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swatiananda
August 27th, 2006, 12:04 PM
DRYVERN

Dryvern spread his wings on the red rock base. The crossing of the stream on foot in a rainstorm had been wetter than he liked and his scales were sticking together so badly it was doubtful if he could fly at all, if danger were to approach. Not too many creatures dared seek him as prey, but once in a great while a cougar would be hungry enough to try. After all, he smelled like a big bird-lizard. Seldom did they check out his twelve inch talons before they committed to the attack. Really, it was no danger to him, armored in scales, but it was annoying and caused a momentary fright, as they always were in mid-air before he saw them.

It had been a lonely six years since his mate had died, tangled in a rope bridge humans had cast across the river canyon below. There was nothing to hold onto in order to get her free, and she had hung there upside down for two weeks, ceasing her pitiful cries on the second day when it became apparent this was an insoluble problem. The clutch of two eggs grew cold in the first night and there had been no young to comfort him that winter in the cave with childhood antics. Nor any winter since. All the available females were decades away from mating age, unless he wanted to take up with Haggie. But she was crotchety in her antiquity, left alone over ninety years ago and now so sour no one would join her even for a meal. No, not Haggie.

Perhaps he should fly over to Montana, check out the mating possibilities there. Life was too boring without someone to snuggle, to enjoy the beauty of sunsets with, to analyze humans who wandered these red hills yet never took prey or stayed to live in the caves.
He had analyzed them to infinity over the last five years, and was sick of it. A second mind to bounce ideas off would greatly improve Dryvern’s entertainment. And it would be so much easier to eat with two hunters in the air, taking turns bringing home the meal.
In any event, the feces pile was getting too big and he would have to move in Autumn, so why not now, when the sun was warm enough to thin his blood and thermals rose from the canyons. Yes, He could fly twice as far in the warm season. Montana sounded good.

Once his wings were thoroughly dry, Dryvern went into his cave and packed his treasure into a human soft-pack cooler that had been abandoned along the stream two years ago. It was perfect for a dragon, having a long black strap that was easily clutched during flight, and large enough to hold everything he had gathered from the shores over the years. Only the best, of course. Dryvern was not one to collect junk. Humans were always traveling the river in flimsy plastic rafts, leaving things behind on resuming their journeys in the mornings. A large round mirror, the best sparkle he’d ever found, was first to be packed. Carefully, he cushioned its surface with the bright red knit hat he collected two summers past. On top of that, a shiny toy car, almost too small for his talons to pick up, followed by large jingle bells tied together with purple yarn in a tangled mess, but golden and delightful. Dryvern was not one to collect bones, like many other dragons, but he reverently placed in the cooler the three scales he had retrieved from the river bank after his mate’s death. He would never forget her. He took one out again and turned it in the light, watching its sparkling interplay of green and blue sheen. The last thing to go in was a stiff book. Dryvern had often seen humans inspecting the pages of books for hours on end, often leaving them on the shore. And though he usually could not see anything inside that was of any interest, there was one page in this book that held the view of a far-away place with vast waters and buildings with round roofs and a human sitting on a cloth that was flying in the sky. The picture was colored, and so of much delight. Someday he would fly there, if he could find out what direction to go.

If humans could fly on cloth, he would be able to interact with them. When they were encased in metal cans, droning across the skies, they could not do anything interesting.
Twice he had dropped rocks on such tin cans, but they had merely continued on their way. They never played chase or somersaulted or raced him to the heights. Quite boring, in all.

Dryvern grabbed the cooler strap in his maw and walked out to the widest flat spot, then grabbed the strap with his left foot and checked the skies. Clouds hung everywhere, but more sparsely now, and it would be a dry flight. With great strength, he downbeat his wings, lifting off the ground in one swoop and casting himself over the ledge to catch an upwelling thermal.

choppy
August 27th, 2006, 02:38 PM
Hi Swatianada. Welcome to the forums.

It's difficult to answer your poll based on a ~ 1 page opening to your story. And unfortuantely my opinion as to what sells counts for very little. Basically what you have here is a dragon about to move and in the end, he moves. You have an intriguing backstory that can generate some sympathy for this creature - the loss of his mate. First and foremost, the mate needs a name.
At first I wasn't sure if she was a mating partner or just a friend. On that note, I think the story of her death might make for a more interesting opening - rather than telling it as backstory. It can really hook the reader if you delve into more details with it.

Overall what you have is not bad. Keep writing.

swatiananda
August 28th, 2006, 08:44 PM
many thanks for comments!

Elidhu
September 25th, 2006, 01:47 PM
i think your story seems un-complete because there isn't much tone or feeling inside. There is plently of his memories but i think you could put in more descriptive words and more of his emotions to create a general sad atmosphere or if you wanted it to seem epic or an adventuress begginning you could describe how the sun rose sending its rays across the world, banishing the terribke cold of the night before and blah blah blah etc. i do like the idea of the dragon being alive in modern days but maybe you could describe the way the dragon looks, i.e when he looks into the mirror is a good chance but perhaps he doesn't know its his reflection... good start. Good luck!