It’s Friday so I’ve written another snippet of fiction inspired by the #Smaugust tag on social media. Not sure what that is? Well it’s essentially a portmanteau of the words Smaug (the dragon from The Hobbit) and the word for the eighth month of the year (my fav month for reasons not related to dragons) August.
Artists all around the internet come up with lists of themes which they then use as prompts for their dragon artwork. I’ve pretty much been fascinated by this for quite a while now, but can’t draw worth a damn, and so I decided to try and write some fiction based off the prompts. I’ve posted the list of prompts I’ve been using just below this text (I’ve completed short piece’s already for LEGEND, FOREST, and HYBRID). Today’s word is RESCUE and it’s the last piece I’ll be doing for this year. Hopefully it’s an awesome one.
Like pretty much every one of these I attempted, I did not really land on a completed piece. I’m hoping each of these snippets will go into a larger short story (or possibly novella) which sat gathering dust on my hard drive for a really long time. Trying to write for this event has really inspired me to get back in this world, but I keep feeling like I never actually get to the dragons. Oh well . . . practice makes perfect.
Lastly, since this is supposed to be a drawing event, I found some fun tips on how to draw dragons. The first was 8 Pro Tips For Drawing Dragons by creativbloq.com. The second was put out by Adobe and called How To Draw a Dragon. Both of these were so inspiring that I actually decided to attempt #Smaugust more properly and create an image for my story and the prompt RESCUE.
It’s not great, but I think for me it’s pretty darn good. Anyway, enjoy the story (and artwork) below.
When Galleed finally makes contact, I’m halfway into his Stack, and it’s giving me some weird mix between tingly-itchy-numb and I-just-felt-every-grain-of-this-wooden-table. My limbs feel like they’re jumbled in a heap on the other side of the room, but at the same time I’ve never had more control of them in my life. There’s so much magic sung into the god’s iron that my gauntleted hand could probably catch a fly by its wing without bending the tip.
It makes me want to run and fight and do everything all at once. Instead, I pace with worry, and I don’t know whether I’m worried about Galleed or if I’m worried this feeling might end.
Of course, Galleed has told me about the sensation before – how men spend months wearing a single piece of their armor at a time in order to acclimate themselves – how after a lifetime spent wearing the suits, he still feels a bit of a rush when attaching the final piece.
It’s hard to focus on the words writing themselves on the parchment I have spread across the worktable. They might as well be written in a foreign language for all I can make of their meaning. Galleed’s handwriting is abysmal when using Crotania’s finest implements, and now it’s clear to me he’s forming the glyphs with a badly broken stick and mud.
But by the will of some god neither of us have ever prayed to, but who must want our little drama to continue for another act, the words resolve into sentences.
Caught. Prison on north cliff. Beast coming. Now or never. Use the suit.
I run my hand through my hair and feel a sharp pain on my scalp as I accidently rip free a lock of my curling hair. The suit’s magic regenerates the brown coil within an instant and I curse, chiding myself for a fool and for wasting some healing.
I sigh and shape my response in glyphs with my finger atop the parchment:
On my way . . .
But it’s a lie.
I can’t save Galleed.
I don’t know how. I’ve run through every strategy we talked through during our plans, simulated every outcome. There are half-finished notes covering every surface of the shop, but none of them are a formula which balances on both ends. Not one contains a solution.
And of course, the reason for it is simple. Galleed. He’s on the wrong side of the equal sign.
My job was to build the weapons and the suit. A Full Stack with custom magic abilities, and an easily used keyword interface.
His job was to use the suit and slay a god damned dragon.
But now all of that has changed. After failing to fight off all the hybrid dragonkin in Failmor Forest, we each triggered our portal which only led to two destinations. Home to the shop, and to the base of our quarry’s hoard, The Secluded Mountain.
My portal didn’t work, and so Galleed pushed me through his. But they were only designed to transfer one person and so it closed after I came through leaving him in the Hybrid’s clutches. Miraculously, Galleed managed to trigger the portal to Secluded Mountain instead, jumping quite literally from the boiling kettle into the crackling fire.
But its only fate deferred.
Even if we’re generous, and I claim a tenth of the ability Galleed possesses, it is not enough to battle the dragon. Not enough to do so and win.
My first thought was that perhaps we did not need to. The suit has wings and uses magic to fly. All I need do was swoop in, grab Galleed and fly off, savior to a Crotanian prince.
This is still my current strategy, but of course, we’ve run into the same problem that got us into this mess. The suit is only designed for one person. Galleed. It won’t fly with two, not enough magic.
I continue pacing but the giddiness I felt before is wearing off – oh I still want to leap tall buildings but there’s something else too – replaced by a kind of resignation.
I can still save Galleed, but it will require me to get the variables back on the right side of the equation. Galleed back in the suit making his escape, me left behind rent by tooth and claw . . .
Welp. That’s it . . . That’s all I wrote. Hope you enjoyed the snippet (sorry it ended on a bit of a downer but obvi it’s gonna turn around I just haven’t written that part yet).
If you liked anything about what you saw here, I have more fiction to read, and a newsletter which you can subscribe to. It basically lets you know more about what I’m up to, and how different projects are going.
Anywho, this has been a wild ride. See you next week!