It’s about that time again! Time for me to share an excerpt from my work in progress, Dawn of The Dragon. I promise I have not forgotten about writing an addition to the short story added weeks ago! I have been spending much of my time in revision mode. As always, your thoughts matter. Comment your suggestions. Read beyond the excerpt for some important updates!
“I am not sure how much longer we can hold.” Jimsen cries.
Arrows and flaming catapults rain down on us as only the second ship manages to dock. A dream alarmed Kalera, so she readied everyone to bear arms as we neared Grayler.
“I thought they were against Ager.” Ton cries.
“They are. Something else is at play here.” I announce to my son as we reach the shore.
About 100 Enforcers pounce down.
Cutting down as many as we can, but we begin to tire as arrows impale the eye sockets of at least five Enforcers. Molly and Kooloan have made it to shore. Arrow after arrow forwards, but there are just too many to best them all, but a strong wind engulfs several Enforcers.
Jessup and about twenty younglings break them in half.
With their powers forcing many of them back, the others made it to shore. Jimsen and his sister tires so they cloak themselves. The ships are bombarded and forced beneath the Green Sea.
Hellfire falls as younglings grab hands, close their eyes, and in unison repeat “Lass!” The boulders break apart midair as Micah and Jessup join them.
The ground begins to rise as Enforcers lift trap doors grabbing several of the younglings below. Two women appear in the sand clouds waving long staffs towards us.
Micah and Jessup break their bond with the younglings to face them. Being in the clutches of Ager taught Jessup a great many things. All Shellions have a weakness. He just needed to find theirs.
Before long Hiddard appears, nearing his wife. He manages to save a few bows and arrows from the ship. They fire, giving Jessup and Micah the distraction needed to approach the Shellions. Wave after wave does not bring them down.
“The staffs!” Hiddard yells.
He is right. They are blood Shellions whose only power lies in their staffs.
The Shellions raise the staffs, crossing them. As the sticks touch, a wall of sand rises and hardens shielding them as they have figured Jessup and Micah’s next move. The Shellions cloak themselves as more and more Enforcers arrive.
Ton and I battle our way to Jessup and Micah. “All we can do is fight like men.” I say.
They nod and draw swords.
Suddenly, the power of a mountain erupting rains down on the beach. Eyeing the sky to see Xavgon unleashing a rage of destruction.
Micah and Jessup take their last strength to sheld us.
Up and down the beach flies Xavgon with our Queen atop him in full armor clutching her sword. Men and women scream as they burn in blue flames while orange and red flames fill the sky blocking out the sun. Kalera eyes the Shellions as they have uncloaked raising their staffs toward her.
Xavgon descends as Kalera screams. “Raygol!”
The Shellions recloak but it is too late because Xavgon has bonded to their staffs.
The staffs explode as the Shellions, with their last strength, shield themselves from Xavgon’s wrath. Within seconds he changes course. Instead of roasting them, his blue flame becomes ice freezing them where they stand.
Xavgon’s fury brings a dust cloud and a rumbling of the earth as he lands.
Kalera slides down to the blood-soaked sand. Black smoke and flames limit visibility, but Ton and I make our way to her. Dropping to our knees, I realize more than magic and brute force was needed during this light. The SG’s mattered but shied in comparison to our Queen and her beast who felt no exhaustion. Without them, we would have perished.
“Rise Donegal and Ton. Are the two of you alright?” She ask.
“Yes my Queen.” I answer.
“And the others?” She inquires.
Xavgon lowers his head towards us, sniffs, and then raises it to the heavens. He lets out a magnificent wind that clears the smoke and extinguishes the flames.
Up ahead in the distance, I see Hiddard on the ground holding someone. We rush to him to see Molly in his arms, blood pouring from her upper torso. Kalera’s hands glow as crimson as she compresses Molly’s wounds. Molly struggles to speak as her teeth chatter and she stutters.
“Donegal you must tell her what Crystal told you. She deserves to know.” She turns to Hiddard. “Thank you for saving me so long ago. I am so sorry about Sundo and Celest. Now, saving their souls is more important. I never say it but I love you.” She cries.
Turning to Kalera, “My Queen it is alright. Rose has more in store for me now. My wounds are too deep even for your magic. Let me go.” She pleads.
“I can’t.” Kalera responds as oceans fall from her eyes.
“You can rid this world of Boilos. Then break the chains of bondage. Free this realm and others from tyrannical rule. Promise me you will always remain good.” She says.
“I promise Molly.” Kalera cries.
Jessup and Micah make their way over after rounding up the younglings and Crab. Jessup falls to the ground.
“I am so sorry Molly.” He cries.
“It is alright. You take of her. All of you. And Xavgon…”
The light has gone from her eyes as she takes her final breath, her pupils dilate.
A sound in the distance alerts them. The gates of Grayler open. Men and women appear holding their flag with the image of the Auroch cattle.
“Forward!” A man yells.
They march towards us. Standing where we stand, they pound their feet into the ground. From behind them, a man without a suit of iron appears.
“Your Grace, I am Lord Meerin and your presence is most welcome. You and your people gave us the advantage needed. Most of the Enforcers beyond our walls have perished. A few, we have taken in chains.” He says.
Looking down then back up to Kalera he says, “You may enter. All of you.” He offers.
“Thank you, my Lord, for your offer. My people are weary from battle and would like to bury our friend.” Kalera says.
“I will give you some time to gather what you need. The gates will remain open until the moon peeks.” He says.
Lord Merrin leads his guards down the beach through their gates.
Kalera kneels down and kisses Molly on her forehead. As she looks up, there is a shock to her chest. She grabs it as Xavgon rushes to her.
“Mother!” He cries.
“I am alright. Please take Molly’s body inside. Can you with the eggs I mean?” She asks.
“Yes.” Xavgon assures.
Jessup and I lean in and help her to her feet. She turns to me.
“Donegal, help Hiddard to place Molly’s body on Xavgon’s claws.”
“Yes my Queen.” I respond.
“You need to rest Kalera.” Jessup says.
But as we move Molly’s body, I notice the Queen walking towards the frozen bodies of the Shellions. Reaching them, she places her hands over the ice.
“Jessup, they are still alive. Find out if we managed to save a cart. Wheel them inside so that they may thaw.” She commands.
By moon rise, all were inside the city walls.
Inside The Walls:
Ferries took Molly’s body to prepare it as I spent time with Hiddard and my son Ton. Moving to a window, I can see Jessup entering the Queen’s chambers.
“I want you to know, I am here for you. I will follow your lead Kalera.” I assure.
She looks upon me scanning from head to toe moving into my space. Lifting her hand and placing it on my forehead, she slowly moves it down to my chin. Looking up into my eyes, she takes my hand placing my arm around her waist. I pull her closer as my eyes glare into hers as my lips meet hers.
Her lips are soft as feathers and her taste as sweet nectar. Passion ignites in both of us as I lift her off her feet.
“Jessup. I love you.” She whispers.
Moving my lips to her neck, I realize she is not speaking of me, but of the other. I immediately cease.
“You love me.” I respond.
“You know what I mean.” She says.
“You mean you love the Jessup from before.” I counter.
Looking me in my eyes… “I didn’t mean to…” She says.
“It’s okay. You just lost someone you clearly cared for. Emotions are high.” I say.
It was the moment I had been longing for but the wrong time. I don’t want to do something we may both regret no matter my desires.
“Crystal. Do you know her?” She ask.
“I only met her once or twice. She is one of the ten. A handful of high Shellions in training. Shereen is her master.” I explain.
“The Shellion from the Dark Forest.” She responds.
“Yes.” I confirm.
Elementos begin to glow. She walks over placing her hands over each of them. Almost feeling her connection to them, I close my eyes. A light flashes and I see the other. He stands somewhere foreign to me. Looking down, I see an image of Kalera in his hands. Opening my eyes, I find Kalera latching her foot guard.
“Where are you going?” I ask.
“To Donegal and then to the cellar where Lord Meerin is holding the Shellions. They should be thawed by now. It is time for me to speak to them.”
“Kalera, you need to rest.” I counter.
“I will rest when I rid this world of evil.” She snaps.
“I am coming with you.” I snap back.
“Donegal. How is Hiddard? I plan to see him after we leave here. I asks.
“He is suffering.” He answers.
“How are you? I am sorry we have not had a moment since, you know.” I say.
“I understand my Queen. My son is by my side and my daughters are safe. That I owe to you.” He replies.
Two guards lead us down wooden stairs to a door made of vines. Beyond the door is a small room.
“Your Grace wait here.” The guard says.
They disappear into the room. After a short time, one of the guards returns and beckons for us to enter. Jessup enters first and we follow. Sitting on two stone chairs are the Shellions shackled and whispering.
The translation is elemento. Both repeat it over and over. I near them and they immediately cease.
“What do you know of the elementos?” I ask as I circle them.
Forcing myself between them, I place my hands on their shoulders and close my eyes. Closing their eyes, they bond together blocking their deepest thoughts but keeping their immediate feelings surfaced.
“You fear me. It is not me you need fear.” I disclose.
I beckon Donegal and Ton.
“Take them both to the courtyard.” I command. Nodding, both take the women without question.
“What are doing?” Ask Jessup.
“Offering them a choice.” I respond while walking to the stairs.
Xavgon towers in center of the courtyard as citizens drop trinkets at his feet. Lord Meerin approaches.
“My Queen, they are both amazed and afraid. They worship your dragon and you.” He says.
Xavgon grows tired letting out a slight hiss so the people cease. The Shellions look to Xavgon closing their eyes once more.
“Shellions open your eyes and look into the faces of innocents. Innocents you and your master strip from these lands. How many have fallen to your staff? I know that the two of you are just pawns in a greater a game. Your master may not have offered you a choice, but I do. Tell me of Shereen’s plan and I will spare you. Deny me and my dragon will roast you.” I say.
Looking into the crowd, I see Donegal and Ton whispering to one another as Jessup approaches.
“So now we are no better than they are? Kalera please, don’t do this.” He begs.
“I must send a message to Ager and Shereen that good will prevail.” I answer.
“Boilos is the priority. We need to destroy him. These two are but younglings. They can’t help us dead. Think of the message you will send to these citizens, to Lord Meerin, and the SG’s.” He counters.
Hiddard limps towards us.
“My Queen, I must support Jessup here. He is right.” He says.
I take Hiddard’s hands to my lips, kiss them, and then turn to approach the Shellions as Xavgon looks to me with a sign of disapproval.
“As your bonded, I will do what I must.” He says.
“Will you give me information?” I ask of them.
One turns to me.
“You have no idea. Do you? Well you will. And when you do, you will wish for death.” She offers.
“And you? Do you have anything?” I ask.
The second is silent, looking to the other as she takes her hands.
“Sister. I love you.” She cries.
The thought of Hera crosses my mind. I had not allowed myself to think of either of my siblings until now. Jimsen, Crabs, Micah, and two SG’s move through the crowd as the people begin to cry, “Soor!” which translates to mercy. Jessup nears the children as Ton approaches.
“My Queen, I know I have not served you long, but I have served you. I will fight for you and die for you, but please don’t ask me to do this. Don’t ask me to watch you stoop to lower levels for no gain.” He says.
“I am not asking you to watch.” I reply as I move towards the crowd.
They silence themselves and kneel as Lord Meerin approaches.
“My Queen.” He says.
I continue forward and whisper, “Raygol!”
The African American History Month Poetry Contest is in full swing. I have received over 50 submissions! The window is still open. You may submit to my email (firstname.lastname@example.org) until midnight March 1, 2020. See the original post for contest details.
For my Georgia residents, The Atlanta Science Fiction and Fantasy Expo is next month! Guess who will be appearing? Yes! Meet me Saturday, March 14, 2020, at the North Dekalb Mall in Atlanta, Georgia. The Expo will consist of authors, artists, science fiction, fantasy, gaming, panels, and vendors. The event is family-friendly and open to the public for free! I will be signing books and promoting Dawn of The Dragon. The winner of the poetry contest will be announced live during the event. I look forward to seeing you there!