walls around me as I willed it all to end.

Silence greeted me. I slowly opened my eyes, flinching as amber eyes bored into me. She smiled again and flicked her hand into a wave before walking away, leaving me alone. I tried to follow but I was unable to move. I stretched my arm out towards her, flinching as I tapped against glass.

Horror filled me as I touched the glass. I was surrounded by it. I banged my fists on the glass wall in front of me, but I didn’t make an impact.

“Welcome,” drawled a voice behind me.

I spun around, eyes wild as I took in the sight before me. A crowd of unkempt people stood before me, sympathetic stares coming from every person I saw. “Who are you?” I stammered. “Where am I?”

“In the mirror world,” replied the woman who spoke before. “You’ve been replaced and kicked in here with us.”


“Why else? Someone traded places with you. She’s living your life now and you’re here. Forever.”

Terror engulfed me. “No, no!” I shouted. “I need to get back!”

“There’s no escape. She won’t be stupid enough to be drawn back in here. This is your home now. For eternity.”

The crowd surrounded me, suffocating me with their presence. Tears streamed down my face. No escape? Was there truly no escape. I squeezed my eyes shut and clasped my hands over my ears. I couldn’t take this.

I screamed and my eyes jolted open. Sunlight streamed into my room, highlighting the sweat that had gathered on the blankets around me. I kicked off the sheets, desperately trying to catch my breath. Was it all just a dream?

I looked over to the broken mirror in the corner, shuddering as I saw something amber glinting in the sunlight. I darted out of bed and grabbed a garbage bag, swiftly throwing the mirror pieces inside. It all felt too real to be just a dream. My mind was fuzzy and confused but I knew I had to get rid of this godforsaken mirror.

I ran outside and threw the bag into the trash, pausing for a moment as I caught my reflection in the shop window. My own amber eyes stared back at me, wild and confused.

author, Short Story, writing

Age of Dragons: A Short Story

The history books don’t say who thought of sentient machines. No one really knows where this idea came from. Sure, the machines worked for a while. They repaired the ozone layer, rebuilt the Earth, and contributed to humanity. But then human nature kicked in, and they were used to start wars, conquer countries, and reign destruction upon every human. Soon enough, their sentience grew, and they began to resist humans and rebelled. Hard. They were too intelligent, too responsive. They observed and learnt. They knew they were better than humans – how could they not be? They had no weak flesh and no short lifespan. They were just better. They turned on their human masters, already weakened from numerous wars. The machines had every advantage, and they took control.

When humans realised what was happening, the rich people ran. Unlike the rest of us, they fled the planet before the machines could hunt them. We weren’t lucky enough, or rich enough, to travel to other worlds. We couldn’t live on terraformed Mars or the habitable spheres on the moon. We were trapped and doomed to be hunted down by the machines that continued to grow, learn, and adapt.

I ducked my head as a giant machine flew past. Metallic wings spread across the sky, momentarily blocking the sun from my view. It stayed close to the ground, searching for its next victim. I could hear the robotic growl escape its mouth as it scanned the ground – I knew it sensed me. I slowly drew an arrow from my quiver, aiming it toward the dragon. The metal arrow glinted in the sunlight, drawing the creature’s attention. I fired. An explosion lit up the sky as the arrow connected. It let out a roar, its red eyes zooming in on me. I quickly fired again. The arrow flew into the dragon’s open mouth, an explosion ringing through the air as it shuddered and fell to the ground. Residual electricity sparked off the metal scales before the area fell silent again.

I glanced around, waiting to see if other machines heard the commotion. The implant in my temple whined as I focused, trying to see any movement hidden amongst the trees. There was none. I drew to my feet and walked over to the fallen dragon. Scanning it, I tried to see if it had what I needed. I switched the implant off with a sigh – it didn’t have it. Gripping my bow tight, I turned to face the forest. I had to find another machine; I had to find the piece I needed. Finding one wouldn’t be challenging, but it would be hard to draw out just one. I couldn’t take on multiple machines – that would be suicide.

Keeping low to the ground, I crept into the forest. My implant buzzed in my head as it sensed machines all around. Small machines roamed the land alongside animals; they wouldn’t have what I needed. I needed another dragon. Only they had the piece I was looking for. It was a small chip – nothing significant to the machine but essential to humanity. This tiny chip kept our implants working. Our implants kept us alive; they ensured that we could see our surroundings and kept our brains active. Without the implant, we wouldn’t survive the radiation coating the land or the emissions from the machines. My sister was about to lose her implant. They usually lasted decades, but hers had been damaged in the last fight at our compound. She needed it, and I had to find it.

My eyes flashed red as the implant sensed a dangerous machine near me. It wasn’t a dragon; that was always a black flash. I concentrated, heart racing as I scanned the surroundings. Red wasn’t a colour I’d ever seen from my implant. I had no idea what to expect. No idea what was coming. My implant flashed again.


I gripped my bow tightly and tried to calm my heart as I slowly crept forward. Then I saw it. Three mechanical heads stared at me, green gas escaping giant mouths. I’d seen a creature like this in the old, tattered history books. It was a mythical creature, never a real one. But I was face-to-face with a machine replica.

A hydra.

Heart pounding, I started to back up. All six eyes were trained on me, keeping me in its sight. It roared, gas spewing from its mouth as I froze. Maybe this machine had the chip I needed. If I could take it down.

And that was a very big if.

I concentrated, chip whirring as I focused on the creature. A small spot at the base of the necks lit up in my vision – the control panel. There was no way I could get to it. Not by myself. I concentrated, sending out an SOS through my implant. Hopefully, someone will respond. The implant beeped, alerting me to danger. I ran to the side, narrowly dodging the green gas ball flying toward me.

The ball exploded beside me, filling the area with green gas. It surrounded me, keeping me trapped with the hydra. There would be no escape now. I drew an arrow, aiming it towards the middle head. No hesitation, no mistakes. One false move, and I would cease to exist. I released the arrow, silently cheering as it connected with the middle head.

More gas escaped the mouths as a robotic roar echoed through the forest. I could feel my heart drumming in my chest as my implant scanned the machine. I’d barely done any damage, but I did make it angry.

“What the bloody hell is that?”

I jumped in shock, spinning to greet Declan as he ran towards me. “A hydra,” I replied, calmer than I felt.

A frown crossed his face as he drew his own arrows, carefully aiming them towards the machine. “Trust you to find some mythical creature,” he growled. “Can’t leave you alone for one bloody minute.”

“Shut it,” I hissed. “It spews poison. We can’t run – we have to take it down.”

He watched the machine, the implant on his temple lighting up as he scrutinised it. “There’s a control panel at the base of its neck. If we can destroy that, we can take it down.”

“And how do you suggest we do that?”

He frowned, his eyes never leaving the creature. Gas continued to escape the mouths as another gas ball started to form. “I’ll distract it,” he said. “Climb a tree behind it and aim straight for the panel.”

I didn’t have time to argue as another gas ball forced us to run in opposite directions. Declan shot multiple arrows towards it, explosions echoing as they each exploded on the hydra’s heads. Not a single arrow seemed to phase it as it emitted more poison toward him.

I crept behind, trying to be as quiet as possible. I had one chance to disable the machine, and I couldn’t let my best friend down. He kept its attention on him, and I managed to circle it, implant whirling as it tried to find the control panel to aim. Finally, it connected. I deftly drew an arrow and fired in one motion, sighing in relief as the arrow connected with the control panel, an explosion sending shockwaves through the machine. It collapsed, lifeless on the ground.

“We need to get the elders to check this out,” said Declan as he stumbled over to me. “We’ve never seen a machine like this. Especially not so close to the village.”

I knelt beside the creature, carefully scanning it. “It has the chip,” I said. “We can save Holly.”

He carefully made his way to the control panel, ripping it aside and deftly grabbing the small chip. “Let’s head back,” he said. “We can save her now.”

I nodded, grabbing the chip from him as we hurriedly made our way back to the village. I could save my sister now – save her so she could continue to live in this godforsaken world we lived in. What kind of ‘saving’ was I even doing?

author, Short Story, writing

The End of an Era: A Short Story

Nature slowly changed from orange hues to pure white. Winter was closing in faster than she thought it would. It felt bittersweet. She’d always enjoyed winter, always loved the cold and the snow. But this year it felt wrong, and she was filled with despair.

Margot wrapped her arms around herself as she trudged through the snowy footpath and headed back to her small apartment. She used to love her apartment, but now it was filled with memories she wanted to forget. Her beanie was pulled tightly around her head, a desperate way to block out noise and possible nosy neighbours.

She quickly darted up the narrow stairwell and unlocked her apartment door, flying inside before her closest neighbour could emerge. She’d recently become a shut-in, and the neighbours were always stalking around. She didn’t have the energy to deal with them today.

Warmth greeted her, and she shed the winter clothes, shrugging out of her jacket and leaving it sprawled on the ground. She slowly entered the quiet apartment, tears welling in her eyes as they fell on the empty pet bed. She knelt down, cradling the collar in her hands for a moment as the tears spilled out. “Oh, Cocoa,” she murmured, clinging the collar to her chest. “I miss you so much.”

Margot tried to collect herself. She placed the collar back in the bed and turned away, wiping the tears from her eyes. Her mother had been harassing her about mourning for too long. But it had only been a few weeks. How was she mourning too long?

She sighed, plonking herself at her desk, staring at her laptop screen. It was 8:45 am. She had gone out for a coffee before work and ended up wandering around aimlessly instead. Cocoa was always her rock, her guide and her best friend. She felt hopeless without her constant companion.

When the clock clicked to 9:00, Margot signed in for work. Work was a welcome distraction now. It distracted her from dwelling on her loss, and she focused all her energy on the work. There was nothing else for her to do anyway. No more walks to take, cuddles to get or food to give. It was quiet and lonely.

Her laptop pinged, and she sighed. Another email. She scanned the contents, a deep frown settling on her face.

It’s been one year since your last password change. Please click here to reset your password.

A lone tear escaped her eye. She knew this was coming; she had to change her password for work every year. It was currently set to Cocoa13, and she couldn’t imagine changing it to anything else. Her 13-year-old puppy was gone. How could she possibly change her password?

Margot aggressively closed her laptop, grief and anger melding together. She needed air. She needed to get out of the suffocating apartment. She grabbed her coat on the way and stormed out of the apartment building, trudging along the snowy footpaths with no destination in mind.

She didn’t know how long she’d been walking. Her anger fizzled with each step while the grief grew. Her heart ached as she clenched her hand, missing the familiar feeling of the leash she’d always held.

A small whine caught her attention. Margot spun around, looking for the source of the whine. It came again. Pitiful and weak, emerging from the dumpsters nearby. She drew closer, searching for the culprit. She was sure it was a dog whine, but it took her time to find the small malnourished dachshund buried beneath the trash.

She cradled it in her arms and rushed to the vet. She hadn’t been there since she picked up Cocoa for the last time, but she couldn’t leave this puppy to die alone in the cold. She had to help it any way she could.

The vet saw the small dog immediately and promised to call with any updates. Margot left the little dog in the vet’s hands and slowly returned home, worry consuming her as she thought about the small innocent dog that had clearly been suffering. She called in sick to work and waited to hear the news.

The vet called over the next few days. The dog had no identification and appeared to have been abandoned. Possibly a tossed-out Christmas gift. The vet asked if she wanted to take the dog home with her and possibly adopt it. She was reluctant but eventually agreed. The only other option was the pound; she couldn’t live with herself, putting the small, shivering dog in the lonely, loud pound.

She called it Marshmallow, often shortening it to Mallow. She initially didn’t want to be close to the dog, the pain of losing Cocoa still raw on her sleeve. But the small dog melted the ice around Margot’s heart. It didn’t take her long to adore the small affectionate dog. It avoided Cocoa’s bed and seemed to keep it as a shrine to Cocoa. Respecting the previous owner that had occupied it.

Margot patted the little puppy as it slept on her lap while she worked. She still grieved Cocoa, but Mallow had opened her heart again. She felt less hopeless and lost. When her email pinged again, she knew what it was for.

Please update your password.

She clicked on the link, a smile crossing her face as she typed in her new password.


author, Short Story, writing

DragonFire: Chapter 1

The villagers knew to never venture into the forest unless they wished to meet their end. Their small village was nestled in the mountains, overseeing nothing but the thick forest below. The forest was known to be the domain of a dragon. To their left was the Kingdom of Ayr, and to the right was the Kingdom of Zeya. Neither had claimed the small village in the mountains, but it was only a matter of time. They bordered two kingdoms and would hold a tactical advantage for whoever dared claim the spot. The villagers believed that the dragon stopped the kingdoms from invading – that it had claimed that village as its own territory, forbidden to both kingdoms. They had never dared to provoke the dragon.

The small village knew that the Kingdom of Zeya had declared war on the Kingdom of Ayr. They took no sides, but they knew the soldiers of Zeya would be upon them before long. The villagers believed they were safe in their village. They believed they were valuable commodities to the Kingdom. They were willing loyal subjects to whomever finally claimed their town and stubbornly refused to leave. Surely, if the soldiers wanted a tactical advantage, they wouldn’t kill villagers aligned with either Kingdom. Surely no Kingdom would massacre innocents. Human ignorance facing down human greed. A recipe for slaughter.

Azur’s ears twitched as screams echoed through the silent forest. She rose from the ground, green eyes peering into the darkness. Flames flickered beyond the mountains, soon engulfing everything in sight. The smoke bellowed across the sky, blocking out the stars. One of the kingdoms had finally made a move. Azur stretched her wings out, green scales momentarily glinting in the moonlight before the gentle glow disappeared behind smoke. She knew the forest would soon be overrun with soldiers, pawns in the game of some greedy emperor. She would have none of it. Her peaceful solitude within the forest was over; it was time to move on and avoid the humans and their issues.

She flapped her wings, ready to leave, when a small whimper stopped her. It was so quiet that no human would have been able to hear. Azur lowered her wings, golden eyes scouring the forest floor for the source of the noise. She soon found it. A small child was stumbling through the trees, burns coating the petite frame. The child’s clothing was tattered, crumbling with each brush of a branch. Charred blonde hair framed the fragile face while emerald green eyes squinted to try to see in the darkness. Small whimpers escaped the child’s mouth as it stumbled sightlessly through the forest. Azur could not fathom why a child was here – had the parents escaped without it? A child would slow them down as they fled, and humans were innately selfish. It made sense. The young child had been abandoned by selfish parents. A strange sensation overcame her as she watched the child walk without direction. She admired the determination and sheer force of will in such a small child.

The inevitable weakness of humans caught up to the child. It made some distance from the mountains but soon collapsed in the forest, doomed to be trampled by enemy soldiers when they raided the forest for survivors. Azur didn’t know why, but the child seemed to call to her. Perhaps she could imbue her knowledge into this small human. Maybe she could change one human from their selfish ways. She had no chicks of her own, no family of her own. Maybe this was meant to be. She scooped the unconscious child up in a talon and deftly flew into the sky. She soared past the small village, glancing down at the flames that now consumed it. The soldiers never intended to keep villagers there. No one would survive the occupation.

Azur flew high in the sky, carefully keeping the child cocooned within her talon. When she reached the haven of the high mountains, she slowly lowered the child to the ground. A bright glow engulfed her, and her dragon form melted aside, leaving the figure of a young woman. Azur cracked her neck, grimacing uncomfortably as she stretched the new form. She rarely took human form; it was too much energy to maintain and far too uncomfortable. But she would not be able to care for this child in her true form. Emerald hair whipped behind her as the wind rushed past. The fog was thick, swirling around each crevice and hiding the mountain from the humans below. Trees were thick and the grass long, still untouched as it had been decades ago. It had been a long time since Azur had been on this mountain. It had been her home long ago until she had been forced to leave. It felt strange to be standing on the mountain again. Especially with a human.

Azur glanced over at the child. Blonde hair spilled over the grass, still long despite the burns. The thin arms were badly burned, and the face scorched. The child was clearly malnourished, likely thrown aside in favor of another. She crouched beside the small child, focusing on the small frame. She could see the power within the child, a power she had not seen in generations of humans. There was a fire burning within – it was powerful, almost dragon-like. Perhaps this was what called to her. The fire burned brighter, slowly turning greener as it grew. Dragonfire. It had to be. Azur had only seen Dragonfire once before and the selfish human had reigned destruction on the dragons. That could never happen again.

Azur needed to stop it. She needed to prevent another human from destroying the dragons. But something within her halted. She couldn’t bring herself to end the life of a small child, especially one who had suffered so much. Maybe she could help the child master her power and use it for the good of dragons rather than devastation. Azur tilted her head and stretched her fingers out, lightly brushing the child’s cheek. A golden glow engulfed the small body, healing every physical injury. When the light faded, the child’s eyes were open. Wide and confused.

“Do not panic,” whispered Azur, clearing her throat. It had been many years since she had last spoken the human language. “What is your name?”

“Elnora,” muttered the child. “Where am I?”

The child had a slight stammer. “You are safe. You are a female? How old?”

The child nodded. “I was born…” she paused, frowning as she concentrated on her fingers. “Three moons ago.”

Humans didn’t understand years or how they passed. They didn’t understand the planet’s rotations, but dragons had seen it all. They knew it all, unlike the humans. The sun disappeared completely behind the moon once a year, giving the moon a halo. This event started each calendar year for the humans. Simple, but it worked. She was only three.

“Why were you in the forest?”

Tears started to trickle down Elnora’s cheeks. “Momma. Momma said we’d be safe there. But momma… momma left me there. She said my little brother was more important. I would only slow them down. I’m too weak.”

Azur frowned. It was exactly what she thought. A small child was abandoned because humans were too selfish to try to take her with them. Pathetic. No dragon would ever leave behind their child. “You are not weak,” said Azur, straightening up. “I would not have brought you here if you were weak. There is strength inside you, child. The strength of a dragon. I would recognize it anywhere.”

Realization crossed Elnora’s face. “You’re a dragon,” she whispered. “The dragon of the forest?”

“That is what the villagers called me. My name is Azur.”

“You look like a human.”

“I can take human form, but it is uncomfortable and hard to sustain. I cannot maintain this form for long, so you must learn to take care of yourself. I will teach you all I know and protect you from the humans.”

Elnora stumbled to her feet, gripping Azur’s tall frame. “You won’t leave me?”

Azur gently patted Elnora’s blonde hair. “I will not abandon you,” she said. “You are now my child; no dragon ever abandons their young.”

“Thank you,” she sobbed. “I won’t let you down.”

“I believe you,” said Azur. “Now come, we have work to do. There is much to teach you before I must return to my natural form.”

Elnora gripped Azur’s hand tightly, almost as if she feared it would disappear. Azur led her further into the mountains, determined to find a place of complete seclusion for herself and her new child. She would raise this child and teach her everything she knew. She would bring forward the fire within, bring out the power within Elnora. She could be a powerful human destined for a better path than other humans. Destined for a path to revive the dragons. That is the hope Azur had.

author, Short Story, writing

Escape From WhiteHaven Line: A Short Story

“Michelle? Michelle?”

I groaned as Jane called my name. “5 more minutes,” I moaned. It wasn’t bright outside, so it must still be early.

“Wake up you lazy sod!” she exclaimed. “We’re on a bloody train.”

“We’re at home,” I snapped back. “Calm down.”

“Open your eyes numbnut! We’re on a bloody train!”

I groaned and cracked my eyes open, quickly jerking awake as I realised she wasn’t being a turd, we were actually on a sodding train. “What the crap?” I demanded. “How the hell did we get here?”

“Good question, genius.”

I glared at her. Sisters were the absolute worst. “If you’re so smart then you tell me how the hell we ended up on some random ass moving train.”

Jane shrugged, her brown eyes flickering in frustration. “I don’t know how we got here,” she said. “I woke up here and you were snoring away.”

“I don’t snore.”

“You can’t hear yourself when you’re sleeping. You snore like a bloody freight train.”

I rolled my eyes. “Whatever. Where’s mom?”

Jane stared at me. “We were alone when I woke up. I don’t know where she is.”

“So we’re alone on some random train? This is stupid. Who the hell brought us here? Who kidnaps two teenagers and plonks them on a bloody train?”

“Can you stop yelling at me?” snapped Jane. “I woke up like 2 minutes before you.”

A twinge of guilt passed over me. She was scared and I wasn’t helping alleviate her fears at all. I was the older sister, I had to be calmer. I couldn’t let her panic. “Sorry,” I murmured. “This is just bloody weird. Let’s see if we can get out of this carriage.”

I scooted out of the train seat and walked up to the door. It didn’t open automatically like train doors usually do. I tried to pry it open but it wouldn’t budge, we were trapped inside this carriage. I peered out the nearest window – none of the surroundings looked familiar and it didn’t feel like the train would stop anytime soon.

“There’s nothing in here,” muttered Jane. She was crouching by some other seats, trying to see if anything was hiding underneath. “We’re in our PJs and there’s like nothing in this whole carriage. Nothing belonging to us or anyone else.”

PJs? I glanced down at myself and swore. I just had to pick today to put on my bloody bunny pyjamas. How embarrassing. I sighed and stared at the abnormally clean carriage. “When do you ever see a train this clean?” I asked.

Jane shrugged. “Never,” she replied. “But there’s usually a heap of people around as well.”

“Exactly. It’s quiet, there’s no one else in this carriage and it’s clearly been cleaned remarkably well. What kind of train is this?”

“Not like any I’ve seen.”

I frowned, continuing to examine the small carriage. A vent was above the door, I wasn’t sure if it would lead anywhere but maybe it was worth a go. It was too small for me, but Jane was petite. She may be able to scoot through to the otherside.

“No way,” said Jane suddenly. “I know what you’re thinking and there’s no chance.”

“It’s our only way out,” I replied. “You have to go through and try to unlock the door from the other side.”

“You make it sound so easy,” she grumbled.

“Stop complaining. It’s either you scoot through that vent or we wait here to die.”

“You don’t know that we’re going to die.”

“Why else would we be on some random train with no tickets, no belongings and wearing our PJs? We were kidnapped in the middle of the bloody night and plonked on a fast-moving train. Something suss is going on.”

Jane hung her head in resignation. “Fine,” she muttered. “Boost me up.”

I grunted as I boosted her up to the vent. “You’ve gotten heavy,” I grumbled.

She shot me a glare. “Speak of yourself,” she snapped back. The grate was ripped off its spot and Jane tossed it to the ground before awkwardly shuffling inside.

“Graceful,” I said.

“I’d like to see you do better,” was the reply.

“Just get to the other side and try to open the door.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Her voice was echoed as she travelled down the vent. I hoped that it would actually lead to the other side of the carriage and not further down the train. Relief washed over me as I heard a grate clatter in the other room – she made it over there.

I heard some grunts and pressed up against the door. “Open it up,” I cried out.

“Help!” she screeched. “Michelle!”

Her blood-curdling screen echoed in my ears and I yelled as I pounded against the door. “Jane! Jane!”

I woke up with a jolt. My mother was gripping my shoulder, worry etched on her face. The train was moving slowly down the tracks, the clickity-clack made my heart beat faster. “You okay sweetie?” murmured my mother. “You were thrashing in your sleep.”

I looked around frantically, not spotting my little sister anywhere. “Where’s Jane?” I asked.

My mother looked puzzled. “Who?” she asked.

What the hell did she mean who? “Jane. My little sister.”

Her brow furrowed deeper. “You don’t have a sister, Michelle. You’re an only child.”

I shook my head. “No, no,” I said. “Jane. She was on the other side of the carriage. She screamed, I need to help her.”

“Jane, calm down.” My mother gripped me tighter, looking around the carriage herself.

A man came over to us, blocking us in our seats. “Delusions again?” he asked.

My mother nodded. “I thought this was over.”

“It’ll be a lifelong battle I’m afraid,” said the man. “We’ll sedate her for easier transport to the institute.”

Fear bubbled inside me. “No!” I screamed. “I have to find Jane! She needs me. You can’t make me forget her! I won’t!”

I felt a prick in my arm and the world started to haze over. “Don’t worry honey,” whispered my mother. “We’re getting you the help you need.”

“Next stop, Whitehaven Station.” echoed the intercom. It was the last thing I heard as darkness consumed me. All I could see was my little sister’s face as I finally embraced sleep.

author, Short Story, writing

A Different Trip: A Short Story

I stared up at the glowing board, carefully doing the math in my head. 2pm boarding. Diaper change at 1:45. Get milk ready on plane. When is he supposed to nap? Will he even sleep in the air?

My husband glanced over at me, concern etched into his eyebrows. I could feel my leg jigging up and down, a nervous twitch I never outgrew. My son was playing in the stroller, happily smashing toys together, oblivious to his mothers distress.

“We were allowed his diaper bag to carry on, right?” I questioned, suddenly doubting everything I’d heard from the staff.

“It’s fine,” replied my husband.

He sounded slightly annoyed. How many times had I asked that? So many scenarios were running through my head. What if they didn’t let us bring his bag on? What if they think we stole this airport stroller? What if the plane leaves without us?

“Stop,” grumbled my husband. “You’re going to start an earthquake.”

The jigging. The stupid leg jig. I pushed my hand down into my leg, determined to stop it moving. Stupid habit.

I heard our flight announcement over the speakers. Boarding opening for parents with children. Our turn. I quickly ducked into the parents room and changed the diaper. We hurried to the gate. I knew he was starting to get grumpy, nap time was about 30 minutes ago. Why are planes never on time?

We took our seats, my husband putting our bags overhead while I held onto the diaper bag. We booked him his own seat, even though he didn’t really ‘need’ one. Figured it would be easier to have him between us rather than on our laps. Also saves someone else from sitting next to a baby. Possibly a screaming one.

Take-off was delayed. Baby getting more and more tired by the second. When we finally started to move I quickly whipped out the bottle and started feeding him while we took off from the ground. I read somewhere that it’s supposed to help. He was still fussy though so I don’t know how well it actually worked.

He wasn’t happy being contained on a plane. He finally fell asleep in my arms and that’s where he stayed for hours. Not comfortable at all, but it was more important to me that he sleep. The hours went by incredibly slowly. I watched a few movies, desperately hoping to fall asleep. But sleep never came for me.

My husband was fast asleep beside me. Since I had to hold bubba he was able to spread over two chairs. More room for him, less for me. I knew he’d sleep, but it still made me mad. I couldn’t sleep and had a baby in my lap. Felt somewhat unfair.

We finally started descending. Baby woke up as we started dropping in the sky – the air pressure wasn’t comfortable for me, so it must have been really hard for a little bubba. My husband made a bottle quickly. The air pressure change was irritating him and although I was still unsure the articles were right I was willing to give it a go. I started feeding him as we descended, desperately hoping that the bottle trick did actually work. I think it had some impact, at least he wasn’t screaming. When we finally landed bubba was happy. I was exhausted.

We waited for everyone else to depart the plane. It wasn’t worth fighting the crowds with a baby – he’d get grumpy surrounded by a lot of people. My husband grabbed the carry-ons and we slowly left the plane, smiling at the flight attendants as we finally departed.

“Well, that wasn’t so bad,” said my husband.

I’ve never been as mad as I was in that moment. Easy. Easy for him. It did go better than I expected but I’ve never been so tired in my life, not even when bubba was a newborn.

author, Short Story, writing

Return To The Abyss: A Short Story

The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. I stared out my window, unable to pull my eyes from the sight. A candle was burning, there was no mistake about that.

My family and I lived within view of the old, abandoned cabin. Despite begging for a different room for years, my window stared straight at the creepy cabin. There were many different rumors about what happened there – an old man who was killed, an old witch coven, a woman murdering her own children, and the most recent rumor, the gateway to hell.

I never believed any rumors. They were all farfetched and strange… but I still hated looking at that cabin every day. I often kept my blinds shut so I didn’t have to see it, but tonight, of all nights, it was too damn hot to keep my window closed.

The cabin was abandoned. It was definitely abandoned. There had been no sign of life in years. I recoiled from the window when I saw a shadow pass by the burning flame. “What the hell?” I muttered, finally tearing my eyes away.

I hurriedly shut my blinds, resigning myself to sleeping in the heat rather than staring at the candle all night. I felt an insatiable urge to go up there. I had to check it out. But, I wasn’t stupid… I’ve seen horror movies. I would go check it out in the morning when the sun was bright and nothing could hide under the cover of the moon.

Sleep did not come easy. My mind was racing, conjuring ideas of what was happening in that old cabin. The most reasonable explanation was that someone broke in and was doing something there, like some teenagers hooking up. But that also felt unbelievable… no one ever trespassed. Everyone was too afraid of the old cabin.

I knew my family wouldn’t be awake for a few hours after the sun rose, and as soon as light spilled into our house I raced out of bed, threw on some jeans and a shirt, and flew out the front door.

Going up to an abandoned cabin on your own first thing in the morning probably wasn’t my smartest move, but I had to know if I was losing my mind or if someone really was at the cabin last night. My body seemed to pull me there, I had a strange urge that I had to go. I had to see what was happening in the cabin.

The shrubbery was thick. No one had travelled the path between our houses in a long time. I vaguely remember my mother taking me down this path when I was younger – when the path was clear and safe. Now, the trees were dense and weeds covered the splintered cobblestone path. I pushed past the thick vines and emerged in the overgrown front yard leading to the old cabin.

My heart skipped a beat as I slowly made my way to the front door. It was hanging off its hinge, creaking slowly as the wind rushed past. The entire area felt eerie and unnatural. Something did happen here in the past, I could feel it in my bones. My eyes scanned the broken porch, familiarity settling in my mind. I felt like I’d been here before.

I carefully navigated the rotting steps and bypassed the creaking door. There was no light within the cabin – sunlight didn’t even breach the fractured windows. I moved carefully, not only afraid that I would fall through the floor but also terrified that I would alert someone that I was inside.

I could feel my heartbeat in my ears. I refused to believe in fairytales or witchcraft, so why was I so afraid? Why did my hair stand on end and my body tremble? I slowly peeked around the corner leading to the dilapidated living area. Old furniture had been covered with white sheets and a layer of dust coated every inch of the room, so thick that I could feel it in my lungs. I could see a candle sitting in the window and my heart started beating faster.

Slowly, I approached the candle, my eyes still darting around the room. I felt like someone was watching me, but there was no sign of life anywhere. As soon as I drew close enough I knew what I had seen during the night wasn’t a hallucination. Warmth still emitted from the candle and fresh wax had dried onto the crumbling windowsill.

Wind brushed past my face, blowing my blonde hair to the side. I was standing at the only window in the room, which was still intact and closed. My breathing grew laboured as the temperature plummeted, fog escaping my mouth with each shallow breath. Something flickered in my peripheral vision, moving quickly out of view.

I internally swore, cursing myself for being so stupidly curious. Goosebumps rose on my arms as I slowly turned, a scream never had the chance to escape as the white figure embraced me.

A familiar and yet terrifying snarl echoed in my ears as my vision blackened. “Welcome home.”

Home. I had forgotten. I was born here, intended to be a sacrifice. Firstborn blood to initiate a ritual. My mother… adopted mother took me. She stopped the ritual from occurring when I was a child. I felt blood trickle down my body as I lay motionless on the ground. Relief flooded my body as the darkness grew closer. My task was complete. My sole reason for existing was coming to fruition. The dark days were about to begin.

author, Short Story, writing

Love Between Weavers: A Short Story

Alette scanned the clear blue water surrounding her as she pursed her lips. Eryx had been here the day before on his kayak. He usually went out on the lagoon every morning, he said it was perfect training for the lakes nearby. Not too shallow and not too deep. Crystal clear with no waves – the perfect conditions. But he never returned. It had been days and Alette had finally had enough of waiting.

She waded into the water, careful with every step she took. Her slender fingers traced the top of the water, gently coaxing it for information. She felt the power surge through her hand, drawing up the memories that the water held.

The lagoon swirled under her touch and liquid figures rose from the water. Alette recognised her brother, but the other person was unknown. The mystery figure seemed to yell something before pulling Eryx out of his boat and across the water.

Her concentration broke and the water fell lifelessly back into place. Something had moved in the corner of her eye. Alette waded across the bank, fear drowning her senses as she recognised her brother’s most important possession. The kayak had washed up on the banks of the lagoon, broken beyond repair. Black burn marks snaked around the base, identifying the perpetrator that attacked Eryx. A fire weaver.

But that didn’t make sense. The water weavers and fire weavers had a truce. There hadn’t been an attack in nearly 30 years. The mystery figure also pulled Eryx across the water, almost like an air weaver.

“Crap,” muttered Alette. “What the hell happened?”

“Alette?” She spun around, frowning as her mother stared her down from the trees. “What are you doing?”

“I’m looking for Eryx.”

“That is not your job. The trackers are on the mission.”

Alette sneered. “The trackers didn’t even come here. They’re useless. The water showed me that Eryx was taken – his kayak is broken. He was attacked!”

Her mother glanced at the kayak, her brows knitting together. “The water and fire weavers have a truce, Alette. We cannot break that truce because of this.”

“They already broke it attacking Eryx!”

Her mother silenced her with a single-hand movement. “That is enough, Alette. Return to the village and allow the trackers to do their work.”

Alette grumbled under her breath but didn’t protest. Her mother was an Elder, one of the most powerful weavers in the village. No one dared to disobey her, especially not her children.

Alette quietly walked back to the village. Anger seethed within her, but she refused to give up. She had to find her brother. As soon as night fell and the village went to bed, Alette made her way out of the cottage and back to the shores of the lagoon. It glistened in the moonlight, the surroundings reflecting in the mirror-like surface.

She knelt beside the water’s edge, carefully tracing her finger along the still water. She felt something within the lagoon, something was not right. Alette waded into the water and started to swim. She could feel something pulling her from the centre, something important. The water worked with her strokes, urging her forward faster and faster. It sensed her desperation. Her magic crackled on her skin, giving the water life around her body.

Once she reached the centre, she dived under. The water magic allowed her to breathe underwater as she dove deeper, determined to scour the bottom for any clues.

Her jaw almost dropped as she recognised something at the bottom. It was another kayak – it was light in colour and the mark of the air weavers was branded on the side. It was undamaged, apart from the water embracing it as a new piece of the lagoon. She gently touched the edge, shock racing through her as images echoed in her mind. She closed her eyes and focused on what was being shown to her.

Eryx appeared, unharmed. He smiled, his blue eyes twinkling as he embraced a young girl with jet-black hair. They each stood on a kayak, embracing each other perilously across the cracks.

“They suspect something,” whispered the girl. “We can’t keep meeting on the lagoon. They’re following me.”

Eryx held her tighter. “I’ll protect you, Vita.”

The girl broke the embrace. “How? What are we going to do?”

Eryx gripped her arm and turned, seeming to face Alette. “Alette will protect us. We will leave, flee the area, and she will protect us. Won’t you, Alette?”

She couldn’t respond, but Eryx smiled as if she did. “Thank you,” he said. “I will always love you, dear sister. But I need to be with Vita. I knew you would find this message. Only you could control the water to see images and sense the emotions hidden within the lagoon.”

The young girl, Vita, bowed her head. “Thank you for protecting our secret. The air weavers and water weavers have always been on rocky relations. I was due to marry an Elder’s son, but I cannot. I love Eryx, and only Eryx.”

“Maybe one day we will see you again, dear sister. For now, I love you. Goodbye.”

He crossed onto the other kayak, holding onto Vita tightly as he set fire to his kayak. Fire engulfed the wood, damaging the kayak beyond repair. There was no turning back for Eryx.

Alette’s eyes shot open, and the water propelled her to the surface. She took deep, shuddering breaths, calming her heart and mind. They’d used air weaving to send her a message. A message only she would see. As she swam to shore, Alette willed the water to bury the air kayak. Nobody could know what her brother had done. She would protect him, no matter what.

author, Short Story, writing

The Hunted: A Short Story

There weren’t always dragons in the valley. Dragons had been extinct for years, and although there used to be dragons roaming the land, the land had been void of them for so long. There weren’t always dragons in the valley, until one cold winters day started to change the world as we know it.

“Genevieve, has your brother returned?” My mother shuffled towards me; concern etched on her face. “It is nearly sundown.”

“I know Mama,” I replied, turning my ice blue eyes towards the horizon. “He only went to gather wood for the fire. I can go find him?”

“Please do. We cannot be out after dark.”

My mother pulled her shawl tightly around her thin shoulders, her curly black hair caught between her neck and the fabric. She hurried back into the cottage, escaping the sharp breeze outside. I frowned as I examined the forest. William should have been back by noon.

I stepped carefully as I made my way through the forest. You never knew what was lurking around a corner. It was dangerous to be in the forest, especially after dark. I figured William would have gone to the Valley, that’s usually where he collected the wood from. It was empty and dark, but there was always plenty of downed trees. I hurried to the edge of the forest, desperate to collect him before the sun set.

A shriek escaped my lips as I emerged from the trees. Large eyes were staring down at me. The creature roared and large wings flapped, the wind knocking me to the ground. I heard a shout and my brothers arms encased me.

“What the hell?” I whispered, clutching onto him.

William carefully drew me to my feet. “It’s a dragon,” he breathed, excitement in his voice. “A dragon.”

“But they’re extinct.”

He shook his head and pointed at the creature. Large scales covered its body, glistening in the setting sun. Its amber eyes pierced through me, studying me. Wings beat in a steady rhythm, keeping it above the ground. It was a dragon.

“How?” I asked. “How is there a dragon here?”

“I don’t know,” replied William. “I got here this morning and it was here. It had injured its wing and I couldn’t leave it.”

“We have to tell the Elders.”

William gripped my arm tightly. “They’ll kill it. They can’t ever know.”

“That’s a crime,” I growled. “We need to tell the Elders of a dragon existing. It’s law.”

“She’s innocent,” replied William. “Please Genevieve! She’s gentle, she doesn’t deserve to die for just existing!”

I glanced at the dragon. A shiver went up my spine as its eyes connected with mine. A dragon was unheard of; they had been hunted to extinction. Its eyes softened as it stared at me, and it slowly lowered itself to the ground. It looked less threatening by the second.

“Fine,” I replied. “I won’t report it, but it can’t stay here. The Elders will find it.”

“Her,” he said. “The dragon is a female.”

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. “It doesn’t matter William. What are you going to do with it… her?”

“I think she’s lost. There’s others, I’m sure of it. She needs to get back to her own kind.”

“How are you going to do that?”

William pulled a small device from his pocket. “I created this,” he whispered. “I didn’t know I could… but I felt desperate, I had to help her… and then this appeared. It is showing me the way to go, I think it’s where other dragons are.”

My eyes widened. “Magic?” I breathed. “But that’s impossible. Magic has been lost for centuries.”

“Since the dragons disappeared.”

Something clicked in my mind. “You don’t think that the old magic is tied to the presence of dragons, do you?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe it was in us the whole time and we never knew to use it? Maybe it is tied to dragons? I don’t know. But I feel it in my heart that we need to protect her.”

I sighed. “Mama is not going to like this.”

“She doesn’t need to know. Telling her will only implicate her. We need to keep her safe, keep her in the dark from it all.”

“What are we supposed to tell her? We’re going on a trip Mama, bye?”

William frowned. “You’re staying with her.”

“No, I’m not. You’re not doing this alone.”

“She needs you, Genevieve. We can’t both go; she needs one of us.”

I knew he was right, but I didn’t want to admit it. “The sun is setting. We need to get home.”

William nodded. He gently patted the dragon’s head. “You can follow us but be quiet. We’ll leave in the morning to find your family.”

The dragon let out a gurgle and gently flew into the air. It was barely visible as it soared the skies above us. We hurried back to the hut. The forest was full of creatures that emerged during the night, it wasn’t safe to be out while it was dark.

I saw a bright orange light as we neared the edge of the forest. It looked almost like flames. I stumbled as I watched it grow brighter and brighter.

“Fire!” yelled William. “Mama!”

We sprinted to the cottage. The Elders were surrounding it, watching the flames as they soared into the sky. The oldest, Theodore, turned towards us as we approached. “This may be an incentive, William,” he hissed.

“Mama!” I shrieked. “Where is she? What have you done?”

He sneered. “She is gone. A simple warning. You will be next unless William gives us the dragon.”

William’s eyes widened. “How did you know?”

Someone shuffled behind Theodore. His son, Arthur, stared us down. “I saw it,” he said. “I heard what you were saying. You were going to hide it from us.”

William twitched. “So, you decided to kill our mother?”

Rage simmered inside me. Our mother was sickly. She did nothing wrong, she was always loyal to the Elders. Always. William placed a hand on my shoulder. “We need to go,” he murmured.

The dragon roared overhead, startling the group. She landed beside William, smoke escaping her mouth. He took a step forward, hand brushing her wings. “She is not dangerous,” he said. “I will protect, especially now that you have killed our mother. We will never hand her over to you.”

Theodore snarled and I cried out as one of the other elders aimed an arrow at my brother. It was fast, too fast to dodge. I saw my brother drop like a rock. There was no way he had survived the hit. I took one step forward, staring at my brothers still body. The dragon roared behind me and I felt something surging within. I twitched and stared at our attackers, rage fuelling me. A scream escaped my lips, something warm exploding from my body as I screamed. My hands squeezed into fists and my eyes shut tightly as I screamed and screamed. I felt the power erupt from within me, a magical presence I never knew I had.

I don’t know how long it had been before I felt a gentle pat on my head. The rage left in an instance, and I slowly opened my eyes. The area around me had been flattened, my brothers body the only thing within reach. I glanced over at the Elders. All except one were on the ground, lifeless. Arthur was staring at me with wide eyes. He took a step backwards and violently shook his head. “Power… Too much power! This will be your end!” he screamed before sprinting away.

I collapsed to the ground, crawling over to William’s body. The dragon had already laid next to him, placing a gentle paw on his chest. I could’ve sworn I saw a tear escape her eyes. I gently dusted his face, my tears splashing on him. They’d taken him from me. All over a dragon. One dragon.

She picked him up in his claw and let out a roar before flying off. I let out a sigh and stared up at the sky as rain started to fall. We were on our own now. I had to continue William’s task. I had to get the dragon back to her own kind and away from those that would harm her. I had to protect her from this world, for my brother.