Finding Dragons – Chapter 1 (Part 1 of 3)

Dragon Journal Cover 1 (Redux)

I’ve decided to post the first draft of the first chapter of my work-in-progress novel, Finding Dragons, because it’s a good introduction to my world and my characters, and if I’m going to continue to post vignettes from my world (like the bonfire ritual writing prompt story that I plan to continue in a future post), it would probably help if you had some context.

I’m going to post this chapter in three parts — one today (Monday), the next on Wednesday, and the third on Friday.  After each is up, I’ll come back and put the links to the other two parts at the bottom of each post, so you can click to continue reading.

My plan is also to make an entire page devoted to the chapter, so anyone can read it at their leisure — coming soon to the menu bar above, by the About the Author, Links, and The Dragons Trilogy pages.

Well, enjoy, and please feel free to leave any comments or questions below!

This post is copyright © Jamie Lyn Weigt.  All rights reserved.  Please do not share without credit and a direct link back to this post and my site, writingdragonsblog.com.


Finding Dragons
by Jamie Lyn Weigt

Chapter 1:

“Kite, did you find them?  They’re not on that side, and I really need your help.”

Azur put on her most charming smile as she approached her friend and gestured back toward the wide, rocky swath of grassland where a few other people were milling about, between the few tents clustered together in the children’s camp and the larger group of tents in the main camp, a short distance away.  Her approach startled a nearby flock of starlings that suddenly took wing in a flurry of feathers and squawks.

“I really have to find those bracelets before we leave this afternoon, and they have to be somewhere,” Azur continued, pouting a bit as she shrugged her long dark hair back over her shoulder.  She had just added some red tint to some of the dozens of black and dark brown twists with her own mixture of honey and beet juice to mark today’s special occasion. “You’re the only one who can find them now. Please?”

The girls, Azur Nuthatch and Black Kite of the Small Wings, had spent their morning helping to pick up after an unexpected pre-dawn windstorm had swept over the camps that had little protection on the vast open plain. There hadn’t been any earth-shaking this time, but still, three of the ten adults’ tents and two of the four in the children’s camp had been blown down, including the one the girls shared.  Most of the band had been working since first light to clean up the mess, although some had ducked out to go hunting instead, since the camp still had to be fed.

Azur had been helping her mothers in the open space separating the camps, while Kite had been walking alone along the hillside on the west.  As she closed the distance between them, Azur could see that Kite’s basket was as full as her own with little personal belongings.  Their band followed the herds of mammoth, woolly rhino, antelope, and other big game across the plains as they made their seasonal migrations around the vast western region of Sky, their word for the whole of the lands shared by the Bird families.  They moved every few days and rarely stayed put for more than a half moon, so they didn’t have much, but Azur had found lots of small, easy to carry things, like bead and shell work, scraps of worked hide and fur, half woven reed mats, and delicate bone tools, all pieces light enough to blow away in a high wind, unlike their stone blades, axes, and spear points which had mostly stayed put.

Azur leaned down to pluck a bone fishing hook out of a clump of yellow grass as she passed, carefully adding it to her basket. Everything the searchers found would be sorted out and returned to the proper owner, or else whoever had need of it, over the communal afternoon meal before they left; Azur herself had her eye on a long string of random beads she thought would go well woven into her hair next time she changed her style.

“Sure,” Kite answered, the unbound part of her uniformly dark hair blowing across her face, the other half pulled up into tiny braids that were gathered into a larger plait.  “Just help me finish this side, and I’ll help you look.”  She bent to scoop up some tangled lines of shells and beads, shook the tumblegrass out of them, and laid them in her own basket.

Azur stepped closer and lowered her voice, even though no one was around to overhear them. “No, I didn’t mean help me look,” she said, grinning.  “I already looked.  I meant you should find them,” she said, with a slight emphasis on the word and a conspiratorial wink.  “Please?”

Kite scowled at her friend and her brown skin flushed darker.  She stepped away from Azur towards another clump of grass, twitching the hem of her long hide skirt away from a pack of barbed shrubs.  “No,” she said, her voice tight.

“What?  Come on, don’t say that.  I need you to find them for me, please, they’re important.” Azur said, laughing and putting her hand out to touch Kite’s shoulder.  But the smaller girl shifted away from her touch and continued walking.

“I can’t do that anymore,” Kite said shortly. “Not for a long time.” She snatched a half-sewn piece of hide, probably the start of a child’s shirt, from the ground and laid it in her basket, then walked a little faster, her eyes scanning the hillside to pick out more lost items.

“Don’t kid!” Azur said, laughing again as she stalked after her, and this time she managed to grab her friend and spin her around.  Her bright blue eyes met Kite’s dark brown ones, and Azur’s smile faltered a little when she saw the haunted look in Kite’s.

“At… the last camp,” Azur began, then softened her tone and reached down to take Kite’s hand in her own.  They were the same dark brown shade, but Azur had always seen a warmer undertone in Kite’s, as if she somehow had a flame burning just under her skin.  “Come on, I saw you bring back a whole basket of fevermint for your mom,” she continued, “even though Redshank had looked for two days and said it was all gone, too late in the season.  What do you mean, you can’t do it anymore?”

Kite bit her lip and tried to tug her hand away, but Azur held on. “Hey, what’s the matter?” Azur asked.  “I didn’t mean to upset you.  Talk to me.”

“I just… I can’t do it anymore, okay?  Don’t ask me to.  It was a stupid trick.” Kite was staring at the ground, but her grip on Azur’s hand tightened.

“Did someone say something?” Azur asked, keeping her tone gentle, even though she could feel a burning anger beginning to form in her chest.  She thought again of Watchful Redshank, the camp bully who had not been too pleased about being shown up with the fevermint.  He was off somewhere with a small hunting party to the north, claiming he wanted to get an early start on this leaving day, but Azur knew he had left just to avoid having to help pick up the camp.  His tent in the children’s camp hadn’t blown down, after all.

“You know it bothers some people,” Kite murmured, then sighed. “Eagle and Sparrow have both asked me not to cause more trouble, and I don’t like being different,” she said, her voice shaking a little. “We can go look, I’ll help you.  But not that way, I’m done with it.  Please.” Kite blinked hard and suddenly released Azur’s hand to swipe at her eyes.  Then she took a deep breath and looked up at the sky. “It’s fine, Az,” she said, shifting her basket to her other arm as she exhaled in a sigh.  “It really is. Just don’t make a big deal about it, okay?  It will be better if I’m the same as everyone else.”

But Azur — born Azur Dove, then given an early Naming Ceremony and renamed Azur Nuthatch when she was only nine, after the only bird they knew of in all of Sky that could climb headfirst down trees — had never been one to let things alone.

To be continued…..


Thank you for reading!  Part 2 will be posted on Wednesday… click HERE if it’s blue to find out what happens next!

This post is copyright © Jamie Lyn Weigt.  All rights reserved.  Please do not share without credit and a direct link back to this post and my site, writingdragonsblog.com.

Dragon Journal Cover 1

I found today’s image through a Google search where there are more detailed pictures of this beautiful journal cover.  From what I can tell, it was a piece that is currently unavailable by Mandarin Duck Journals and Jewelry.  She has some other beautiful pieces available though, so go check them out!

Image credit

 

 

6 thoughts on “Finding Dragons – Chapter 1 (Part 1 of 3)

  1. Great start! Meet a couple of characters, learn something about their relationship, and get introduced to a small (or large?) mystery. Can’t argue with your formula! Can’t wait to read more 🙂

    Have you ever read the Boudica series by Manda Scott? Reading this small portion of your work, I bet you’d enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Finding Dragons – Chapter 1 (Part 2 of 3) | Writing Dragons

  3. Pingback: Finding Dragons – Chapter 1 (Part 3 of 3) | Writing Dragons

  4. I stumbled upon your blog and decided to check out your story. You have a wonderful flow with words and the dialogue between the two girls felt natural. I’ll be reading more of your story =)

    Liked by 1 person

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