Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Shadow of a Champion Chapter 1 Part 1

My friend recently published some of her writing on her blog (really good by the way, if you're reading this) and so I decided to follow suit. This is a book I'm writing, the start of the first chapters. Helpful comments are--well, helpful! Please tell me what you think!

I was a child again. Before me, stretched out between the silver stands and the rocky mountain peak, was a large brown field. Rows and rows of men, women and children stood in the stands and cheered. Ear-piercing roars and rumbles emanated from the steel door in the mountain side and tongues of blue flame fluttered through the cracks.
            What was I doing here? For a matter of fact, what were any of these people doing here? Nobody had been to a dragon-training for years and I knew it only too well: I was a dragon trainer. Something seemed familiar about this scene.
            Before I could remember the steel doors rumbled open and my father ran out. His tapr flapped wildly in the icy wind, slightly singed with fire. The wild crowd let out a loud cheer and he beamed up at them with pride, the way he used to look at me when I was younger. That was so long ago I had almost forgotten that look. Wrapped around his arm was a coil of silver rope, and with the pride and fearlessness he swirled around to face the doors.
            Two huge green eyes, each the size of a man, glittered at us from out of the darkness. The crowd hushed, whether from fear or from excitement I could not tell. I myself was gripping at the rail until my knuckles had turned white and my head began to feel dizzy. Suddenly—so suddenly it left me breathless—I remembered what was happening.
            I wanted to scream out at my father, to tell him to run, to get away, but my mouth was clamped shut by an invisible force and I could do nothing but watch in terror as the eyes immerged out of the darkness, along with a huge, beautiful, powerful—dragon.
            His scales were bright green like the sky in the winter. Fifty foot long with a whiskered face and fir along his underside, he was an impressive and fearful sight. His fangs alone were twice as long as my father, but that didn't seem to daunt him.
            Infuriated at his captivity and infuriated further by the roaring crowd, the dragon attacked the only thing he could: my father. The long blue flames flashed out of his mouth and burnt the ground where my father had been standing, but Father, his reflexes faster than lightning, had rushed forward under the beast's forepaws. He threw the rope over the dragon's back and grabbed the other end. By now the dragon had felt the rope tighten around his middle and began to scratch at his underside, his long white claws barely missing his target. My father held on to the ends of the ropes and pulled himself flat against the beast's belly where he could not be reached, then began to work his way upwards, climbing smoothly over the sides, sliding past the wings, until he sat upright on the dragon. Nearly blinded with rage, the creature did the only thing he had left to do—he flew.
            Gusts of wind hit the crowds full in the face, knocking them back. I fell into my chair and opened my eyes to see the dragon soaring in the sky, circling around like a giant falcon ready to attack. Finally I had found my voice. Screaming with all of the volume I could muster, I tried to warn my father above me. It was no good. It was too late. Already I could see him losing his grip. The crowd let out a gasp as the dragon dipped forward, my father slid off of his neck, down towards the ground, closer, closer—I kept screaming, I didn't even know what I was saying anymore. I closed my eyes tightly.

I sat up in bad, screaming. My lungs felt like they would explode, I was breathing so hard. I looked around me in bewilderment.
            The crowds had disappeared. I was safely inside my house, the heat escaping my body into the cold air. Around me, familiar belongings met my eyes and comforted me: my green tapr in a pile on the floor, my collection of dragon scales lining the wall, my boots seeming to grin at me by the door. I was home. Father was alive. And I could not determine if that was a good thing.

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