The Only Dragonrider

Welcome, Fantasy Nerds! We are excited to do something that we have never done before at Clever & WTF….we are writing a story together!!! We will take turns writing a short chapter, and then the other person will continue the story the following week. We won’t talk about where we intend the story to go or any ideas we have. We will just take turns writing and see what happens! We hope you enjoy our story!

Chapter One – Clever

My master approached the enormous dragon, its scales like molten gold. “This one,” he said, “this shall be my great mount.”

My master had dreamed of being a dragonrider for as long as I’d known him, as long as he’d owned me. Unfortunately for him, there hadn’t been a dragon rider chosen in hundreds of years. 436 years, to be exact. In fact, the last dragon rider died just 17 years ago, two years before I was born. Yet that didn’t stop my master from training constantly, and having me read every single story on dragons that I could find.

He strolled forward confidently with his chin raised and chest puffed out. He looked a little ridiculous if you asked me, but no one ever did. He lifted his hand, pulled off his leather glove, and placed his hand ceremoniously on top of the dragon’s head. The dragon just snorted.

My master pulled his hand back and glared at me. I gulped as I thought of the treatment I would receive later, when my master left without a dragon. I advised him to try a different dragon, but this time approach more slowly, with respect. He turned to another beautiful dragon, its scales the deep blue of a midnight sky and its eyes like moonlight. My master spread out his hands before him and tiptoed gingerly toward the grand dragon like it was a skittish child. I sighed and shook my head. Clearly my master didn’t understand the word respect.

Predictably, when my master ever-so-gently placed his hand on the dragon’s head, nothing happened. When he jerked away in outrage, I could have sworn the dragon’s eyes twinkled with mirth.

“Maybe try bowing, like this.”

I walked shyly forward and stopped about five feet from the glorious midnight dragon. Then I bent forward at the waist in a respectful bow. I held it for a couple of breaths, to the laughter of those behind me.

“You can’t be serious,” my master scoffs as I raise myself up.

The dragon’s silvery glowing eyes shift to meet mine. Everyone stops laughing then. My master scurries forward to stand in front of the golden dragon again. He sweeps his arms outward and dips into a bow lower than mine, bending his knees so his face nearly touches the ground. The corners of my mouth twitch as I fight not to laugh. When he rises, the glinting gold dragon drags his ruby eyes to my master, narrowing them in suspicion.

In my master’s excitement, he doesn’t notice the mistrust in the gaze, and bids me to continue. I indulge him, making soft eye contact with the dark dragon before me. He cocks his head to the side, reading my stare. After a moment, he dips his head and I calmly step forward. I glance to the side to see my master scrunch his eyebrows as he stares sternly at the gold dragon. He strides forward despite the fact that the dragon never inclines his head.

My master turns to face me again. I lift my arm and gently, nervously, place my hand upon the dragon’s neck. I look into its eyes, marveling at the fact that I am touching such a beautiful creature, and stroke its neck. My master copies me, and when he places his hand on the dragon for a second time, he lets out a yelp followed by a triumphant cheer.

“It marked me,” he yells.

Disappointed, I turn from the dragon of deepest blue to face my master.

“The beast marked me,” he says again as he holds out his palm for me to see. It is scorched and red and beginning to blister.

“I don’t think…” I begin, but he interrupts me.

“Well done,” he says, patting my back with his uninjured hand. “The extra money I spent for a slave that can read was worth it after all.”

I look at his so-called mark again. It doesn’t seem right. All the stories I’ve read talk of a soft flare of light when a dragon chooses its rider. None spoke of burns or pain. And the mark was supposed to be more like a tattoo with the image of the rider’s new magic. Maybe if the magic is fire, it will leave a burn? I’ve never heard of it before, but it could be rare. I begin to tell my master that something isn’t right, but he turns to the gold dragon once more.

“Now you will bow to me, beast,” he commands.

The dragon doesn’t move. Something is definitely wrong. If the dragon had chosen his rider, he would have to obey my master’s orders.

My master whirls on me. “What’s wrong with it? What have you done?” he demands.

“I don’t know,” I reply as I step back. “I don’t think that burn was the rider’s mark,” I mumble, flinching.

My master roars and lifts a fist to strike me. The dragon behind me snarls in response, baring its long sharp teeth. I reflexively reach out my hand to calm him. I can’t imagine the pain my master would inflict on me later if the dragon hurt him. My hand connects with cold hard scales. My master’s eyes widen as a ray of light shines forth from beneath my hand. It warms me gently, like the sunlight on a perfect spring day.

I pull my hand away and gawk at it in shock. A swirling dark mark forms there on my palm, the same midnight blue as the dragon’s scales. The darkness moves and curls like a dense fog. I look between the mark and the dragon, my dragon, in awe.

My master lunges for me, yelling “Get him!” His guards draw their swords and dart forward. I jump back beside my dragon. He releases a strong stream of moonlight colored flame and the guards cower. For a moment we all stand there, waiting to see what will happen next.

My master orders the guards to spread out and encircle the dragon. He can’t burn them all at once.

My chain, I hear a voice in my head say. I’m stunned, until I remember that dragons can communicate with their riders. I glance to my dragon and see the metal cuff around his ankle. How am I supposed to get it off? The dragon looks pointedly at my hand. But I don’t know how to use magic. My dragon impatiently puffs steam out of his snout. The guards are now surrounding us. He breaths another burst of white-hot flame and the guards in its path back away.

I turn to the chain on the ground, stretching away from the dragon’s leg. I reach out my hand, palm facing the chain. I feel something swirling within me, and I squeeze my eyes closed as I prepare to let it out.

Don’t close your eyes, a voice booms.

I open my eyes and turn to my dragon, smiling sheepishly. I focus again on the chain and unleash my magic.

A dark swirling mass of fog emerges from my hands. It twists and floats toward the chain, nearly blending in with my dragon’s scales as it slithers by. As the fog of deepest blue engulfs the chain, I bring my hands together in fists, twisting them and pulling apart as if ripping the chain myself. I hear a deep snort and turn to see my dragon shaking his head. I give an exasperated exhale. How am I supposed to know how this magic works?

You don’t need all the hand motions, just think of what you want the dragon tells me with another shake of the head.

I think about the chain breaking, setting my dragon free. I see a flash of light as he sends out another stream of flame towards the guards. I turn back to watch the midnight fog thicken around a small section of chain before it breaks apart.

My dragon lets out a triumphant roar and unfurls his enormous wings. The spines of his wings are the same dark color of his scales, but now I can see the silvery moonlight colored skin glowing between the spines. Some of the guards break rank and outright run away, now that my dragon is free. Others stand shaking with their swords outstretched.

Get on the voice inside my head tells me.

As I move to climb up the mountain of rough scales along my dragon’s side, the remaining guards, along with my master, surge forward. I stop and throw both hands out in front of me, willing my magic towards them. I keep my hands outstretched as the dense dark fog pulls forth from me. Once the magic sufficiently surrounds the men, I let my hands drop. I don’t know what my magic will do to them. I don’t actually want to hurt anyone; I just need to slow them down until we escape.

At the thought, the fog seems to thicken even more. The men coming toward us now trudge slowly forward, as if moving through oil instead of air. I take my chance and scramble up the side of my dragon, gripping the hard scales as I climb. My master already had the creatures saddled, in case he wanted to take a ride upon his new mount. I make it atop the enormous creature and throw myself into the saddle.

Hold on, he warns me. I squeeze my legs tight and attempt to clasp my arms around his neck, but they don’t reach all the way around. I fumble to grasp the reigns on the saddle. The moment I do, a deep boom echoes outward as my dragon flaps his wings. Another boom and a strong push of his sturdy legs send us lurching into the sky. I don’t know where we will go next, but I am not sad to leave the only life I’ve ever known.


What did you think of the first chapter of “The Only Dragonrider”? Are you excited to find out what happens next? Continue reading with Chapter 2 here!

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