Are you ready to fall in love with Moonhunter?
I’m just saying — he’s infectious.
Much like with Onesong, you are getting a raw story. It is not yet complete, so I’m certain things will get added or taken out later. Parts may not always make sense. But, we had so much fun when I did this with Onesong that I thought I’d give this one a roll too.
Please like and share the story with all your friends. It’s more fun to read these chapters together. As long as everyone keeps enjoying the story, I’ll do my best to post chapters. (I will trust the process though, just like I did in Onesong.)
UPDATE: This chapter will remain up as a sample chapter for the book. It will not go away.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Dragons of Wellsdeep
by Dawn Blair
Her time of merely watching drew to a close. Soon, she’d take the child.
The little boy headed to the well. She watched him in the reflection of the water’s surface, a waving mirage with the blue sky behind him. He stomped his feet as he walked, pounding on the earth like a heartbeat. She felt his restrained temper tantrum mixing with her own pulse in a growing, synchronized cacophony with his irritation.
“Get a bucket of water for me,” his mother had asked. He’d had to leave his toys, letting the wooden pieces lie lifelessly scattered around where he’d been playing in order to go fulfill his chore.
The boy drew closer to the well. The lurker waited for the shadow of his cherub face to look down into the water. Why did he delay? She reached out, touching upon his young and undefined emotions.
“Yesssss,” she hissed, her forked tongue giving a flicker against her sharp teeth. “Make a wissshhhhh.”
The boy tapped the outer edge of the well with his toes as he arrived. Dirt clouded in the air. “I wish…” the boy began. He set his bucket down on the ground and pulled the well’s bucket from the hook on the post.
“Yessss!” She watched the boy lean over the surface.
“I wish I didn’t have to get water anymore.” He took the well bucket and dropped it down into the well.
“Oh, my beautiful boy, I can make your wish come true,” she whispered from beneath the water. “Just show me that you can feel the connection between us and you will never have to draw water from the well again.”
His cheeks puffed with air as he hauled the bucket from free the well, an act which took all his might to turn the crank. He reached over to grab the bucket loaded with water. His long, wavy, black hair dangled around the sides of his face as he glanced down and she looked up at him. Oh, the sweetness of him, this little child.
The boy paused, as if noticing something under the surface of the water.
She smiled. “Yessss. Lean closer.”
Did he yet know that he belonged to her?
No, but he soon would.
The boy set the bucket on the short wall of the well, then leaned over the edge, trying to see what he’d glimpsed before.
“You sense me. We are connected.” She stared back at him. “You are beautiful,” she said to him through the water.
The boy gazed back, his fingers reaching toward the little swirls he saw in the water. He could see them, her young hatchlings. He drew back with a moment of panic and looked inside his bucket. Satisfied that none of the swirls had gone into his water, he returned to the well and dangled his fingers into the water. The hatchlings nibbled at his fingers and the boy laughed.
“Beautiful,” he said, poking his finger in the water at one of the hatchlings.
The beast waiting beneath the surface fully opened her dragon eyes. The light of this world was harsh, a golden yellow, and the same color as her eyes without the glare shielding. Of course, she had returned to this spot as the very place she had been spawned. Now it was her turn to find a protector for her children as her mother had once done.
The boy gasped when he saw her looking up at him. He lost his handhold on the stone and fell backwards off the wall.
She rose from the water, her children splashing back down into the well as she flew out. The boy brushed his curly black hair away from his tanned face with chubby fingers. He was so beautiful.
“Thank you,” she whispered to Father Sun and Mother Moon.
The boy stood frozen in fear.
She ate him head first in one bite. Just perfect.
Then she spread her wings, watching as the yellow sun flashed off her red scales, and took flight into the late afternoon sky. Her hatchlings were left behind, and she had what she’d come for.
Ten years later…
The cave shook with the dragon’s moan as another convulsion swept over her. The contractions were becoming stronger now.
“The stomach vent is opening,” a sapere yelled as she carefully lifted one of the dragon scales. “It’s big. This one is going to be strong.”
“Vehlka, you’re doing great,” another sapere added as he soaked a cloth and squeezed it out over the dragon’s head. But he threw a furtive glance at the other sapere not far away.
The sapere shook her head.
“Ahhhh!” the dragon screamed.
The stomach vent opened and the sapere got splashed in a wet gooey mass. She quickly got up and rinsed herself in another bucket nearby and went back to her position. Blood lay all around the dragon, dribbling from the stomach vent and growing in a thick pool on the floor.
“Come on, Vehlka,” the sapere shouted to be heard over the dragon’s agony. “It’s free of the lining. You just have to push now.”
The dragon’s red tail thrashed as another contraction gripped her. The male sapere got knocked backwards.
“Push, Vehlka!” the sapere still at the dragon’s side screamed.
The dragon rolled onto her belly and reared her head back.
“He’sss not coming!” the dragon raged. “Balthier!”
A man appeared in the arched entryway to the cave. “I’m here, Vehlka.”
The man, Balthier, put his hand to the hilt of his dagger as he came forward.
The sapere jumped to her feet and ran to block him from further entering the cave. “You can’t. She’s a Ch’bauldi and you are charged to protect her.”
“She’s more than that,” Balthier growled. “She’s my novimather. Now get out of my way.”
The priest hurried to stand behind the priestess. Balthier looked them over, realizing neither of the saperes were going to stand down. He grimaced and gave a little shake of his head. “Thirty seconds,” he muttered, having assessed his opponents.
The male sapere drew back in fear, moving toward the dragon as he obviously had the sense to fear a novihomidrak, but the other sapere reached for Balthier’s dagger.
Balthier shrugged, blocking the sapere’s attempt at seizing his weapon. “Very well, twenty seconds and I’ll use Harmony.” He backhanded the sapere with his right hand while his left grabbed his dagger from the sheath. Along the blade in the language of the ancient dragons was the word Harmony.
As the woman dropped to the cave floor, the male sapere made one last feeble effort to stop the novihomidrak, who just knocked him aside.
Balthier flowed toward the dragon and, before his knees had hit the ground, he sank Harmony into the dragon’s flesh right below the stomach vent. He jerked aside the scale below blade and continued the tear. Ooze slithered out. He took another scale off. Blood spurted like water rushing over a dam.
Then, a long oval pearl slid out across the slimy, blood-covered cave floor.
The dragon moaned with pain and relief as she turned to look at the egg. “He isss beautiful still.”
The pearl shimmered. The dragon raised her forearm and looked to be about to smash it.
Balthier put his hand on the one black claw she held extended toward the shell. “Vehlka, don’t. He must do this if he is to have his strength. Do not rush it because of your fate.”
“Just a touch to aid him,” she begged. But when Balthier shook his head, she set to watching the pearl as it began to rock back and forth on the floor. The blood from the hard birthing vanished from the shell as if someone had come along and wiped it clean.
Vehlka set her head down on the floor. Balthier reached out and put his hand on her neck. He noticed the saperes trying to stop the bleeding from the incision caused by Harmony.
“Do you have the strength to heal yourself?” Balthier asked.
“Not if I am to name him and his weaponsss.”
“Put your magic in that then.” Balthier picked up the cloth the sapere had been using on the dragon and wiped the dragon’s head.
The shell around the pearl cracked.
“He will sparkle, won’t he?” Vehlka said.
Balthier hesitated before nodding his head. “He does.”
A heavy thump came from inside the pearl, making it threaten to roll all the way over rather than just wobble. But before it could move, the shell started to crumble, revealing a boy now fifteen with long curly black hair. As the shell collapsed, it attached itself to the skin of the boy who lay curled on the floor.
“You will train him, yesss?” Vehlka asked.
“I will. Don’t worry about that.”
“Do you think he knowsss my worry?”
“Not now, but he will know your other worries.”
The dragon got quiet. For a moment, Balthier wondered if Vehlka was already dead. How would this child fair if she did not name him? Would the saperes’ magic be enough? He doubted it. Then she opened her eyes and slid back the glare shield. She looked to the dome of open sky above where the moon rose overhead.
“I call him Moonhunter and his protections will be Serenity and Tranquility.”
The words flowed as gold writing from her lips and floated through the air to the teen lying on the floor. The shrunk as they lowered down onto his chest. As they sank in, sparkling black lines grew across his arms and face. They lasted but a moment before disappearing.
The dragon sighed and placed her head on the floor. “Watch over your dragon brother.”
“I will, and I will miss you too, Vehlka,” Balthier said. “Thank you, my dragon mother.”
The teen coughed as air entered his lungs. Vehlka moved, the desire to see her novihomidrak giving her renewed energy. Balthier went to aid Moonhunter to a sitting position.
The teen opened his dark brown eyes which shined with bright gold flecks which matched Vehlka’s eyes. The dragon smiled at seeing this, then closed Vehlka lay down to rest for the final time.
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Dragons of Wellsdeep – copyright © 2018 Dawn Blair
Published by Morning Sky Studios
Cover and layout copyright © 2018 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Ingus Kruklitis | Dreamstime.com, © Digitalstormcinema | Dreamstime.com, and © Kalcutta | Dreamstime.com
This excerpt is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.