Writing Group: Mistaken for a Dragon

Hello, Believers and Skeptics!

Look, I don’t know what you actually saw, but it definitely wasn’t some big, scaly, roaring mythical creature. What do you mean, how do I know? I mean, it’s absurd, isn’t it? Oh fine. Fine! Then you’ll just have to show me yourself, because…

This week’s Writing Group prompt is:

Mistaken for a Dragon

RULES AND GUIDELINES BELOW!
Make sure you scroll down and read them if you haven’t! You may not be eligible if you don’t!

Now this is a truly fantastical prompt. Dragons are pretty distinctive in lots of different ways, so to mistake something for a dragon is no easy feat. It is definitely the kind that plays on the imagination in more ways than one. 

For example, perhaps a hunter is out in the woods, stalking their usual game as quietly as they can, only for a loud and echoing roar to scare the game off. The hunter is just as startled, but decides to follow the sound cautiously. They ponder what this new beast could be. Manticore? Dragon? Only to come across what appears to be a bear stuck in a barrel. Or maybe a palace guard is doing his rounds late into the night. He’s tired, he’s a bit sore, and didn’t sleep entirely well. He stands on the top of the palace wall, staring into the distance at the incoming storm. But then… what was that? Did he really see a dragon diving in and out of the clouds? He rushes to tell his comrades, but they write him off as tired and tell him he just saw oddly shaped clouds, and no matter how he tries they just will not believe him.

Maybe it’s a child who is simply enamored with the idea of dragons, and ends up incredibly excited at the idea of a tiny dragon in a glass tank at the pet store. Regardless of how many times mother tells them it is just a lizard, they know better. It is definitely a dragon and they want it as their new pet. Perhaps we even explore further down the line, where the child is playing pretend as a knight, and must rescue their little sister, the Princess, from this fast, fearsome, possibly fire breathing creature no bigger than a coffee mug. Or maybe it’s an outcast scientist trying every way to prove dragons were real once, but a lot of the specimens they gather end up being from already proven creatures like alligators, sharks, and lizards of all kinds.

So let your imagination wander to kingdoms far far away! Let it stretch and twist and play on the world around you! Show us all the ways our minds can trick us into seeing such fantastic creatures!

But just in case it really is a dragon, please do proceed with caution.

—Shawna

Remember, this is part of our weekly Writing Group stream! Submit a little piece following the rules and guidelines below, and there’s a chance your entry will be read live on stream! In addition, we’ll discuss it for a minute and give you some feedback.

Tune into the stream this Saturday at 3:00pm CST to see if you made the cut!

The whole purpose of this is to show off the creativity of the community, while also helping each other to become better writers. Lean into that spirit! Get ready not just to share what you’ve got, but to give back to the other writers here as well.

Rules and Guidelines

We read at least four stories during each stream, two of which come from the public post, and two of which come from the much smaller private post. Submissions are randomly selected by a bot, but likes on your post will improve your chances of selection, so be sure to share your submission on social media!

  1. Text and Formatting

    1. English only.
    2. Prose only, no poetry or lyrics.
    3. Use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax.
    4. Your piece must be between 250-350 words (you can use this website to see your wordcount).
    5. Use two paragraph breaks between each paragraph so that they have a proper space between them (press “enter” or “return” twice).
    6. Include a submission title and an author name (doesn’t have to be your real name). Do not include any additional symbols or flourishes in this part of your submission. Format them exactly as you see in this example, or your submission may not be eligible: Example Submission.
    7. No additional text styling (such as italics or bold text). Do not use asterisks, hyphens, or any other symbol to indicate whether text should be bold, italic, or styled in any other way. CAPS are okay, though.
  2. What to Submit

    1. Keep submissions “safe-for-work”; be sparing with sexuality, violence, and profanity.
    2. Try to focus on making your submission a single meaningful moment rather than an entire story.
    3. Write something brand new; no re-submitting past entries or pieces written for other purposes
    4. No fan fiction whatsoever. Take inspiration from whatever you’d like, but be transformative and creative with it. By submitting, you also agree that your piece does not infringe on any existing copyrights or trademarks, and you have full license to use it.
    5. Submissions must be self-contained (everything essential to understanding the piece is contained within the context of the piece itself—no mandatory reading outside the piece required. e.g., if you want to write two different pieces in the same setting or larger narrative, you cannot rely on information from one piece to fill in for the other—they must both give that context independently).
  3. Submission Rules

    1. One submission per participant.
    2. Submit your entry in a comment on this post.
    3. Submissions close at 12:00pm CST each Friday.
    4. You must like and leave a review on two other submissions to be eligible. Your reviews must be at least 50 words long, and must be left directly on the submission you are reviewing, not on another comment. If you’re submitting to the private post, feel free to leave these reviews on either the private or the public post. The two submissions you like need not be the same as the submissions you review.
    5. Be constructive and uplifting. These submissions are not for a professional market, and shouldn’t be treated as such. We do this, first and foremost, for the joy of the craft. Help other writers to feel like their work is valuable, and be considerate and gentle with critique when you offer it. Authors who leave particularly abrasive or disheartening remarks on this post will be disqualified from selection for readings.
    6. Use the same e-mail for your posts, reviews, and likes, or you may be rendered ineligible (you may change your username or author name between posts without problem, however).
    7. You may submit to either or both the public/private groups if you have access, but if you decide to submit to both, only the private group submission will be eligible.
    8. Understand that by submitting here, you are giving us permission to read your submission aloud live on stream and upload public, archived recordings of said stream to our social media platforms. You will always be credited, but only by the author name you supply as per these rules. No other links or attributions are guaranteed.

Comments on this post that aren’t submissions will be deleted, except for replies/reviews left on existing submissions.

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G.J. H.
G.J. H.
16 days ago

Mother Dragon
By G.J. H.

“Would you leave us for a moment?”
Alianna could not believe her ears. Was her mother really sending her away?
She contemplated disobeying, but her mother’s stern gaze convinced her otherwise.
“Yes, mother.”, she said and dutifully left the salon.

As the door closed, Karian found himself shifting uncomfortably in his seat. Lady Ireas waited for a few moments, allowing a tense silence to fill the room.

“You know that Alianna is my only child?”

“Yes, my Lady.”

“And you also know what that means for her future husband?”

“Yes, my Lady. Her husband will become your heir. Let me assure you that I will prove capable of running the affairs of the estate. I have experien…”

“Spare me that nonsense!”, Lady Ireas snapped.

Karian swallowed down his prepared assurances and held his tongue.
– God that woman was terrifying –

“If I want someone to run the estate, I can hire a housekeeper. This is not about the estate; This is about my daughter.”

She seemed to calm down a little and continued in a cold and controlled voice that was even more unnerving that her sudden outburst.

“Why should I allow you to marry my daughter?”

Karians thoughts were racing. He had prepared for this meeting, he had planned to present his credentials, his economic ability and his family’s good name.

“Have you lost your speech? I was sure you would present me with a good reason. The economic advantages we would gain, the prestige and political leverage…”

“I love her!”, he blurted out, “I know that you don’t want me to, but that doesn’t matter. We will find a way with your approval or without!”

Lady Ireas stiffened, then leaned back in her chair, her face like a mask.

“You know I’m not your enemy. I’m not some fire breathing monster standing between you and Alianna. I just want to ensure my daughter will be happy.”

She gave him a sly smile, “And now, I know that she will.”

Makokam
17 days ago

Accept No Imitations (Chronicles Of The Dragon)
By Makokam

The police arrived first, followed shortly by local heroes. The National Guard came soon after. Paramedics hovered at the edges. Curious people slowly gathered despite orders to move on.

News reporters darted around, trying to get eye or ear on what was going on inside the bank.

Eventually, one of them heard a whispered, “What are we even doing here? It’s the fucking DRAGON.”

And with that, the news spread like wildfire.

No one knew why he suddenly decided to rob a bank, but his threats to incinerate anyone who tried to stop him or “his boys” were taken VERY seriously.

One of said boys opened the doors and waved the hostage negotiator over. Nervously the man back up to heavy metal doors. They were held open enough for him to slip through, and then they slammed shut.

“How’re our cars coming?”

The negotiator stumbled. “They’re…coming.”

The Dragon sat, perched, really, on the counter, the collar of his long coat pulled up around his ears and mirrored sunglasses hiding his eyes, but not the glow from within them. “What’s difficult about cars?”

“I mean… People aren’t just… giving them up-”

“Shut up.”

The negotiator’s mouth went dry.

“It’d take us a lot of trips to carry all this money out. And that’d make me annoyed. And when I’m annoyed, I start killing people. So get us some cars.”

The negotiator nodded and was promptly shoved outside.

He quickly walked down the steps and back to the police.

“What did he want?” they asked.

“The same thing as last time!” he snapped.

A boom shook the ground and nearly deafened everyone. The few that had been looking in the right direction saw a dark streak hit the ground then burst straight through the doors, knocking them off their hinges.

The screams started seconds later.

The crowd stood in shocked silence.
Moments later, the screams ended, and a single figure walked slowly out of the bank, looking at something in their hands.

“He doesn’t even look like me,” he said, holding the head out to the crowd. Then burned it to ashes.

Adrian Solorio
Adrian Solorio
17 days ago

Love Unrepentant
By Adrian Solorio

Aiyla pulled back her son’s blanket and flinched. Xander watched her, silent, his golden-eyes alert and intelligent. Born weak and malformed, he was far from what he would become if he survived. But death was near, and she shuddered at the thought. If only she wasn’t alone. She looked at the distant mountain outside the window and ground her teeth at a not-so-distant memory.

The farmhouse gate banged on its hinges. And angry voices grew distinct and familiar. They had finally come, just as she knew they would. Eliza, the midwife, had talked. How could she not?

Outside, the mob filled the dooryard of the farmhouse. At its center, flanked by the tall-tailor and the bald-baker, stood Heldo, the town-priest. Potbellied, red-faced, robe-stained, he drained a bottle of spirits, belched, then threw the flask into the pigpen where it shattered amid surprised squeals.

“There she is!” Heldo raised his flabby arm when Aiyla appeared in the doorway. “There’s the mother of the dragon-spawn! The drought is her fault. Fornicating with a dragon—the child must die.” Around him, the mob mumbled and pressed forward, waving their weapons—makeshift weapons—hammers, fireplace pokers, butcher knives, furniture legs, broken bottles.

“Another step, and I’ll kill you all,” Aiyla screamed. And her voice, so desperate, convinced the mob and they hesitated. “I know you. I grew up here—can’t you see? Heldo’s filled you with his hate—but I will die—before you touch my son.”

Shame came to the mob as they realized this was the same girl they had known and loved since she was a babe. “He’s different,” she continued. “That’s all. But he’s more a man than those who would kill a babe.” And the townspeople shifted, whispered, and examined Heldo with scorn-filled eyes.

*******

“Burn her!” Heldo cried. “Kill her and her dragon-spawn!” He screeched and howled as the post the townspeople had erected erupted in red-hot flames. Then, hair burned, skin bubbled, and eye-balls popped and melted. And standing near the flames, holding Xander, listening as Heldo’s cries for hate changed to cries for mercy, Aiyla could only smile as she watched him burn.

Last edited 16 days ago by Adrian Solorio
RVMPLSTLTSKN
RVMPLSTLTSKN
18 days ago

Alien
By RVMPLSTLTSKN (The Saga of The Deep One’s Wake)(repost from private)

Padas stood on the shore and watched gnarled backs slice through the waves. He knew it wasn’t The Deep One, whose whispered promises echoed still in his memories, by the size of the black ridges that cut the riptide.

Beside him, his granddaughter—or great-niece, he wasn’t sure anymore and called each of the rising priestesses ‘daughter’—stood, holding Karas’ Sword. It’s fiery light danced in the waves.

“Is it Him?” she asked.

“No.”

“How do you know, Father?”

“They’re too small.”

They stood and watched. Horrid black and white faces ogled them from the waves.

“What are they?”

He had hoped she wouldn’t ask. His answer used to be easy to say. There were so many things he didn’t know back when Klajonas or Mazylas asked him questions. It was harder with their children, and their children’s children.

“I don’t know,” he mumbled.

“Is it His progeny?”

Who taught them these words? he wondered. Mazylas or Vienas? It wasn’t enough to distract him from the memories of what The Deep One did to its victims.

“No, He has none.”

Another orcaic body rose, the waves beneath it tinting rouge. It wasn’t from the sunset.

“Father, you know what I have been through.”

He tried to remember. His old mind let things slip these days. No, since Vienas died. How long had it been since she left him behind? He glanced at the flaming sword.

“But this frightens me.”

He nodded, hoping he wouldn’t be called on to reach for the blade. His old knuckles were stiff and ached. The blade was heavy and his body worn.

“More than the hunter in the woods?” he asked.

“More than niekas. The hunter is a just beast, but this,” she lifted her chin to the waves. “This is alien.”

“It is the sea.” He started humming the old poem of seasons. “Nothing but the sea. The Deep One is not in this. Fear not, daughter, I am not going to war today.”

Calliope Rannis
Calliope Rannis
18 days ago

Her Greater Self (Corespace Universe)
By Calliope Rannis

Clay had been exposed to a lot of dragon stories and media. After all, who hadn’t? Dragons have been part of human culture since long before they had ascended to the stars.

That said, with all the books he had read, all the movies he had seen, the games he had played…little compared to the dragon that stood before him now, standing on a scale normally inhabited by great buildings, spaceships, and the mountains themselves.

But the most thrilling, the most terrifying thing of all? It was that he loved her. And he knew that she loved him too, in her own way.

“…Freya? You can still hear me from all the way up there, right?”

The dragon released an amused exhale, the strength of the breath blowing back the grass around Clay. “Of course I can hear you, darling. Just as always.” Her head shifted slightly. “You don’t seem excessively scared. That is good.”

“Why would I-” he blinked, and looked again at her gargantuan form. “Well okay, I understand your concern. But it’s still you, right? Just way bigger than I’m used to!” He smiled, as much for his own reassurance as hers.

Her eyes softened. “Oh, but you have seen my size before. Every day, in fact.” Everything flickered for a moment, and Clay was floating in the core of his world, before a massive shining sphere surrounded by millions of great cables.

Another flicker, and he was in the hollowed-out mantle of the planet, with a city of servers and power stations filling his view.

Another, and he was in space, looking down upon the entirety of Vang, the planet and megacity that Clay called home.

A final flicker, and he was back in the field before her.

“Do you see, darling? To love me, to really, truly love me, is to love something giant, something terrifying, something inhuman – even if my humanoid forms help people to forget that truth. But you deserve to remember, to understand. To see.”

Her lake-sized eyes looked deeply into his own. “Is this – ALL of this – truly what you want?”

Last edited 17 days ago by Calliope Rannis
Hastaw
Hastaw
19 days ago

Watching

By: Hastaw

The gray of the clouds gave me the spirit to get out of bed that morning.

Excited at the prospect of witnessing the storm’s performance, I rushed out onto the terrace.

I saw a glimpse of light, followed by the soft “plop” of a raindrop. The waves began to march to the beat of the thunder, the lightning reaching out to join the party. A perfectly chaotic waltz.

I stood there, gawking at the storm like a child. The huge shadow crossed the sand. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. “Is that…?” A moment later something landed behind me. I turned to pick it up, expecting to see a sand dollar or something else floating in the wind.

It was a huge lizard scale. So it really was a dragon’s shadow! Lightning struck, casting that same huge shadow over me. Another presence snuck in with the thunder.

Then I heard growling. I turned around slowly. In shock and panic, I froze. It was a giant winged fox!

I remember it vividly. It’s leathery wings stretched out to either side of the terrace. The fur enveloping him appeared fiery, even in the dim light of the storm.

It was scratched up, black ears torn to pieces. He definitely didn’t just happen to find that enormous scale.

We locked eyes, and immediately it’s expression went from seething anger to guilty embarrassment.

It saw terror in my eyes.

It whimpered, nuzzled it’s way into my hand, and took the scale. We looked at each other, and back at the storm. The awkward silence transitioned into companionship after awhile.

When I finally settled dow to enjoy the storm, it took off. My hair apparently wanted to follow it, cause it went up. Giving up, it settled back. On my face. I watched it fly tiredly into the horizon, a sight to behold.

It could’ve been a figment of my imagination, though I stubbornly insist on it’s existence. Now that I look back on it, the fox creature must’ve had a fight with a dragon!

scmarshtacky
scmarshtacky
20 days ago

The Creature of Old
By: scmarshtacky

My breath hitched in my throat. The fear was so absolute that every part of my body was paralyzed. Those golden eyes, glowing despite the fact that the cave was a dark abyss, stared back at me – stared through me.

“Child, why do you come?” It’s voice was as ancient as the tree it lived in, vibrating the ground, thrumming almost painfully through my body.

“I….” My voice was brittle. My eyes fell down to the satchel that I’d dropped at my feet when I’d seen the beast. Steeling a tendril of resolve, I tried to speak again, “I brought an offering on behalf of the Chief of Ctyila, so that the Lord of Skies would smile upon the tribe again this year.”

“Ah, yes.”

With the words, his eyes closed and I found that my body was free of his invisible bind. I dumped out the fine meats contained within the satchel and backed up a step. “Um,” I hesitated, but a grunt from the beast prompted me to continue. “Are you… a dragon?”

Truthfully, they weren’t uncommon. My owners had even tamed several of the smaller breeds. That was my best guess, but this creature’s oppressive presence was much different.

“You’re mistaken. The dragons are new to this world, but I have been here since the beginning.”

“Then…” What was this beast?

“They called me ‘Sneng Psa’ once.”

‘Horned serpent.’ The phrase rang a bell, and I scoured my memory of the elders’ ramblings of myths. “You were sealed,” I recalled, “because you revolted against the tribes.”

“No.” The rumbling of the ground grew stronger with his anger. “I did nothing to them. I only loved the humans, but they came to fear me anyway and locked me in this great tree. Now, only a pure-blooded Khang can release me.”

My body went rigid, and looking at his eyes, I knew he knew. I was the only one left alive that could free him.

“I will help your tribe rise to power again, and then we’ll both be free. So, what will you choose?”

Last edited 20 days ago by scmarshtacky
Shawyn Waddell
Shawyn Waddell
20 days ago

Amygdala
by Shawyn Waddell

Susan smiled at her dragon-in-a-jar. The tiny grey creature mewled at her; its scaly tail curled around a spruce bud that Susan had clipped from a tree while riding her bike home from her job at the bank.

Susan calls the dragon Amy, but doesn’t know if it’s a boy or a girl dragon. Susan does know that it is, decidedly, vegetarian, having turned its nose up even at bacon. It also enjoys chamomile tea in the evenings.

Since Amy came to be, Susan has gotten a promotion at work, started dating, and put her artwork for sale online. She even just applied to sell paintings at a local seasonal farmer’s market.

Before Amy, Susan would not have dreamt of applying for that position at the bank, or talked so blatantly with the young man — younger than her, by gosh — or considered her art worth anyone else’s interest. Before Amy, Susan’s fear controlled her. Dragons, Susan reckoned, are magical, and provide courage.

Dragons don’t exist, her mother told her. “It’s some sort of psychosomatic manifestation of yours,” she chided. Susan pressed the red receiver button on her phone extra hard, and placed it screen-down so she would not see it light up with her mother’s calls.

Susan decided she needed to read more about dragons. She recently started playing a role playing game with a group organized by her trauma counsellor. The live sessions have been surreal. Up until recently– because of COVID restrictions –they have met online, but for the past month have met in person.

Armed with dollar store bottles and ‘ingredients,’ the group spent a session making ‘homunculi,’ or little people in bottles. The ‘wizard’ non-player character in the session told them to put their character trait that they wished they did not have into their own homunculus potion.

That night, Susan had an earache, and put olive oil in with an eyedropper, and slept on her side. The next morning, she woke, and saw the little grey tail of her self-doubt moving around inside her homunculus bottle. Coincidence, she thought. Pure coincidence.

Tamela Redfin
Tamela Redfin
20 days ago

Your Duty, My Slayer

By Tamela Redfin

CW: Amputation

I knew there was no way out. Feldspar Augen probably told Sulfur Cora and if she knew, off with my head. So, there was only one choice for me. Not that she’d accept me anyway.

It was March 15th, my birthday, when I called her to the building. “Radon Cecilia, come with me.”

“Or what?” She snarled. Wow, was I glad she didn’t breathe fire, or I’d be a pillar of ash.

“Or it’s your cousin.” I replied.

Radon Cecilia rolled her eyes and I led her to Camp Goodjoy. She spat, “Ooh! High Voltage. I’m so scared.”

“Not this time.” I shook my head. Radon Cecilia tilted hers. “Sit down.”

She did and I pulled out a stretchy band, tethering it to her shoulder. Then I handed her a cloth. “Here, bite on this.”

“Cameron Boyles, what is the- is that a bone saw?”

I nodded sadly. “Feldspar Augen is making me do this. I’m so sorry.”

“C-Cameron.” Her left hand gently grabbed my shoulder, “I know you wouldn’t on purpose.”

“You do?”

She nodded. “About a year ago, I… AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I wouldn’t have believed you, but something ch-cha- OHHHHHHHH.” She bit the cloth the rest of the time while I hummed to her.

I looked around the room. Anyway to not focus my action on the evil deed I was doing. The whole place was dark with only flickering lights and it smelled of bile and now, fresh blood. There was no way to wash my hands of this.

At last, her right arm was removed with a slight squish and crunch. Just looking at her and her arm, I cried.

I reached out to hug her and surprisingly, she hugged me. “I’ll be okay, Cameron.”

“C-Cecilia.” I gasped.

“Don’t tell anyone.” Was her only reply. She stayed there for a while before getting up.

Jessi
Jessi
20 days ago

The Dragon of L.A

“Nah man, it’s cool. Ain’t no way I wouldn’t recognise the dragon!”
The bouncer stepped away from the door, allowing entry to the man. He flashed him a signature cocked grin before entering the doorway. The club was loud and flashing and brilliant. There were chicks in booty shorts and men in ass-revealing jeans. This kinda place was exactly his scene.

He sauntered over to the bar and plopped down on the wooden stool. He relaxed a tad before calling to the bartender. It took a tik for them to finish with the previous client. But after the drink had been well shaken and plopped in the glass, they hustled right over.
“Good evenin! Ow’ might I be of service to ya?” The bartender paused. “Oy sir, is it me or ave’ we met before? I mean, give it to me straight if I’m totally out, but I swear I’ve seen that mug of yours around.”
The man dropped his voice low as he went “Between you and me, I think you might’ve seen some of my work. You heard of a little show called Men on Fire?” The bartender’s eyes flitted wide. They laughed a little before babbling again. “Ahh. The dragon. Makes sense mate. Y’know, I’ve wanted to cosplay im too, but I dunno if I could pull im off the way you do. Now, what drink can I get for ya?”

The man frowned lightly, shifting his shoulders. “No, you misunderstand. It’s not a Cosplay.” And now the Aussie looks even closer; finally pulling back once they were certain. “ Mate, sorry to break it to ya, but you barely look like Adriel Redding. It’s the nose. Ya can’t fool me. So what’ll it be?”
The man quickly gave his pardons and walked off. His hands were shaking and he was sweating like crazy. He was too close to getting caught. Way too close. He slipped out of the club.
There were other clubs in L.A. He could pick up a date from anywhere else. There’d be no way they wouldn’t see him as the dragon.

Last edited 20 days ago by Jessi
Marx
Marx
20 days ago

Let’s Go, Just One on Two
By Marx

Mara sighed with longing from her seat on Matt’s shoulder. He mistook this as her wanting attention and casually pet her head as his eyes moved across the printed words of his book.

There was part of her that wanted nothing more than to stay his ‘weird little dragon’ as he so often liked to call her. She could easily see how he’d done this with many animals before her. But Mara was not some creature Matt was simply unfamiliar with. She wasn’t even a dragon. Though she did look like a small, winged lizard so his confusion was understandable.

But no, she was a demon like him. Well… actually, she was NOTHING like him. Whatever his demonic half was, it was so stupidly powerful that she hesitated to even call him a half-demon in the first place. He was on another plane of existence. His other half was somehow just as powerful, culminating in a being with so much raw magic that it practically bled off him in waves. Being in his presence was as awe inspiring as it was terrifying.

And yet he was so kind. He didn’t know how to use his seemingly infinite magic but he knew enough that if he wanted to heal an injury, he could. And since he was so willing to give her his magic, she took significantly more than she needed.

This wasn’t done selfishly. While true, being the weakest breed of demon, Mara having such an endless source of power at her disposal was more than a little seductive. But much more important than that, she couldn’t talk in this form. And there was so much she wanted to tell him. So much she wanted to teach him about his power.

Maybe one day she could even… become his familiar. But that was a silly dream. He’d have a pick of whatever demon he wanted. Hell, he was so kind-hearted he could probably have a fairy. But she needed to warn him about the angel that injured her in the first place. An angel who was probably looking for him…

Rebecca Gichuki
Rebecca Gichuki
20 days ago

The Heiress
by Wamakai

As the youngest hunter of her tribe, Jera was hardly regarded as a threat. Many of her fellow tribesmen had poked fun at her and her dream of eventually ascending to the highest peak of the Forbidden Mountain and bringing back the skull of the Ancient.

The creature was a myth – a story she had been told when she was young. But she had listened with fascination as the tale had been woven – she had been entranced by the idea of a large guardian sitting atop the precipice, considering the human prey below. He had guarded them and they had served him well. Then he had vanished and the tale came to an end… until now.

She scaled the cliff face expertly, making sure to make a steady ascent. As soon as she got to the top of this cliff, she would come to a bluff and then, the peak would be in sight.

As she crested the edge of the cliff, she came to a forest, dense and dark. It seemed to be watching her, waiting with bated breath to see what she would do. A whisper ran through it, soft and coaxing.

The Ancient! Her excitement carried her on swift feet through the brush and the undergrowth. She crashed through branches, leaping over fallen logs as she made her way towards the next part of the mountain and the craggy rocks that made up the precipice. The Ancient was near. She could feel it…

To her left, she thought she glimpsed a shimmer of gold as she ran. To her right, the trees moved as if something heavy wove through them. And then she suddenly came to the rock and halted.

Tall and looming large was the home of the Ancient but it lay dark and empty. Between two majestic columns sat a grand statue of weathered gold whose fierce gaze bore right into her. And as she sat there, watching the great beast, she smiled; she had found her peace. So she gave her thanks and headed home a wiser woman.

Sarah LINDHOLM
Sarah LINDHOLM
20 days ago

The cave
By Starshine Wonder

The firelight glinted off the cave walls, the shadows dancing against them, Aldon was already fast asleep, his head against a convenient rock with his backpack next to him. Nestia, however, was still awake, her eyes seeing nothing as she stared at the blackness outside.

A flash of movement caught her eye and she whirled round, her sword at the ready, only to be met with…. nothing? She checked the fire, Aldon still sound asleep, but she could see nothing out of the ordinary. Yawning, she began to get ready for sleep, when another movement caught her eye, nearer to the fire.

She looked up… and froze, seeing the silhouette in all its glory. The forked tongue, the jagged teeth, the scales, she hadn’t even heard it sneak up!! How could a dragon such as this…. But then she thought back to the movements and began to smile.

‘I know you’re there, Chichi,’ she called out, a grin now on her flushed face. ‘Come on out and I’ll feed you the leftovers, ok?’

The little imp, pointed tail raised high above its head, swaggered out with a boastful grin on its face. ‘Oh come on,’ it stated in its high pitched voice, laughing cheekily, ‘can’t I have a LITTLE fun?’

Nestia chuckled, rolling her eyes at Chichi’s cheekiness, then brought out the leftover food they always kept from supper. ‘Maybe next time, do it on Aldon. He’ll freak!!’ she laughed, as she watched the imp tuck into the mushroom and bacon risotto, knowing they were indeed safe as houses.

ThatWeirdFish
ThatWeirdFish
20 days ago

Friends Come in All Sizes (The Depths Files)
By ThatWeirdFish

Snuffles glared at the giggling fool as they both ran to the next ruined wall. He grabbed Trip’s arm and pelted him to the dirt with him as a bolt of lightning screamed overhead.

“I am going to kill you!” Snuffles snapped.

“Ha! Ya’ve been telling me that for years,” Trip chuckled. “A threat loses its bite after the third time, mate.”

“I swear once we get out of this, your bowels are mine.” Snuffles flinched as a nearby tree exploded.

“Come on. Her face was priceless.”

“No, it was insulted.”

“And the pun was spot on.”

Snuffles groaned at the repeated pun.

Trip grinned and jumped up to shout at their attacker before Snuffles could grab him.

“Oi! Ya missed a SPOT!” He laughed as Snuffles yanked him out of the way of another blast. “Ooh, look, she got me.” Trip smiled as he felt the charred bits of hair on the top of his head. “A little lower, and she would’ve hit my face.”

“How unfortunate,” Snuffles grumbled.

“Very. Ya don’t come across as fine mugs as this often around here.” Trip pointed to his fanged grin.

“Can you please take the fact that we have a storm demon after us seriously?” Snuffles hissed as he checked the demon’s position.

“I am,” Trip leaned close and whispered. “Very seriously.” Then he bolted from cover towards another pile of runs, shouting insults with giddy glee.

Snuffles barely tackled Trip to the ground in time to avoid being struck by lighting again. “You… idiot!” He snarled at the pain from his singed wings. “Do you have a death wish!”

“Nah, mate. This is just fun.”

Nevermore in his life had Snuffle wanted to punch someone’s face. But as his fist reared back, a ground-shaking roar from behind stopped him.

“What was that?”

“A friend of mine,” Trip grinned.

“A friend?”

“Uh-huh.”

Snuffle’s eyes grew wide as a spear of fire crossed over him towards their assailant, nearly catching his wings.

“A dragon?”

“Nope,” Trip smirked. “Even better.”

TheAssassin
TheAssassin
20 days ago

Connection
By TheAssassin

In a small nursery, a mother cradled her child. Light streamed in from a window above, casting the room in the sun’s warmth. The child laughed in the golden light. He smiled bright and wide; his eyes shimmered with mirth.

The birds sang their sweet songs as the wind ruffled outside in the trees. The mother traced her finger across her child’s skin, feeling him and giving him her love. The child giggled as she did so, sending his love to her. Even so young he knew his mother for who she was.

And in that perfect silence, the mother knew her child would become something great, for there would be greatness in all he did. He was her son and her son needed only breathe to be great.

She leaned in and kissed his forehead. Her heart swelled with overwhelming love. This was her son! Her son… her beautiful, wonderful, son.

But the wind stopped blowing, and the birds stopped singing. Clouds veiled the sun, and the nursery grew cold. The child’s laughter faded. A rhythmic thud echoed from beyond the nursery. Heavy footfalls approached. The child’s eyes warbled, anxiety smothering him. The footfalls kept coming.

Suddenly, they ceased. For a moment it seemed like they would not resume, but the latch to the nursery’s door rattled and it came creaking open.

A towering silhouette emerged, looming over the room’s occupants. The silhouette – a man – held an axe. It dripped.

The baby’s lip quivered. The man stepped forward, flickering candlelight revealed scratched and bloodied armor.

The baby cried.

But the mother smiled.

She rose and offered the warrior his son.

The father – a ravaged, scarred, and broken warrior – reached out his hand. The baby’s crying shattered his heart. But through those fearful tears, he saw his son. He saw his rosy cheeks and verdant eyes. His axe fell, and he wiped his son’s tears away.

The gentle, loving warmth of the father’s touch comforted the child, easing his fears, and the child knew then who his father was.

And they laughed.

Last edited 20 days ago by TheAssassin
C. M. Weller
20 days ago

One Fun-Filled Afternoon in a Little Mining Town
C. M. Weller

Bold Adventurer Timmy hadn’t expected a dragon attack so close to home, but that was the thing about adventures. The unexpected always had a way of happening. The dragon came out of the bushes with a mighty roar and only scared Timmy for a second.

Fortunately, Timmy had their Sword of Smiting, made by hir Da one rainy afternoon. Painted the Very Special Silver, it had defeated Tattyboggles and Bunnies all over Mama’s veggie patch. Timmy hit the dragon on the head with a solid THUNK, and knocked them down.

Oh no! Blood!

“I didn’t mean it,” said Timmy quickly. “Are you okay, li’l dragon?”

The dragon stood up on two legs, almost reaching Timmy’s height. They felt the wound and boggled at their own blood. “Mighty Warrior Hakkar of the Winding Warren demands treasure in compensation! This could mean war?”

“I don’ wanna play War. Everyone cheats. We’re NOT using everything-proof shields.” Bold Adventurer Timmy almost threw hir sword down in protest. It was a hard thing to avoid sitting down in a sulk. “You can wash that in our farm pump? And Mama has herbs and things. Maybe we can fix it?”

“Hakkar wants treasure,” insisted the dragon. “Compensation.”

“The only treasure I know is Mama’s button box and I gotta put all’a the buttons back when I’m done.”

Hakkar thought about this. “Hakkar will negotiate with Grand Leader Mama.”

Bold Adventurer Timmy took the dragon’s hand and lead them solemnly back to the farmhouse.

“Oh, you’ve found a Kobold,” said Mama in the fake joy of parents everywhere when a small animal ‘followed’ their child home. “Good thing I have PLENTY of healing kits.”

“Hakkar wants treasure.”

The Kobold future hero was appeased by the tribute of a glass bead bracelet made on the spot. And tea and some cupcakes.

Last edited 20 days ago by C. M. Weller
Lunabear
Lunabear
20 days ago

Bitter Reunion
by Lunabear (CW: Threat of violence) (Cursed Brothers Universe)

Remy’s tracks disappeared almost instantly in the dizzying flurry. He curled into himself all the more. The bone-biting wind had sapped nearly all of his energy.

Only two things kept his fire going: retrieving his brother, and revenge.

Remy’s long, arduous trek up the mountain had been mostly silent and reflective. He knew Cal to be resourceful enough to survive, but there was still that small, doubtful voice in the darkest corner of his mind.

‘That way of thinking leads to madness.’

Remy grit his teeth and kept pushing.

Time blended into time.

The snow had no end.

THWACK!

The enormous wooden door had a large knocker. Remy rubbed his sore nose while making his presence known.

He blew on his frigid hands and grumbled about the long wait.

The door swung inward on squeaky hinges, and Remy was met with a pair of familiar, amethyst eyes.

The woman’s pallid face paled further, revealing her own recognition.

The embers in his gut roared into a flame.

The cold forgotten, Remy’s face darkened as he rushed over the threshold. He aimed an accusatory finger at her.

She moved out of his reach with a speed he couldn’t match.

“YOU! I’ve seen you, slinking around in every town my brother and I have been in. YOU took him?”

Her forked tongue snaked out and wet her lips. Her gaze flicked up the stairs.

“Dragon filth!”

His viperous words made her cower against the wall, but Remy didn’t care.

“I’m a snake–”

He stalked towards her and growled in her face, “I don’t give a fuck WHAT you are! Where’s Cal?!”

She kept eye contact, though he could practically smell her fear. “Cal! Helatia!”

Remy spoke deliberately, “I’ve never wanted to hurt a woman more in my life.”

At her unshed tears, guilt superseded his rage.

“Please. I’m so sorry. My sister bears a curse, and–”

His heart kicked into his throat. “A curse?”

She nodded erratically, sharp fangs worrying her lip.

“Remy!”

Elated, Remy looked up.

“Get away from her!”

His joy withered away as a VERY enraged Cal stomped towards him.

Alex
Alex
20 days ago

Into the Dragon’s Cave (Exile Universe)
By Alex Nightingale (aka Spectre)

Soren tried very hard not to run. The air around him was ice cold and the weak flicker of flame reflected a long, spiked shadow.

A dragon’s tail.

The demon held both hands on the grips of his swords, his completely black eyes scanning the dark cave. Something scuttled in the dark. He turned, suddenly wishing he hadn’t tried to seek refuge in this cavern. It was too perfect to not assume that something had already made its home there.

The scuttling came closer. He turned, as a draconic shadow launched itself onto him. He barely had time to raise his swords, when he was pinned against a wall, his blades locked underneath an enemy sword. Before he could react, a flint knife was pressed against his thorax.

“Who are you?” a pale woman with horns and light black streaks in her face growled at him.

“My name is Soren,” he said. “I’m just looking for a place to stay. Maybe, if I can discuss it with your dragon…”

“What dragon?”

“The big one, who presumably owns this cave? The one, whose tail I saw in the light?”

The woman blinked.

“That was me,” she said, showing her tail. “See?”

“Oh…” Soren looked down, feeling embarrassed. “Well… um… Same question to you? How about a name? You know mine…”

She pressed the knife harder against his neck.

“Janeah. And just because we’re on first name terms, doesn’t mean I trust you.”

“That’s fair. So… there really is no dragon?”

“No.”

Janeah’s blood red eyes met his tar blacks. Soren gripped his swords tighter and with one motion, pushed her off him. She stumbled back, hitting the wall behind her with her back. In an instant, she had raised her sword and knife, ready to strike at Soren.

He made no moves to follow up.

“Please.”

“We’re in the Exile. This place is littered with demons like you.”

“I just need a place to hide.”

Janeah hesitated, her sword still raised. Finally, she lowered her weapons.

“Back room. Leave your weapons.”

“Only if you do the same.”

Janeah hesitated, before nodding.

Connor A.
Connor A.
20 days ago

Cracked Facade (Helsing: Vampire)
By Connor A.

“I wish you would take yourself and your idiotic brain theories somewhere else!”

Renfield continued to throw insults at Helsing. When he stopped for a breath, he heard a voice.

“I am disappointed.”

He looked up at Helsing, who seemed more serious now.

“What?”

“Given our last meeting, I assumed your insults would have been more unique than that.”

Renfield tried to avoid looking at Helsing as the doctor began circling him. Something felt off, but he did not know what it was.

“Or was that your ‘master?’ If it was him, then he does not live up to his own name.”

Renfield’s unease became anger, but he needed to escape. Attacking him would only delay his master’s plans.

“Tell me, how does it feel to serve a worm who fancies himself a dragon?”

“He is the most powerful man to walk the earth,” Renfield retorted. “He will win this fight and bring terror to this miserable land.”

“Then why does he rely on weak thralls to do his work? Why hunt defenseless women and young children for his food? How is that power?”

Renfield lunged at Helsing in a blind fury. In the next moment, he was up against the wall on the opposite side of the room, pinned in place by a strong hand wrapped around his throat. Renfield looked up at Helsing and felt a cold dread travel through his body. Helsing’s red eyes shone brighter than fire and his fangs were sharper than anything he had seen before.

But it was the primal look on his face that seared into Renfield’s mind. It was indescribable, but Renfield found clarity in his fear towards that look.

Helsing leaned in close and whispered, “He will pay for the lives he has taken, and I will savor his final breaths as he dies by my hand. That is my promise to you and your master.”

Then he let go of Renfield’s neck and walked out of the room. As soon as the door closed, Renfield collapsed on the ground, too scared to breathe in case Helsing returned.

Last edited 19 days ago by Connor A.