Thursday, 27 April 2017

Dragon Diaries - W is for Wemba - A to Z Challenge 2017 #AtoZChallenge

Dragon Diaries

elcome to my contribution to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2017:


So, what does that mean? Well, each day, I'm going to tell you about a dragon - a dragon inspired by a name that I generated randomly using a name generator (I haven't looked up the derivation of any of these names, I have just run with how they make me feel, their sound on the tongue).

I'll tell you all about my Dragon of the Day, and share some flash fic about their lives. Any genre, any character, any look - prepare to be surprised and (I hope) entertained by my dragonly inspirations :).

~
Previous Posts

W is for Wemba

Wemba lives in a cave behind a waterfall. Most people would be excused from not noticing this cave, because its entrance is a mere 2 inches high and half an inch wide, which makes a very spacious home for a dragon who is, himself, only half an inch in height. He loves his home, where the entrance is curved just so that the water cannot come in, but that is filled with the soft rushing of the waterfall to sing him to sleep.

Being a very small dragon, almost everything is bigger than him, and therefore Wemba is not very brave. He prefers to run away and hide from big people and loud things like storms. He would do that all the time if it weren’t for his best friend, Asha, who is almost as small as him, being a fairy, but for whom an inch makes all the difference. Wemba thinks Asha is fantastic, but he does wish that sometimes she’d not be quite so brave.
~
Desperate Measures

Wittegen Press
FREE
Amazon | Other
“Come on, this way,” Asha called back over her shoulder to Wemba and ducked round a tree and into the thicket.

Wemba slowed down: he didn’t like dark places and the thicket was very dark for a dragon like him. Asha was always going off into dark, or big and always scary places, and he wondered if she would mind if he waited outside in the sunshine. Yet, as he glanced around at the nice way the sun lit the flowers in the clearing, a hand and arm zipped out from between the leaves, grabbed him by the front leg and hauled him right into the thicket. He squealed and closed his eyes tight.

Asha laughed and, letting go of his leg, elbowed him and urged, “Just take a look.”

It took another little nudge, but then Wemba opened one eye. Then he opened the other one and gasped, because the thicket wasn’t dark at all. The sunshine streamed down through the overlapping leaves, dappling the forest floor, which shone back up like jewels.

“Elfstones,” Asha explained as they both flew down to the earth to take a closer look at the rocks, which were buried in the ground except for the small points that glinted in the sunlight.

In some places, rainbows cascaded out from one side of the crystals, making the still, quiet environment even prettier.

“How did you find this place?” Wemba asked, dancing through one of the rainbows.

“I came exploring,” Asha shrugged and landed next to one of the stones, the exposed point of which was nearly as big as she was.

She folded her wings, crossed her arms and leant against the clear surface with one shoulder.

“What are they for?”

“They glitter,” Asha replied as if that explained everything and leapt up into the beams of light.

Wemba laughed and watched as Asha flitted around in the air, her dark wings shimmering in the light, singing a sweet little tune. Wemba settled down at the edge of the thicket to watch; this way and that, up and down, Asha darted around the lovely world she had found. It was lovely and peaceful and Wemba relaxed.

He hadn’t realised his eyes had closed until Asha’s scream forced them open again. Wemba jumped to his feet, heart hammering as, above him, he saw their safe thicket ripped open and a large human hand gripped around Asha’s legs.

“Told ya, told ya that was fairy singing,” the owner of the hand crowed and Asha screamed again as she was yanked out to be displayed to whoever was with him.

“It’s a midnight black,” a woman’s voice gushed. “It’s beautiful. Can i keep it?”

Calling Asha an ‘it’ made Wemba mad, but it was her cries of fear that cut right through him. He’d never heard her scream like that before, she was always the bold one, who laughed at him when he squealed. Yet. now her terror made his scales stand on end, and Wemba felt something rise out of his chest he had never felt before. He was not going to let this happen. No human would take his friend.

The fury and indignation pulsed around Wemba’s body and it found a magic he had never used before. Protective instinct took over and he called the magic to his will. He snarled at the world, demanding it listen and his anger erupted. Power pushed outwards from every cell. As his world whited out, Wemba put his head back and roared. The sound split the forest, deep, long and powerful. It reverberated in Wemba’s head as well, and, as the world came back, he found twigs and leave flying left and right and humans falling down before him.

One, a short, fat creature in shorts and a stained t-shirt dropped to his knees, eyes wide, jaw slack, and he let go of Asha, who flew up to hover beside Wemba’s neck. Wemba had lowered his head down to fix the quaking human with his fiercest stare before he fully realised his head was now very big and his had a body to match. Still, he was too angry for that to matter; he snorted smoked at the quivering wreck the fairy catcher had become. The man’s eyes watered with the smoke and his terror that had a moment ago been Asha’s, and Wemba held that for long seconds. The woman, a shadow in his periphery, was flat on the floor and whimpering.

Wemba knew when enough was enough: he put his head back, threw flames into the air and roared once more. Both humans screamed, scrabbled to their feet and ran.

Fairy and dragon watched the humans disappear through the trees, and Wemba felt his ire melting away along with the threat. He breathed out a sigh of relief and he felt the magic begin to recede. The world shimmered this time and it felt like a million butterflies flitted in his stomach, but then, everything returned to its normal giant size.

Wemba looked up at the blades of grass he was standing in, wobbled and sank against Asha as she grabbed him. She hugged him closed, still trembling herself.

“Thank you, thank you,” she whispered, her voice unsteady.

“My pleasure,” Wemba managed, sitting down as he finally had time to consider what he had done. "I don't know what happened."

"The big, brave dragon inside of you came out when we needed him," Asha told him firmly.


~

For information about Sophie's books, sign up for The Wittegen Press Newsletter:

We'll send you details of book releases, competitions and other news from our authors, BUT we WON'T spam you, or pass your details on to anyone else.
Wittegen Press

We will also give you 2 FREE ebooks just for signing up.

* indicates required

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Dragon Diaries - V is for Valentin - A to Z Challenge 2017 #AtoZChallenge

Dragon Diaries

elcome to my contribution to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2017:


So, what does that mean? Well, each day, I'm going to tell you about a dragon - a dragon inspired by a name that I generated randomly using a name generator (I haven't looked up the derivation of any of these names, I have just run with how they make me feel, their sound on the tongue).

I'll tell you all about my Dragon of the Day, and share some flash fic about their lives. Any genre, any character, any look - prepare to be surprised and (I hope) entertained by my dragonly inspirations :).

~
Previous Posts

V is for Valentin

It’s tough being a Love Dragon when you just don’t feel the cupid groove. Valentin had tried really hard when his scales had turned the burnished red that set him apart from the crowd: he had gone to cupid school and learnt how to breath the fire of passion instead of his normal fire; he’d spent months practising how to read compatibility auras; he’d even changed his name by deed poll to Valentin from Bob, which had been, frankly, inappropriate for his new role.
~
A Little Encouragement

Wittegen Press
FREE
Amazon | Other
Valentin plodded into the smokey bar, found a mat in a dark corner, turned around a couple of times and then flopped down onto it. He put his head on his claws and huffed out his despair.

"'allo, Bob,” Mick the bardragon greeted as he plodded over,

“It’s Valentin,” he moaned back.

“Nah, you ain’t that poncy, mate,” Mick sniffed and then snorted smoke for good measure.

“Flaming sambuca,” Valentin ignored his friend, who just shrugged, turned round and shuffled his saggy arse back to the bar.

Valentin was going to sulk some more, but another voice slipped warmly into his ear and made him sit up straighter.

“Hello, lovely.”

Honey Seeker sunk gracefully down beside Valentin, her beautiful rose and red scales making the bar look even scruffier. She nodded at Valentin and slowly blinked her greeting. He swallowed hard at his ex-tutor, because her aura was such that she never failed to raise his pulse.

“Teething problems with the posting?” she carried on softly, but in a way that made him want to answer.

“More like a root canal,” he replied despondently, shaking his head and staring at the matting that had seen better days. “I was meant to be inspiring the first flush of young love in this human girl over in Greenwich, and I made myself invisible, I walked up to her when she was chatting with the boy of her dreams, at least, that’s what I thought her aura was saying, and I blew the passion fire over them both.” He heaved in a sigh. “She hiccuped, he looked like he was going to pass out and then his boyfriend came dashing over to catch him. It was all a big mess.”

Honey chuckled smoothly and made Valentin look up at her. She was waggling her head as she reassured, “If you got it wrong, the effect would only last a few minutes, no harm done.”

“But-,” Valetin was going to object, but that’s when a flaming sambuca in a metal bucket was dumped in front of him.

Mick grunted at him and then placed a smaller, shallower bowl of something bubbly down before Honey.

“Thanks Mick,” she said for both of them and the bardragon wandered off to other parts of his pub.

“It’s like that all the time, though,” Valentin carried on where he had left off and he knew he was whining, but it had been a long day of similar disasters. “I don’t think I can read people at all. Even my name’s fake.”

Honey didn’t say anything immediately, and when Valentin looked up from his doldrums, she was regarding him closely. He could see the thought behind her eyes, and so he just waited.

“I’m going to tell you a secret and this is just between you and me,” she leant in and whispered silkily.

Valentin nodded sincerely.

“My name was Mildred Tumblebee,” Honey told him simply. “I changed it when I was a trainee like you.”

Valentin’s jaw slackened as the confidence hit home. He had no idea what to say to the best Love Dragon he had ever known admitting to not being perfect.

“And it didn’t help me one iota,” she carried on, shaking her crest and laughing before she settled and explained, “What helped me was practice. It took time for me to master all the skills and I made mistakes just like you.”

Valentin found himself shaking his head as that idea did not compute.

“Oh yes,” she replied. “So get back out there and keep on practising.”

Valentin stood up, now un-flaming sambuca forgotten.

“You think I can?” he checked, because he was still unsure.

“Bet my wings on it,” Honey nodded firmly. “Off with you.”

Valentin snorted a little smoke, he couldn’t help it as the secret gave him a little more faith in himself.

“Okay,” he agreed, and Honey blinked encouragingly.

Puffing himself up, he turned to the door and, with a final nod of thanks to Honey, he strode out to try again.

*

Honey watched her young student head towards the door, but turned to look at Mick as he sat down beside her, slurping up the abandoned sambuca. When he had finished, he sucked the remaining liquid through his teeth and then checked, “You give that one the Mildred phooey?”

“He just needed a little reassurance,” Honey replied, shrugging her wings.

“You think that one is gonna make it then?” Mick carried on with offhand curiosity.

“In a few years, about the time he decides Bob is a good enough name, then he’ll be a good cupid,” Honey nodded.

“I keep telling him Valentin’s a poncy name,” Mick finished and then burped.


~

For information about Sophie's books, sign up for The Wittegen Press Newsletter:

We'll send you details of book releases, competitions and other news from our authors, BUT we WON'T spam you, or pass your details on to anyone else.
Wittegen Press

We will also give you 2 FREE ebooks just for signing up.

* indicates required