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Shadow's Rising Chapter 7 (part 1)

by dragonight9

Chapter 7

Shadow woke and stretched, shaking his head to get rid of the lingering drowsiness. He walked slowly over to the stream to take a drink and splash water on his face. The cold stream felt nice, but it wasn’t quite enough, so he dunked his whole head in. The water was refreshing and helped him wake up. As he flicked his head back, letting the clear water run down his scales, he sighed with content. He shook the water off as he readied himself for another day of training. Then he remembered that today was special.

The Flame Wing was arriving today!

Shadow smiled and clenched his talon in excitement. He wanted to skip training today and just spend the whole day watching the dragonets, but he also knew that the Flame Wing probably wouldn’t be arriving in the morning. There was no real reason to skip training today. Still, he thought he should try to do it as quickly as possible.

The whole time he trained his mind was filled with what the Flame Wing would be like. Was he a kind dragon, dutifully following the orders of his queen, or did he hate dragonets and was being forced to come see them? Would he get mad at them and use his fire breath, or would he be horrified by the conditions they were living in and force the guardians to take them somewhere nice? Would this mean the end of Shadow’s time with the other dragonets? Would the Flame Wing bring others to join them?

All these questions and more spun around Shadow’s mind as he finished his training and flew back to his listening spot. His mind was so preoccupied that he almost missed two dragons flying towards him from the direction of the center of the continent.

Shadow noticed the movement of their wings and he very nearly froze midair. His chest clenching as a wave of ice cold terror washed over him. It almost seemed like time itself slowed down as he felt a tingle in his wings and tail.

Desperately, he dove straight down into the trees as fast as he could. He crashed through the branches and landed on the forest floor awkwardly, but thankfully his scales ensured he wasn’t hurt. They were still quite far away. Perhaps they hadn’t noticed him.

Shadow hid under a bush and listened for the sound of their wingbeats and thoughts. He could vaguely hear what they were thinking, and it didn’t feel like they were excited or curious about anything. Hopefully that meant they hadn’t seen him. He kept listening.

…needs to be so hidden. Why not just keep them with all the other Wings of Protection? So much simpler that way. Then I wouldn’t have to bother myself with such…

Shadow breathed a sigh of relief. They weren’t thinking about a mysterious black dragonet or looking around for something suspicious either. Though, from their thoughts, it was probably the Flame Wing who had come to look at the dragonets. He could feel a kind of heat from the thoughts he had listened to. Now that the immediate threat had passed Shadow was very annoyed with himself.

Come on Shadow! After all these years of staying hidden from dragons and humans who could have been anywhere, you almost fly straight into the one dragon you knew was coming!

Shadow wanted to kick himself for his foolishness. He sighed again. At least he hadn’t been discovered. He shook himself and focused on slowly and silently making his way to his listening spot.

Once there he was able to get excited again about the prospect of listening in on what was going to happen during the Flame Wing’s visit. He felt the two dragons land at the secret entrance to the cave where the dragonets lived. Surge’s mind suddenly perked up. They must have knocked or given some kind of signal that they had arrived. Shadow followed her mind as she made her way to the entrance.

Good they’re here. Just need to make sure it is them. Then we can get this stupid inspection over with. Why bother with a secret pass code anyway? No one knows where to find us except for the wings of protection, and even if they did, it’s not like this is some kind of fortress where we could seal the door and keep attackers out. She thought as she reached the door.

“The wings of protection…” She called.

“Cover all dragons and carry us into the future.” The dragon whose thoughts Shadow had not heard yet of replied. This dragon’s thoughts seemed warm rather than the stinging heat of the other dragon.

My, my. I’m so impressed by your security. The first dragon thought sarcastically. His thoughts were almost like a small hot needle in Shadow’s mind.

“Who are you,” Surge asked after she opened the door.

“My name is Ash. I am with the wings of protection. This is Scorch. He is the emissary from Queen Sear,” the nice dragon with warm thoughts replied.

“I am Surge. One of the guardians of the dragonets of prophecy.”

“Yes, yes.” Scorch said anxious to continue. “Let’s see these dragonets and the living space you have chosen for them. I am quite anxious to return to my queen, so let us finish this inspection quickly,” He said to Surge before turning to Ash. “Stay here and guard the entrance. I’ll be back momentarily.”

Shadow grimaced as he listened to Scorch’s thoughts. He never thought he’d feel a mind he disliked more than Surge, but this hot headed and prickly minded dragon was far worse.

“Right this way.” Surge growled. Shadow could feel the instant dislike in her mind though it seemed like she was trying to hide it. But he wasn’t interested in Surge. He focused on Ash first since he seemed nicer than Scorch and his mind didn’t make him uncomfortable.

‘sigh’ This is exactly why I left the flame wings. All the nobles, so stuck up and acting all superior to everyone else. I bet Scorch doesn’t even remember my name even after all the weeks we’ve spent traveling together. He thinks he can command me just because he was sent here by queen Sear. I wish I could singe his tail for thinking he can tell me what to do. I’m part of the Wings of Protection now! We are saving all dragon kind! Some day I’ll teach these arrogant dragons, who think they can control everyone, a lesson. They won’t be sending anyone else’s family to work in molten lava pits or hunt dangerous lava beasts while they sit on their comfy couches in their lofty mansions. Ash thought. His mind going back to all the horrible memories of his life in the Flame Wing capital.

Shadow could vaguely make out blotches of black and deep, dark red. Indistinct images of dragons too. But more than that, there was heat, a painful and overwhelming heat. Shadow couldn’t imagine how hot it must have been for a Flame Wing to be in pain from heat. Ash sighed and tried to move on from his dark thoughts.

Until then, I’ll suck it up and do what this stupid noble tells me. But not for much longer. These dragonets will change everything. Then, finally, we’ll be truly free. He thought.

Shadow winced. Ash was so sure that these dragonets would change the world. If only he knew what they were truly like. A bunch of disobedient, playful dragonets that couldn’t even defeat a single dragon like Surge on their own. Shadow wondered if Ash would be so confident if he knew what they were really like. Was he just that sure of the prophecy, or did he simply feel like they were his only hope? 

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537 Reviews

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Reviews: 537

Tue Sep 26, 2023 3:25 pm
Ventomology wrote a review...

Heya! Just swinging by for a quick revmo review. I went back and read all the previous parts, so hopefully I can offer some worthwhile critique.

Out of curiosity... were you inspired by the Wings of Fire series by Tui Sutherland? I admit it has been a hot minute since I read those books (I'm rather past the target audience at this point), but I'm seeing a level of similarity that makes me wonder. It's got a real... How to Train Your Dragon + Wings of Fire + maybe Eragon? mashup feeling.

(If you did take direct inspiration from any of those pieces of media... you might want to change some of your terminology. I pretty clearly remember 'dragonets' being a term from Wings of Fire, and the context is incredibly similar. While it isn't a bad thing to be inspired by existing media, you want to really make it your own.)

Moving on:

You do a great job embodying the dragon physique in your narration, changing human actions to one's with claws, jaws, wings, and tails. It's always a lot of fun to see non-human characters and see how others describe they way they move.

I'm not a stickler for grammar, but you have a habit of breaking your phrases off of sentences that they should really be attached to. Take this line here:

Shadow noticed the movement of their wings and he very nearly froze midair. His chest clenching as a wave of ice cold terror washed over him.

That second sentence isn't a sentence at all. The use of the 'ing' verb instead of the past tense 'clenched' turns this into something called a participle phrase, which needs to be attached to a sentence. I don't see a reason why, if you left this as an 'ing' verb, you would separate it from the sentence prior. This isn't a moment with strong character voice. (And to be honest, participle phrases are not fragments I typically see on their own) Just keep an eye out in the future. Correct grammar isn't a necessity, but it does act as shorthand to help people understand your writing better.

Last thing: while it is super fun to get a peek into all the dragons' thoughts, you may want to treat it more like dialogue, where the thoughts get broken up by actions. It'll keep you from having really long sections of text that don't have a lot of imagery or action.

Hope this helps,

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115 Reviews

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Reviews: 115

Sat Sep 09, 2023 11:05 pm
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Rose wrote a review...

Greetings @dragonight9!

Beyond my beloved horizon, I'm setting sail into uncharted pages with an itch for adventure. Through binoculars, I spy with my little eye another intriguing chapter of the story titled “Shadow's Rising” that deserves a good review. Therefore without further ado, let us begin.


I. It all Begins at the Beginning
The beginning of this chapter radiates a very peaceful feeling. The story opens up with Shadow who is starting his day with feeling the cold water of the stream on his face. He is preparing for the arrival of the Flame Wing, an event that he has been eagerly looking forward to. I can sense his curiosity and excitement about this particular event. The description Shadow's morning routine sets the scene and creates a relatable connection to the character.

II. That Part
As Shadow goes about his training, the narrative takes a twisty turn as he senses the approach of two dragons. Your writing skillfully conveys Shadow's fear of being seen and also his quick thinking as he hides from the unknown dragons. This definitely adds intrigue to the story.
But also the fact that we got to hear from Ash again is something quite amazing. I remember his part of the story, the part where he got possessed by an extremely evil dragon king.

III. The Door to Improvements
As I said, the narrative takes a turn when Shadow senses the two unknown dragons, but you can add a bit more tension and suspense by letting Shadow actually think that they saw him and make it seem as if the dragons are looking down. Of course, they won't see him, but you can always make make things a bit more dramatic by adding the suspense. After all, suspense makes a story even better.

Furthermore, another thing to consider is providing the chapters with subtitles, this will not only help the reader to orient within the story, but it will definitely make it clear what this chapter will be about and at which part of the story we are.

IV. When all is Said and Done
Chapter 7 of "Shadow's Rising" leaves us with many questions and uncertainties( especially how it ended with a question). The story amps up the excitement for when the Flame Wing meets the dragonets, and it hints at the possibility of a huge shift in the plot.
In simple terms, Chapter 7 keeps you interested with its mysteries, character relationships, and hints at what's coming next. It makes you feel connected to the story and its characters.

V. Seek Inspiration Beyond
I haven't come by any other stories similar to yours, but feel free to check out the story "Scars In Blue" by @Serrurie for some extra inspiration and ideas to spice up your own storytelling!

That's it, that's all.
Hoping the review has been of value to you!

Yours in Puzzling Shadows,

dragonight9 says...

Thanks for the review, it looks very professional.

I might do subtitles so that those who read this without reading the prior stories will understand it.

Also, I like that you commented on the previous story about Ash. Cronologicly it happens soon after this in the overall story.

In the past I would definitely say who you would find inside. Not so much today. Place is bonkers …. As is everywhere
— Greg Specter