A dragon held up a dark red stone. "Finally, it's mine!" He cackled with glee. "I have unlimited power now! No one can get me!" He remembered the verses a NightWing spoke when the stone was discovered one day. "The power of time and infinite life, comes to the dragons that are meant to possess it." Now this dragon had it, after days of searching and stealing. He survived the SandWings and the IceWings, sneaking through the territory of the SeaWings. Now he had the result of his troubles in his claws, glowing slightly. It shuddered slightly, but the dragon, an old Mudwing by the name of Sculpt, was too excited to notice.
Then suddenly two pairs of glowing eyes stared at him. A SeaWing slunk out of the shadows, her fishhook claws gleaming. A RainWing leaped out of a tree, and gazed at him coolly. "You have someone we want," the SeaWing growled. The MudWing backed away quickly, hugging the stone in his arms. "No! You can't have it!" He tried to make a run for it. The SeaWing easily pounced on his tail, and the RainWing leaped onto his back. "Now, shall we make this easy or hard?" The RainWing smirked. The MudWing grimaces as the colorful dragon clawed his back. "You can never have it. I am immortal now!" He tried to do the magical powers the stone entailed, but he failed. "Sorry, MudWing. Your not the dragon that's supposed to have it." The SeaWing smashed her tail down on the MudWing's head. He crumpled, and they easily pried the garnet from his claws. "Wonderful," the SeaWing held up the stone. "Kill him, if you don't mind," she pointed to the MudWing. The RainWing quickly jumped onto the MudWing's chest. "You don't have to do it!" Sculpt whimpered. The RainWing smiled. "Too bad," he slashed his claws wildly on the MudWing's throat. When he stopped, the MudWing was dead. He cleaned his claws on Sculpt's scales, and turned back around to the SeaWing.
Nowhere in sight.
The RainWing looked up, and saw a faint blue blur in the grey sky. "Traitor!" he screamed. The SeaWing escaped through the trees, and disappeared. The RainWing roared. "I will kill you! You are not the true dragon!" he roared and turned a striking red. But then he calmed down.
If he didn't kill that traitor, someone else will defiantly. Besides, there is a war to get that stone. Everyone is out to get that SeaWing.
Chapter 1: Flicker
Flicker blinked open her eyes, very weary. Why did she feel like she hadn't slept in a million years? She looked out the window, only to find out it was midnight. That's why..... Did Flicker hear whispering? She whipped around and nearly jumped out of her skin when she saw her sister, Flare, practically on top of her, poking her, trying to get her attention. What the heck was going on?
"What on earth are you doing?" she exclaimed.
"Whisper like me, you idiot!" Flare growled, gesturing towards their sleeping mother, who just happened to be Queen Ruby. Flicker noticed that she seemed much more serious than usual. "Listen, I want to leave the palace. Tonight. Right now."
Flicker and her sister had never left the palace before. The queen was very overprotective of her dragonets because of the war raging pretty much right outside the royal family's doorstep, and the war was over a garnet. Flicker thought it was stupid to make an entire war over a stone, but Flare desired the stone more than anything else. This stone was worth more than gold to her sister because it gave the keeper of the stone the powers of immortality and the ability to go back in time. Flare wanted to leave the palace to retrieve the stone, but Flicker didn't want to. This must've been one of Flare's wacko ideas to escape the palace. This wasn't the first, alright.
"Listen, Flare, I'm not going," Flicker told her sister. "I don't care about the stone."
"Well, you're not actually going to let me go out there alone sister, are you?" Flare pleaded, making her most innocent face. It was obvious she was just trying to bribe her into getting her to come, but Flicker really wouldn't let her sister die out there alone. She had to go with Flare to keep her to keep her sister from dying.
Flicker sighed. "Fine, how are we getting out?" Flare pointed towards the open window. Oh no....
"Flare, we barely even know how to fly!" she squeaked. Jumping out of an open window could be a death sentence to a dragonet who didn't know how to fly. "Why can't we just walk out the door?!"
"Oh, come on, Flicker, we'll be fine!" Flare scoffed. "SkyWings are natural flyers. Many of them don't even have to be taught. And I bet I could do it, I mean really. Oh! And the door is locked."
Flicker sighed. The door just had to be locked. Before Flicker could protest, Flare hopped out the window with ease. A squeaking noise came out of her throat. She didn't want to do this, not one bit. Was her sister okay, even alive at all? She looked out the window, but couldn't see her sister anywhere. The height was dizzying, but Flicker tried to ignore that. She took a deep breath, and leaped out the window to find her sister.
Chapter 2: Flare
Flare felt the cool wind hit her face. Now... All I have to do is... This! She flipped open her wings, which were thrown out at a wide splayed angle that caused her to grimace. The air was blustery, and tossed her wings and tail around, causing her to unbalance quickly.
Work! She thought and, with extreme effort that left her panting, managed to straighten out. Her wings seemed to be working fine now, and she decided to test them out.
Flare flapped her fiery wings and spun around, almost falling. She regained altitude, and looked out into the dark night for her sister, Flicker. She had just jumped out the window. The reverse flame scales flashed in the light of the moon before falling to the ground.
She's not stopping... Why is she not stopping! Flare panicked for a second then she dove steeply to catch up with her. Flicker thrashed in the wind, attempting to open her wings. She tumbled, head over tail, spinning wildly. Flare dove down below her and prepared to open her wings. Suddenly, Flicker clawed desperately at her shoulder and curled up tightly on her back. Flare wasn't expecting the added weight, she seemed so light other times. But now a panicking dragon was scrabbling on her back, the ground was getting closer, and she wasn't able to open up her wings again.
They dove to the ground. The shapes around them were getting faster by the second.
Last second, Flare snapped her wings open and they felt a jarring shock. The fall was getting slower, but not enough for a safe landing.
"The river!" A voice behind her shouted. Flicker looked up, scared but determined. Flare angled her wings towards the river, and the two of them crashed on the mud bank.
Flare blacked out.
"FLARE! FLICKER!" A voice yelled from up ahead. Flare stirred, and attempted to get up. A heavy weight on her back prevented her from getting too far off the ground. She looked up.
There was mud. Layers and layers of mud. All of it on her back, wings, and head.
"Yyyuuuuck!" She yelled before she was slapped by a brown tail. Flicker's tangerine eyes were staring at her from a mud pile.
"Shush! I'm trying to hide you!" She hissed. She gestured to the sky, where a ruby red dragon was flying about, breathing fire with fury.
It was their mother, Queen Ruby.
Chapter 3: Flicker
"If she catches us, we're dead meat!" Flare groaned.
Flicker put her tail over her sister's mouth. Why can't my sister just cooperate? Flicker lathered a bit more mud on her sister, just to make sure she was hidden. Flicker could tell Flare loathed being covered in mud, but she was smart enough not to complain. Flicker didn't dare take a breath, didn't dare make a move. Their mother was getting closer, and closer, and closer...
If they were caught, covered in mud, it would be shameful. Absolutely shameful. Flicker knew that her mother's wrath was enough to make the strongest, boldest dragon bend down on their knees in front of her. Now Flicker sort of understood why Flare wanted to escape the palace. She didn't want her mother to decide where she went and what she was to do, nor did she like having to act regal and impress everybody. Why couldn't she be herself for a change? But she also missed her mother already, and they were barely out of the castle. She missed the luxuries and comfort of living as a princess, she missed the warm fires, she missed snuggling up to Queen Ruby's toasty scales. So many things she missed. Flicker had never wanted to leave the palace in the first place, but this was much, much worse than she had imagined.
Flicker nearly had a panic attack when Queen Ruby landed not too far away from where she and her sister were hiding.
"Flicker, Flare! Where are you?" their mother called into the night.
She could tell her mother was trying to keep on a brave face, but her voice sounded desprate, and her eyes were wide with worry for her lost daughters. Half of Flicker wanted to leap into Queen Ruby's arms, to embrace her mother, to apologize for running away. She knew that wasn't logical, though. Flare would never forgive her, and she shivered at the thought of being punished by her mother. Flicker decided it would be best to stay put. She stayed silent. Her snout really itched, but she didn't dare scratch it. After a while, Queen Ruby flew off into the night. It took all of her will power not to fly after her mother, calling her name, for Flicker had a feeling she wouldn't see her mother again for a long, long time.
Once Queen Ruby was only a speck of red in the distance, Flare crawled out of the mud. Both of them were spitting mud out of their mouths and trying to shake the muck of their scales. Mud tastes horrible! Flicker thought, gagging on the stuff. After countless attempts of cleaning themselves off, they still didn't look much better than they did before.
"Never. Shove me into mud. AGAIN," Flare growled, trying to sound annoyed, but I could tell she was relieved that the mud hid her. "We'll never get this off our scales!"
"We could go into the river to wash off our scales," Flicker replied to her sister's complaint.
Flare looked about as disgusted by that idea as not getting the mud off her scales. SkyWings hated going in the water, but not as much as the SandWings. Flicker wasn't all that excited about the idea either, but it was better than doing nothing at all about their dirty scales. Her sister sighed.
"Okay, fine, we'll wash our scales in the river, but I'm not happy about this," Flare grumbled.
"Look, I'm not all that happy about this either," Flicker said. "But what other options do we have?"
Both of them reluctantly stepped into the water. Flicker hated it. The water was freezing and splashed here and there, so you got covered in river water that made you shiver. It felt unnatural, and it seemed like it was trying to drag her downriver. But there was no other way to wash the mud off her scales. She went deeper into the water, and the water seemed to seep into her bones, causing her to become numb with the cold almost all over her body. She then remembered that she still had to wash off the mud on her face. Flicker tried using her wet hands to rub the mud off her face, but it wasn't enough. She knew she had to dunk her entire head into the water to get the mud off, and boy, she really didn't want to do that! Flicker took a huge breath, closed her eyes, and shoved her entire head under the water. Holding her breath wasn't easy for her. Her lungs screamed for air after 15 seconds and the water kept on seeping through her eyelids, irritating her eyes. She shut them tighter until her lungs felt like they were about to burst. Flicker's head popped out of the water and she was gasping for air. Now every inch of her body was covered in freezing cold river water. She looked over at Flare, who seemed to be clean, but not in a better mood than she was.
"Let's get out of this water!" exclaimed Flare, racing to the shore.
Flicker followed her. It was hard to run through water. Everything seemed to be pushing back, her legs ached, and her legs seemed to move in slow mode, even when she urged them to move faster. Once she got out of the water, she was grateful to be back on land. Then Flicker felt even colder, now that she had gotten out of the water. The wind buffeted them, causing Flicker to shiver. At least the wind dries me off.
"So...what should we do now?" Flicker asked Flare.
Flare just shrugged. "How about we head that way?"
She pointed north, and although Flicker couldn't make out the land that Flare was pointing to with the mountains obstructing their view, she knew it was very misty from all the mist rising up from that area.
"Sure," Flicker replied.
It felt good to make their own decisions of where they got to go, but after the night's events, Flicker felt really lonely without her mother, turning away from her home, with only her sister to help her. The two dragonets trekked forward, their flame-colored scales bathed in moonlight. Since they were still soaking wet, everything Flicker walked on stuck to the bottom of her feet. It was really unpleasant and annoying. Either way, she still kept going, because she couldn't look back now.
. . .
After a while, Flicker smelled something on the air, something....bad and kind of salty. She recognized the smell of blood. She went pale. She tried not to imagine what might be creating that awful stench.
"Do you smell that?" She asked Flare.
Her sister nodded. Even though Flicker was terrified of what she might see, curiosity got the better of her and she raced in the direction the smell. Flare followed right behind her. Soon the ground felt sticky underfoot. Flicker looked down to realize she was standing in a pool of blood. Flicker tried to stifle her scream, but she didn't even bother to hide the horrified expression on her face.
"Ew! Gross!" Flare shrieked, but Flicker went forward, trying to ignore the fact that she had just stepped in dragon blood.
The two sisters emerged into a clearing, and Flicker turned even paler. What lay in front of them was a battlefield littered with dead bodies of dragons.
Chapter 4: Flare
Flare yelped and scooted back. She thought about climbing a tree, but after seeing the torn body of an IceWing in the nearest one, she decided to stay next to her sister and try to keep her breakfast down.
The battlefield went on for miles. Every so often they saw a dragon, moving in the sea of death. However, none of them noticed the two flame-colored sisters standing on the hill.
"What is this?" Flicker sounded as horrified and sick as Flare did. The SkyWing shuddered as a MudWing carcass nearby suddenly fell down one of the many crevasses opened in the earth.
There was a sickening thud. Flicker turned away.
Flare shook her wings. "Lets fly over this," she muttered.
Suddenly, the orange eyes of Flicker were fixed on her, surprise in them.
"Are you crazy? Why do you think I covered you in mud, and we walked? We are in the Sky Kingdom. We wanted to go away from mother, and this is what happened. We see reality!" She said quickly and angrily.
Flare rolled her eyes. "Relax, Flicker! We are some of the fastest dragons on earth! With all these dead dragons anyway, we could easily slip by!" She pointed towards the distant horizon. "You have the smarts. What direction is that?"
Flicker let out a huff. "West," she said.
"And what kingdoms are to the west?" She ventured.
The other dragon looked at her. "The SandWings and the IceWings."
Flare slapped her with a wing. "Exactly! And the Sand kingdom is huge! We could explore all over Pyrrhia without being caught, and besides, apart from Sandwings not a lot else lives there."
The reverse-flame dragon shook her wings. "Fine. But first we have to cross the entire range of the sky mountains, along with Jade mountain, which a lot of dragons hang around."
"Yeah! Fun, right?" Flare smiled that her sister was finally understanding her.
Flicker, for some unknown reason, rolled her eyes.
She shifted her position, looking around the other way. The death and destruction continued until the distant trees. After that.... Who knows?
She opened her flame-colored wings. "Ready?" She asked eagerly. Flicker snorted, a small burst of fire hitting the ground before the dragons stomped it out.
"Fine," she said. "But I don't like this at all."
The two dragons jumped into the air, and flew towards the west.
Nearby, behind a large rock that the two dragonets had thought was a MudWing carcass, a NightWing looked at them intently.
"What is it that I feel off of them?" The black dragon muttered. "Is it... Power?" The shadowy NightWing shook his head and muttered, "I must investigate."
With that, the dragon slunk away, towards the direction of the now setting sun.
Chapter 5: Flicker
Flicker was still nervous about flying. Ever since the incident when she jumped out the window, flying or being up at high at all made her nervous. It was the most efficient way to travel, though. And yet, she always felt like she was going to fall, and she always felt the urge to stray away from the height, but she couldn't. Flicker bit her lower lip, trying to hide her fear. Her heart was beating fast and her hands were clammy. Flare looked at Flicker. Flicker had a feeling her sister could tell she really, really didn't want to be flying right now. Flare smirked when she saw the fear in her eyes, something she couldn't hide.
"Pshhh, scardey-cat. What are you do nervous about? You're a SkyWing! A natural-born flyer! I mean, you can't be a SkyWing afraid of heights! Seriously?" Flare exclaimed.
Flicker blushed. Why was she afraid of heights? It made her feel like a wimp, but she just couldn't help it! Maybe it was because she nearly died when she failed to fly the first time she tried it. Yep, that was probably it. She kept on telling herself she wasn't going to die, but her brain wasn't listening to her. Flicker did have to admit, she did like the feeling of the wind running through her veins, and a few low clouds occasionally brushing her wingtips, but just why did it all have to be up high? On the ground, she never got this sensation, but on the ground, she also wouldn't have to worry about her fears of flying, either. She wanted to scream at herself for being afraid of heights, but where would that get her? Flicker tried not looking at the ground, to see if that eased her anxiety at all, and it did, a little. She saw the beautiful stars swirling in the night sky, and got momentarily distracted by the beauty of the galaxies above her head.
They kept on flying for a while, occasionally glancing up at the stars, but the mountains below them seemed to be endless and Flicker yawned. She hadn't slept for days, and she had to stop her eyelids from closing and falling alseep in mid-air, because that would be bad. That thought was probably the only thing that kept her awake. Soon, Flicker spotted a cave in the side of a mountain. It was the perfect opprotunity from them to take a break and rest. Just the thought of sleeping made Flicker want to curl up in satin sheets in front of a fireplace, cuddled up to her mother's warm scales. She wanted to go running to home, to her mother, but Flare most likely wouldn't join her. She couldn't just leave her sister out here alone. So, Flicker ignored the urge to head back and pointed to the cave.
She said, "Let's rest in there."
"Okay," Flare shrugged, and then yawned.
Flare seemed tired, but nowhere near as tired as Flicker was. They flew into the cave, and Flicker felt out a sigh of relief to be back on the ground. They were at the base of the mountain too, meaning she wouldn't walk right over the edge of a cliff. When they entered the cave though, she felt trapped without seeing the beautiful sky. This place wasn't open and free like the mountains, where you could taste to cold, bitter mountain winds on your tongue. It was stuffy, musky, confining, and damp in the cave. It was all they had, though. Flicker probably wouldn't have been able to sleep at all if she wasn't so tired, because all the stalactites on the ceiling kept on dripping with water, and all the water just happened to land on her. She couldn't be happier to fall asleep, because in her dreams, she wouldn't have to feel the ache of missing her mother of the stuffiness of the cave. In her dreams, anything that she wanted could happen. She could travel to another world and forget about all her troubles.
. . .
When she awoke, Flicker yawned. She had never felt so refreshed in her life, yet something felt wrong, like someone, or something was watching her. Flicker hoped her mother didn't send spies (or stalkers, as Flare called them) to find her and her sister. Flare seemed nervous and jittery as well, and Flicker knew she could sense something watching them, too. Just thinking about that sent a shiver up her spine. It was hard to see anything in the shadows of the cave, but she couldn't make out any sillhouettes of anything. Flicker hoped this feeling was just nothing. She shrugged it off and decided she most likely wasn't being watched.
And that was when Flare leaped forward, attacking a black dragon that seemed to form from the shadows.
Chapter 6: Flare
Flare had been up all night. She was just too tense and excited to sleep. Their very first day out here in the world! She had to admit this was soooo much more exciting than watching Peril beat up a few old, pathetic prisoners or eat with Princess-or queen- Burn.
Out here, there is danger! There is excitement! There is everything a young SkyWing dragonet could want! Flare wriggled a little and adjusted her position. She wanted to take watch, no matter what Flicker said. She could protect them.
Flare lit a burst of flame that illuminated the farther reached of the cave and the brush outside. She thought she heard scales moving, but the Skywing dismissed it for Flicker. She tended to move in her sleep anyway. Flare looked at her, and a glimmer or a smile formed on her snout.
Then one of the small shrubs rustled a little, and she swept around. A black shape rustled in the darkness, and she followed it for a second before it was swallowed by the shadows. She stared at where it was, before stepping back.
Maybe just a bird or something. They tend to be rather noisy, and fly around bushes. She nodded. Yeah! That sounds right. Just a bird... Just... A... Bird.
When the sun has rises, she was still not convinced. The SkyWing waited for the first rays of sunlight to filter in the cable before searching around. The wet stalactites made her uncomfortable, but she ignored the steady dripping on her head.
She let out a burst of fire, and it lit up the back of the cave. For a second, she saw part of the shadows stay dark, even though it was clearly supposed to disappear.
Flare heard her sister begin to awake, and her mind instantly came to the conclusion of the shadows. Stalker! She thought, and leaped at it.
The NightWing fell out of the shadows, and tried to scramble to his claws. Flare pressed her talons over his throat and hissed menacingly. She held out her wings, like Mach had taught her, and it made her look larger than she was.
The NightWing's scales paled at the angry SkyWing. For a good reason too, as when Ruby got mad, things started losing up. So it made sense her daughters would be just as dangerous.
She stared into the dragon's eyes, which were a light blue. "Who are you?" She hissed.
The dragon slowly put up his claws. "I mean no harm...." He tried to escape Flare's grasp, but she just pressed down harder.
"Listen.. I was just watching..." Immediately, the NightWing knew he had said something wrong.
"Stalker! Stalker!" She screeched, unnecessarily loud. If Flicker wasn't awake before, she sure was now.
"Are you wanting to bring us back to our mom?" She growled, her yellow eyes burning into the NightWing's blue ones.
Flicker propped herself up. "Relax, Flare. He said he doesn't mean harm. For three moon's sake, at least ask his name."
Flare turned back to the black dragon. "What's your name, punk?"
The dragon started clawing at his throat. "You... Are... Choking... Me.." He gasped.
Flare let go, and the dragon flopped over, panting like a fish out of water.
As soon as he had gotten his breath back, he straightened up. Flare noticed he wasn't very big, about Flare's size and even then, just barely. "My name is Shadowchaser and I have come to observe you two. I don't mean harm, just as Flicker said, and-"
"How do you know her name?" Flare demanded. Shadowchaser or whatever his name was pointed to his head.
"Mind powers," he explained. Then he looked at the two, side by side. "You two are sisters, right?"
The flame-colored dragon rolled her eyes. "No, we are two dragons who happened to be traveling together and look like reverse copies of each other. Of course we are sisters!"
Flicker studied the NightWing. "Why are you here? Don't the NightWings stay within wherever you dragons live?"
Shadowchaser ducked his head. It seemed like a sore subject to him. "Normally, yes. However, I am here to look for a dragon that can help me. A dragon that can stop the war." He suddenly looked up, his eyes alight with excitement. "Or two."
Flicker's eyes widened. "Wait... Are you talking about us?"
Shadowchaser shut his mouth. "It can be anyone. I just need to find a dragon that can help me. I was wondering you two could help me... But never mind. It seems that the adventures or whatever you are going to do are enough."
Flare couldn't help but ask. "What are you going to do?"
The NightWing met her gaze, the same rebellious spirit in his look. "We will find the stone of blood."