Hello everyone! Here is a collab I've done with Lone Wolf! Go check out her part! https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/contests/87/submissions/60914/
I hope you enjoy! :D
Earlier the year, I had made it into a habit to wander in the woods nearby my home. Of course, I had lost a bracelet while walking the other night, so I decided to come back to find it. Humming a soft tune about dragons and magic, I noticed my friend walking towards me.
I waved to Shadow, "Oh hey! What are you doing in the woods so late?"
"Oh, just roaming around. What about you?"
"I'm... looking for something. Say, do you remember the way out?"
"Yeah, you gotta head north. I am curious if you came this far. Shouldn't you have known the way in and out?"
"I left breadcrumbs to find my way back. Forgot what happened in the fairytale." I open up my empty pouch, once filled with bread, now empty. "I didn't keep track of which direction I was going in. So how's it been?"
"It's been a while, that's for sure. and you do know that animals eat breadcrumbs, so you led them right to us," I said, gesturing to the squirrels, birds, and fox. "Next time, I would recommend a piece of colorful cloth and tie several to trees. Anyway, it's been a while."
"Mhm, it has." I thought I saw a shadow move behind Shadow (very ironic) but quickly shove thoughts. "So how are your parents?"
"Doing good as always. Teaching me new stuff every day. Yours?"
"Same. More focused on my sister, but they still care." I feel breathing on my neck.
"Shadow," I asked, taking deep breaths, "What's behind me?"
Shadow shook her head. "We need to leave now! I feel like this forest is starting to get creepy."
I hold my breath, "Agreed." I eye the dragon behind Shadow. "In the count of three, we run north."
Shadow was always a faster runner than me, so it was no surprise a tree almost fell over me as I ran. But it didn't hit me, and I dashed after Shadow quickly. "How much... farther?"
"I have n-no idea," she panted. "Just a-away from here. Head for the lake!" Shadow exclaimed.
We both leaped into the lake and held our breath as the dragon blew fire over the lake. I closed my eyes, hoping it was all a dream.
After a few long moments, I noticed the dragons were flying right above us. Shadow resurfaced, and I quickly followed.
"Hey, I think we should rest for a while. That run wore me out," Shadow suggested.
"Yeah-" I eyed a small patch of land a couple of meters away. A willow tree was planted, which gave me an idea. "What about the willow tree? We can hide under its branches!"
"That's true, but what if they see us swim there? Then they will follow us and set it on fire. But, I guess we will have to swim underwater to it.
"We have no other choice." I held my breath and swam towards the bit of land. Shadow's quick to follow, and we swim in unison, undetected by the dragon duo. I reached land and got on my feet quickly. I grab Shadow's hand and quickly pull her up.
"Quick, behind the branches!" I said.
Shadow and I pulled branches, covering our bodies.
"Do you think they saw us?" asked Shadow.
I eye the dragons, searching the water to no avail. "I don't think so, but I don't think we should stick around for long."
"Yeah. Maybe we should swim over to another shore?" asked Shadow. I nodded and followed her as we peeked through some branches. There was a small boat. Inside were someone's belongings. "We aren't the only ones here," she whispered.
I bit my lip. An idea suddenly comes to me. "Should we... take the boat? I know, only a villain would steal, but..." I didn't finish the thought.
"Are you suggesting that we venture off into the woods with someone else's boat and have the faint possibility of being eaten by dragons that breath fire? I like that suggestion, totally not going to get us killed or anything..." Shadow said sarcastically. We both eyes a nearby campfire. "Not alone," I heard her mumble.
"Yeah, we shouldn't take the boat. Besides, it's a wooden boat. One breath of fire and..." I sigh, "Should we leave or confront the person? Maybe they know why there are dragons around the place?"
"I think we should confront them because, as you said, they might know about the dragons. Just grab this branch. In case they decide to make us their next meal instead."
I grabbed the sturdy branch, and we moved towards the stranger.
"H-hello-?" I asked. The person turned over and grabbed a nearby stick.
"S-stay where you are!" they shouted. It was hard to make out their appearance due to the black cloak covering their face.
"We mean no harm, buddy. We w-were wondering if you c-could help us with s-something." Shadow stumbled.
"Help with what-?" asked the person.
"Well, help with a question that we have," Shadow said, "Our question is do you know why there are dragons around here and where they came from?" The stranger seemed a little dazed.
"I knew someone would ask... I think it's time I told you a tale..."
"A tale of what?" I asked.
"Well, long ago, this used to be a normal forest where animals roamed freely. Everything was happy and calm, and then one day, everyone goes into hiding. They have risen and tried to conquer the earth. Powerful dragons, big soaring beasts. Their ruler is said to be on top of Mount Timidis, or Mount Fearful. No one has dared set foot on the mount. Some say it's cursed. Others say it is where dragons arise. Only the most powerful warriors have been able to kill these creatures, those of skill, knowledge, power, and talent." I froze. A whole mountain filled with living, breathing dragons?
"Hold on a second, did you say kill the dragons?" asked Shadow.
"It's either you or them, your fate, your choice."
"So, we either kill the dragon, or it kills us?"
"She," said the cloaked person, "And yes."
"Wow, sounds dangerous. But we don't have any weapons. Besides these sticks, but I don't think you can kill a dragon with a branch."
"That's why I will give you your powers. You will each receive a unique power. Together, you will be able to end the rule of the dragons once and for all."
"Wait, powers? What kind?" I perk up, "Fire powers? No, that wouldn't be handy. Flower powers? No, that's just stupid. Do we get to choose?!"
"Is your friend always like this?" asked the stranger. Shadow smiled and nodded. I shot her a glare as the stranger continued.
"You see, your powers will reflect your personality, and they will be unique, as you are. Like, you might get mind-powers if you are smart, or natural growth if you love nature. It depends."
"How do we get our 'powers' anyway? Do you just magically lay your hands on us?" asked Shadow. I saw her start to smile.
"No, follow me." The stranger led us into a small hut, where they grabbed a small, wooden chest. "Inside has a gem, each corresponding to different power and color. You choose the one that you feel is the right one. The gem fuels your powers. Break or lose it, and you will lose your powers." The stranger opened the chest. "Shadow, you first."
Shadow stepped up (muttering) as she picked a black gem.
"Maddie, you next."
I looked at the box and grabbed a pearlescent white gemstone.
I expected to feel some power of magic flowing through me. But life isn't like the movies. I looked towards Shadow to find her wearing black clothes, with a long sword at her side. I look down at myself to see myself in a new outfit. A black cape surrounded my back, along with a moon necklace wrapped around my neck. I also noticed a wand in my pocket. I pulled my long, black hair behind me as I noticed Shadow looked like an actual shadow. On the other hand, I looked like a wizard or a mage.
"So how will we know what our powers are?" asked Shadow.
"You'll have to train, of course. We will start now." Said the stranger. They pulled off their hood, revealing a woman with long, chestnut hair. She seemed very serious.
"How and where do we train?" Shadow asked excitedly. "And what's your name anyway?"
"My name is Caroline."
"How long have you lived here?" I asked.
"A long time. Now stop with the nosy questions."
"Well, we are kinda nosy. So where do we train, and how do we get there?" Shadow asked. I could tell she was starting to get a little impatient.
"Follow me." She led us out of the hut and back to the campfire.
"Close your eyes." We both closed our eyes. "Now try to imagine yourself using your powers, the gem you chose, etc. Soon, you'll realize what your power is."
As soon as my eyes closed, I saw another stranger holding a wand. They were controlling flames with it. Eventually, the mage grabbed a spellbook from a grey backpack. It felt strangely familiar.
That's when I realized the stranger was me.
I open my eyes and quickly open my backpack to find a spellbook hidden inside. I flip through, skimming through the spells.
"The dragons are still there, so do we have to fight them?"
"I guess so. How are we supposed to fight-" I turned around, but the stranger was gone. "Well, that was unexpected."
"Yep, very much. Well, I have this sword, and I can warp the shadows, and I think you might have some spells? Like, you can make stuff appear in the air? Or is that just a story?"
"I don't know. I have a spellbook. Let's see what it says." I read through it and shut the book. "I can use all these spells. The most powerful one is this creation spell; I can create anything at random that is part of the solution to win the battle. Only once. Interesting..."
"Wow, that is interesting. Maybe you could make like a net or something? I don't know, but we shouldn't waste it."
Suddenly, the willow tree was set on fire, burning down.
"We gotta get out of here! They found us again!" Shadow exclaimed.
I shut the book. "Agreed." We started running across the small island, flames catching on the trees. Outrunning the fire was pointless. "What should... we do?"
"Get to the lake because water and fire never like each other. It's only a little further."
Shadow and I ran a little further until we dove into the water. We held our breaths as we dunk down. Heat came over us, but the water protected us.
I remembered a spell I had seen in my spellbook and quickly think the incantation. We turned invisible, confusing the dragons, as I pull Shadow over to the shore.
"Wow, that was a great trick!" said Shadow. She wrapped the shadows from the trees around us.
"Thanks! Who knew shadows were warm!" I chuckled. My voice petered to silence. "What should we do now?"
"Well, we gotta face the dragons soon, but we don't want to kill them yet, because they might be able to show us to Mount Timidis. Or wherever they live. So I say, we lie low and wait to see where they go."
"Let's do that. Hey, is it possible you could blend us into the shadows so the dragons don't spot us?"
"I mean, I can try, let's see, come over here." She grabbed another shadow and wrapped it around me, making it look like I was the tree's shadow. "Here, put this on, and voila, you are a shadow."
"Whoa cool!" The shadow felt cool wrapped around me. "Disguise, check. Now we need our plan of action..."