Young Writers Society


12+

Darkness rising. (Ash's encounter with the evil king of dragons)

by dragonight9


Ash sighed despairingly as he looked down his red and black speckled snout at the dragon flying next to him. They were both flame wings but the simple fact that he was hatched in a common family while this narcissistic waste of fresh air was hatched surrounded by ‘noble’ dragons meant he had to put up with everything he had said and done over the last week of their flight together.

The waste of fresh air’s name was Scorch and despite looking like a noble and imposing flame wing he was the worst dragon Ash had ever met. He had bright red underbelly with orange scales dotted with black and grey which gave him an imposing figure, and the bright scales around his eyes would give any other dragon and intense and intimidating look. But after hearing him speak like an arrogant child, those features only served to increase Scorch’s looks of haughty distain.

Despite his awful personality, he was still the representative of queen Sear of the flame wings. Even though all Ash really had to support that fact was Scorch’s word, he still couldn’t imagine any loyal flame wing noble daring to impersonate an emissary of the queen. If anything else had come out of Scorch’s upturned snout he probably would have assumed he was lying, but this was too important. Too sacred. So, he was stuck escorting this disgusting emissary halfway across the continent.

“Ah, there they are. Come escort. These are the dragons that will be taking care of us for the remainder of our journey.” Scorch declared, pointing to a group of dragons who look like flame wings covered in black cloth and hoods hovering in the air below.

This shook Ash out of his thoughts as he noticed the group had gotten alarmingly close without him noticing. Then, without looking at Ash or waiting for any kind of acknowledgement, Scorch glided down to meet the strange dragons. With a sigh of annoyance Ash followed. As soon as Scorch and Ash turn towards them though, the hooded dragons flew down to a mountain ledge and line up in two files along each side of a cave entrance.

Scorch landed and boldly strutted into the cave with a confident smile and his head held high. However, as Ash landed he felt a massive sense of foreboding coming from the dark entrance of the cave. Looking around he could see no other exits in sight and thought to himself that this might be his last chance to run.

Then he noticed that the hooded flame wings were already closing in behind him and realised that his chance to run has already long since passed. Ash entered the cave cautiously behind Scorch and the hooded dragons closed the entrance with their bodies like a massive door of muscle and scales. Indeed, they were so in sync it was almost creepy, and even more so when Ash realised that none of them had said a single word the entire time.

Ash looked forward and as his eyes adjusted to the darkness of the cave, he realised that he and Scorch were in a massive cavern in the mountainside. The ceiling was so high Ash could barely make out the tips of massive stalactites which retreated into the darkness of the cavern roof. Most of the cavern was lit by torches which flickered and gave the cavern an eery, pulsing glow. The cavern walls were rough and had many alcoves and side tunnels leading out of the main cavern. The floor of the cavern was unnaturally smooth and flat except for a raised pile of stone in the center about three dragons tall. At the top of the pile a stone seat had been carved, and sitting in that seat was a large flame wing who wore a similar hood as the dragons outside which obscured his face. He had a few pieces of expensive jewelry but Ash felt this dragon was wealthy and powerful rather than simply greedy.

Scorch walked up to the foot of the pile of stone and bowed slightly.

“I have done as you’ve asked and learned the location of the dragonets in the prophecy. I will show you the way to them when the time comes. Before that though, I’d like my reward for all the work I’ve done for you. From how those fools protecting them were talking, these dragonets must be worth their weight in gold.” Scorch hissed with glee and Ash could see an excited smirk tugging at the corners of his mouth.

“Oh, I have also brought this foolish flame wing peasant with me. Do whatever you want with him, but I would like a few extra coins for the work he’ll do for you.” Scorch said casually and without a hint of remorse.

“Yes, your reward. I’ll be sure you get what you deserve for all you’ve done.” The dragon on the high seat replied. His voice was deep, ancient and powerful. The vibrations of it seemed to shake the whole cavern.

Ash couldn’t help but be intimidated by this dragon’s presence. Whoever this dragon was, he seemed strong, intelligent, evil, and very, very powerful. Yet at the same time Ash felt allured and enamored by his voice. There was a promise of power and control his voice offered that whispered to the dark parts of Ash’s dragon heart. The power to crush the flame wing nobles who had oppressed him. To control those who had once controlled him and make them feel weak and powerless for a change. The power to take everything he’d ever wanted for himself.

Ash shook himself with a shiver. Who was this dragon?

The dragon gestured towards a group of other dragons across the cavern who pulled two rings that looked like crowns from a pile that shimmered like gold and came towards them. Then suddenly two dragons grabbed Ash’s forearms and wings from behind. Forcing him to his knees. This knocked Ash to his senses. Scorch’s comment had been so casual and offhand, almost like an afterthought, that Ash hadn’t even realised what he had said and what that implied he had just done.

“What have you done Scorch?!” Ash cried. Horrified at what he’d just heard. Scorch was a terrible dragon and even worse, a flame wing noble, but he couldn’t have sold him into slavery. Then Ash slumped as he realised that in truth, this was exactly what Scorch would do. Yet it seemed like there was far more than this. Didn’t he say that this was just one thing he’d done for the mysterious dragon on the throne?

“He offered to betray your queen and serve me if I gave him gold enough that he would never have to work again.” The dragon on the throne growled with slight disgust in his voice.

“In return I promised him a reward worthy of his deeds, and he happily betrayed her and all dragons counting on the prophecy to survive their future destruction.”

“Ha! I don’t care about some brain-frozen ice wing’s prophecy. And Queen Sear got what she deserved.” Scorch scoffed.

Ash felt a chill sweep through him from horn to tail as his body went cold. No flame wing would ever betray their queen. She may have been a harsh ruler, but she always did what was best for all flame wings and even lost her own mate fighting to make sure everyone was fed. Ash the cold feeling quickly erupted into a blazing inferno of fury. He struggled against the flame wings holding him, but their grip was like iron and somehow they had quashed his fire breath as well.

“How could you?!” Ash roared. Then Scorch turned to Ash with a disgustingly twisted sneer.

“Queen Sear never gave me what I deserved! She wanted me to spend more and more of my time with her and never gave me a single piece of her treasure in return for my company. I spent all my time wooing her and complimenting her. I even gave her an heir! And still she refused to give me my part of flame wing treasury. Well now I have all the treasure I could ever want, and I’ll never have to suck up to that soft hearted idiot of a queen ever again. After this I’ll have enough treasure to hire servants to do everything for me. I’ll never have to lift a finger myself again!”

This elicited a deep chuckle from the dragon on the high seat. While Scorch had been talking he had descended the pile of stone and now stood just behind Scorch.

“How very true. You’ll never lift a finger yourself again for the rest of your life.”

Then suddenly Scorch was surrounded by dragons in hoods. Two of them pinned his wings and forearms while another two pinned his hindlegs and tail.

“What is the meaning of this!” Scorch roared. The dragon who had sat on the high seat walked around until he was in front of Scorch and leaned into his face.

“I told you Scorch, betrayer of your tribe. You are going to get exactly what you deserve, and you’ll never have to lift a finger yourself for the rest of your life.” He whispered ominously.

One of the hooded dragons clamped Scorch’s jaw shut so now his head couldn’t move and he couldn’t breathe fire either. Then another hooded dragon came forward with the two crown looking objects from earlier. Now Ash could see it better. Each was a gold ring, shaped so that it would fit tight around a dragon’s head, and in the center of it was a large green gem. As soon as Scorch saw it his eyes widened and her started thrashing about wildly and his muffled screams filled the cavern.

The hooded dragon knelt before the dragon on the high seat and offered the rings to him. Picking up one ring from the hooded dragon the dragon on the high seat shoved it tightly down on Scorch’s head. Jamming it on so hard the gold warped to fit his skull. Scorch’s screams reached an even higher pitch than before, and then suddenly they stopped. His body went limp and the other dragons holding him set him on the ground.

Ash was frozen with shock and horror at what had just transpired. Then he yelped in fear as Scorch stood. But not like any dragon normally would. It looked more like he had been pulled to his feet by invisible puppet strings. He looked around calmly with an emotionless face. Then he stretched every part of his body individually as if testing for any injuries. Or, Ash shivered, as if he were moving his body for the first time. The dragon on the high seat stood to one side and knelt. Then Scorch’s body walked towards Ash picking up the other golden ring from the hooded dragon as he passed. Fear jolted Ash into action.

“Wh-what did you do to him!?” Ash screamed and tried to scramble backwards to get away from whatever Scorch had become.

“Just what I said I would. Now he’ll never have to lift a finger himself again.” The deep, evil, and powerful voice said.

Only this time it came from Scorch’s mouth.

Ash felt his entire body grow cold once more as he stared in terror at what had once been Scorch. His whole body trembled and went limp in the arms of his captors. This was an evil so beyond physical might it was pointless to even try fighting against him.

“Wh-who… who are you?” Ash stammered. The dragon smiled through Scorch’s face. It was a confident and superior smile with no trace of animosity nor happiness. He smiled as one would for a stray cat or dog that looked so pitiful it was almost funny.

“You will know who I am soon enough. And fear not little flame wing. I am no cruel tyrant, but I will do whatever it takes to make my kingdom stronger. If I give you my word you can trust it for I always keep my promises. Even if I keep them in… unexpected ways.”

The evil dragon remarked as he made Scorch’s hand scratch his chin.

“Though it may sound cruel to you I will use the gift Scorch so graciously offered me. However, you have done no wrong so I will release you soon. Unless…” He let his words hang ominously for a moment as he knelt next to Ash’s head and leaned in and whispered in Ash’s ear

“If you offer your services to me willingly then you’ll become a part of my kingdom. You will be under my command and my protection. I assure you that your service to me will change this world for the better and fulfill your destiny. And if you serve me well you will be rewarded with riches, popularity and freedom to do whatever you wish. I know how the flame wing nobles like Scorch treat those dragons considered common. I know how it feels to despise those who steal what is rightfully yours simply because the were born different. So, if you swear complete loyalty to me and me alone. I will give you the power crush those arrogant and cruel nobles under your claws. You will have the power to do as you please with them and pay back ten fold what they’ve done to you and those you love!”

“So, Ash the flame wing, will you serve me?” The evil dragon asked confidently.

The whole time he’d been speaking his voice had sounded enticing, smooth and reasonable. It whispered directly to those parts of Ash’s heart that craved power, security, and revenge. Ash could feel the pull of this dark power like gravity and yet something inside him resisted. This confidence and power he wanted so desperately. He could see everything he ever wanted in the powerful dragon before him. Yet at the same time he also saw the hidden cruelty, contempt and arrogance that resulted from it. And so, trembling with fear, Ash refused.

For a moment the evil dragon simply stared at him with no expression at all. Then he sighed and stood with a disappointed frown.

“Very well. I will allow you to make your choice and as I promised I will release you shortly. But until such time as I release you…

You will obey your DRAGON KING!” He growled as he forced the golden band down on Ash’s head.

“AAAAHHHhhhh…” Ash’s cry of pain slowly faded and his body when limp.

Meanwhile in Ash’s mind it felt like someone had put a barrier between himself and reality. The pain was dulled but he couldn’t move either.

Wha-what’s going on? He called out in his mind as he struggled to lift even the tip of his tail.

Stop resisting Ash. You are mine now. A voice echoed back in the cavern of Ash’s mind.

What? Ash asked meekly as his horror grew.

“I told you not to worry little flame wing.” Ash’s mouth spoke in a voice that wasn’t his.

“You will be free as soon as I’m done with you.” All the dragons in the cavern replied as one.

Ash cowered in terror as they all began to laugh in the voice of the evil dragon king. Filling the dark cavern with his triumph.

end

This is a side story from a book I'm writing and though it draws inspiration from Wings of Fire (ie flame wings) it is my own completely separate world. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed


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Points: 507
Reviews: 3

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Sun Jan 29, 2023 1:56 pm
Echo924 wrote a review...



Hello! I would like to give you a few grammar corrections. I hope you find them helpful.
1. In paragraph 4, you wrote "Come escort". After "come" there should be a comma because escort is a noun of direct address.
2. Paragraph 11 has the words "'…work he'll do for you.' Scorch said." After "you" should come a comma.
3. Paragraph 12, at the end of the direct quotation, part of which is "…you've done." The dragon… said. "Done" should be followed by a comma.

Some things I liked:
1. I liked how you described Scorch as a narcissistic waste of fresh air. In particular, I liked the word narcissistic, as it describes Scorch very well.
2. I liked how you described Ash's horror in paragraph 20.





There are those who say that life is like a book, with chapters for each event in your life and a limited number of pages on which you can spend your time. But I prefer to think that a book is like a life, particularly a good one, which is well to worth staying up all night to finish.
— Lemony Snicket