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“Brother, why do I always follow your plans?”
Sword smiled but he kept his silence. He had been quiet for most of the ride, something which was incredibly unusual. Especially as we were about to face a deadly dragon in order to save the next princess of the Windfall Kingdom.
I looked up at the castle we had stopped in front of. It even looked ominous, and the path the dragon had taken to enter the castle was obvious.
Sword turned in his saddle and dropped to the ground. Tying his horse to one of the trees, he started off towards the main gate without waiting for me. I quickly dismounted and tied my horse next to his. Giving a reluctant pat to my mount, I followed after my brother.
I trusted him, I trusted him with my life. But the idea of the dragon was enough to terrify me.
More specifically, the idea of my brother facing the dragon alone was what terrified me. Because that was Sword’s plan, for me to leave him to fight the dragon while I ran to find the princess.
And this was hardly some small worm guarding a meadow. Dozens of men— soldiers, knights, even wizards— had tried and failed to kill this dragon. And judging from the broken hinges of the gate, this dragon was larger than even I had anticipated.
A sentiment that only grew when we passed through the gate. The courtyard was a wreck. The stone path had become chunks of rock scattered around, what must have been a fountain was tipped over and broken, black marks from fire were blasted across everything.
The main hall of the castle was even worse. There were scrape marks half way up the three story walls, and every tapestry that had once hung was crumpled into heaps across the floor, as if the dragon had only barely managed to squeeze through the hall.
The floor was treacherous. Deep gouges in the stone floor had made ridges and valleys full of broken rock. Gouges that looked as if they had been made as easily as a cat ripping cloth.
My stomach was feeling uneasy. How big was the dragon, and how on earth did Sword imagine he could kill it alone?
I was so busy looking at the fallen tapestries and the ragged floor that I slowed down, letting my brother get ahead of me. I veered over closer to the wall. Reaching out, I touched where the dragon had left scrape marks on the wall.
Movement out of the corner of my eye made me turn fast. I misjudged out close I had gotten to the wall, and the edge of my shield scraped against the wall. I reached around, grabbing my shield where it was strapped to my back.
I shot a terrified look at Sword, who had been waving to get my attention. He looked frustrated and motioned for me to go over to him. When I opened my mouth to speak he motioned angrily for me to be quiet. Then he turned back away from me. I let my eyes follow where he was looking and felt my stomach grow cold.
The wall on the right side had a big hole in it. Scorched rubble was strewn about the hall and through the hole I saw a long purple tail stretching out. The dragon.
I was sure that I would drop dead from fear right then. But instead, I managed to take a step. And another. Until I had crossed the hall. I was closer to the dragon, but I could no longer see its tail. On the one hand that was comforting. The other other, it was most definitely not.
The nerves I had been swallowing back for the last day were bubbling up inside me. I was starting to feel like I was going to be sick. Sword really expected me to leave him while he fought? What was the point of splitting up anyway?
“Sword…” I was whispering, but if he heard me he ignored me. I stumbled on the uneven ground. “Sword—“ something grabbed me, pulling on my foot and ankle. I pitched forward, throwing out my hands to stop myself.
My left hand landed on a sharp hunk of rock. My left elbow gave out. Instead of stopping my fall, I found myself twisting leftward. My shield clanged against the floor, ringing out loudly in the quiet.
A sound burst from next room, the dragon. An endless screech that pierced through my head. It was so loud I knew my ears would burst from the pain.
Shouting tore through my throat as I tried to cover my ears, my voice lost in the sound of the dragon. My heart was beating like mad. With almost no warning, my stomach heaved and I retched.
Then hands were pulling at me. There was a painful jerk as the tapestry that had wound around my foot was ripped away before the hands grabbed my arms and pulled. I was lifted to my feet as the screeching stopped.
“We’re going to die,” I babbled hysterically to Sword “We’re going to die here.”
“Shut up.” He said, shaking me. “Just stick to the plan. As soon as it’s distracted you have to run, got it? Find the princess and get out.”
Without waiting for an answer, he let me go and walked towards the dragon, pulling out his sword as he went.
“Don’t…Sword don’t…”
But he was gone. He was shouting a challenge to the dragon. Before he could finish, the dragon screeched again. The sound hurt like knives in my head, nearly driving me to my knees once more. That screech was a kind of agony I had never expected nor experienced.
Barely able to keep my eyes open, I ran. I ran as fast as I could without stumbling until I had passed the opening the dragon had made. After that, the hallway cleared. No more gouges in the floor, and even the tapestries were mostly still having on the walls.
I ran faster. Ahead was the grand staircase.
Writing Challenge 2014 December
Well it’s been hectic. I haven’t actually had internet available for the last week, which is why I hadn't posted this December version despite having finished it last Sunday. After the first of the year I will go through and read all the versions I wrote this year, that way I can actually see if I've been improving and what got better and what needs work and so on.
So without further ado, here is the last Writing Challenge I will ever write for that particular scene of Sword and Shield.

A brief update on where some of my writerly things stand:

1) Hindsight Draft 4 is not even close to done, so I will not be finishing that before November. Instead I'll just take a month-long break from it, let it chill, and delve into it come December. There's a lot of work to do for it, and I got really stuck on the beginning (like always). I'm still happier with this version than the last one though, so I know I'm headed in the right direction! I've also been thinking over a few things for later books that make a lot of sense and I can keep those things in mind during Hindsight. I think this version might just turn out well, if I have the time to work on it that is!

2) I have had extremely limited time to work on Magician and the Knight, and I really miss it. I'm anxious to get back into it after November! I have been doing some doodling for it, which is fun. But nothing that I'd want to put up on Deviantart (not to mention most of it's been on sticky-notes). Merek, Roscoe, your stories will be written! 

3) Writing Challenge. As you can see here on Deviantart, I've been pretty good about getting the challenge done these last few months. I did, as I mentioned in October's version, shorten the scene to compensate for the crazy, hectic months that are October and November--but that's probably for the best.

And lastly:

4) NaNoWriMo! Saturday is the first day of November. Which means I will be working almost exclusively on The Many Lives of Gregory Marnes! Greg Marnes, as I will be calling the story for short, is mostly about accidental time travel as far as I can tell so far. It's my first time writing a time travel novel, so we'll see what happens. As usual, I'm going into NaNo with little to no plan. I was getting really stressed over NaNo for the last week or so until I had a realization that I wasn't following my own knowledge of the month. It's quantity, not quality. It's a first draft, not anything I will publish right away. I had the epiphany that look at Hindsight. Look at how different it is now than it was November 2010. Whatever crazy, foolish things I come up with, however many paragraphs about bread and butter, it doesn't matter. What I write in November is nothing but flinging words on a page trying to figure out which ones stick themselves into a decent plot. I don't need to be accurate. I don't need to be perfect. I just need to write it. And that's what I'm going to do.

Anyway, like I said this has just been an update on my current major projects. There's so much I want to do for my writing, if only I had the time for it all!

  • Mood: Zeal


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Sindeon Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014
In the name of Sindeon I thank you for the watch!
JesseZafiro Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Of course! Your pictures are incredible!
yume-chan05 Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
thank you very much for the watch and the favorites!
JesseZafiro Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Of course! Your pictures are amazing!!
echo-mlb Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013   General Artist
Thanks for the fav ^^
JesseZafiro Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome! I really liked the set up of it!
Fred73fr Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fave ;)
JesseZafiro Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Of course! I loved the detail in it!
Kevrekidis Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the fav!
See also my new image: Trabajo
JesseZafiro Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Of course!
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