Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Dragon Diaries - J is for Jani - 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 :).

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Previous Posts

J is for Jani

No-one knows Jani’s real name, they all call him Scar. That’s his street name. He runs the Wildfires, the most vicious street gang in the Downtown area. If there’s a mark to extort, or a building to burgle, you’ll find the Wildfires behind it, and they’ll leave nothing but scorched earth behind them.

Scar took over the gang from his mentor, T, who made the mistake of thinking he had his second’s loyalty. He owes his second scar, the one over his breastbone to the fight that won him the leadership, but no-one knows where he got the first one, the long raised slice down his face and a missing eye . He’s a big dragon, his crimson scales hard and battered from his many confrontations, and he rules by fear, because no-one can beat him.

~
Catching Up

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“Please, Scar, I won’t do it again, I promise,” the human dropped to his knees, hands out and eyes full of terror.

Scar lowered his large muzzle and blew smoke down over this pathetic excuse for a villain.

“You tried to rip me off, Kutz,” he snarled, curling his lip to show off one long, pointed canine.

“I’m sorry, I was high, I didn’t know what I was doing. Please, I’ll pay you back - triple, Dude, I swear,” Kutz begged for his drugged up life, but the punk couldn’t even focus on Scar.

“No-one rips off the Wildfires, no-one takes my product,” Scar pronounced his verdict with a short snort of flame.

The junkie shrunk away and screamed, a short, pathetic sound! The cry became a whimper and he huddled down on the floor, his dirty parka flowing out around his skinny body.

“Only one way to make sure loser like you know who’s boss, Kutz,” Scar chuckled as the prospect of a burn cowered in front of him.

“No, please, please, Scar. I’ll do anything,” the kid whined, face buried in the floor, hands over his head.

Scar took in a deep breath, filling his chest and feeding his fire. Kutz blubbered below him, the toerag: he was going to enjoy this.

“Jani.”

Disbelief made Scar throw his head up and he scanned the figures in the smoky room: he had not heard that name, nor that voice for many years.

“Boss?” Garda, his second stepped up to his shoulder and followed his attention.

“Where is she?” Scar demanded of his lieutenant.

“Who, Boss?” the other dragon asked in his deep, dumb way.

“What has happened to you, Jani?” the voice asked again, sad, maybe a little disappointed, and old emotions took Scra by surprise.

He didn’t like the childish guilt and the pain that came with it, so he snorted defensively, still looking for her, even though it could not be.

“Show yourself,” he ordered, stepping over the piece of dirt on the floor, checking the shadows for her.

A laugh drifted over from the dark entrance and Scar’s focus snapped to the figure who strode in, hands in her pockets, hood draped over her bare head. Her skin glistened in the low room lights, possibly makeup, but Scar knew better, he recognised the damaged skin, damaged by fire.

“Hello, Jani.”

She came to a halt a few feet away, apparently relaxed, but Scar recognised the cast of her eyes, the attention that took in everything in one glance.

“Go away,” he tried to order, but his voice wavered.

“Now, now, Jani, is that anyway to treat me?” she tutted, but her hands came out of her pockets, sparks of blue power flowing over the stiff, shiny skin.

Those who were sensible began to back off. Scar ignored them.

“It’s taken me a long time to find you, Jani,” she told him, tone almost warm.

Scar’s only response was to draw in two deep lungfuls of air and to feel his fire growing.

“You took me by surprise once, Jani, but you know what I taught you, never twice,” she warned, the sparks becoming arcs of light jumping between her palms.

“Get out,” he tried not to be afraid of the magic, but the tremble was involuntary.

“Oh Jani, you can do better than that,” she smiled at him over the evil between her hands, “I prepared you for greatness.”

“I am great!” Scar snapped back, rising to his full height and following up his retort with a hiss.

She laughed again and shook her head.

“A dirty little street gang - really Jani, I trained you to be a king,” she pouted this time, momentarily whimsical.

“I don’t want to be a king!” Jani yelled back, but the power had gone from his voice.

Fear, guilt, pain, all welled up through Jani and, as she raised her hands towards him, he attacked, fire blasting from his throat in time with a desperate roar.

*

Sergeant Hardwick looked up at the smouldering building and sniffed: he smelt burning dragon scales, that was difficult to do. However, his senses were distracted by a loud complaining and he turned to see his partner, DC Zephyr hauling a skinny kid along by his hood that was hanging out of Zephyr’s rather large mouth.

“Kutzy!” Hardwick recognised the soot-stained punk as he was dragged closer. “Now, no-one else is talking, but I bet you can tell me what happened here.”

“She sent Scar nuts, called him some sappy name and he went psycho,” Kutz began jabbering. “They went at each other, fire and weird shit everywhere. The pair of ‘em, just disappeared in a ball of blue light.”

Hardwick grimaced at the familiar junkie.

“Nice one, Kutzy, what y’bin takin?”


~

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23 comments:

  1. A street gang of dragons, now there's a scary thought. Arsonists, every one of them. Very aptly named. :)
    Discarded Darlings - Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction

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  2. Poor Jani, I like his sappy name. ;) I guess we know where the first scar came from then... Good story!

    A to Z 2017: Magical and Medicinal Herbs

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    1. He is definitely a product of his past.

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  3. Love it - though now I want to know if they're still alive or have disintegrated into nothing. Even the leader of a street gang has so many complex emotions. Fabulous story.

    Pamela @ Highlands Days of Fun

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it - y'know, at this point, I'm not sure what happened to them, the muse has not told me yet :)

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  4. Hi Sophie - I enjoyed that ... cleverly done and held my attention ... and as Pam says I could happily read more ... cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/j-is-for-jellicles.html

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    Replies
    1. Thank you :) Now if I did write more I'd have to decide if this is a redemption story, or if Scar/Jani is an antagonist central character - I will have to think on it.

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  5. Wow. Gang dragon. Now there is something I would not go up against... :D

    The Multicolored Diary: WTF - Weird Things in Folktales

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    1. Human with gun, dragon with fire - wouldn't want to tackle either!

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  6. I'm so impressed with this theme. The dialogue here is through the roof! Very creative. (I love random generators when it comes to fiction. It pushes us in a direction and forces our creativity to carry the load.)

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    Eli@CoachDaddy

    J is for Justification for the Blog Life

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    Replies
    1. Thank you :) You're right, random can force us to think creatively.

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  7. wow. so complex and sad. scar reminds me of another scar from full metal alchemist. he was a product of his past too.

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    Replies
    1. I'm never seen full metal alchemist, but I always thought I might want to.

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  8. Gripping story. Great tension here.

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  9. I've always loved street thug dragons, I don't know why. Something about their majesty and power, and yet dealing in petty crime. Great story.

    I once ran a D&D game where the villain turned out to be a large black dragon running a drug trade. It was kind of ridiculous.

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    Replies
    1. It is an interesting juxtaposition.

      A large black criminal dragon - I'd be scared :)

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  11. It appears Jani got hos comeuppance! Well written.
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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    1. That he did, but what that means, and who she is....

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  12. Owh but who is Jani really? And who is that woman? Sounds like a lot of interesting backstory to this one!

    Anna

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