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Shadow's Rising: Prologue

by dragonight9


10 years ago...

Jarid winced as the door slammed behind him. He knew that his father, Simon, didn’t really want to hurt him, but in his drunken state, being kicked out of the house wasn’t the worst thing that could happen.

Jarid wished his father didn’t drink so much, but of course, he also understood why. It was barely six years since his mother Adalinda had died in a dragon attack, and the pain of losing not only her but the entire village where they used to live, weighed heavily on him.

Jarid knew that his father didn’t hate him, but the fact that he was their adopted son didn’t help Simon’s feelings towards him. Simon and Adalinda had taken him in after a strange old man washed ashore in a small rowboat and begged them to take in the baby boy he was carrying. The old man died soon after without revealing anything about where he'd come from or who his biological parents were.

Jarid didn’t remember the old man or anything else that had happened before living with his adopted parents, but it didn’t matter. He loved them both a lot and they loved him. They had lived in a house just outside the fishing village where the old man had washed ashore. Even though they were peasants and could barely afford the small stash of adventure books and journals they owned, it was a good life. Their clothes were nothing special and Adalinda always patched them up when they got torn. It was just poor luck that she had gone to market the night of the attack while Jarid stayed home with Simon to watch him work.

They had heard roars and screams, but by the time they got outside black dragons were already burning down the whole village. Simon tried to go rescue Adelina but by the time he got there nothing was left but ashes.

Not a single person had survived.

After that, they had moved near another nearby village and Simon became the village blacksmith there. During the day he buried himself in work and at night he often buried himself in drink. Jarid felt sad about what had happened too, but over the past 6 years the pain had lessoned into a dull ache in his heart. Seeing his father like this hurt him more than that old pain. Simon didn’t cry but Jarid sometimes cried for him. Hoping, wishing, that Simon would stop drinking and yelling at him every time he did something wrong.

Even so, he still hated being kicked out. Right now, he was too annoyed to feel bad for anyone. On nights like these he usually went to sleep in the shed behind their small house. The tools for his father’s forge were kept there. It wasn’t too comfortable, but it was better than sleeping out in the open. After all, his clothes were little more than rags held together by his mother’s old stitching. His father might have bought him new clothes if he’d asked for them, but even as torn as they were Jarid just couldn’t bring himself to get rid of them.

Jarid considered getting the shed as comfortable as possible for the night but it was much too early to go to sleep yet, and he had a feeling that there was somewhere he had to be. Like a tugging on his heart. With a shrug he decided to go look for wherever it was he was supposed to be. Nobody was there to stop him and he was pretty grown up after all.

It felt exciting to go an adventure at night. Even though he was only 8 he loved adventuring and knew the land around his home like the back of his hand. The small cabin where they lived was just inside the forest of Denbark.

The village where his father worked, and where Jarid went to school, was an hour’s ride north surrounded by grassy plains. To the west there lay a flat plain with a tree line just visible in the distance. He knew that beyond that lay the volcanic mountains. Finally, to the east and south lay the forest of Denbark with the dark, craggy peaks of the dread mountains looming behind it. That was also the direction he felt pulled towards.

Jarid had explored every inch of the forest within half a day’s walk and even found a secret hidden valley not too far away that he called dragon valley. He didn’t know why but even after they killed his mother and destroyed his village, he couldn’t be mad at them. He had always wondered if there was some reason they had to do it. Maybe some bad guys attacked them and hid in the village or maybe the dragons were being controlled like in one of the story books he’d read. The dragons didn’t know any better. They were just animals after all.

So, he named the hidden valley, Dragon Valley because within the wall of trees that encompassed it was a world where everything made sense and he knew all the answers. Where everybody was a good person, and he could make friends with even the most scary-looking monsters. To find the valley you had to follow a small river that ran through the forest. At one point it seemed to disappear into a dense patch of bushes but if you pushed your way through or swam in the river you’d come out into his magical world.

The river ran across the soft grassy floor of the valley and under a rock at the far end. The little valley was surrounded by trees and tall bushes so no one could find it unless they knew where to look and was big enough to fit Jarid’s whole house inside a few times over.

No one else knew about it and Jarid often played there making up stories where he was the hero that saved everyone. Usually with the help of magic a powerful monster or two that he’d tamed.

Finally, Jarid made up his mind.

“Okay. I’ll just go to dragon valley. If there’s an adventure out here. That’s where it’ll be,” He declared.

Normally the woods would be too dark to see, but tonight two full moons shone in the sky just above the tree line to the east. Their brilliance illuminating land in a wonderous white light. Two full moons didn’t happen very often and there was a big party to celebrate with lots of food and drinks, which might explain why dad had come home drunk so early.

The feeling of adventure and the tug on his heart grew as he neared the forest. The excitement of adventure pushed all thoughts of danger from his mind. The dark, shifting shadows of the leaves in the moonlight made the whole forest seem surreal and dangerous, but that only fueled Jarid’s adventurous spirit. He imagined being a sneaky spy slipping through the forest to spy an enemy camp. The cool night air smelled fresh and earthy as he dashed from tree to tree and scurried under bushes. Their soft leaves wiping dew from the rain that morning over his arms.

But as he got further into the forest, he started remembering all the stories he’d been told about monsters that come out at night. Wolves, goblins, giant cats, blood sucking bats and many other evil things that might just want a midnight snack. He started feeling less and less like a courageous adventurer and more like a foolish child who had wandered far too deep into a dangerous forest at night. Slowing down, Jarid started walking far more cautiously. Listening to every creak of the trees and rustle of the leaves. Every soft whistle of the wind and-

“CRASH! Snap! Thud!”

The sound, like all the branches in a tree snapping at once and ending with a heavy thud, echoed like a gunshot in the near perfect silence of the night.

With a yelp Jarid scrambled to get behind a tree as he franticly scanned the forest for whatever made the sound but saw nothing. His heart was pounding in his small chest and the rough bark of the tree scratched his fingers with how tight he was clutching it.

What was that? He thought. All the possibilities racing through his mind.

It had to be something big. Perhaps a bear or troll? It doesn’t really matter either way. I need to get home right now! I’m dead if that thing catches me!

But his legs felt like jelly and wouldn’t work properly. Jarid took a moment to breath and sto the shaking in his legs, but just as he decided to try taking a step, he heard a groan coming from the direction of the crash. Jarid froze one foot suspended in the cold night air. It didn’t sound like a warning or threat.

It sounded like an animal in pain.

Curious, Jarid carefully lowered his foot and looked around the tree. The sound was coming from a small clearing up ahead. It must have been whatever crashed in the forest just now. They had probably fallen off a cliff or something and got hurt when they landed in a tree.

Instinctively Jarid took a step forward to help the creature but stopped himself.

This is stupid Jarid! You don’t go TOWARDS the sound of a big monster, even if it is hurt. That’s how the stupid person in the story always dies. He berated himself.

He started to take a step back towards his house, but another pained wheeze stopped him. He could feel the tug on his heart pulling him in the direction of the sound, and eventually his curiosity and compassion overcame his caution. With a groan at his own stupidity he snuck through the trees and bushes until he came to the clearing. He peered through the bushes and on the far side of the clearing, he saw the creature.

It was a dragon!

A large black one. Just like the ones who destroyed his village and killed his mom. Still, for some reason he just couldn’t bring himself to hate this creature.

It was black as the night sky and bigger than a horse. It had wings coming out of its back that were longer than he was tall. The scales that covered most of its body shone like obsidian in the moonlight. Its tail was long and strait, there were soft ridges on its back from its tail to the back of its head. It had no horns, although it did have some kind of soft, round, ear-looking things that could have been mistaken for horns. Jarid hardly noticed its sharp teeth and claws. The later looking very similar to a cat’s.

Jarid stared in awe. It was beautiful.

He couldn’t think of any other word to describe the amazing beast before him. The dragon lay on its side curled around something and groaned with each breath. It was bleeding from more than a dozen big cuts that Jarid could see, and a dark pool of blood was forming around it.

Seeing its wounds Jarid couldn’t help but feel sorry for the dragon. He knew everybody in the village would laugh at him for it. Feeling sorry for a monster? And one that had killed his own mother? Ha! How stupid could he be?

Yet he couldn’t help it. When he saw a creature in pain it was like an instinct. Jarid crept closer to the edge of the clearing to get a better look, but froze as the dragon’s head snapped up, searching around the clearing.

“ʀ̥tæ ɛɛɪɪ nnɹɹɹɯ. Hd͡ʒʧɹɹɪɪ, tɹɹɹʧd͡ʒ ŋŋɹɹ!” The dragon growled fiercely, causing the hairs on the back of Jarid’s neck to stand on end.

The dragon slowly scanned the clearing, then it spotted him and paused. It cocked its head to the side for a moment as if puzzled or confused.

"ʀ̥o͡ʊ huən. Hʧɹɹɹɖ ŋŋɹɹ ɪɹɹ ɛɛi ɛ lʌŋ ɖɯəəəɪɖ ɔæ," it hissed softly. Then it gazed intently into Jarid’s eyes. 

As Jarid stared back, he felt confused. In its eyes saw pain, fear and sadness, but he also saw intelligence, curiosity and hope. It felt strange to see those emotions in the eyes of a creature other than human, and slowly, the fear that had griped him faded.

The dragon seemed to be searching for something in his gaze, and after a few minutes it took a deep shuddering breath and relaxed. Resting its head on the ground. Jarid was about to cautiously creep forward when a voice suddenly spoke in Jared’s head causing him to jump in surprise.

“Hello small one. Don’t be alarmed, I won’t hurt you.”

The voice was gentle and slightly feminine. Jarid was shocked but didn’t run. In fact, he felt rooted in place as he tried to comprehend what had just happened. He had never heard of a dragon talking in someone’s head before. The dragon’s voice sounded trustworthy and it didn’t look like she wanted to hurt him. Besides, the dragon may have been big, but it was also wounded so Jarid decided that he could trust her. Enough to not eat him at least. He was about to speak when she interrupted him.

“I’m sorry small one but I’m afraid my time is almost up. There are others coming for me and my dragonet. It’s too late for me, but I need to make sure my baby is safe.”

The dragon uncurled her wings to revel an egg clutched in her talons.

“Will you please care for him until he is old enough to survive on his own? I know I am asking much of you small one when we have only just met, but I have no other choice.”

Jarid could not believe what was happening. This kind of thing only happened in fairy tales. He was momentarily overwhelmed by what it would mean for him to raise a dragon and honestly, he had no idea. It would be a lot of responsibility (he knew that much from the time he’d asked his father for a pet and got an hour long lecture on the subject), but he also knew the beginning of a real adventure when he saw one and there was no way he was going to pass up this opportunity.

“O-ok miss dragon.” He stammered, nodding nervously.

Then he slowly approached the dragon, trembling with excitement and fear. She was still big enough to make him nervous even if she seemed gentle and trustworthy. Leaving the bushes at the edge of the clearing made him feel very exposed as he approached her. He could hear her labored breathing and as he came right up to her, he felt her warm breath on his face as she continued to gaze at him. He hadn’t really noticed the color of her eyes before but they were probably the most beautiful shade of violet he had ever seen. He didn’t see even the slightest hint of malice or anger in them as he reach out for her precious egg.

The dragon allowed him to gently take the egg from her claws. It was warm, smooth, and surprisingly heavy, but Jarid found he could carry it without too much difficulty. The shell was black and sparkled like the night sky strewn with stars.

“You are my only hope now.” The dragon whispered. “I know he will be a great dragon one day. Be sure to care for him well. His name is Shadow.”

Then she looked up as if hearing something in the distance.

“They will be here soon. Go! Quickly! Keep him safe.”

Jarid could feel the fear and hope in her words as they entered his mind. Then, as he carried the egg to the edge of the clearing, he could feel her relief as well. He hid in some bushes at the edge of the clearing and soon after he heard feint wingbeats overhead. Peering through the bushes he saw three dragons the same color as the mother dragon descending. Jarid gasped.

They had been right overhead, and he had barely heard a thing!

The three dark dragons landed and began to circle her.

“Hdəəəŋŋ ʧɛɛɪɪɤd.” The first snapped at her.

"Hnnɒ huən ŋŋo͡ʊɔɔ jsssŋɖɪ sssʧ ɹɹɹɔɔk tʌɖnɛɛɲ ɖɒŋɛɖ. Hnnɹɹɹŋ ɬəəɤ dɹɹʧ jɛɛʧ wɹɹ lɒŋŋd͡ʒʧɹɹɖ." The second one snarled.

"Hɔæ jɛɛʧ ŋɬɖ ɹɹɹɪlo͡ʊd͡ʒ nnɒ lɛɛɲc sssɯdɤk." The last and largest one hissed menacingly.

Jarid thought they were clearly angry about something. The most monstrous one was almost as big as his house and the smallest was about the same size as the mother dragon.

Jarid was frozen with fear as he watched. Then he felt the dragon mother’s presence in his head again.

A warm calm washed over him, chasing the fear away. Jarid stared at her in wonder. She was sharing her courage with him, even though she must have been terrified herself. 

As the other dragons continued growling, images, memories and feelings began appearing in Jarid’s mind. The dragon mother was somehow sending him her memories.

Memories from when she was a dragonet and how she was cared for by her mother. Memories of flying lessons and fire breathing lessons. Memories of dragons laughing and joking in the dragon language. Even as all this flashed through Jarid’s mind, the one thing overshadowing and encompassing all of it was her overwhelming love for Shadow.

It filled Jarid with determination to fulfill his promise to her and at the same time made him long for his own mother. Warm tears flowed freely down his face as he accepted her gift.

It would take Jarid months to sort out all the information she had given him in that moment but the first thing he noticed was that he could suddenly understand the dragons who were talking.

“I’ll ask you one more time. Where is your egg?” The biggest dragon growled.

“Does it really matter?” The smallest one asked.

“She will be dead soon, and the hatchling will die of starvation or be eaten by some forest predator. There is no way it could survive out here on its own and there is no smell of a dragon she could have handed it off to. Just a fox, some deer, and a human. All of which would ignore or destroy any dragon egg they came across.”

“True,” sighed the largest dragon. “But I would prefer to see a dead hatchling than to have it come back and cause us trouble later.”

“Well, I for one am not going to search this entire forest for some broken eggshells that may have ended up in a foxhole,” hissed the medium sized dragon.

“You can deal with this one. We’re going home,” the small dragon growled as he and the medium sized dragon leaped into the sky.

“Hmph. Lazy lard wings. I have to do everything myself nowadays.” 

The large dragon sighed and stopped circling. “If only you had simply given up your egg, none of this would have happened.”

The dragon mother simply hissed at him in defiance. With another bored sigh the large dragon raised his claw to deliver the finishing blow.

Jarid couldn’t bear to watch anymore. It felt like he was watching his own mother die again. He pushed the egg deeper into the bush and ran in between the dragon mother and the large dragon. The large dragon, who Jarid now realised towered over him, looked down in surprise.

“What’s this? A puny human would stand in my way? Ha! How amusing. Run along now.”

He backhanded Jarid so quickly and casually that Jarid barely had time to bring his arms up to block. He flew back and slammed into the dragon mother’s side before falling to his knees.

His arms screamed in pain and his head felt fuzzy and bruised. He saw blood pouring down his face from a gash on his forehead. The blood joined the growing pool of the mother’s blood which was almost shin deep where he stood. His body told him to run but his heart thrust him forward as he tried to stagger back to protect the dragon mother.

“These humans truly are a stupid, pitiful race.” The big dragon huffed.

He leaned down and blew a small stream of flames at Jarid who threw up his arms to protect his face. The flames seared his arms, face, and chest. His clothes caught fire and he fell back into the pool of blood at the dragon’s feet with a small cry of agony. The blood extinguished the fire, but the pain stayed. It seemed to fill his entire world and he could see black spots swiming in his vision.

Just as the world began to fade. he heard a distant roar and saw the dragon mother use all her remaining strength to leap at the large dragon slicing his snout, leaving two deep cuts along the left side of his face from his eyebrow all the way to the tip of his nose. He roared in pain and sliced her throat. Then leaped into the night sky clutching his face as the world faded to black.

Jarid woke to a dull pain seemingly everywhere at once. He rolled over to get up, but a strange, heavy, and slimy liquid suddenly filled his mouth as he tried to breathe in. He lunged out of the pool of blood coughing, sputtering, and spitting to get the half-congealed blood out of his mouth. He wiped the blood out of his eyes and looked around.

The moons were just reaching their highest point. Slowly he remembered what had happened. He checked himself to see how bad he was hurt. His arms had burn scars, but the cuts had already nearly healed. His mouth tasted like copper and raw meat and his face felt funny. Almost like it was really bumpy and it hurt just like his arms.

Thankfully the flames were only able to burn a little bit deeper than the skin before the dragon mother’s blood put them out, but the heat had fused her blood into his arms, face and most of his upper body. Causing it to harden over top like a scab.

He looked around spotting the dragon mother, her body limp and slightly pale in the moonlight. Now he had lost another person he cared about. Even if they had only known each other for a short time, he felt as though she had been a second mother to him. And now that little dragon had lost its mother just like he had. It wasn’t fair.

Jarid could feel the sadness and anger building up inside him until it couldn’t be contained any longer. He cried, yelled, and roared his anger and sadness into the night sky. Tears streaming down his face until he collapsed, exhausted, to the soft dirt and grass of the clearing.

It must have been hours until a cry from just outside the clearing woke him once more. The blood had dried and flaked off him as he moved to the side of the clearing to see what was making the noise. He peered into the bushes to find that the egg had hatched and there was a little black dragonet curled up inside crying. Even though both full moons were still shining brightly overhead it was dark inside the trees. Dark enough, hopefully, for then to remain unnoticed for a while.

Jarid gently scooped up the baby dragon and sat down with his back to a tree petting it slowly and gently. He was still sore from his burns, but the pain was now a dull ache. Far more concerning to him was the tiny, fragile, and helplessly crying baby dragon in his arms.

You’re just like me now. Jarid thought to himself smiling sadly. An orphan who doesn’t know where he came from. With a mother who was killed by evil dragons.

He now knew for certain that there were bad dragons. Just like there were bad humans. Now it all made sense. The ones who burned down his old village must have been bad dragons. Maybe the three he’d seen tonight had helped do it. If so, he felt some small amount of satisfaction for the cut on the big dragon’s face.

But that also meant there were good dragons too.

The baby dragon calmed down and began gurgling and cooing while he pet it. Then it curled up and snuggled into his chest before falling asleep in his arms. Jarid began rocking it back and forth while running his hands over its soft, smooth scales.

“Don’t worry little guy. We’re goanna be alright. I’m goanna take good care of you,” Jarid whispered soothingly. Then, he turned to the dragon mother’s limp form. “I will keep your dragonet safe. I promise.”

Then Jarid got up and carried the little dragon to his secret valley.

“Well, this truly is Dragon Valley now,” He chuckled sadly to himself as he entered the valley. He found a bush along the side of the clearing and tucked the little dragon into it. Hoping it would sleep there until Jarid got back.

Jarid rushed home. He took a quick dip in the stream to wash all the remaining blood off and checked on his father. Simon was still passed out on his bed and probably wouldn’t wake no matter how loud he was. He then quickly grabbed some straw from the donkey’s stable, packed up the leftovers from dinner and hurried back to the forest.

When he got back, he was relieved to see that the little dragon was still asleep. As he sat down next to the baby dragon, the smell of food caused it to stir. The little dragon opened its eyes with a mew of curiosity. Jarid noticed that its eyes were dark red, the color of blood, but full of curiosity and innocence. Then its eyes lit up at the sight of the leftovers Jarid had brought and quickly dug in. Jarid wasn’t sure what kinds of things dragons ate but the memories of the dragon mother told him that they were omnivores. They could eat the same things as humans but usually had a lot more meat in their diet.

After the little dragon had eaten its fill, it stumbled over to Jarid, curled up on his lap and went straight back to sleep.

“Don’t worry little guy. I’m not going to let anyone hurt you. We are family now little brother.” Jarid chuckled to himself as he pet the baby dragon’s soft scales. “Heh. Yeah. That’s what you are, I guess. My little, dragon brother. Shadow.”


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Fri Mar 22, 2024 1:56 pm
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keeperofgaming wrote a review...



Late to the show but let me apply my Template

When I smiled

This was adorable and sad. The child understanding both death and responsibility was tragic. The Fact that the mother of Shadow died was so sad. I wish that she could've survived.

For the level of maturity, I expected him to be a teenager, but to hear that he was merely eight just made me sad and sympathetic to him and what he's gone through.

A Line to Remember

“Don’t worry little guy. I’m not going to let anyone hurt you. We are family now little brother.”

I feel like this outlines Jarid's personality really early on. He is a kind and caring individual that want to love and be loved. I hope that he and Shadow can find that required love with each other.

The Catalyst's Growth

Jarid wanted an adventure and to understand why his adoptive mother had to die. In his adventure, he realized two things, that dragons were very close to humans, and that death can come at any time.

He understood the mission assigned to him by the mother and showed his maturity that shows that the mother was right to trust him.

Overall: Good Job.




dragonight9 says...


Thanks for your thoughts on this. So glad you read it.



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Mon Dec 04, 2023 7:51 pm
RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hi! New to YWS and looking for fellow fantasy writers, so here I am, haha...

Anyway, this was an epic and fascinating prologue! An almost guranteed point of interest for high/epic fantasy fans, and honestly, who doesn't love a story with a dragon? Along that line, I am very intrigued that dragons are not only present and seemingly normal within your universe, but that they have the capability of speech as well.

It was good to read some background on the main character, but seeing how it ties in with this orphaned baby dragon and dying mother immediately created an emotional interest in these two, and what may happen between them in future chapters. I'm also very intrigued by the dynamic between the dragon and human races. Maybe it's just a classic predator-hunts-prey situation that my mind is overcomplicating, but for some reason, I feel like there's more to unpack. Even if there isn't, that's a good way to get readers invested.

I have to admit, this seems to be a bit long for a prologue, as most of the ones I read are short, snappy, and too the point (or they create a sudden cliffhanger). However, this one is so well-written, and each paragraph keeps drawing enough interest to keep reading -without the feeling of clutter or info-dumping, you know? The point being, it works!

Of course, this is all just my opinion, and I am no professional.

- And on a side note, I love your cover art. Cute dragon!

I'd give this prologue a personal score of 10/10, and I would love to read more soon!




dragonight9 says...


I'm so glad you enjoyed! You're totally right about the length. I originally wrote this as my first chapter before realising it worked better as a prologue.
I hope you continue to enjoy my story and YWS in general. Have a great day/week.



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Tue Sep 12, 2023 10:41 pm
foxmaster wrote a review...



Hey, Foxmaster here for a quick review!
ooooh! I noticed that your chapters came out some time ago, and I decided to check out the prologue. Sorry it took me so long to review it.
Anywhoo, this is once again a well-written story by you, but I could find some mistakes. Nothing a second read wouldn't fix.

Jarid felt sad about what had happened too,

You should probably add a comma after happened, also.
So, he named the hidden valley, dragon valley because within the wall of trees that encompassed it was a world where everything made sense and he knew all the answers.

I don't really see why you added a comma after hidden valley, and if Dragon Valley is the name of the valley, you should probably capitalize that. When I read it I kind of got confused with this part, and I had to reread it a few times just to kind of understand.
“Well, I for one am not going to search this entire forest for some broken eggshells that may have ended up in a fox hole.” Hissed the medium sized dragon.

fox and hole but should be together, as "foxhole" is one word.
As he sat down next to the baby dragon the smell of food caused it to stir.

You should add a comma after the word "dragon."
Well, that's it! Hope you're enjoying RevMo!
Happy Writing,
-Foxmaster




dragonight9 says...


Thanks for the review! I was able to fix most of the errors and I'm glad you enjoyed. :)



foxmaster says...


of course! Sorry I'm reviewing it so late. I have been busy



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Mon Jun 05, 2023 7:50 pm
Kaia wrote a review...



Hi!
I missed the prologue the first time I read a bit of your story so I thought I'd go back and read it this time around. And, my, am I glad I did. You're an awesome writer.

I want to start by talking about the plot (which was awesome) You reveal all the background material necessary to understand what is happening in chapter 1. This part is so sad, though. We learn that Jarid lost his mother and now he sees death before him again. (Although I did find it a bit odd that he mentioned that he lost another "person" that he loved when he was actually referring to a dragon)

You really excel at describing emotion and personality. I instantly felt drawn into the story through Jarids empathy. He cries for his father, not only because the man has ruined Jarids life by not being the supportive dad he should be, but also out of pure sympathy. Even though Jarid is quite young, he has already learned what alcohol can do to a person and he feels sorry for his dad who has lost much control over his life because of his addiction.

Now, allow me to comment on the similarities between Shadow and Jarid. They are both so sympathetic that I instantly love the characters and want to see their pain eventually alleviated. Both are motherless because of evil dragons, but both appear to be proud of their parents. Obviously, they are a perfect match. I'll go ahead and say that the dragon Shadow is my favorite character so far. He's cute and so lonely.

And as for Shadows mother...What bravery! I love how she saves not only Shadow through her bloodshed, but also, her very blood extinguishes the fire that threatened to extinguish Jarids life. Her blood mixes with Jarids, a symbol that they have made a lasting agreement. Lastly, I love how you write that Shadows mother gives Jarid memories of her childhood and how Shadow came into being to allow her baby to grow up with some knowledge and something to remember her by. How thoughtful! And poor Jarids a little overwhelmed because he doesn't quite know what is happening. Beautifully written, there. :) I think they will make excellent brothers who will fight the hurt of their pasts together.

There was one bit that I thought could use a bit of editing...

He thought, but his legs wouldn’t work properly.

They felt like jelly and wouldn’t work properly


I thought the phrase "wouldn't work properly" got kind of repetitive. Maybe try something like "he still couldn't move" or something like that to avoid the repetition.

Overall, fantastic job! I love where this is going! If you would like, in my next reviews, I can try to help you out with a little grammar issues that I'm noticing here and there. It doesn't really matter to me. So, if you would like me to help you with that, let me know! I will probably continue reviewing for you and would like to know how I could be more help to you. :)

Hope you have an excellent day!
-Kaia




dragonight9 says...


So glad you enjoyed ;)

I'd love to have you point out any grammar errors you see as they can sometimes leave a reader confused.

(Side note) when Jarid mentions Shadow's mother as a 'person' I wanted it to show that he no longer sees dragons as monsters but as people too. Equal to humans in his mind and capable of both good and evil.



Kaia says...


Okay. Will do. :)

Okay, that makes sense! Thanks for explaining that! :)



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Sat Apr 08, 2023 6:54 am
RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hello!

RandomTalks here with a short review!

General Impression: This was a really good beginning to the story! You have established your character well and managed to get us acquainted with his thought processes and emotions through just the prologue. A lot happened here that sets the base for the novel and I loved how you have introduced the themes, the purpose of the characters and the story.

So now I am really going into the nit-picky zone, but your first four paragraphs start with Jarid's name and it sounds a little repetitive? For example, we have "Jarid wished," then "Jarid winced," then "Jarid knew" and finally "Jarid didn't remember." Now, technically there is nothing wrong with the narration itself, but the short length of these consecutive paragraphs makes it seem a little mechanical. And because its right at the beginning of the story, it does draw the attention of the readers.

After that, they had moved near another nearby village and Simon became the village blacksmith there.

I think this sentence works better if you replace the first 'near' with 'to'. The close repetition of 'near' and 'nearby' sticks out to the readers and shifts the balance of the sentence. The changed sentence would be: "After that, they had moved to another nearby village and Simon became the village blacksmith there."

He didn’t know why but even after they killed his mother and destroyed his village, he couldn’t be mad at them.

While reading this scene, I felt as though you could have explored Jarid's emotions regarding his mother's death a little better, especially considering the cataclysmic shift it caused in his relationship with his father. And since he is only 8 years old and must not really understand the ways of the world, you had a good opportunity here to explore with his first encounter with loss. We are told that Jarid feels sad, but we move on from there so quickly that we don't really get to feel his grief. As a result, it lessens the impact of an event that was a precursor of everything happening in his life right now.

He thought, but his legs wouldn’t work properly.

They felt like jelly and wouldn’t work properly.


Repetition of "legs wouldn't work properly" in two consecutive sentences.

Feeling sorry for a monster? And one that had killed his own mother?

I really liked how you have introduced the conflict here. When we first learn about Jarid's strange fascination and interest in dragons, I was a little confused as I could not understand the basis for it. For me, it further lessened the impact of his mother's death in his life. But here, the way you have worded the questions feel deep and impactful, especially for an eight year old child, who does not understand his connection with dragons himself and finds it preposterous in this single moment. I think I would have liked it better if you had expanded on this thought.

Now he had lost another person he cared about.

Now, this is something I really liked about the story - how you infused character and personality in dragons (who technically aren't even human beings). I haven't read a story where they have been depicted like this - not as creatures, but as characters with their own thoughts and feelings and motives. This was a nice surprise and it has made me all the more curious about the dynamics between the dragons and the humans.

I especially loved how you have established Jarid's connection with this fantastical world. We can feel the natural fascination and curiosity within him as well as the bond that he immediately forms with the mother dragon and her son. It makes me wonder how things are going to work out, especially since his mother was killed by a dragon and his father, in his grief and depression, might not take too kindly to harboring a dragon in his house.

Overall: I thought this was a really strong and well balanced prologue. Your descriptions were very engaging and your narration was strong, even thought at times, it felt a little out of character for an eight year old. You have introduced the various elements of the story, set the plot and successfully piqued the interest of your readers. There seems to be a lot going on beneath the surface and I loved the various facets of their world that you have presented to us until now.

Hope I was able to help with the review!

Keep writing and have a great day/night!

~RandomTalks




dragonight9 says...


Thanks so much for the review! I was able to change the more grammatical errors you pointed out. (in the first quote I had wanted to say that Jarid's home was not in the village but nearby and this new village was near the old one, but I was able to reword it so it is easier to understand now so thanks)
The more descriptive comments were helpful but I had hoped to get across the fact that Jarid has moved on, and so doesn't need to think on it too much.
I like how you pointed out that he is 8 years old but seems way older.
Jarid is a self insert character and I was always a deep thinker and very self aware as a kid. I wanted his thoughts to reflect my own in such a situation.
Lastly, I wanted to expand on the idea that Jarid feels sorry for monsters but felt I didn't have time to do so while keeping the reader engaged with the story (or that it would become to expositiony), do you have any ideas how I could do this?



RandomTalks says...


You're welcome!

I think one way to portray Jarid's empathy for the dragons and simultaneously keep the readers invested in your story would be to use the classic 'showing, no telling' theme. Since this was just the prologue, you don't really need to go into the details of the bond - I think that was one of the main reasons I felt as though Jarid did not feel as strongly for his Mom? You take your time in telling us that Jarid shares a special connection with the dragons. But at this stage, I think just showing through his actions would be better, maybe coupling them with contradictory thoughts (of his mother's death and their role in it) to introduce more conflict in the story? That seems like a more realistic way to express this connection to the readers than simply telling them.

Anyways, that's just my two cents! Also, sorry for the late reply!



dragonight9 says...


thanks



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Sun Mar 26, 2023 10:32 pm
KateHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Well this was quite the little prologue here. I think you do a wonderful job of playing with quite a few emotions here. I didn't expect to feel the loss of our dragon mother quite so much but there we were and then the hope you ended on there was just the perfect ending.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Jarid winced as the door slammed behind him. He knew that his father, Simon, didn’t really want to hurt him, but in his drunken state, being kicked out of the house wasn’t the worst thing that could happen.

Jarid wished his father didn’t drink so much, but of course, he also understood why. It was barely six years since his mother Adalinda had died in a dragon attack, and the pain of losing not only her but the entire village where they used to live, weighed heavily on him.

Jarid knew that his father didn’t hate him, but the fact that he was their adopted son didn’t help Simon’s feelings towards him. Simon and Adalinda had taken him in after a strange old man washed ashore in a small rowboat and begged them to take in the baby boy he was carrying. The old man died soon after without revealing anything about where he'd come from or who his biological parents were.


Okay well that is quite the story to start off with there. Looks like Jarid there has had quite the past to come from there. Not something that you see too, too often to have a backstory laid out like that. It gives this almost a bit of a fairy tale esque vibe for some reason.

Jarid didn’t remember the old man or anything else that had happened before living with his adopted parents, but it didn’t matter. He loved them both a lot and they loved him. They had lived in a house just outside the fishing village where the old man had washed ashore. Even though they were peasants and could barely afford the small stash of adventure books and journals they owned, it was a good life. Their clothes were nothing special and Adalinda always patched them up when they got torn. It was just poor luck that she had gone to market the night of the attack while Jarid stayed home with Simon to watch him work.

They had heard roars and screams, but by the time they got outside black dragons were already burning down the whole village. Simon tried to go rescue Adelina but by the time he got there nothing was left but ashes.

Not a single person had survived.


It seems tragedy struck them a bit more than just the once or twice there looking into how that's been going. I think you've managed to go ahead and set up a pretty powerful little backstory up through that here in what has been a pretty short time.

After that, they had moved near another nearby village and Simon became the village blacksmith there. During the day he buried himself in work and at night he often buried himself in drink. Jarid felt sad about what had happened too, but over the past 6 years the pain had lessoned into a dull ache in his heart. Seeing his father like this hurt him more than that old pain. Simon didn’t cry but Jarid sometimes cried for him. Hoping, wishing, that Simon would stop drinking and yelling at him every time he did something wrong.

Even so, he still hated being kicked out. Right now, he was too annoyed to feel bad for anyone. On nights like these he usually went to sleep in the shed behind their small house. The tools for his father’s forge were kept there. It wasn’t too comfortable, but it was better than sleeping out in the open. After all, his clothes were little more than rags held together by his mother’s old stitching. His father might have bought him new clothes if he’d asked for them, but even as torn as they were Jarid just couldn’t bring himself to get rid of them.


Well you can definitely get a very clear idea of exactly the kind of aftermath a past like that can have through just that one scene. I think once again you're doing a great job just bringing that story to life here.

It felt exciting to go an adventure at night. Even though he was only 8 he loved adventuring and knew the land around his home like the back of his hand. The small cabin where they lived was just inside the forest of Denbark.

The village where his father worked, and where Jarid went to school, was an hour’s ride north surrounded by grassy plains. To the west there lay a flat plain with a tree line just visible in the distance. He knew that beyond that lay the volcanic mountains. Finally, to the east and south lay the forest of Denbark with the dark, craggy peaks of the dread mountains looming behind it. That was also the direction he felt pulled towards.

Jarid had explored every inch of the forest within half a day’s walk and even found a secret hidden valley not too far away that he called dragon valley. He didn’t know why but even after they killed his mother and destroyed his village, he couldn’t be mad at them. He had always wondered if there was some reason they had to do it. Maybe some bad guys attacked them and hid in the village or maybe the dragons were being controlled like in one of the story books he’d read. The dragons didn’t know any better. They were just animals after all.


Oooh well that's a bit of a surprising reveal there to see quite how young Jarid is. It feels like he should be a bit older than that, but besides that I am loving the vibe this has managed to give off so far, with just this person having explored this familiar place so often and having gone even into these amazing more secretive spots.

The river ran across the soft grassy floor of the valley and under a rock at the far end. The little valley was surrounded by trees and tall bushes so no one could find it unless they knew where to look and was big enough to fit Jarid’s whole house inside a few times over.

No one else knew about it and Jarid often played there making up stories where he was the hero that saved everyone. Usually with the help of magic a powerful monster or two that he’d tamed.

Finally, Jarid made up his mind.


Ooooh well that description there is really quite nice. You can pretty easily see exactly where Jarid got his ideas for names from and certainly it seems like quite a magical place. Let's see wha more will actually end up happening there.

The feeling of adventure and the tug on his heart grew as he neared the forest. The excitement of adventure pushed all thoughts of danger from his mind. The dark, shifting shadows of the leaves in the moonlight made the whole forest seem surreal and dangerous, but that only fueled Jarid’s adventurous spirit. He imagined being a sneaky spy slipping through the forest to spy an enemy camp. The cool night air smelled fresh and earthy as he dashed from tree to tree and scurried under bushes. Their soft leaves wiping dew from the rain that morning over his arms.

But as he got further into the forest, he started remembering all the stories he’d been told about monsters that come out at night. Wolves, goblins, giant cats, blood sucking bats and many other evil things that might just want a midnight snack. He started feeling less and less like a courageous adventurer and more like a foolish child who had wandered far too deep into a dangerous forest at night. Slowing down, Jarid started walking far more cautiously. Listening to every creak of the trees and rustle of the leaves. Every soft whistle of the wind and-

“CRASH! Snap! Thud!”

The sound, like all the branches in a tree snapping at once and ending with a heavy thud, echoed like a gunshot in the near perfect silence of the night.


Ooooh it seems things are immediately getting ominous the moment that Jarid remembers what the place is like. That seems almost like perhaps its just Jarid's imagination. He is quite young after all so perhaps despite thinking of himself as a hero he is a little afraid of the area.

With a yelp Jarid scrambled to get behind a tree as he franticly scanned the forest for whatever made the sound but saw nothing. His heart was pounding in his small chest and the rough bark of the tree scratched his fingers with how tight he was clutching it.

What was that? He thought. All the possibilities racing through his mind.

It had to be something big. Perhaps a bear or troll? It doesn’t really matter either way. I need to get home right now! I’m dead if that thing catches me! He thought, but his legs wouldn’t work properly.

They felt like jelly and wouldn’t work properly. Jarid took a moment to breath, but just as he decided to try taking a step, he heard a groan coming from the direction of the crash. Jarid froze one foot suspended in the cold night air. It didn’t sound like a warning or threat.

It sounded like an animal in pain.


Hmm well you're doing a great job showcasing that fear mixed with curiosity that Jarid has got going on here. Its pretty clear exactly what sort of predicament he happens to be stuck in at the moment. You can definitely got both a feeling of excitement in terms of how dangerous this might be while also having the straight up mystery of us not knowing exactly what might be happening.

Curious, Jarid carefully lowered his foot and looked around the tree. The sound was coming from a small clearing up ahead. It must have been whatever crashed in the forest just now. They had probably fallen off a cliff or something and got hurt when they landed in a tree.

Instinctively Jarid took a step forward to help the creature but stopped himself.

This is stupid Jarid! You don’t go TOWARDS the sound of a big monster, even if it is hurt. That’s how the stupid person in the story always dies. He berated himself.

He started to take a step back towards his house, but another pained wheeze stopped him. He could feel the tug on his heart pulling him in the direction of the sound, and eventually his curiosity and compassion overcame his caution. With a groan at his own stupidity he snuck through the trees and bushes until he came to the clearing. He peered through the bushes and on the far side of the clearing, he saw the creature.


Ooooh well that's a lovely little message that Jarid manages to convey to himself there. Not often that you see someone, especially that young in a story actually think an action through in that manner but that ends up making this moment quite that bit more powerful here to see him acknowledge the danger but continue anyway.

It was black as the night sky and bigger than a horse. It had wings coming out of its back that were longer than he was tall. The scales that covered most of its body shone like obsidian in the moonlight. Its tail was long and strait, there were soft ridges on its back from its tail to the back of its head. It had no horns, although it did have some kind of soft, round, ear-looking things that could have been mistaken for horns. Jarid hardly noticed its sharp teeth and claws. The later looking very similar to a cat’s.

Jarid stared in awe. It was beautiful.

He couldn’t think of any other word to describe the amazing beast before him. The dragon lay on its side curled around something and groaned with each breath. It was bleeding from more than a dozen big cuts that Jarid could see, and a dark pool of blood was forming around it.


Ooooh well I was suspecting it could be a dragon and well it seems we do in fact have ourselves a dragon. Quite the situation we've come to there. I think you've done amazing in terms of bringing that to life. The reaction by Jarid is pretty nice and the description of the dragon is also amazing here.

Seeing its wounds Jarid couldn’t help but feel sorry for the dragon. He knew everybody in the village would laugh at him for it. Feeling sorry for a monster? And one that had killed his own mother? Ha! How stupid could he be?

Yet he couldn’t help it. When he saw a creature in pain it was like an instinct. Jarid crept closer to the edge of the clearing to get a better look, but froze as the dragon’s head snapped up, searching around the clearing.

“Rrrowr graawer hrawr hissass!” The dragon growled fiercely, causing the hairs on the back of Jarid’s neck to stand on end.


Oooh well it seems clearly the dragon isn't quite the same mood as Jarid happens to be in this moment, which given someone must have shot this poor dragon down and caused many injuries makes quite a lot of sense. This doesn't seem like natural injuries caused just by nature.

The dragon slowly scanned the clearing, then it spotted him and paused. It gazed into Jarid’s eyes and as he stared back, he felt confused. In its eyes saw pain, fear and sadness, but he also saw intelligence, curiosity and hope. It felt strange to see those emotions in the eyes of a creature other than human, and slowly, the fear that had griped him faded.

The dragon seemed to be searching for something in his gaze as well and after a few minutes it took a deep shuddering breath and relaxed. Resting its head on the ground. Jarid was about to cautiously creep forward when a voice suddenly spoke in Jared’s head causing him to jump in surprise.

“Hello small one. Don’t be alarmed, I won’t hurt you.”


Well that's quite the surprise. It seems the dragons are a lot more intelligent creatures than you might think and this particular dragon realizes that Jarid isn't a threat and has decided to talk.

“I’m sorry small one but I’m afraid my time is almost up. There are others coming for me and my dragonet. It’s too late for me, but I need to make sure my baby is safe.”

The dragon uncurled her wings to revel an egg clutched in her talons.

“Will you please care for him until he is old enough to survive on his own? I know I am asking much of you small one when we have only just met, but I have no other choice.”

Jarid could not believe what was happening. This kind of thing only happened in fairy tales. He was momentarily overwhelmed by what it would mean for him to raise a dragon and honestly, he had no idea. It would be a lot of responsibility (he knew that much from the time he’d asked his father for a pet and got an hour long lecture on the subject), but he also knew the beginning of a real adventure when he saw one and there was no way he was going to pass up this opportunity.


Oooh well this is certainly what you see in quite a lot of fairy tales with the hero having to raise up a dragon from an egg. I like how in this moment Jarid very much flashes back to his father and tries to think of all of those things instead of just instantly thinking as a hero and just saying yes.

“O-ok miss dragon.” He stammered, nodding nervously.

Then he slowly approached the dragon, trembling with excitement and fear. She was still big enough to make him nervous even if she seemed gentle and trustworthy. Leaving the bushes at the edge of the clearing made him feel very exposed as he approached her. He could hear her labored breathing and as he came right up to her, he felt her warm breath on his face as she continued to gaze at him. He hadn’t really noticed the color of her eyes before but they were probably the most beautiful shade of violet he had ever seen. He didn’t see even the slightest hint of malice or anger in them as he reach out for her precious egg.

The dragon allowed him to gently take the egg from her claws. It was warm, smooth, and surprisingly heavy, but Jarid found he could carry it without too much difficulty. The shell was black and sparkled like the night sky strewn with stars.


Well that transfer went quite smoothly there. Now we have to wonder exactly how Jarid is going to manage to explain all of this to his father but it seems besides that looming danger things are quite okay in this moment.

“You are my only hope now.” The dragon whispered. “I know he will be a great dragon one day. Be sure to care for him well. His name is Shadow.”

Then she looked up as if hearing something in the distance.

“They will be here soon. Go! Quickly! Keep him safe.”

Jarid could feel the fear and hope in her words as they entered his mind. Then, as he carried the egg to the edge of the clearing, he could feel her relief as well. He hid in some bushes at the edge of the clearing and soon after he heard feint wingbeats overhead. Peering through the bushes he saw three dragons the same color as the mother dragon descending. Jarid gasped.

They had been right overhead, and he had barely heard a thing!


Oooooh so it wasn't just humans that seemed to have hurt this dragon but instead other dragons. Perhaps this is a bit more complicated after all and there's something of a divide between the sort of more benevolent dragons and those that are likely to burn down villages.

Jarid was frozen with fear as he watched. Then he felt the dragon mother’s presence in his head again.

A warm calm washed over him as it chased the fear away. She was sharing her courage with him, even though she must have been terrified herself. As the other dragons continued growling, images, memories and feelings began appearing in Jarid’s mind. The dragon mother was somehow sending him her memories.

Memories from when she was a dragonet and how she was cared for by her mother. Memories of flying lessons and fire breathing lessons. Memories of dragons laughing and joking in the dragon language. Even as all this flashed through Jarid’s mind, the one thing overshadowing and encompassing all of it was her overwhelming love for Shadow.


Well that's certainly a very strong mother there, having to trust this stranger but doing absolutely everything she can even in her final moments while being about to die to ensure that her baby will manage to survive.

It filled Jarid with determination to fulfill his promise to her and at the same time made him long for his own mother. Warm tears flowed freely down his face as he accepted her gift.

It would take Jarid months to sort out all the information she had given him in that moment but the first thing he noticed was that he could suddenly understand the dragons who were talking.

“I’ll ask you one more time. Where is your egg?” The biggest dragon growled.

“Does it really matter?” The smallest one asked.

“She will be dead soon, and the dragonet will die of starvation or be eaten by some forest predator. There is no way it could survive out here on its own and there is no smell of a dragon she could have handed it off to. Just a fox, some deer, and a human. All of which would ignore or destroy any dragon egg they came across.”


Ooooh well it seems like Jarid was definitely gifted a little bit more than just a set of memories and I think this is helping out quite nicely for us to get a bit more of an idea of what's happening too. So far it seems pretty clear about the intentions of those three and the effectives of our mama dragon's plan there.

“True.” Sighed the largest dragon. “But I would prefer to see a dead dragonet than to have him come back and cause us trouble later.”

“Well, I for one am not going to search this entire forest for some broken eggshells that may have ended up in a fox hole.” Hissed the medium sized dragon.

“You can deal with this one. We’re going home.” The small dragon growled as he and the medium sized dragon leaped into the sky.

“Hmph. Lazy lard wings. I have to do everything myself nowadays.” The large dragon sighed and stopped circling. “If only you had simply let his majesty have your egg none of this would have happened.”

The dragon mother simply hissed at him in defiance. With a sigh the large dragon raised his claw to deliver the finishing blow.


Well that, as inevitable as it was, is certainly a shocking moment there. I think despite only having so few minutes with this dragon you did enough in those brief moments to get us very invested in this poor dragon and we definitely feel that pain as she is killed.

Jarid couldn’t bear to watch anymore. It felt like he was watching his own mother die again. He pushed the egg deeper into the bush and ran in between the dragon mother and the large dragon. The large dragon, who Jarid now realised towered over him, looked down in surprise.

“What’s this? A puny human would stand in my way? Ha! How amusing. Run along now.”

He backhanded Jarid so quickly and casually that Jarid barely had time to bring his arms up to block. He flew back and slammed into the dragon mother’s side before falling to his knees.

His arms screamed in pain and his head felt fuzzy and bruised. He saw blood pouring down his face from a gash on his forehead. The blood joined the growing pool of the mother’s blood which was almost shin deep where he stood. His body told him to run but his heart thrust him forward as he tried to stagger back to protect the dragon mother.


Oh dear...well it seems the choice to stay back and listen in wasn't the greatest of ideas there and now suddenly Jarid is in quite a lot of trouble especially if that egg ends up being discovered somehow.

“These humans truly are a stupid, pitiful race.” The big dragon huffed.

He leaned down and blew a small stream of flames at Jarid who threw up his arms to protect his face. The flames seared his arms, face, and chest. His clothes caught fire and he fell back into the pool of blood at the dragon’s feet with a small cry of agony. The blood extinguished the fire, but the pain stayed. It seemed to fill his entire world and he could see black spots swiming in his vision.

Just as the world began to fade. he heard a distant roar and saw the dragon mother use all her remaining strength to leap at the large dragon slicing his snout, leaving two deep cuts along the left side of his face from his eyebrow all the way to the tip of his nose. He roared in pain and sliced her throat. Then leaped into the night sky clutching his face as the world faded to black.


Oooh it seems the dragon mother had just one last little bit of fight left in her to protect her baby and the little human that she had to entrust the baby to. There's no telling if this is going to be enough though given how Jarid has been set on fire and just thrust in the very midst of this battle.

Jarid woke to a dull pain seemingly everywhere at once. He rolled over to get up, but a strange, heavy, and slimy liquid suddenly filled his mouth as he tried to breathe in. He lunged out of the pool of blood coughing, sputtering, and spitting to get the half-congealed blood out of his mouth. He wiped the blood out of his eyes and looked around.

The moons were just reaching their highest point. Slowly he remembered what had happened. He checked himself to see how bad he was hurt. His arms had burn scars, but the cuts had already nearly healed. His mouth tasted like copper and raw meat and his face felt funny. Almost like it was really bumpy and it hurt just like his arms.

Thankfully the flames were only able to burn a little bit deeper than the skin before the dragon mother’s blood put them out, but the heat had fused her blood into his arms, face and most of his upper body. Causing it to harden over top like a scab.


Well it seems that somehow or the other Jarid has managed to make it through that even though clearly he seems to have been beaten up quite badly in that moment. Poor Jarid definitely is going to need a few weeks to recover from all this and find a way to explain all of this to his father.

He looked around spotting the dragon mother, her body limp and slightly pale in the moonlight. Now he had lost another person he cared about. Even if they had only known each other for a short time, he felt as though she had been a second mother to him. And now that little dragon had lost its mother just like he had. It wasn’t fair.

Jarid could feel the sadness and anger building up inside him until it couldn’t be contained any longer. He cried, yelled, and roared his anger and sadness into the night sky. Tears streaming down his face until he collapsed, exhausted, to the soft dirt and grass of the clearing.

It must have been hours until a cry from just outside the clearing woke him once more. The blood had dried and flaked off him as he moved to the side of the clearing to see what was making the noise. He peered into the bushes to find that the egg had hatched and there was a little black dragonet curled up inside crying. Even though both full moons were still shining brightly overhead it was dark inside the trees. Dark enough, hopefully, for then to remain unnoticed for a while.


Well it seems like just like us, in those brief moments Jarid had come to care for the mama dragon there and unfortunately she used up every last bit of life that she had to protect Jarid and Shadow there. You can certainly feel all of the emotions that Jarid feels in that particular moment.

You’re just like me now. Jarid thought to himself smiling sadly. An orphan who doesn’t know where he came from. With a mother who was killed by evil dragons.

He now knew for certain that there were bad dragons. Just like there were bad humans. Now it all made sense. The ones who burned down his old village must have been bad dragons. Maybe the three he’d seen tonight had helped do it. If so, he felt some small amount of satisfaction for the cut on the big dragon’s face.

But that also meant there were good dragons too.

The baby dragon calmed down and began gurgling and cooing while he pet it. Then it curled up and snuggled into his chest before falling asleep in his arms. Jarid began rocking it back and forth while running his hands over its soft, smooth scales.


Well you can certainly see the connection that Jarid mentions there in terms of how the dragon is also an orphan now. Well at least it seems much like Jarid had some hope despite being a baby with no parents, this little dragon has some hope to live too with Jarid if Jarid can convince his father about good dragons and bad dragons somehow.

“Well, this truly is Dragon Valley now,” He chuckled sadly to himself as he entered the valley. He found a bush along the side of the clearing and tucked the little dragon into it. Hoping it would sleep there until Jarid got back.

Jarid rushed home. He took a quick dip in the stream to wash all the remaining blood off and checked on his father. Simon was still passed out on his bed and probably wouldn’t wake no matter how loud he was. He then quickly grabbed some straw from the donkey’s stable, packed up the leftovers from dinner and hurried back to the forest.

When he got back, he was relieved to see that the little dragon was still asleep. As he sat down next to the baby dragon the smell of food caused it to stir. The little dragon opened its eyes with a mew of curiosity. Jarid noticed that its eyes were dark red, the color of blood, but full of curiosity and innocence. Then its eyes lit up at the sight of the leftovers Jarid had brought and quickly dug in. Jarid wasn’t sure what kinds of things dragons ate but the memories of the dragon mother told him that they were omnivores. They could eat the same things as humans but usually had a lot more meat in their diet.


Oooh well it seems like for the moment Jarid is going with the route of keeping the baby dragon a little bit hidden from his father. Well at the very least it seems getting back and slipping into the house unnoticed has gone relatively well there for Jarid.

After the little dragon had eaten its fill, it stumbled over to Jarid, curled up on his lap and went straight back to sleep.

“Don’t worry little guy. I’m not going to let anyone hurt you. We are family now little brother.” Jarid chuckled to himself as he pet the baby dragon’s soft scales. “Heh. Yeah. That’s what you are, I guess. My little, dragon brother. Shadow.”


Well that's quite a beautiful little thought for us to be ending on there I think. It really quite nicely bring to light what we can expect going forward in this particular story.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall this is a really solid prologue here. It shows us so much about Jarid and just what he went through when it came to Shadow and the way it ends there after all this adversity with the promise of a beautiful new beginning through the story itself, well it certainly has you very much wanting to read on.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Kate




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Sun Mar 19, 2023 6:37 pm
FlameCatcher57 says...



Very creative and original. Sad at the beginning, but exciting and suspenseful the rest of the way! 10/10




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Wed Mar 08, 2023 5:31 am
WARDEN wrote a review...



Hi!

Wow-- suspenseful! And I loved your descriptive language, it really brought emphasis in all the right ways.

I enjoyed this writing; I take it is a prologue, considering the "10 years ago"? If so, I would love to read the rest. It really sets up the premise of this world, as I assume it is a fantasy setting, and introduces you to the norms and standards of the place, so a job well done! It is hard to execute a prologue, but in my opinion, you have successfully created one. Props to you!

However, here are a few suggestions I have for you, though your writing is already quite well executed. Firstly, I would vary the length with which you write your sentences-- i.e., when reading it, my internal voice was running out of breath? I hope you know what feeling I am trying to convey. It merely felt mechanical to read during certain parts, which made the writing seem stiff. I would also work on diction, specifically finding more powerful synonyms for words to impress a clearer message upon the reader. There were a few instances where usage of a stronger word would have prevented the scene from being weakened.

All in all, nice job!

- Warden




dragonight9 says...


Thanks a lot. This is the first part of a book I'm writing and I'll be posting more soon. Would you like to be part of the tag list so you are notified when I post the next part?


I've already written most of it but I'm trying to rework it using what I've learned before posting it here.
And I plan to keep improving it as much as I can so feedback like this is exactly what I need.

If you have any exact examples I would appreciate it if you quoted them so I can target my improvements and understand exactly what you're saying.
And if you have an idea for the improvement itself (such as a synonym you think would work better for example) I'd appreciate that as well.

Again, thanks for the review.




It's been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable.
— Mr Collins, Pride and Prejudice