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Friday, February 10, 2012

#FridayFlash: Dragon Rider (Accidental Sorcerers Season 2)

Update May 15 2012: This post has been getting a lot of traffic lately, I think from people looking for the dragon picture. While you’re here, why not check out the story? This one is only five parts, but the next adventure has begun too. End update.

This story was inspired by Eric J Krause’s Writing prompt #92: “A tiny dragon, no bigger than a hummingbird, befriends you.”

This story is more or less a sequel to Accidental Sorcerers, but is intended to stand on its own.



Accidental Sorcerers, Season 2
Part 1: Dragon Rider

Source: Webweavers
Sura twirled in the sunbeam, angling through the trees, until she stumbled and fell. Mik cried out and ran to her, kneeling in the cool leaves.

“I’m all right,” she said. “I just got dizzy.”

“Where did you see that dance?”

“A troupe from the Northern Reach came downriver last summer. They danced and played music in town. Some of the women did this dance, but they had long ribbons that wrapped around them as they turned. I don’t know how they did it without falling down!”

Mik smiled. “Are you sure you’re all right?” She nodded. “Good.” He embraced her, she embraced him, and nothing more was said for several minutes.

At last, Sura nudged him. “We can’t be too long,” she whispered. “We need to gather the herbs.”

Mik sighed, but knew she was right. He stood and helped her to her feet, although she needed no help, and they began walking. “What are we looking for again? I was only half-paying attention.” The woods were quiet; patches of snow stood in shaded places and there was still a nip in the air.

“You need to focus.”

“I know. But it was hard, thinking about coming out here with you, all by ourselves!”

Sura laughed and produced the list. “We probably won’t find all of them right away, but these are the ones we need.”

“Kingsalve? That’s a healing plant, right?”

“It has magical properties, too.”

“Oh. Right. I’ve been studying herbs so much, it all runs together after a while.”

Sura took his hand. “I guess the mentor wanted you to be ready for spring. The first plants to come up in spring are the strongest —”

“I remember: because they have the powers of all four elements.”

“See?” She squeezed his hand. “You remember some of it, anyway.”

“Isn’t that flameweed?” Mik pointed at a patch of bright red, off to one side. “We called it ‘poor man’s pepper’ at home, but everybody uses it in spring until the traders come. It’s coming up a little early this year.”

“You can use it for pepper?” Sura grinned. “That’s good to know. We’re almost out of pepper too. I had to stretch our supply, because we only bought enough for two. But it’s coming up at the normal time.”

“Then spring comes a little earlier here than in Lacota.” Mik crouched in front of the bright red plants. “You let it dry in a sunny window, then you can crumble it up and use it like pepper. How much do you need?”

“Fill a pouch. Our list has it too. Flameweed is good for fire magic.”

“I — hey!” Mik flinched, and Sura heard a chittering. He spoke softly. “Sura… come see this. But slow.”

Sura knelt next to her fellow apprentice and first love, and gasped. Something that looked like a tiny dragon poked its head over the flameweed, chittering and hissing at them. Its head and long neck were as red as the plants, but its body and wings were streaked with gold. Its underbelly, what they could see of it, was the blue of the sky.

“What is it?” she whispered.

“I don’t know. But I think it’s hurt.” Mik stretched a careful hand toward the creature, ready to jerk away. The thing stood its ground, chittering again. “It’s okay. We won’t hurt you.” He laid his hand, palm down, in front of it. “We just want to see you.”

It sniffed, cheeped, and climbed aboard. Mik winced at the pricking of tiny, sharp claws, but let it get a secure perch before lifting his hand slowly.

“It looks just like a dragon!” Sura breathed. “But it’s so tiny!”

“Is it a dragon?”

“I don’t know. The only dragon I’ve ever seen was the ice dragon that you rode here.” Sura laughed at the memory. “But the mentor will know.”

“It’s hurt, all right.” Mik smiled as it spread its wings, revealing a body no larger than his thumb; one of its wings was twisted and torn. “Maybe it can sit on my shoulder while we find the rest of the herbs.”

Perhaps understanding, it clambered up Mik’s sleeve to his shoulder. It nestled against Mik’s neck, and he snorted. “That tickles!”


“Yes,” said Bailar, exchanging wary looks with the tiny creature on Mik’s shoulder. “It’s a dragon, all right. A Desert Dwarf, if my memory serves. I’ve never heard of one coming this far west, or north. Let alone at this time of year.”

“Where do they come from?”

“A vast desert in the east, called the Ahm a’droog by the natives of the region. That translates rather literally to ‘The Godforsaken.’ How it survived in this cold, or how it was hurt? That I don’t know.”

“Can we help it, then?”

“Certainly, Mik. But know this: dragons have their own agenda. It likely befriended you because you were there in its extremity. Yet it is never wrong to aid a creature that offers no violence.” His mentor smiled. “I named you Mik Dragonrider, since you came seeking my aid on the back of an ice dragon. But now, your name has a double meaning — you yourself have a dragon rider.”

Bailar turned away, and Sura took Mik’s hand. “Come inside now,” said the mentor. “It needs warmth above all else. It will likely sleep by — or perhaps in — the fireplace until it’s healed.”

continued…

30 comments:

  1. A fantasy novel grows here methinks...

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  2. I snorted at "flameweed." Ohhh, Fantasy worlds, ours are all so wacky. I've got hogbears in mine. And Eric's prompt is adorable.

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  3. Umm, in my fantasy world, I have meme-constructs that exist as expressions of physical force.

    But I loved this little dragon.

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  4. Mmmm...and I have fluffy monsters called Miss Pinky. What doed that say about me? Loved this Larry and I was completely involved in the story; I liked the interaction between the young lovers and the chat about herbs and their uses. You build your fantasy world gently and effectively.

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  5. Hi all!

    Peter, it's growing already as a collection of short stories and flash. I haven't figured out a story arc yet though.

    John, I see flameweed as akin to wild garlic — it comes up in very early spring, but it's red. We all have to do something to remind people they're not at home, right?

    Tony, good to know you understand. :-) Some of that sounds like the wind personified!

    Flying scribbler, I remember Miss Pinky with fondness. That was a great story.

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  6. I too like the fire theme that's running through the story, sounds like such a cute dragon too, and I like how you flipped the dragon rider thing around.

    I think he made a very good little friend there. I wonder how big it will grow if it's not fully grown already?

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  7. Great fun! I was so drawn in I was surprised to see the ending. I agree, this is a world that needs further exploration!

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  8. Nice to see a little more of this world. =)

    Dusk has leercats, grabbits, bullhorns and more. Nearly-but-not-quite our world is a fun game to play... ^_^

    Wouldn't mind reading more of this particular plotline too, if you're inclined, FAR. =)

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  9. This is a lovely piece of fantasy, although I felt it was unfinished, just the first chapter, now I want to turn the page and find out what happens next!

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  10. I agree with the above, I am awaiting more. The novel awaits. Well done, Far!

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  11. I adore dragons! Especially ones that sleep in fires. LOL It needs a second part though - what happens to the dragon?

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  12. Yay! We get every reprise of these two lovely characters. I like how you toyed with the dragonriders.

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  13. Craig, I'm glad you noticed the "flip." I think the Desert Dwarves don't get much larger than Mik's new friend.

    Aaron, you and just about everyone else — I really want to know what happens next too, and I'll share it when I find out. I have more of their adventures written out, but this falls before those…

    John, Helen, Boran… see above. :-) I need a plot arc, but I've got maybe the first 12000 words done.

    Sonia, he's a cute little guy. I know he'll have some fun charming the apprentices. But dragons have their own agendas, and we're all trying to figure out what his is.

    Aidan, glad you liked it — Mik & Sura are a kind of favorite pair for me, I try to go back and write them when I need some brain-break time.

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  14. Now that you've teased your readers with the start of a good yarn, what happens next ? Will the dragon grow into a colossal, fire-breathing Saurapod and turn on Mik and Sura, and then go after Bailar? You would risk loosing a couple of protagonists, but what a great lesson on the dangers of bringing wild animals home ;-).

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  15. A nice gentle and easy-on-the-eye story, I have a feeling the little guy could be quite mischievous though. I do like the double meaning of Dragon rider too, a nice detail.

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  16. LOL, Rachel, that would be fun — but would create some massive continuity issues with some other stories I've written! Actually, I now know how the dragon got there… but it may be a part 3 for the resolution.

    Thanks, Steve. The next part will have at least a little mischief!

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  17. This had a fable-style charm to it, loved the tiny dragon, or is it a winged lizard? Definitely a great premise for a novel. Wonderful!

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  18. Yes, this defintely has the makings of something. Like the idea that something violent will change tack when treated with humanity.

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  19. I like the innocence of Mik and Sura. And I would love to have a tiny dragon.

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  20. Thanks, Carrie! I think what's coming next will be fun too.

    Virginia, dragons are intelligent — they won't bite the hand that offers rescue. Right away. ;-)

    Tim, Mik doesn't always feel innocent, but that's the story after this one…

    Thanks, Anne — I'm trying to remember if Daughter Dearest has a little glass dragon upstairs. I might have to go look…

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  21. I want one!!!!!!!

    Loved this. I'm a sucker for dragons.

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  22. Love the feeling of being dropped in to this wonderful world you've created, Larry. Super stuff.

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  23. These two seem like a cute couple. Great job with the prompt!

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  24. Icy, thanks much. Imaging having one that could live in your purse & chomp anyone who tries to put their mitts where they don't belong. ;-)

    Thanks, Jack. You can click link up top to see their origins.

    Chuck, they're cute, mostly. Kind of an accidental YA kind of story.

    Off to see if I can put the finishing touches on this one!

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  25. Please, sir, may I have more.

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  26. I imagined a much smaller friendlier dragon than the one in the picture, like say, the 'small animation of a green dragon breathing fire...', from the same source (p3). Just a thought.

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  27. Excellent story! Glad you could use my prompt. The little dragon was a cute lil' guy.

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  28. I remember these characters from earlier. Such great potential for more. Off to read the next installment.
    Adam B @revhappiness

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  29. I love little dragons! I want one! This is shaping up nicely!

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