Finding Dragons – Chapter 1 (Part 3 of 3)

Dragon Journal Cover 3 (cropped)

And we’ve reached the conclusion of the first chapter of Finding Dragons. 

Oh my.  I just realized that I had “scheduled” this to post at 1:30pm this afternoon, because I had assumed I would have finished the draft and have it ready to upload!  But I was so ill I didn’t even think to change that, so I apologize if you saw this without the chapter — oops!  It’s here now though.

I’m posting this chapter in three parts — the first was Monday, so if you haven’t read that yet, you may want to check that out first HERE or you’ll probably be lost.  Part two was posted Wednesday, HERE in case you missed it.  Today is the third and final piece of the chapter.  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.

You can find more information about the image above at the bottom of the post.

As I said, I’m still recovering from being so, so sick yesterday — in fact, my awesome husband actually made yesterday’s post for me, because I really didn’t want to miss a day but I was totally out of commission!  Anyway, enjoy the end of the chapter, 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 (continued…)

“They can’t just all be gone,” Wren said, exasperated. “You probably weren’t even in the right place. Were you in the lead?” The bright feathers twisted in Wren’s dark hair caught the light and shimmered as a strong breeze lifted his many braids.

“I’m telling you, every dragonet, and every bird,” Pipet countered, pounding the ground with the butt of his spear for emphasis. He’d secured his dreadlocks up out of his face with a braided cord today. “I just got back with Redshank’s hunting party, and the entire nesting grounds is empty. They’re just gone.”

Wren shoved him in the shoulder, but the sturdy hunter kept his footing. Even though they’d shared same womb, they weren’t identical as sometimes happened; Tawny Pipet was a bit stockier, while Winter Wren was slightly taller and leaner. “Every dragonet and bird?” Wren asked again. “Even the nestlings and the egg mothers?” He shook his head. “That’s just not possible, unless those winds last night blew away two full moons as well, in which case we’ve missed the Gathering.”

Pipet tried to shove his brother back, but missed. “Well, I’m telling you, it’s true. It was unnervingly quiet, even for as early as it was. Not even a rustle.” Pipet nodded a greeting at Azur and Kite and continued. “We couldn’t even tell where they’d gone. It was like the sky swallowed them.”

“Pip, what in Sky are you talking about?” Azur asked. She grabbed her own spear from the ground where she’d left it and walked over to join them. Kite hung back, busying herself with the lacing pins holding the hide cover of their tent secure, but she was near enough to listen. “I went out yesterday,” Azur said. “Are you talking about the big nesting grounds to the north? There were plenty of dragonets and dozens of birds, all sorts mixed together, just like every year. I brought back a quail and some eggs.”

“I know that, I was up there yesterday too,” Pipet said, shaking his head. “But I’m telling you guys, this morning, they’re all gone, almost like they were never there. There were a few signs of predators, but not on nearly the scale you would think to spook even one flock, let alone the whole grounds.” He ignored Wren’s snort of disbelief as his twin ducked inside their shared tent.

Kite quietly came up beside Azur. “What kind of predator signs?” she asked. “If they were hunting birds or a rival colony of dragonets, they probably wouldn’t leave ground tracks.” Azur suppressed a smile as she saw Kite’s face darken with another blush, realizing she’d said something completely obvious to one of the keenest hunters in the whole band. Pipet smirked, but Azur thought she saw his dark skin flush a little as well when Kite had spoken, something she set aside for later.

Wren emerged from their tent with his shoulder bag and was checking the contents as he rejoined the conversation. “Honestly it would have taken an actual dragon to clear that whole area, and since no one’s seen one of those since our great-grandparents’ time, I still think Pip was in the wrong spot.”

Pipet tried to smack his twin with the butt of his spear this time, but Wren danced out of the way. Pipet continued, “And there wasn’t any sign of fighting or panic. They’re just… just gone. There are some broken eggs in the abandoned nests, but it was clear that’s just from scavengers taking advantage after the fact.”

“How strange,” Azur mused, then looked at Kite. “We can maybe check it out, if we go north to look for the bracelets,” she said, and turned to the boys. “Are you guys heading out again too? I saw Eagle putting together a group a little while ago.”

Wren ignored the question and grinned at her. “Bracelets? Trade gifts? For Sandpiper?” He nudged her knowingly. “You know, if I was one year older…”

Azur laughed. “Well, you’re not, so he’s mine, nice try!” she said as she threw down her spear and jumped forward to grab Wren in a headlock, making Pipet and Kite laugh and drawing a squeal from her surprised captive.

“Did you lose much when your tent came down in that crazy wind?” she heard Pipet ask Kite as she twisted to keep Wren in her grasp. Azur was glad that Pipet hadn’t reacted with his usual high temper to the two most recent developments in their little group; Azur’s interest in Sandpiper (and not him), and Kite’s awkward crush. The four of them had been close friends ever since they were fledged, and Azur hoped that would never change.

“Most of our things didn’t get too far,” Kite replied, the quaver in her voice hardly noticeable, Azur thought proudly. Azur and Wren were pretty evenly matched, but when Wren threw his whole body weight against her, Azur had to scramble to hop over the pole of the spear she had carelessly dropped at their feet. She threw Kite a grateful look when she saw her friend snatch the weapon out of their way, as she continued to scrabble around with Wren.

“Promise you won’t go after Sandpiper!” Azur mock-growled at him, managing to keep her feet and laughing heartily as they danced around. “We found… a lot of small things… from the main camp,” she continued, trying to talk to Pipet and Kite over Wren’s struggles, “but we never found the bracelets I made for the gathering.” Not helping his case any, Wren started making kissing noises at her as he continued to try to break her grip, so she spun him around to throw off his balance.

“Some of them are woven with Nuthatch feathers,” Kite added, “but the highgrass is going to blend in with all the other grasses here and make them almost invisible from a distance.” She and Pipet danced backward a few steps as the wrestling pair came toward them. “If you could have waited to lose them at the quarry tomorrow,” Kite said pointedly to Azur in friendly annoyance, “it would have made things much simpler.”

“You didn’t see them over in camp, did you?” Azur ignored Kite’s jab and asked over Wren’s head, but then she missed any reply as she yelped, Wren finally gaining the advantage and then sweeping her legs out from under her with a move she’d been working hard to learn to counter. They landed on the ground in a heap, laughing and growling at each other, and then began ground tactics in earnest. Wren was trying to pin her for the standard five-count, with Azur attempting to get him in an arm lock that would end the match immediately with his surrender.

She heard someone in the distance calling a few times before she could make out the words, and lightly smacked Wren in the side so he would let her sit up to see what the commotion was about. Approaching from the main camp at a run was Rose Starling, Kite’s younger sister, her beaded braids swinging madly about her head. Rose had been a foundling and had some of the same northern heritage as Azur, evidenced by their similarly mottled black and brown hair.

“Kite! Azur!” Rose called again, now close enough to be heard, and Wren helped Azur to her feet so the four of them could await the excitable girl’s arrival. The eleven-year-old threw herself into Kite’s arms instead of coming to a stop, but Kite had been expecting it, Azur saw. She was out of breath and trying to give them her message at the same time, which resulted in a coughing fit that further delayed her. Pipet and Wren laughed, until Rose finally managed to sputter, “Raven and Rock… they’re missing!”


Thank you for reading!  All comments and critiques are welcome — this is still my first draft, but now it’s out there in the world, so I’m interested to hear what you thought!

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 3

For continuity’s sake, today’s image is one more angle of the beautiful journal cover I found on Monday (and you can find even more images at that link).  From what I can tell, it was a piece that is currently unavailable by Mandarin Duck Journals and Jewelry.  She has many other beautiful pieces and even tutorials on how to create your own available through her shop, so go check them out!

Image credit

 

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

  1. I liked this chapter a lot! You painted an interesting world and characters, and I’d love to read more.

    A few points though. The dialogue could be a bit tighter and more to the point. For example in the first part Azur says “What? Come on, don’t say that” and to me that sounds like saying the same thing thrice. Something like “Come on, I need you to find them!” might flow better.

    Then there was dialogue where Pipet says “I’m telling you, every dragonet, and every bird” and then Wren counters “Every dragonet and bird?”, so parts like these could be modified to remove repetition.

    Also while I liked the show of friendship between the four characters towards the end of the chapter, to me it came quite out of the blue. They’re talking about something very serious (if it’s true) and suddenly Azur and Wren start wrestling? I get that it shows their tight relationship but perhaps it needs something more to lead into this.

    Anyhow, I hope these comments helped at least a little! Like I said, I enjoyed this chapter and am looking forward to reading more of your work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, thanks Nina for your great comments! I admit I noticed the repetition myself, but I was re-editing on the fly as I was posting it and dialogue is definitely one of my weak points. I also see what you mean about their friendship, and that’s certainly something I can work on weaving in earlier in the next draft. I’d only shown this piece to my husband and one writing teacher (who had 100 other papers to read that semester so didn’t give me a ton of feedback) so all comments and critiques are super helpful! Thanks again! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s