Hey everyone, this is a writing prompt I found. I found the picture interesting and the concept was intriguing. It was almost begging me to write a story. So I started a short one that I'll hopefully intertwine into my current novel.
Aria and Elmond led us out of the mountain and out into the dim light of outside. Glimmering snowflakes drifted lazily down from the grey clouds on the early winter breeze. I stayed close to Ben, knowing that this could very well be our last day alive.
The two elves walked briskly in front. I hurried to keep up but at the same time studied my surroundings. Now that we were out of the inside Dwarves' realm that was in the mountain, everything had a brighter shine to it. There was no more gold, running down the inside of the mountain like solid rivers. The Dwarves had for eternity hammered at the walls for the gold, and hoarded it and kept it safe from unwanted hands with their lives.
The view held an eerie beauty to it. The valley was white with snow, and the rocks had acquired a blueish tinge to them. Strange, teal colored creatures dove in and out of the clouds, their screeches bouncing off the mountainous facades. One of the animals perched high above us on a ledge, watching us pass with a black eye. It had a resemblance to a small dragon. Its limbs were graceful and fine, its wings armed with hooks at each point. Its tail was outstretched, and waved from side to side as it leaned over the edge.
I could hardly run properly with the hide ropes that bound my hands together. So, stumbling, I caught up with Aria, who was staring stony faced at the cracked stone path that lay ahead. Between breaths, I said, "What are those creatures?"
She was long to answer, but at last she faced me and said, "We call them Dragurni- Elida, which means Sky- Dragon in our language. They are our wings."
I did not dare myself to point out that I knew perfectly well the meaning of the ancient language. It was odd, as I had not grown up with it. Ben was convinced the language had come up in one of the books I read back at the palace. When I told him he was wrong, he, who had not had the chance to get a proper education, satisfied his worries by telling himself that either the Elven language was Latin with a magical twist, or Latin was a dialect of the ancient language, and vice versa. I had given up on arguing a long time ago.
I nodded. "So," I said, trying to befriend the elf, "what is happening?"
She tucked a strand of her dark hair behind one of her pointed ears. "We are taking you to the court of Elregion. He is the Prince of our race. His mother and father died of grief when his baby sister went missing. No one knows what happened to her."
"Uh huh." I said, and dropped back a couple steps to be with Ben again.
His voice was a hushed whisper. "Where are they taking us?"
"High court of some Prince. Their Prince." I corrected myself. He didn't say anything after that. Personally, I wasn't too scared about meeting some kind of Elven royalty. Ben, however, looked slightly green as he took reluctant footsteps.
"Single file," Shouted Elmond over his shoulder, as he readjusted the quiver strap on h1is shoulder. He removed his elder-wood bow from his back and nocked an arrow to it. Ben and I shot each other a puzzled glace. "Don't step too close to the edge. The Dragurni - Elida don't usually approach people that are not of a magical race kindly."
Elmond went first, with Ben closely following. He was as white as a sheet, and kept his eyes on the paved floor the whole time. I went after him, and Aria brought up the rear.
The pathway we were being led onto was wide enough to hold two men safely, side by side. It was an uncountably long drop down into darkness, that sent shivers up my spine. The elves that were in front of us, just talking to themselves seemed at leisure up here, as if there was some invisible fence that could stop you from falling. I settled on that they trusted their dragon friends with their lives. I didn't dare myself to pester Elmond with questions. He seemed like the kind of elf that wouldn't hesitate to spear you through with a bow and arrow.
I could barely see ahead because of the snowflakes. They coated my eyelashes with a dust that looked like crushed diamonds. The path ended as a jagged circular platform, on which was tied a colossal rock that made even a Dragurni- Elida look small. In fact, one of the Elves' wings was perched on top of the stone, craning its blue head around to face the mossy path and the elves approaching it.
I screamed and backed away, treading on Aria's foot. A Dragurni- Elida had landed in front of us, separating our little group in half. It had a wild look in its yellow eyes as it looked down on us. It reared up on its hind legs. All of the elves, as well as Ben, stopped dead in their tracks. The creature spred out its blue wings and roared. It seemed angry and more lethal than before. Honestly, I preferred it better when it was sitting perched on top of a cliff. Its barbed tail waved from side to side, as it roared its fury to the skies. Its blue scales glittered with a fierce beauty, like sapphires as it twisted and moved on the pathway.
Aria was beyond herself. Before she seemed calm but now she was in a state of outrage. She was shouting at the Dragurni Elida.
"Nie! Schasle!"She shouted. The dragon did not heed her warnings and found an arrow through his wing membrane seconds later. Startlingly red blood dripped from the tiny hole in the wing where the arrow shaft had flown through. The dragon snorted, black smoke drifting from its nostrils. I blinked as the smoke made my eyes water. Aria coughed behind me. Now Elmond was also shouting at the Dragurni- Elda. Ben had backed away from the scene, shouting my name.
"ELIZABETH!" I could hardly hear him. His voice sounded very distant, but as the Dragurni arched its neck, I could see he had made it to the end onto the large platform.
"ARIA!" Elmond also shouted, "Catch!" And he tossed her a dagger. He was so far away I was sure it would never reach us. It spun, reflecting what little sun was available of its polished blade, and came sailing towards us through the smoke. With a bound, quick as lightning, Aria snatched the weapon from the air and yelled at me to get behind her.
The attacker landed back onto its forelegs with mighty force. Elmond was still firing a few arrows. All found their mark. Jeffran, the storyteller back home was not exaggerating about the skills of the Elves with weaponry. They would make great allies to fight the White knights, if only I could persuade them.
The shaking of the path knocked me down, and I fell down hardly, backwards onto the uneven stone path, grazing my palms in the process. The Sky- Dragon looked down at me. I scrabbled backwards, kicking up loose pebbles into the creature's face. It opened its mouth, revealing huge yellowish teeth that were longer than my forearms. My arms gave way from trembling, and my breathing shallowed as I collapsed from fear, hitting my head hard. I couldn't move, and forced myself not to black out as my vision went fuzzy.
Aria put her hands underneath my arms and dragged me away from the blue dragon, where she lay me down carefully before stepping right in front of the Dragurni- Elida, brandishing Elmond's dagger. I marveled at her bravery. She did not cringe from its movements. Instead she spoke to it in a low murmur, driving it back. All too soon it put one hind leg over the side. I saw its look of shock, as it reared up once more, lost its balance, and fell over the side. The sky turned darker.
For a couple of seconds there was nothing, no sound. An eerie silence filled the air. Then a fierce, war-like roar brought me back to my senses, and my eyes flickered open just in time to see the Sky- Dragon fly up high in the sky, and it spat out white light, that crackled almost blue in its mouth.
Thunder sounded, and the snow began falling slower. Lightning illuminated the whole sky. That was when I realized the Sky - Dragons did not breathe out fire, but something much worse- Lightning. Then the Dragon vanished into the mist, weaving in and out of the jagged rocks.
Aria helped me to my feet. I shivered. "I can't believe I survived that," I said.
"I don't believe it either," Aria murmured. "A normal human could never survive that."
"Hellooo," I said, unbelievingly, "There's something called sheer dumb luck in this world."
She shook her head, and hurried to Elmond's side, chatting to him, and making urgent hand gestures. I descided not to tell anyone about what she had told me about not being normal. I followed, the last of the trembling exiting my body as my feet pounded against the snowy, paving stones, and caught up with Ben, who greeted me with a shout of joy and a rib-cracking hug. Elmond had severed his bonds, as had Aria mine.
As we neared the huge rock, I could see it was secured to the platform with thick ropes that were made out of braided hide. The front of it looked unwelcoming. It was a big, dark hole, that seemed infinitely long. The entrance was outlined with Elfish runes that I surprisingly could read without much difficulty. They were engraved deeply into the rock, and decorated with golden leaf. They read: "The blue moon that once was mine, has come to a rest in the caverns, as the rising sun tints the sky red with the blood of the fallen warriors." That, I presumed, was Elfish poetry, which always has very deep meaning to it, like the entrance to the cave.
Slowly, and hesitantly, after Aria and Elrond bound our hands again, Ben and I, with fearful looks on our faces, reluctantly entered the cave, with Aria and Elmond watching us.
Deep into the darkness, I whispered, "Ben?"
"Yes," he said in a cracked voice.
A tear rolled down my cheek. "Should our intended fate befall us, I just wanted to say, that you've been the best and only friend I've ever had. Thank you. You've supported me all of the time."
"Oh, Elizabeth," he said. "You've twisted my life around. Now little Sylvi, she can live better with father back home. Thank you." I knew it was difficult for him to speak of his little sister and father, being perfectly aware that he might not every speak to them again.
And, side by side, knowing that very soon, we would never see the light of day again, we advanced further into the pure blackness of fate and the cavern.