Fantasy Adventure

Skye closed her eyes and lost herself intentionally in the experience. She reveled in the feeling, that awesome, beautiful, indescribable feeling that you get when soaring high up in the sky. The wind roared in her ears as it rushed by, playing with her braided hair. The air was cool and fresh, a slight scent of rain and tree pollen carried with it.

Skye often felt like she was a soul born into the wrong body. Why was she bound to the ground as a human being, when clearly all her heart was up with the sky? The sky was her passion. It was her playground. Like sailor men, who call the sea their mistress, Skye could call the sky her manstress. To her, the connection was both romantic and spiritual.

The hot redness behind her eyes suddenly became blue as a cloud blocked the sun’s light falling on her closed eyes. Skye opened her eyelids reluctantly, but smiled at what she saw.

“Looks like a big one, Blue!”

Her winged drake, who got named after his sky-blue feather color, sounded his opinion with a short screech. Blue was Skye’s best friend and most trusted companion. She always did get along better with animals than humans. 

Blue spread his wings and glided on a stream of warm air. Up ahead, a gigantic white cloud was slowly creeping by, its massive form ‘bubbling’ outwards, making it swell bigger and higher. On its underside, the cloud was growing a darker spot, indicating it was getting heavy with rain. 

Skye regarded the sky leviathan. It was almost ripe for harvest.

“Alright Blue,” she said, concentrating on the task at hand. “Go under!”

The drake let out a quick burst of clicks with its tongue, showing his excitement and Skye held on to the leather strap. Then Blue tucked his wings and they dived. The rush of cool air was so intense that her eyes teared up and her cheeks flapped like an old man’s wrinkly skin, but she loved every second of it. 

In a few moments, they were under the cloud’s belly. Blue spread his wings again, slowing down, and flew directly under the darkest parts of the cloud.

“Keep straight,” said Skye and stood up on Blue’s back. She took a folded sample-stick tied to the leather strap and extended it to its full length. At the end of the stick there was a patch of yellow moss glued to it. Skye lifted the contraption up into the cloud above. It took a great deal of balance in order to do this, but she and Blue have practiced the maneuver hundreds of times before. 

After a minute, Skye lowered the stick and checked the moss. It turned pale green.

“It’s a big one, but not yet ripe.” If the moss would turn deep green it would mean the moisture was just right. “Looks like we’re gonna have to give it a push, Blue.”

The drake clicked with his tongue playfully. Skye put away the sample-stick and patted Blue on the side of the neck, to steer him in the right direction.

“Here we go. Light it up, buddy!”

Blue raised his head up to the cloud and opened his mouth wide. Immediately, Skye felt the heat coming from within his body and after a few sparks jumped between Blue’s teeth, a burst of orange flame came pouring out. Skye had to cover her eyes.

“That’s good Blue, keep it up.”

She knew that Blue had only a limited amount of fire within him before he would run out, but it would be enough to jump start the cloud’s transformation. A drake’s heat was greater than any man-made fire.

Blue continued to breathe fire in short bursts, conserving his energy. And pretty soon, the cloud above them began to swirl and shrink, condensing its mass. It also grew darker in color.

“I think it’s enough,” said Skye. “Let’s go inside!”

Blue snapped his jaw shut and took them to the side of the cloud, where they began to ascend higher up. It was best to enter the cloud from above, as all its ice and energy was usually gathered at the bottom. 

As they ascended by the side of the sky leviathan, Skye surveyed the surrounding clouds, looking for competition. So far it seemed she and Blue were the only ones up here. Stormspark was all theirs for the taking.

Blue’s fire jump-started the leviathan’s transformation just as Skye hoped it would. The cloud’s form was shifting and growing darker everywhere. It was becoming a storm cloud. That meant Stormspark could be gathered from it, but it also meant that things were becoming serious. The cloud was no longer a docile creature, peacefully grazing in the sky pastures. As its body darkened and filled with energy, its mind also became more aggressive.

As Blue eventually flew them above the sky leviathan, Skye searched for the best entry point.

“There!” She patted Blue on the neck and the drake fell in another dive, this time straight into the cloud.

Skye held her breath. This was her favorite part of cloud harvesting - diving in. Tears gathered at the corners of her eyes again and a big smile spread on her face.

The cloud’s surface was coming in fast - and at the next blink, they hit the outer mists. Skye immediately felt the moisture on her skin and the warmth of the air - the cloud’s energy. Then, as they passed through the outer layer of fog and mist, they entered the cloud’s insides. And there, a whole new world began.

It was like a grand cathedral. Contrary to what was known about normal clouds, sky leviathans were mostly hollow. Tall columns of swirling hot air supported the massive ‘roof’ of colder air and moisture. At places where the ‘roof’ had a crack, rays of sunshine came through and illuminated the dark deep insides of the cloud’s bottom parts. Deep down was only darkness.

Until the sparks lit up.

Tiny, delicate strands of purple-white energy zapped lively in the deep. Lightning. The thing Skye came for.

It was the true definition of ‘a storm brewing’. The purplish strands of energy were zapping all over at the bottom section, like ants working diligently on a colony. Blue’s fire worked almost too well.

“Don’t forget,” Skye felt compelled to say. “We mustn’t let it touch us. The things are hotter than even your fire.”

Blue growled in response. He was soaring through this vast cathedral, using the columns of hot air to float effortlessly and giving Skye the time to discern the best way to approach the lightning pool.

It was a risky business. But it was also a very lucrative business. Stormspark could be used for a huge variety of things; from lighting one’s home to giving life to a constructed golem. The mages paid heavy coins for it. Not that Skye was that fond of riches, but feeding a winged drake wasn’t exactly cheap either. And she did love to fly more than anything.

Skye noticed all the hairs on her body standing up. The air around them became electrified. Time was running out.

“Alright Blue, we’ve been awestruck for too long here. Let’s descend by that column and…”

Her voice trailed off as a bright flash of sunlight came from her right. Skye turned and noticed that two forms had just entered the cloud, penetrating it’s outer shroud of mist, tracing sunlight with them. As they came closer, she could see they were two guys, riding a dragon each.

“Whoa, hey there Skye! Fancy meeting you here!”

The first one was Blaze, a black haired hothead with that cocky smile she found both attractive and annoying. The other one was his buddy, Draco, a man with a chronically serious face, the consequence of some untold horror he one time witnessed. They rode blackscale dragons, one of the bigger breeds. 

And also one not suited for cloud harvesting. Dragons were strong and their fire hotter than that of a drake, but they were too big and clumsy for the delicate maneuvering through the cloud’s many dangers.

“You boys are asking for trouble, riding those big brutes.” Skye was in no mood to deal with competition, especially dragonriders. They were oftentimes so pretentious.

Blaze laughed. “You’re just jealous because your bird stopped growing. If you eat too much, he could probably drop your ass.”

Blue hissed and Skye patted him on the neck. “Blue is fast and agile. What are you compensating for with that big stud between your legs?”

Draco, the serious face, let out a chuckle. Blaze pursed his lips, a witty reply escaping him.

“This cloud is about to storm and I have no time to be your babysitter.” Skye patted Blue on the neck and they dove down towards the zapping sparks of lightning, leaving the two dragonriders hovering above in indignation. If there was something that Skye hated more than splitting the money with these two, then it was having her harvesting ritual disturbed.

“Mind the ice pockets, Blue!” Flying through a sky leviathan that was going to stom meant you needed speed and agility. There were gusts of wind, pockets of freezing air and zapps of spontaneous lightning to avoid. Not to mention showers of ice cold rain or even hail.

Blue skilfully dodged a layer of ice particles that was forming and floating in the air. The deeper they went into the cloud, the less light they had from the sun’s rays above - but they could use the flashes of lightning below to see. 

Skye prepared her long stick again, replacing the moss at the end with a glass sphere, enchanted by a mage to hold in Stormspark. She tied the sphere securely to one end of a long rope and tied the other end to the stick. Then she steered Blue as close as she dared above the pool of swirling lightning - the leviathan’s beating heart.

“Hold steady now,” she told her friend who flapped his wings to stay in position. Skye carefully lowered the sphere down towards the purple light. When she used all the rope, she held out the stick, using it like a fishing rod. She had to be careful as she only had one sphere.

The sound of another set of flapping wings told her that Blaze had come down to join her. “A strange place to go fishing, I must say.”

She bit her lip and decided to ignore him. 

“Yeah, I used to do it like that too, but then I found a better way. A way that requires a partner.”

Skye noticed Draco diving under the pool of lightning. A foolishly dangerous thing to do. Once Draco was in position, Blaze produced a bag and he dumped a dozen glass spheres into the pool.

“Oh, and of course, you need more than one sphere.”

The spheres fell into the lightning bolts where some of them got infused with the spark, and some fell through empty. Draco caught them one by one. When he was done, he flew back up and the two of them would change places to fill the rest of the spheres.

“You two are idiots,” Skye exclaimed. “A dozen spheres? Do you want to destabilize the cloud and kill us all?”

“Relax Skye,” said Blaze, taking the fully infused spheres from Draco. “There’s plenty here for all of us.”

“No, you don’t understand. There’s a delicate balance of energy and mass in each leviathan. Why do you think I brought only one sphere?”

“Cause you're poor?” 

Skye nearly dropped her stick in anger. 

“You’re so immature, Blaze! Your parents are rich! I don’t understand why you even do this work, you’ve got all the money you’ll ever need!”

Blaze shrugged. “Dunno. To impress the chiks, I guess.” Then he gave her a wink and dove under the pool of lightning, taking Draco’s spot.

Skye was left fuming. She started pulling up her sphere, wanting to get out of the cloud before these two morons collapse it onto her.

Draco dropped the spheres into the pool. It was a direct hit and nearly all of them got infused with violet Stormspark. Blaze caught them masterfully, diving fast to catch one that he missed. 

And then, the leviathan roared.

The atmosphere beggan sparking with electricity and the air became thick. A loud boom echoed throughout the vast cathedral of air, as the cloud released an angry thunder. Sky felt her whole body shaking to the bone and she looked down at the pool.

It was gone.

All the lightning collapsed into one thunderous bolt that zapped out of the cloud and towards the ground. It meant the start of a storm. A sky leviathan’s funeral.

Blaze was nowhere to be seen, as everything became dark from the lack of lightning. Skye could hear Draco’s dragon flying away in a rush and Blue let out a few clicks of concern.

“Let’s get out of here, Blue!” 

She let go her stick and the sphere, it wasn’t important anymore. Their lives were in danger now. The cloud began collapsing all around, the cathedral’s walls crumbling, it's columns of rising air breaking.

Ice cold rain started falling and powerful gusts of wind began battering against Blue’s wings. One of the biggest weaknesses of a feathered drake was that they couldn’t fly too good with their wings wet. And inside a storm cloud, one would need all their strength to get out.

Blue shreaked in fear.

“Come on buddy, you can do it!”

They were trying to go sideways, to get away from the cloud’s falling path as quickly as possible. Getting caught underneath the cloud would be deadly and could get them crushed. And flying straight up wasn’t a possibility, as the winds were too strong, pushing downward.

Skye was holding onto the leather straps of the harness with all her might as the winds wanted to rip her away. The rain battered her back and the cold was making her fingers go numb. She couldn’t hold on much longer.

Her drake was having trouble staying in the air. He was growing more tired by the minute and it soon became clear to Skye that they won’t be able to make it out of the cloud.

At least not that way.

“Blue,” she screamed through the roaring winds. “You gotta dive, buddy! Dive faster than you’ve ever dived before!”

Perhaps if they manage to dive fast enough they can overtake the falling mass of the dead cloud. If they can’t get out of it, it will bring them to the ground and crush them under tons of water.

Blue understood and immediately stopped flapping his wings. Instead, he tucked them closer and made himself as aerodynamic as possible. Skye held on for dear life. 

As they began the dive, the wind and the rain stopped battering them as hard, because they were now falling down with it. When they matched its speed, Blue began flapping his wet wings as hard as he could. Skye could do little to help, save for encouraging him with words. She wondered if the strong dragons of those two dragonriders managed to get out safely. 

Then, the darkness gave way to light.

Blue managed to overtake the falling mass of the dead leviathan.

Skye was thrilled, they would make it! But the ground was approaching fast.

“Faster Blue! I know it’s hard, but you gotta go faster!”

But Blue couldn’t go faster. The feathers on his wings were glued together by water and many of them were missing, broken off by the strong winds. They overtook the cloud, but if they tried to level out and fly away from its path, the sheer mass of it would still catch them and crush them.

Skye could already start to make out the different houses of her town and individual trees down below.

Then, she got an idea.

“Blue, have you still got any fire left?”

Blue clicked his tongue once. One burst.

“Listen, I want you to burn us a little! Shoot it in front of us, and maybe the heat will dry off your wings!”

Blue screeched wearily.

“Don’t worry about me, bud! My hair will grow back!”

With the ground coming in fast and the dark body of a dead cloud threatening to crush them from above, there was no other way. Blue opened his mouth and squeezed out the last burst of flame he had. A bright orange ball of fire ignited in front of them, and they flew straight through it. Skye covered her face and tucked as closely to Blue as she could, but the fire burned her badly. The pain was hot and agonizing.

But it worked.

Blue’s wings were smoldering a little, completely dried off. The drake used its last bits of strength and flapped hard, flying in an arc to level out and get out of the cloud’s path. He managed to do so in the last time possible, clipping a few treetops as he went. Behind, the body of a dead sky leviathan crashed into the forest, flooding the area with mudded water.

Blue crash landed on a meadow and the impact threw Skye off his back. A sprinkle of rain fell upon them, creating a rainbow against the once again clear sky.

The two of them just lay there for a while, breathing heavily.

After a while, Skye felt for her hair and noticed it was gone. She winced as she stood up, her skin covered in red blisters and smelling of char. She waltzed over to Blue, who was spread out on the ground, exhausted and beaten.

“Thanks for saving my life buddy. You’re getting a ton of treats tonight.” She brushed the side of his neck and sat down next to him.

She looked at the sky. “And a certain two asholes will get a ton of fists.”

May 13, 2020 16:00

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A. Y. R
16:41 May 14, 2020

I love this new world that you've built! Your writing style was so clear and vibrant, I could vividly imagine this world that you've created! Would love to be in it myself!


Harken Void
18:24 May 14, 2020

Hehe me too buddy, me too ;) Thank you for your kind comment!


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Barbara Eustace
14:37 May 22, 2020

Wow, I can already see the film version with lots of CGI action. I loved that you created a whole new world as well as Drake.


Harken Void
17:07 May 22, 2020

Thank you Barbara! That would be pretty cool to see :)


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