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Shadow's Rising Chapter 7 (part 2)

by dragonight9


Shadow hoped that Ash’s dream would come true one day, but now it was time for the main event. Shadow grimaced as he focused on Scorch, but he had to see what was going on in the cave and what Scorch thought of it.

As Scorch descended into the main cave where the other dragonets were waiting he was already criticizing the living space that had been chosen.

What a dirty, dark, cold, wet, and smelly hole this is. Certainly not a place for a noble Flame Wing such as myself. Only wurms could enjoy living in such a place as this. Fitting though, I suppose. After all, these uncivilized dragons are not much greater than wurms anyway. He glanced down at the dragonets as he entered the main room.

Hmph. And their larva is even uglier. I need to finish this farce of an inspection as quickly as possible before their stench sticks to me.

“This is the main room of the cave. These two are the guardians that help me protect and guide the dragonets. This is Shear and that is Quake. And these are the dragonets of prophecy. Tempest, Boulder, Hailstorm, Gale, and Aurora,” She sighed, gesturing to each of the guardians and dragonets in turn. Each of them was having their own thoughts about the new flame wing.

Shadow could see a pretty clear picture of the Flame Wing as Hailstorm analized it in his mind.

So that’s what a flame wing looks like. Fascinating. I thought they’d have more red scales but this one has lots of black scales and even yellow ones. His eyes are practically glowing! Though I don’t like how he’s looking at us.

Wow! He’s sooooo bright and scary. I don’t think he likes us very much at all. Aurora shrank back a bit from the intimidating Flame Wing. 

Man. Talk about distain. I was hoping for someone to play some games with, but I doubt this guy has ever heard of fun before. He’s just another adult who thinks he’s so much better than us just because we’re dragonets. Ha! I bet I could fly circles around him.

Gale's thoughts belayed the nervousness Shadow could feel in his mind.

Why is he looking at me like that? What did I ever do to make him dislike me so much? Did he have something bad for breakfast this morning? Boulder wondered.

Seems like he already hates us. Well, that’s fine, I hate him too. He’d better not give any of my friends trouble or I’ll give him a slap in his glowy face with my tail.

They all didn’t like the look of their new visitor and Scorch took notice.

“It seems your dragonets don’t have much respect for their superiors,” He growled.

Stupid, foolish peasant dragons. You should know your place and bow when a dragon of my stature stands before you. Though I suppose I’ll have to forgive your ignorance this once. You were raised by incompetent dragons from lesser tribes after all.

“Well? I thought you were going to show me the living space. My time is precious so please stop wasting it,” he continued, ignoring the dragonets.

Surge was fuming from his arrogant attitude and gestured for Shear to continue the tour. As she and Scorch left to continue the tour Surge’s anger bubbled over a little as she growled menacingly.

All the dragonets took a step back. They knew Surge well enough to realise she was on the brink of exploding.

“How dare he come waltzing in here like he is our superior!” Surge growled, mostly to herself. 

“He has no idea how much we’ve had to suffer down here to keep these foolish dragonets safe. He should be grateful we are allowing him to see this place. Does he have any idea how many dragons would beg to be allowed to see it? The place where the ‘legendary’ dragonets of prophecy were raised?” 

Quake placed a talon on her shoulder.

“I agree that he has no right to act the way he does. I can tell he’s never seen battle or even trained in combat before. It irks me that I would have to listen to someone who has earned no respect. Yet we must put up with it for this short while. For the sake of gathering all the dragonets together,” He said reasonably. Surge shook off his talon.

“I am aware. That’s the only reason I haven’t clawed his arrogant face off yet, but if he goes too far I may not be able to control myself,” She hissed, and for once Tempest agreed with her. She turned to her friends.

“I can’t stand this guy.”

“Yeah me neither,” Gale added.

“Well, we should at least not cause trouble for the guardians while he’s here.” Aurora suggested.

“Yeah, Surge looks like she’s about to start tearing someone's wings off,” Hailstorm agreed nervously. "Please don't make her any angrier Tempest."

Tempest huffed at the implication. She was smart enough to know that pushing the fuming guardian any further was not a good idea. 

“And that is the end of our tour,” Shear said cheerfully as she and Scorch rejoined the others.

“Hmmm. Very well. Thank you for your time Guardians. I will report this to my queen, and she will contact you with her answer in the near future,” Scorch said in a formal tone. Though, as he and Surge walked back outside once more, his mind was thinking something completely different.

Such filthy common living. How do dragons even live in such conditions? Hmph. At least this is the end of my time with selfish dragonets. They think they can just do whatever they want because of a prophecy. Well... To bad it won’t come true now. Ha! Now that I’m done here I can finally get what I deserve. After running all these errands for them it had better be even more gold then they promised. Then I won’t have to obey a queen that has no respect for me anymore.

Shadow could feel Scorch’s satisfaction as his pride and ego were sated.

It made him sick.

But more than that, he was worried about what the despicable Flame Wing was thinking. Was he planning on harming the dragonets or had he already done something to the Flame Wing dragonet? However, Shadow didn’t have time to ponder this right now and refocused on Scorch as he and Surge reached the cave entrance.

“We are grateful for your visit. May your journey back to the land of the Flame Wings be swift and safe,” Surge said respectfully. And good riddance too.

“The flame wings are grateful for your cooperation. I will return and report to my queen all details regarding your living conditions. Please send your strongest warrior to report this to the Wings of Protection as well.”

“Why must I be the one to report this?!” Surge growled. “Why not simply have Ash report it when he returns?”

“Because he will obviously be escorting me back to her majesty of course,” Scorch said as if it was obvious.

“Then he will wait there for her majesty’s decision and deliver it to the Wings of Protection. It will take some time for a decision to be reached and the Wings of Protection must be notified that I have completed the inspection. Besides, it’s not like you need three fully grown dragons to take care of a mere handful of dragonets,” He said dismissively.

Both Surge and Ash were boiling with anger but neither wanted to do anything that might prevent Queen Sear from trusting the Wings of Protection with the Flame Wing dragonet of prophecy.

Meanwhile Scorch was smirking inwardly. He knew they hated doing what he said but couldn’t risk going against him. He loved watching the frustration on their faces and basking in the power he held over them.

“Very well,” Surge hissed between gritted teeth. “I’ll inform the wings of protection. But you had better put in a good word for us. This is above and beyond what was agreed. If you knew you needed a messenger you should have brought another member of the Wings of Protection with you.”

“Hmph. Another member would have just slowed us down. This way we get all the dragonets together as quickly as possible. Isn’t that what all you Wings of Protection dragons want? You should be grateful I’m so thoughtful to save you time like this,” Scorch scoffed.

Surge’s claws twitched. She wanted so badly to slash his stupid, arrogant face right then and there, but she held herself back. Barely.

“Come on Scorch. Let’s get going,” Ash insisted. Eager to be off before he pushed Surge over the edge.

“That is Lord Scorch to you peasant,” Scorch snapped. 

Shadow could feel Ash rolling her eyes behind the conceited dragon’s back as she leapt into the air. Scorch snorted at his apparent disrespect, but he followed Ash into the sky. Surge growled as she watched them go. That was by far the worst Flame Wing she had ever met.

“I suppose I’ll need to let the other guardians know that I’m now being required to fly halfway across the continent because of the stupidity of a Flame Wing.” 

It pained her but she knew she had no choice. Somebody had to tell the Wings of Protection that the meeting had been successful. If that irritating Flame Wing wasn't going to let Ash go, then she would have to go instead.

Shadow let out a deep sigh and stretched after remaining in one spot for so long. He didn’t know if he was feeling tense because of the rudeness of the Flame Wing or the excitement of everything that was going on, but he wished he could take a break. Unfortunately, the guardians weren’t going to wait for him to be ready, so he quickly listened in again to see what would happen next.


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Thu Dec 14, 2023 5:58 pm
RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Part 2 was tense! Seeing just how arrogant and rude Scorch was, even outside his own thoughts, I thought Surge was going to attack him! Or even Tempest, possibly, but I see that going even more poorly...That being said, confirmed: Scorch is not a likable character. He certainly gives off a strong antagonistic feeling, and you did a great job at capturing that. I feel like that almost sounds like an insult, but it takes work to make a hateable character, so good job, haha.

I am even suspicious a bit, though I could easily be wrong. Scorch makes Surge -the strongest guardian- leave the cave instead of Ash, or another member he could have brought with him...He already said something dark about the prophecy not coming true, and despising the dragonets...He comes off as an antagonist...

~ I have the feeling that something bad is going to happen ~

Quick note, this made me remember that you had a short story with more information on Ash and Scorch, and I remember reading the beginning, but then I had to handle something with my own writing, and the rest got away from me. If it sounds like I'm missing information on these characters, that is why. Should I finish that before proceeding, here?

That aside, as far as structure goes, most of the chapter was great. From the guardians' irritation, to Scorch's ego-fueled view of the cave, to Shadow's input on everything.

Though, as a small note, I would point out that it was kind of hard to follow the thoughts of all the dragonets, when they see Scorch. I noticed fellow reviewer, IcyFlame, mentioned this too, specifically that your dialogue tags should be a little more varied. I personally didn't want more diversity in the dialogue tags as much as I just wanted a little more clarification of who is thinking at what moment. Especially since some of the thoughts are so long, we're like 2-4 sentences ahead before we figure out who's thinking (I mean, we can infer from the content, but it still helps). I noticed you did really good at capturing the mood and reactions of the individual dragonets with their body language, so playing off that, maybe putting the gestures or actions BEFORE the thought could help. This could replace the tags, just as is sometimes done with normal dialogue, and add diversity to them by extension.

Here's a general example of what I mean (using * instead of italics)...

"Each of them was having their own thoughts about the new [Flame Wing]. Starting with Hailstorm, Shadow could see a pretty clear picture of [Scorch] as he analyzed it in his mind.

Hailstorm thought, *So that’s what a [Flame Wing] looks like. Fascinating. I thought they’d have more red scales but this one has lots of black scales and even yellow ones. His eyes are practically glowing! Though I don’t like how he’s looking at us.*

Aurora shrank back a bit from the intimidating Flame Wing. *Wow! He’s sooooo bright and scary. I don’t think he likes us very much at all.*

Gale's thoughts belayed his nervousness. *Man. Talk about [disdain]. I was hoping for someone to play some games with, but I doubt this guy has ever heard of fun before. He’s just another adult who thinks he’s so much better than us just because we’re dragonets. Ha! I bet I could fly circles around him.*

Boulder wondered, *Why is he looking at me like that? What did I ever do to make him dislike me so much? Did he have something bad for breakfast this morning?*

Tempest mentally sneered, *Seems like he already hates us. Well, that’s fine, I hate him too. He’d better not give any of my friends trouble or I’ll give him a slap in his glowy face with my tail.*"

Sorry that's kind of a lot, and this of course is just a friendly suggestion from an amateur. Anyway, the chapter was overall great (part 1 and part 2). It feels like something big is coming, so I am eager to see more ~




dragonight9 says...


Thanks, (this is a reply to both reviews on this chapter)

I didn't think of putting the indication of who's thinking before the thought (other than how I indicated Hailstorm's in the previous paragraph). This is definitely something I can use in the future and I'll probably do some editing on this based on your review later.

Also in reply to your side note about my Short story about Ash and Scorch. That story takes place immediately after this chapter in my timeline but I was planning on using it as an intermediary chapter between this part (ch 1-12) and the next. I think you'll enjoy the fate of this un-likeable character. (side note, if you think he needs more build up to create enough dislike for the reader to want such a fate for him please let me know)



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Wed Dec 13, 2023 3:55 pm
IcyFlame wrote a review...



Hello hi hello! I for sure have caught some of these chapters in the past but I'm for sure not up to date, so sorry if I mention something you've covered off in a previous chapter! I'll do my best to be specific about this particular one, though.

So that’s what a flame wing looks like. Fascinating. I thought they’d have more red scales but this one has lots of black scales and even yellow ones. His eyes are practically glowing! Though I don’t like how he’s looking at us. Hailstorm thought.

Wow! He’s so bright and scary. I don’t think he likes us very much at all. Aurora thought.

Man. Talk about distain. I was hoping for someone to play some games with, but I doubt this guy has ever heard of fun before. He’s just another adult who thinks he’s so much better than us just because we’re dragonets. Ha! I bet I could fly circles around him. Gale thought.

Why is he looking at me like that? What did I ever do to make him dislike me so much? Did he have something bad for breakfast this morning? Boulder wondered.

Seems like he already hates us. Well, that’s fine, I hate him too. He’d better not give any of my friends trouble or I’ll give him a slap in his glowy face with my tail. Tempest thought.

A nitpick, but four out of five of these thoughts end with 'X thought'. I'd personally find it more interesting to read if those tags were varied a little more. It almost felt like you were following a specific convention until the 'wondered' was thrown in. I think the two options are to either have them all as 'thought' or to change them up a bit more (my personal preference).

I'd also echo Vent's very eloquently put point about body language. You've got a lot of characters in this particular section and it's both body language and the way in which they speak that's going to help differentiate them from each other.

My last point for improvement would be to consider how many dialogue tags you have. Annoyingly, having lots of them (even if you change them up) makes the text feel a bit robotic and repetitive. Consider looking through to see where you can make it clear who's speaking without the use of a tag?

In terms of plot I think this is moving us along at a good pace. There was a lot of talking, but I think we're being set up for something big to happen!

Hope this was helpful.

Icy




dragonight9 says...


Thanks, I'll definitely see if I can diversify or remove some of those dialogue tags.
Not sure how much body language I want to add since this is supposed to be from the perspective of Shadow, who can't see what's happening. He can just feel general movement and expressions but I'm not sure whether to keep this aspect of the story at present. If I do I'll come back and add some more.



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Tue Sep 26, 2023 3:56 pm
Ventomology wrote a review...



Heyyy! Back again.

Obviously Scorch is a horrible dragon, but I think you did a great job with playing that out through his thoughts and dialogue. Now the next step is: what does disdain look like on a dragon? Is there a particular way Scorch holds his head? Maybe polite dragons keep their wings close to their bodies in company, but this guy stretches them out to take up space. I would encourage you to think about what body language looks like on dragons so that you can show the dragon's emotions through their physicality more, alongside their thoughts. Having a good understanding of how the dragons move and emote in their bodies will also allow you to pull of some really stellar lie detection going forward. (It's also useful for humor! I think it would be especially useful for Boulder, since you can really sell his brick wall exterior and mushy interior that way)

This next point is on the fact that Shadow is really an observer for a lot of this. I know it would take a lot of rework to make it happen, but I'd really like to see him take a more active role. The most exciting part was when he reached out to the other dragonets-- is there nothing else he can do to interact with them? You've mentioned that dragons of Shadow's lineage are very sneaky, so I think it would be a lot of fun for him to do more of that in a way that lets him be in on the action and play a bigger role in his own story.

Plot wise: I'm very excited to see how the absence of Surge will move the plot forward. I bet there's something nefarious cooking that will force the dragonets out while their most combative guardian is away. Great set-up there.

Hope this helps,
-Vento




dragonight9 says...


Thanks for your reviews!

I am heavily inspired by Wings of Fire and How to Train Your Dragon. But this is probably the most closely related part of my book to those works.

I'll definitely look at the grammar more when I edit the chapters for the final time.

I like the idea of incorporating the dragon's body language into it more but that is difficult at this part of the story since I'm still trying to keep Shadow unable to see many visual cues.

As for Shadow's participation, you see a lot more of him taking action in chapter 9 onward. I'll try to add more body language at that point. Thanks!




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