Friday, 7 April 2017

Dragon Diaries - F is for Femke - 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

F is for Femke

Her mother always said that Femke was hatched a warrior, scrambling over her brother and sister and breathing her first fire over the edge of the nest.

Mothers are never wrong.

As soon as she had been old enough, Femke had enlisted in the Air Corps and she had risen through the ranks swiftly. Some said it was because she was a hind-walker, but no-one would say that to her face and anyone in her command would have burned the person who said it.  For those taking orders from her, Femke was the strictest, but fairest officer they had ever worked for. No-one knew much about her background, she was not one for socialising, even with fellow officers, but everyone knew she was a stickler for discipline and the rules.

~
Alone Time

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When she heard the lift doors slide back, Femke turned from the hydroponics balcony view, her brows knotting at the interruption. She straightened to her full height, looking down over her snout as she recognised the single stripe of a junior ensign. He was a short, somewhat skinny bluescale and the plain black box floating in front of him shivered as his mental hold wavered when he recognised his ship’s captain.

“Ma’am!” he snapped to attention, his back and front heels coming smartly together respectively.

“Ensign, you wanted me?” Femke asked crisply.

“Erm…” the young one looked like a kit caught in beam light, his eyes darting left and right even as he remained bolt upright.

“Well, spit it out, Ensign, I don’t have all night,” she prompted.

“No, no, Ma’am, sorry to disturb you,” came the stammered reply.

“Then what are you doing in the garden at 4am, Ensign?”

Under Femke’s hard gaze the junior squirmed at that question, the muscles in his jaw flexing as he ground his teeth. It was all a little pathetic, so Femke pushed once more, “Well?”

The young one suddenly deflated, his attention sagging and his snout drooping and he dropped his eyes to the floor.

“I-I’m lost, Ma’am,” he replied, tone defeated.

“A junior should only be working day shift, where are you going at this hour?” Femke barely stopped herself from sighing at the hang dog figure in front of her; she did roll her eyes and relax a little.

“I have to deliver this parcel to deck 11b, room 13a,” he replied and sounded like he was on the verge of tears, “but I’ve been to decks 11 and 12 and I can’t find the lift to deck 11a.”

“Ensign!” Femke barked in order to avert the tears; it worked, the young one straightened up again, blinking hard. “Ensign,” she repeated and softened just a smidgen, “this is deck 12, you would agree?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” he returned, clearly unsure of himself now.

“And you have scoured all the lifts from this deck to 11, yes?”

He nodded, brows lifting in question.

“And how long have you been on my ship?”

“2 days, Ma’am?” he really sounded confused now.

“Then what can you conclude from this unsuccessful errand?”

Femke watched as the light dawned in those young eyes, but she would not let herself smile at the relief she also saw lighting up the young dragon.

“That I’ve been pranked, Ma’am,” he concluded, his voice flat, but knowing.

“Them goodnight, Ensign,” Femke dismissed and turned back to the hydroponics.

“Goodnight, Ma’am,”  the much happier sound came and shortly the sound of lift doors announced solitude.

“Were we ever that young?” Jayce’s voice slipped into Femke’s mind and she felt her brow lift.

She did not turn her head as she felt him settle beside her, she just kept gazing out over the plants that kept the ship’s atmosphere alive.

“You would have been the one sending that poor lad out on his search,” she replied with a snort. “And anyway, you still are that young.”

“Yes, but I have the benefit of being deceased,” Jayce replied, buoyant as always nonetheless.

Femke glanced across at her best friend: he always looked so real, so solid, but he always looked the same too, his scales small and shining, eyes gold like the sun, swagger always there, just like that night. She turned away again as her heart hurt at that thought.

“Such a stupid prank, that boy needs his sleep, not a night getting lost on my ship,” she tutted.

“But now he’ll return to his bunk with a tale of meeting Captain Femke in hydroponics and being sent away with a flea in his ear - he’ll dine out on that one for a while,” Jayce countered with a laugh.

“Did you ever take anything seriously, I forget?” Femke laughed as well, her shoulders relaxing as Jayce’s company chased away the long day.

“Only you, my love,” he replied, his voice rich with the burr that Femke had fallen for so many years ago.

“I miss you, love,” she admitted as the hapless young ensign made her nostalgic.

“And I miss you,” Jayce said quietly, “I miss your upturned brow. I miss your quick laugh. I miss your sense of fun.”

“Never again, Jayce, I promised you then, never would I let something so foolish happen on my watch,” Femke whispered her vow over the garden.

“I don’t want your promise, love.”

She turned and glared at Jayce’s open expression. He tipped his head to one side and blinked. She didn’t have to ask.

“I want you to forgive yourself,” he told her quietly.

“It was my fault,” the guilt came welling up from the place Femke normally kept it safe and tears stung her eyes.

“It was an accident, we were mucking about,” Jayce countered smoothly, his brow lifting in a happy-sad way as he held Femke’s attention.

“If I hadn’t....” she began the old confession, but the words didn’t form.

Jayce waited for the gasp of breath that replaced the admission and then requested, “No more regret, love, please, not for me.”

“But…” she began again. “If…” the guilt would not come out, instead she let out a sob. “I want you back.”

Jayce watched Femke begin to cry, always just a little way off, even when he was right beside her, and once the tears began, they would not stop. The loss, the guilt, the hurt all burst out of her and the world went hazy. She blinked at Jayce, but the vision of him stayed out of focus.

“Don’t go,” she begged, it was too soon.

He maintained that happy-sad look and shrugged.

“I’ll see you again, love,” he promised as slowly he faded from view.

Femke turned back to the hydroponics bay sweeping away from her, gasping back her tears: she was a captain, this kind of behaviour wouldn’t do.

“Let go,” the words whispered in her mind and, for once, she kept on crying.


~

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20 comments:

  1. Gotta watch those hind walkers, but shhhh, we don't say that outloud. Don't mess with this dragon.
    Discarded Darlings - Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awww that poor Ensign! Bullying is terrible.
    I hope Femke manages to forgive herself.

    Anna

    ReplyDelete
  3. Poor Ensign :( She sounds like a really interesting character though. I'd love to know what happened to make her feel so guilty!

    Believe In Fairy Stories: Theme - Folklore & Fairy Tales

    ReplyDelete
  4. So sad - you made me cry.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - Shapeshifters and Werewolves

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Sophie - poor old Ensign - chasing an unknown level - glad Femke managed to help him ... and in the process help herself ... cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/f-is-for-feral-goats.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would not like to be the colleagues who sent that ensign on the wild goose chase if Femke finds out who they are.

      Delete
  6. Hmm... I think there's a lot more story here. This is not just a dragon sleeping in a cave. There's a whole world here waiting to get out.

    F - Mary Agnes Fleming

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    Replies
    1. It's a very fledgling world, but it's growing on me :)

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  7. OK, there is so much more I want to know about the Dragon Air Force and what happened between Femke and Jayce. This definitely comes across as a snippet from a great book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I shall have to think on it. :)

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  8. Dang it, I tried to comment yesterday, but goggle was being 'I don't exist' all day because of the weather. Sigh.

    This made me sad for her. Guilt over her lost love.

    The ensign will surely get his own back and haze the next new member in his time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. she is hanging onto her guilt and it makes her sad.

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  9. Intriguing story there between Femke and Jayce. Lovely and sad. And the poor Ensign, but I'm guessing hazing is pretty standard for the new guys. ;)

    A to Z 2017: Magical and Medicinal Herbs

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    Replies
    1. Yaeh, hazing is something he should have guessed after a few tries to find that nonexistent floor :)

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Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear from you. :)