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Old 04-22-2014, 12:51 AM View Post #1 (Link) A Tail of Dragons.
Gryphonix (Offline)
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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CHAPTER ONE

Today, the winter wind was whipping through the trees, tearing at the rocks, and shredding the earth in a freezing whirlwind. I was surprised the humans outside could work in conditions like the ones this blizzard brought.

“Stupid, pesky, little humans. I hate them,” I muttered, and crawled further along the cold brown rock floor into my mother’s comforting warmth. I huddled against her strong, firm stomach, striving to keep away from the cold, chilling breath of winter. Hearing a rumbling from near my feet, I realized I hadn’t eaten in a long time.

“Mother, are you awake?” I asked, looking up toward where her head lay, dreaming peacefully on the stone floor of my home.

Her massive yellow-brown head stirred, and her eyes snapped open, instantly alert.
“Yes my dear, I’m awake. What has awoken you?” Her giant red and magenta eyes stared into my blue and red speckled eyes.

“I’m cold, and my stomach is making funny sounds. I couldn’t sleep either. I can’t wait to get named.” I moved toward her face.

She let out a small laugh, deep and genuine. “Yes, you should be excited for your ceremony, but I admit it will be sad to see you leave. You know I love you more than any other on the earth.” She paused and looked at me, and gave me a quick hug. I said nothing, and then my mother then resumed with “Let’s go see if we can find something to eat.” My mother was always a little rebellious, so that was kind of why she had adopted the human way of drying food, and storing it for the winters, which came hard and fast on this planet. My entire family had a problem with listening to other people. That is, if you could call me and my mother a family. I never met my dad.

My mother was kind of stubborn, and I guess it rubbed off on me. I never really listened, except in my training. Sadly, today I wouldn’t be able to train. I was kind of glad for the break today though.

Technically I wasn’t supposed to train, or be prepared for my test in any way, but my mother had always taken me around the woods, and we had daily training sessions. We did everything from climbing trees, to digging tunnels, and even sneaking in villages to steal food. Once, I even brought out a young cow from a village, and a few chickens! We ate well for days after that! But the most useful thing she ever taught me was how to split time down to the nanoseconds. I could tell that right now, it was about seven thirty and forty-eight seconds, and thirty-four nanoseconds.

Dragonkind already had an internal clock that could be accessed from the mind, but mine was refined to the point I could even use it to count down to when something happened. The clock that counted down to a big event was telling me something huge would happen in about three hours, forty seven minutes, and four seconds. I had no idea what that big event might be, because my ceremony started in only one hour, thirty nine minutes. I was glad my mother and I had honed my abilities from my birth fourteen human years ago. Everything she had taught me were things she knew would be in the test.

Still thinking about what name to choose, I followed my mother into the deeper recesses of the cave. Every few feet or so, she would light up the air around her with fire so we could see, but the long, winding tunnels stayed colder than a tank of liquid nitrogen in an iceberg.
“Mom, can I tell you something very serious?”

“Yes dear, anything at all.” She looked down at her flank where I trotted beside her “I want to be able to breathe Ice Fire.” I looked to see my mother looking at me, an amused smile on her face.

“What’s wrong with wanting the breathe ice? Why do you never take me seriously? Geez!”
I couldn’t believe after all the times in the past I’d talked about Ice Fire, she was laughing when I was talking about it. My own mother wouldn’t take me seriously. I felt ridiculous, and then I had an idea. I would show her, I would show her that I could be taken seriously. At my testing and naming ceremony, I would show her how much I should be respected. I would be the best!

“No dragon has used ice breath for a hundred thousand years, since Karain, the Dragonlord, and no dragon has been able to breathe Ice since then.” My mother’s smile disappeared, and I looked down. I was embarrassed that I had even brought it up again. I walked with my head down and my tail in between my legs until my mother’s tail wrapped around me and lifted me on to her broad back, between tucked up wings. I held still, and then l lay down, head on my claws.

“I will breathe Ice Fire.” I promised myself under my breath. “I will, and everyone who mocks me now will be frozen till forever ends!” I have to admit I was a rather rebellious child. Now, combine that with the fact that I was born with my teeth fully grown in, my horns the size of kitchen knives, and that I am ebony colored, with scales harder than solid steel. I really am a freak of nature. Every other dragon baby is born as a small scale-less creature with no teeth or horns, directly from an egg. I was born live, and my scales were fully grown in. I never met my father.

“Mom, isn’t today my ceremony? Isn’t today when I get tested and graded? What will happen?” I paused, and then walked on her long spine to where I was sitting between her gigantic horns, staring into her eyes.

“You know you aren’t allowed to ask about your parents’ trials, because they are sometimes the same as older trials. The officials want no one to train, but we have for a long time. There is no harm in that.” She looked up into my eyes, taking her eyes off the path. She was heading for a big rock, with a spike jutting out right towards her heart!

“Mom look out—.” My mother looked down abruptly, stopping hard at the same time, and the motion sent me soaring off her head, flying into a pitch black tunnel, leading off to the right of our current path. I hit the ground and rolled until I could no longer see her flame. I had lost my grip, and now I couldn’t see anything. I sat down against a wall to assess the situation.

I knew I needed to get back to my mother, because I was hungry. But another reason, one that frightened me more, was that I had often times listened to her stories about secret tunnels in caves that no dragon ventured into and returned alive. I hoped with everything I had that this tunnel wouldn’t lead anywhere that would leave me dead.

Since falling off my mother’s big brownish head, I had lost all sense of direction. Along with getting lost, the hundred year old dust on the floor of the tunnel stirred up, getting into my nostrils and my eyes.

AAA-AA- A-CHOOOO! I let out a sneeze so loud I was sure my mother heard me. Along with the noise, red and black flame flew out of my nostrils, burning the nearby stone wall to cinders, still smoking as I felt another sneeze coming on. I sneezed again, and this time, blue and green flames shot from my maw, and foliage began to grow around me, writhing, and tiny little dragons and other fantastic creatures began to grow out of the ground, rapidly gaining size and weight. A small ram grew from a low bush, coming out of a blossom that had just opened. On the same bush there were other creatures in the flowers. A blue dragon the size of my tiny little paw appeared in a sego lily blossom.

The small, stunted creatures were all the size of a grapefruit, with one small dragon standing a few feet taller than the rest. They turned on me, and I pressed against the wall, hands in front of me, claws up and ready. I did wonder what they wanted, and how the heck they appeared. Maybe I had just found out my fire power! I made a note to later test it out more. I looked back towards the creature army facing me, and curiosity came over me.
“Um…. Hi?” I stuttered. On my word the assemblage bowed, and I froze stone still at the speed and uniformity of the movement, the group bowing as one.

The animal assembly was made up of plants. Literally! Their horns were covered with thorns, tall and spiky. Every creature I had ever heard of was assembled in front of me. Their limbs were made of stems, their backs and wings out of leaves, and their tails out of vines. Each creature was made from plants. Slowly all of the creatures began to shift from a plant to an actual animal of flesh and blood. The transformation began in the legs, spreading through the torso and head, and at last into the outer extremities. A small green dragon with rose petal eyes walked to my side, showing no sign of transforming. He walked toward me, and I admit I cowered at the sight of him, forgetting all of my training, the hours of fighting experience I had. The little dragon opened his mouth, and flames bathed me. As if the fire could melt away fear and anxiety, I felt my cowardice shrink into a corner of my mind. I felt nothing from the orange and red tongues of fire that covered me. The little dragon, (I had decided to name him Acuda) took my paw, and then he helped me out of the tunnel, footsteps echoing only from my feet. Soon I saw the reflected light of fire in front of me.

“Mom! Mom! Over here!” I knew my mother would find me eventually, but as I turned to thank the creature who had led me, I found only a rose petal. I sniffed at it, and discovered it was still warm. I picked it up in my paws, and sat on my haunches. I stared at the little petal.

“Kane? Where are you?” My mother's voice echoed repeatedly, distanced from me.

“Right here!” I cried.

My mother breathed one last breath of fire, which showed her exactly where I was. I looked at my surroundings, and saw I had been led to a fork in the tunnel. I was positioned right next to a tiny little hole. With wide eyes, I ran toward my mother, glad to see her. I jumped from the ground, directly onto her head. It was a relief to see her. As I landed with a little thump on her head, she twisted around, and grabbed me with her wing-claws, and her forearms, wrapping me in a tight embrace.

“I’m so glad I found you!” I sat there in my mother’s arms, pressed up against her chest, and I hadn’t really noticed how cold it was until I felt her steady warmth.

“Where were you? You just flew off my head! I was scared you had hurt yourself, or gone down a passageway you shouldn’t have!” I pulled my head up from where it was cushioned against her, and looked up to see tears in my mother’s eyes. It was only then that I realized just how much my mother loved me, and just how much I needed her.

And little did I know I would soon need her more than ever.
 
Old 04-22-2014, 01:10 PM View Post #2 (Link)
Infinity_Man (Offline)
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Unfortunately, I have to lock this and any future work you post until you edit your previous critiques or post new critiques that meet our site standards. Once you have done this, please contact me or another moderator (we're the ones with green names) with a link to your new critiques, and we'll open this story up for readers again!

Please see the comment I left on your visitor wall for more information, as well as a link to a guide to getting started on the forum.
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Pro-tip: because my first instinct is to procrastinate anything I see as an obligation or responsibility, asking me for a critique is a good way to make sure I never give you a critique.
 
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