Fragile Dragon Wings
May 3, 2009
This is a challenge from the Vin F&D group. Teri wrote a paragraph for us to finish, with a few conditions.
# Any AU
# No shorter than a 100 words and no more than 1500 words
# The passage must be used as the opening paragraph of the story and you can not change any words or names.
Okay, I changed two things, but only to fit the AU<G>.
Title: Fragile Dragon Wings
Universe: Pern au
Character Focus: Vin, Chris
Language warning: none
Summary - Answer to April ’09 celebration week ‘finish this story’ challenge
Length: 821 words
Teri’s paragraph –
The day had started much like any other but as often occurs it had taken some interesting twists and turns along the way. Attempting to block out the distractions that surrounded him, V’n focused only on the voice of the one man he trusted with his life. Without a second thought he responded as C’ris yelled, “Jump!”
The rest of the story –
His running leap took him off the edge of the cliff into freefall. Seconds later he landed with an oompf on the broad back of his brown dragon, Mesquith. V’n grasped the flying straps and directed the brown between. Three breaths later they came out over Four Corners Weyr and V’n gave a sigh of relief. Six other dragons popped in around them and escorted the pair to the ground.
The comforting croon Mesquith had started as soon as they arrived from between, increased in intensity. All V’n could do was lay against his soul mate’s back and breathe. He’d known that Mesquith would be there to catch him. Between C’ris’s shout and the mental voices of seven dragons urging him on, there had been no thought of hesitation. But… it was quite another thing after the fact. Leaping off a cliff that ended dozens of dragon lengths below was not something he wanted to repeat soon… if ever.
“V’n?” N’than called for the third time without answer. Anxious for his friend, the healer grabbed the riding strap and unceremoniously pulled himself up the dragon using Mesquith’s leg as a step. The brown turned his head and huffed in surprise, but made no move to stop the healer. His rider needed his weyrmates.
A hand on his leg startled V’n out of his daze. “N’than?”
“Are you all right, V’n?” N’than asked peering into his eyes, trying to determine whether or not his friend was injured.
“Nah, I’m fine. Just a little shook up,” he replied. V’n sat up and took a deep breath.
“Ready to get down now?” the healer asked with a grin. “There’s some others down there that want to see for themselves.”
V’n snorted, but nodded and motioned for N’than to dismount first. V’n followed more slowly, still a bit shaky from the adrenaline rush. His knees gave as his feet hit the ground. Mesquith’s gentle thoughts and two sets of warm hands helped him regain his balance.
“You all right, V’n?” C’ris asked, one hand still on the brown rider’s shoulder to steady him.
“I’m fine. Thanks to you. For a minute there I thought I was a goner.”
I’d never let that happen! an indignant Mesquith protested in his head.
V’n turned, Mesquith lowered his huge head and gently nudged his partner looking for reassurances. V’n reached up and patted his dragon on the cheek. “I know that Meskie. I’m glad you didn’t put yourself in danger though. Those guys chasing me had crossbows and weren’t afraid to use them.” He looked at his wing leader. “How did you keep him from coming to me, C’ris?”
“It wasn’t easy,” C’ris admitted. “Took me and Ez’ra and both our dragons to convince him to wait for you at the cliff. I’m just glad he listened. Couldn’t bear losing both a ya,” C’ris finished softly.
V’n gave a small lopsided grin. “Well, thanks again.” You did good Meskie, thanks for listening to C’ris and Ez’ra.
They were insistent. But I guess they had a good idea. At least you weren’t hurt. The last sentence came out more as a question and made V’n grin.
No, Meskie, I’m fine. Thanks to you. His grin broadened as he refocused his gaze on his leader. “Well, C’ris, guess you’re not gonna be able to say that anymore.”
C’ris frowned. “Say what?”
“That I never listen to you,” V’n replied saucily.
“Hah!” C’ris replied. The two glared at each other for a moment, then smiled and held out their hands. The two riders, closer than brothers, grasped forearms and grinned broadly at each other.
“Shards!” B’ck exclaimed. “I’m leaving. I’ve seen that look in their eyes before and I have no intention of getting caught in the backwash again.” He strode off, muttering about between-maddened riders.
“Where ya going, B’ck?” J’hn asked as he started to follow.
“Saloon!” B’ck shouted back.
V’n and C’ris, who had been watching the other brown rider’s antics, shared a glance and another grin, then followed.
J’siah chuckled. “Come on, brothers,” he said to the others. “Don’t want them to drink all the wine.”
N’than and Ez’ra rolled their eyes, then looked at each other with a grin and at the same time said, “Saloon!”
Laughter trailed behind them as they joined their weyrmates. They would surely have to make a toast to faith, friendship and fragile dragon wings.
From Anne McCaffrey’s ‘Dragon Flight’ –
Black, blacker, blackest,
And cold beyond frozen things.
Where is between when there is naught
To Life but fragile dragon wings?
Feedback is always cherished. JudyL