z
  • Home

Young Writers Society



The Lost Dragon 36

by soundofmind


Chapter 36 - The Found Dragon

Night fell, and Clandestine stumbled in the dark for hours. She didn't know what was propelling her forward anymore. All she could feel was the mind-numbing need to keep going, or something bad was going to happen. She kept picturing Svida in her head, and her piercing green eyes, and the smoke coming out of her nostrils. "I'm dying" became an echoing phrase in her head and she couldn't tell anymore if that was her body telling her what she already felt or if it was Svida.

It felt like forever until she finally collapsed again, leaning against a dark wall of rock. She couldn't see more than a few feet in front of her. The moon was like a sliver in the sky, barely providing light.

"I'm sorry," she whispered, feeling the cloud of her breath around her nose.

She felt along the rock wall, trying to find a flat place to sit and curl up, but the rocks quickly arched in a decline. Before she knew it, she was sliding down a rock onto her butt. She grunted as she barely caught herself at the bottom of what felt like a crevice.

Something about it felt familiar.

She started climbing and stumbling forward, groping in the dark. It was too late to turn back when she realized she was swallowed by a cave, and the last hint of light was gone.

Creating light was up to her.

"Okay," she shivered. "Light. Fire. Just a little. You can do this."

She took in a deep breath and blew out a puff of fire, burning red and dull, but just enough for her to tell she really was in a tunnel.

Wait. A tunnel.

She'd been here before.

With a renewed sense of focus she pushed herself one last time, scraping against the rocks and sliding forward until she lost her footing and tumbled. Rolling, rolling, rolling, until she hit flat earth, and flopped her arms and legs out, splayed on the cave floor.

The was light. Firelight. It seemed to surround the edges of the cavern and dance on the walls in paintings of yellow, orange, and red. Pulsing like a living being.

And then she saw her. Svida, standing over her, though the vision of her was blurry. Clandestine felt her mind fogging up like a mist-covered swamp. She was slipping.

"You found me," Svida said, with tears in her eyes. She knelt down beside Clandestine, and sat her up, wrapping a blanket around her shoulders. Clandestine got a better view of the cavern and the wall of fire dancing around the room, contained somehow among the jagged icicles. Two opposite elements living together, yet apart.

There was what looked like a small camp, and a campfire burning hot. Clandestine yearned for the heat. She longed for warmth to return to her skin, and she could smell something stewing over the fire - a meaty soup that made her stomach groan.

Svida helped her to her feet, and Clandestine focused on one thing: walking. One foot. Two foot. Step by step, until the campfire was merely a foot in front of her, and Svida guided her back down.

Clandestine curled up in a ball, pulling the blanket over her shoulders, and leaned in, letting everything sting as the heat hit her face - it was a welcome sensation. It meant she hadn't frozen completely. She was not an icicle.

Svida walked past Clandestine on light feet and sat down beside her quietly.

As Clandestine's head started to clear and she started warming up, she got a closer look at her.

Svida looked old.

In her dream, there was this strength about her that was terrifying, but now, up close, Clandestine could tell that strength was fading fast. Svida looked weary, and her eyes looked like they were sinking into her skull. Though Svida didn't look sick, there was a look in her eyes that said she was barely holding on.

"Are you okay?" Clandestine asked. She paused, and lifted up her blanket, offering for Svida to join her, not sure if she was cold.

Svida shook her head, and instead reached into the pot over the fire with a ladle, and poured Clandestine a bowl of soup and handed it to her.

"Drink up," Svida said. "You need your strength too."

Clandestine wanted to ask more questions, but her stomach begged, and she relented, slurping up the soup quickly, not caring that she was burning her tongue.

"I'm sorry if this is overwhelming for you," Svida said, and Clandestine continued to slurp. "But I have to explain it quickly. I'm a dragon, and you're my inheritor. My magic and all of its power will be passed down to you."

Clandestine stopped mid-gulp and almost choked. She had swallowed the soup down the wrong way. She started hacking and coughing until she finally caught her breath after a minute or two.

Svida put a hand on Clandestine's shoulder, with her eyebrows raised and the corners of her lips pulled back.

"I promise, it's not as scary as it seems," Svida assured her.

Clandestine stared at her, meeting her eyes. "How is that not as scary as it seems?!" she almost shouted, her voice strained.

Svida grinned, just a little.

"You're going to be okay," Svida said. "My friend, Mickey. He's the earth dragon. He can help you."

"I don't know who that is!" Clandestine retorted.

"He'll find you. I know it," Svida replied.

"Really not liking how ominous that sounds right now."

Svida sighed. "Look. I really wish things could have played out differently. I tried reaching out years ago, but there was something blocking our connection. It was almost like you were dead, but you weren't. I couldn't find you."

Clandestine's eye twitched, and she let out a nervous laugh. She tapped the soup bowl with her fingers. This was the only time since she'd woken up that her being stuck in the ground had become relevant, and she wasn't sure if she liked the reason.

"Oh. Yeah. I was unconscious for like, 100 years or something." Her voice wavered. "I was kind of uh. Buried in a coffin."

It was Svida's turn to stare.

"Oh."

"Yeah."

"That's terrible," Svida said quietly.

Clandestine laughed again, but the laughs were hollow. "Yeah! It's old news, now. I'm okay. Uh..."

She trailed off, and pursed her lips into an uncomfortable almost-smile as she stared into the fire. It was silent for a moment, and Clandestine finished her soup, slurping down the last of the broth. She was tempted to lick the bowl, but she didn't. That felt wrong, even though she was desperate enough to do it. She should just ask for more soup at that point.

When she finally worked up the courage to ask, Svida spoke up.

"I... I don't know how much longer I can hold on."

Clandestine looked over at her and gulped.

"Are you ready?" Svida asked.

Clandestine shook her head. "Honestly, no."

"I don't expect you to be. Like I said, I can never say sorry enough. I wish we could've had more time together."

Clandestine wasn't even sure what was happening, or what was about to happen. What did that mean? Inherit her magic? Did Svida really mean that? Clandestine had so many questions that began flooding her head, and she couldn't seem to put any of them to words as Svida scooted closer, and leaned forward, grabbing Clandestine's hand and putting her other hand on her forehead.

"You're going to be okay," Svida said slowly. It sounded like she was pushing to get the words out. It almost sounded like Svida was falling asleep. "I'm proud of you. Goodbye."

Clandestine cracked her mouth open to reply but was stopped short when a rush of energy hit her like a wall. In an instant, it was like life had been breathed back into her tenfold, and she was warm again. Her heart was a raging flame. Her hands were burning coals. Her throat like a fiery furnace - and it all felt right. Her hunger faded into a mild ache and, as if a great wind had come, the fog around her mind cleared away. Bursts of light danced across her vision in a way she couldn't quite describe.

Clandestine found herself smiling, and she took in a deep breath.

She felt... bigger. More full, even though her stomach wasn't full. Her energy was rejuvenated.

"Wow," she whispered and looked across at Svida.

Her smile quickly fell.

Svida's eyes were closed, and after a second's delay of her wavering, her body slumped forward into Clandestine's arms.

Clandestine stared.

Svida really meant it.

Svida was dead.

Her eyes stung, and this time, she was actually able to cry. Tears streamed down her face, and she let out a sob, curling over Svida's body.

She was alone. And lost. Again.


Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
935 Reviews

Points: 3656
Reviews: 935

Donate
Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:56 am
View Likes
Shady wrote a review...



"I'm dying" became an echoing phrase in her head and she couldn't tell anymore if that was her body telling her what she already felt or if it was Svida.


Ooh this is a really nice way to put it! Well... I mean, not /nice/ because it's a tragic sentiment xD But I really like the way that you expressed it, it captures her angst really well.

Clandestine felt her mind fogging up like a mist-covered swamp.


Another really unique way to put this and I really like it <33

One foot. Two foot. Step by step, until the campfire was merely a foot in front of her, and Svida guided her back down.


Another super anal nitpick but 1) "two foot" reads really strangely, and 2) you use the word "foot" here a lotta times and as most people I've reviewed for can attest I am KEEN on pointing out and then complaining about repetition xD

"One foot forward. Then the other. Step by step, until the campfire was merely a foot..." or something eliminates that, you know?

"Really not liking how ominous that sounds right now."


This made me laugh. Which, ordinarily, I would applaud you for because it's hard to make people legitimately laugh through written words. But it doesn't really feel like it fits with the vibes of this scene? Like it's super serious and ominous and this made me laugh which sort of yanked me out of that somber feeling?

She trailed off, and pursed her lips into an uncomfortable almost-smile as she stared into the fire.


I know you're probably getting sick of me pointing these things out >.< But I REALLY liked this, too! This is another one of those things that I never know how to actually explain but the way you wrote it makes me go ohhh I know that exact feeling and just really added to the experience and was really well done c:

She was alone. And lost. Again.


Aww, buddy <33

~ ~ ~

omg the ANGST of this chapter, I LOVE IT <33 AND at the same time I HATE IT, these were, wow. All the feels to work through. I'm lowkey salty that we didn't get more time to experience Svida because she seemed super cool, but I'm happy that Clandestine is away from McJerkFace (and yes, me and my nicknames xD).

Clandestine felt a little... idk, more juvenile? In this chapter? Than she has been? Like she very much seemed like a snippy teenager in the way that she was speaking to Svida. And I get it, she's been through a LOT. And also compared to Svida, she IS a little baby, but it still felt a little bit out of place to be that abrupt and lowkey disrespectful?

But also! Good plot advancement! You do a remarkably good job of making me want to know what happens next? with each new chapter and I can't wait to go read the next one!

~ Shady

Schadenfreude and Fahrvergnügen




soundofmind says...


But it doesn't really feel like it fits with the vibes of this scene? Like it's super serious and ominous and this made me laugh which sort of yanked me out of that somber feeling?

u r valid i am just a simpol sucker for jokes I sorry
also clandestine lowkey coping with humor? maybe

Clandestine felt a little... idk, more juvenile? In this chapter? Than she has been? Like she very much seemed like a snippy teenager in the way that she was speaking to Svida. And I get it, she's been through a LOT. And also compared to Svida, she IS a little baby, but it still felt a little bit out of place to be that abrupt and lowkey disrespectful?

ohhh incheresting - I honestly didn't even know that it read that way, lol. she HAS been through a lot and I don't know that she's trying to be disrespectful, but it's good to hear your thoughts on it because I might tinker with this scene to make sure it doesn't sound quite that way. we shall SEE... when my brain work

ANYWAYS IM GLAD U LIKED THIS CHAPTER AND I LOV U TANK U AGAIN



User avatar
184 Reviews

Points: 5211
Reviews: 184

Donate
Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:50 am
View Likes
veeren wrote a review...



AND HERE I AM AGAIN ARE U SICK OF ME YET???
NO????
WELL THEN LETS GET CEREAL

okay this was one chapter that had me on my tippy-toes the entire time because first of all, that chapter title is EQUISITE, and second, at this point in the story i'm still not sure if what is happening to clanny is real or not. the one thing that stuck out to me was that while we (its a MEEE) are repeatedly being told that svida is dying, something about the way she is making conversation doesn't flow like someone who is metaphorically on their deathbed. now i can ONE HUDRED percent forgive this due to the fact that she is an ancient dragon, but what i can not forgive is the fact that clanny had been back for FIVE YEARS prior to this meeting and it was only now out of the blue at the most coincidental of times that she decides to reveal herself.

at the beginning of the chapter i felt like she was stuck in a game carter was playing with her, but by the end i knew that wasn't possible because there you went playing with my heart strings again no not carter not the bad guy but YOU > : (

now i am going to let it slide because i am hoping that you WANTED the reader to feel the sense of hopelessness that clanny felt in that moment. it's for sure one thing to write a good story that makes everyone feel happy, but what you manage to do is get us emotionally invested so that when the characters hurt, we hurt too. for that, i applaud you. not a lot of writers get the idea that when they want the reader to share the in victories and successes the hero, as in FEEL good about the main character doing good, it's much easier to accomplish when we've shared in the pain and losses of the character first.

how does that saying go? started from the bottom now we here?

that's about the general idea of growing the readers connection (at least emotionally) to the characters, and you, as always, do an amazing job with it.

i think that's all for this chapter i shall C U IN THE NEXT ONE

oh dear veer is outta here




soundofmind says...


now i can ONE HUDRED percent forgive this due to the fact that she is an ancient dragon, but what i can not forgive is the fact that clanny had been back for FIVE YEARS prior to this meeting and it was only now out of the blue at the most coincidental of times that she decides to reveal herself.

this is a super good comment tbh -- the timing could've been different, and something I wished I hinted at way earlier in the story was her potentially having recurring dreams of a mountain, of snow, of a deep cavern (but never seeing svida just yet). And I regret that I never did that!! I think it could've made this scene more powerful I guess

Svida has also been having a rough time lol, holding on, getting weaker. But this is a leetol plot hole I probs need to figure out how to fill rip. Need to thinks on it more

ANYWAYS IM GLAD UR SO INVESTED IN THE CHARACTERS AND THAT IT HIT U HARD ashddfkjhls ... love u ... bless u... thank u



User avatar
133 Reviews

Points: 5146
Reviews: 133

Donate
Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:11 am
View Likes
SilverNight wrote a review...



There were a looooooot of feels in this chapter, both happy and sad, ahhhhhh! But I'm back. ;-;

Quick shoutout to your title, first. It's fun to see the lost dragon found! :D

Night fell, and Clandestine stumbled in the dark for hours. She didn't know what was propelling her forward anymore. All she could feel was the mind-numbing need to keep going, or something bad was going to happen. She kept picturing Svida in her head, and her piercing green eyes, and the smoke coming out of her nostrils. "I'm dying" became an echoing phrase in her head and she couldn't tell anymore if that was her body telling her what she already felt or if it was Svida.

It felt like forever until she finally collapsed again, leaning against a dark wall of rock. She couldn't see more than a few feet in front of her. The moon was like a sliver in the sky, barely providing light.

"I'm sorry," she whispered, feeling the cloud of her breath around her nose.


Well, it seems like the feels start early on! You used just the right language to convey her mix of exhaustion and desperation (especially "mind-numbing need to keep going").

She felt along the rock wall, trying to find a flat place to sit and curl up, but the rocks quickly arched in a decline. Before she knew it, she was sliding down a rock onto her butt. She grunted as she barely caught herself at the bottom of what felt like a crevice.

Something about it felt familiar.

She started climbing and stumbling forward, groping in the dark. It was too late to turn back when she realized she was swallowed by a cave, and the last hint of light was gone.

Creating light was up to her.

"Okay," she shivered. "Light. Fire. Just a little. You can do this."

She took in a deep breath and blew out a puff of fire, burning red and dull, but just enough for her to tell she really was in a tunnel.

Wait. A tunnel.

She'd been here before.


I must say, I really like that she can puff flames now. Baby dragon magic c:

Ahhhhh, I'm excited! I'm guessing this is the place she saw in her dream/vision... I think the part where you write "she shivered" right after "okay" looks a little strange, since that verb is usually a verb that indicates she's saying something (such as whispered, murmured, declared, etc. depending on what exactly the dialogue is). However, with a period instead of a comma, the verb can be something unrelated to dialogue, just like shiver. So I think a way to make that part better would be changing it to "Okay." She shivered. "Light. Fire. Just a little. You can do this." If you don't think that's necessary, that's fine-- it just caught my attention! ;)

With a renewed sense of focus she pushed herself one last time, scraping against the rocks and sliding forward until she lost her footing and tumbled. Rolling, rolling, rolling, until she hit flat earth, and flopped her arms and legs out, splayed on the cave floor.

The was light. Firelight. It seemed to surround the edges of the cavern and dance on the walls in paintings of yellow, orange, and red. Pulsing like a living being.

And then she saw her. Svida, standing over her, though the vision of her was blurry. Clandestine felt her mind fogging up like a mist-covered swamp. She was slipping.

"You found me," Svida said, with tears in her eyes. She knelt down beside Clandestine, and sat her up, wrapping a blanket around her shoulders. Clandestine got a better view of the cavern and the wall of fire dancing around the room, contained somehow among the jagged icicles. Two opposite elements living together, yet apart.


She did it! :)

In the start of the second paragraph, it should be "there was light" and not "the was light"-- but I love the rest of it! The imagery of the colors dancing in a way that makes them seem alive is really beautiful.

Svida shook her head, and instead reached into the pot over the fire with a ladle, and poured Clandestine a bowl of soup and handed it to her.

"Drink up," Svida said. "You need your strength too."

Clandestine wanted to ask more questions, but her stomach begged, and she relented, slurping up the soup quickly, not caring that she was burning her tongue.


I'm kinda surprised she can get burned by anything, since this girl literally breathed out fire XD

"You're going to be okay," Svida said. "My friend, Mickey. He's the earth dragon. He can help you."

"I don't know who that is!" Clandestine retorted.

"He'll find you. I know it," Svida replied.

"Really not liking how ominous that sounds right now."


Yes, we want Mickey! Ahhhhhhh, I'm worried about how they'll all meet up...

Svida sighed. "Look. I really wish things could have played out differently. I tried reaching out years ago, but there was something blocking our connection. It was almost like you were dead, but you weren't. I couldn't find you."

Clandestine's eye twitched, and she let out a nervous laugh. She tapped the soup bowl with her fingers. This was the only time since she'd woken up that her being stuck in the ground had become relevant, and she wasn't sure if she liked the reason.

"Oh. Yeah. I was unconscious for like, 100 years or something." Her voice wavered. "I was kind of uh. Buried in a coffin."

It was Svida's turn to stare.

"Oh."

"Yeah."

"That's terrible," Svida said quietly.

Clandestine laughed again, but the laughs were hollow. "Yeah! It's old news, now. I'm okay. Uh..."

She trailed off, and pursed her lips into an uncomfortable almost-smile as she stared into the fire. It was silent for a moment, and Clandestine finished her soup, slurping down the last of the broth. She was tempted to lick the bowl, but she didn't. That felt wrong, even though she was desperate enough to do it. She should just ask for more soup at that point.


So, I noticed... isn't this the first time we've seen Clandestine laugh in like... over a dozen chapters?? And it used to happen plenty before! Not only that, but these aren't happy laughs... Okay, that's so sad that she hasn't been able to do that in so long :(

Clandestine wasn't even sure what was happening, or what was about to happen. What did that mean? Inherit her magic? Did Svida really mean that? Clandestine had so many questions that began flooding her head, and she couldn't seem to put any of them to words as Svida scooted closer, and leaned forward, grabbing Clandestine's hand and putting her other hand on her forehead.

"You're going to be okay," Svida said slowly. It sounded like she was pushing to get the words out. It almost sounded like Svida was falling asleep. "I'm proud of you. Goodbye."

Clandestine cracked her mouth open to reply but was stopped short when a rush of energy hit her like a wall. In an instant, it was like life had been breathed back into her tenfold, and she was warm again. Her heart was a raging flame. Her hands were burning coals. Her throat like a fiery furnace - and it all felt right. Her hunger faded into a mild ache and, as if a great wind had come, the fog around her mind cleared away. Bursts of light danced across her vision in a way she couldn't quite describe.

Clandestine found herself smiling, and she took in a deep breath.

She felt... bigger. More full, even though her stomach wasn't full. Her energy was rejuvenated.


Oh, I love this!! The metaphors using all the vocabulary related to fire and heat was a really great touch that made this practically perfect. c:

"Wow," she whispered and looked across at Svida.

Her smile quickly fell.

Svida's eyes were closed, and after a second's delay of her wavering, her body slumped forward into Clandestine's arms.

Clandestine stared.

Svida really meant it.

Svida was dead.

Her eyes stung, and this time, she was actually able to cry. Tears streamed down her face, and she let out a sob, curling over Svida's body.

She was alone. And lost. Again.


*gasp* You... You had to make Svida caring and kind, make me get attached to her! And then you took her away! They should have gotten more time together! ahhhhhhhhhh it's not fair ;-;

The most devastating part was when we suddenly transitioned from celebration to grieving-- Clandestine smiles at Svida and doesn't realize she's dying, then dead, until she sees her. That was really powerful, and definitely gave us readers a mega dose of the Feels™. So that amounts to a lot of tissues!

I'm going to dash over to the start of the next chapter to see if anything gets any brighter for the heroes. See you there! Lots of love <3




soundofmind says...


SO MANY FEELS SO MUCH LOSS </3 I'm glad you were so invested in the characters and story!! I SUCCEED... ;-; but still yes. Very sad sad



SilverNight says...


;-; Very sad saaaaaad




Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.
— Joseph Campbell