The City of Bones and Rubble (a sneak peak from YEAR OF THE DRAGON LORD)
October 9, 2015
Gerald started to protest.
“Gerald,” Kenna suggested gently, “if he wanted us dead, we'd be dead.”
Gerald had to agree and there was really no alternative. He and Kenna walked forward into those terrible claws more than twice their height. In less than five minutes they were deposited gently on the shore beside an utterly devastated city.
“What happened here?” Gerald asked.
“Dragons fought, and men,” Younger replied. “The city is littered with the bones and hides of dozens of dragons and the remains of countless men. My brother ordered them left as a memorial to the dead, as a reminder why we must not fight each other. He declared this a haven where all may meet without fear of magic being used against them.”
“But does that not leave dragons susceptible to the tricks of men?”
Younger shook his great head. Gerald got dizzy watching. Despite having smaller claws, Younger was even larger than Nain. “While it is certainly possible, it is unlikely, unless the man were mad. To even plot against a dragon under such circumstances, and more so to attack, indebts one to the dragon. Likewise, a dragon cannot safely try to use claws or other, non-magical means against a human here.
“So, go, quickly. Into the ruins. You are somewhat safe out here, but safer within.”
They walked into the ruins. Kenna's eyebrows shot up. “Seldom have I felt such power in a graveyard.”
Younger's beautiful, white eyes darkened. “Seven of the twelve eldest dragons, including all five of the females, died here in the fight alongside numerous others. It was not a good day for dragonkind.”
“What were they fighting over?” Gerald asked.
Kenna opened her mouth to answer, but Younger spoke first.
“I will not say. But you may guess, before you leave.”
Kenna closed her mouth. She would not speak a dragon's secret where the dragon would not speak it. Gerald didn't seem to notice.
“Thank you, Younger,” Kenna said as she bowed. Gerald did the same.
The dragon bowed his head and replied. “You are most welcome. Thank you. Cuthbert should join you soon; perhaps he can tell you what will come next.” With that enigmatic remark, Younger took wing. Within a moment he was gone. Gerald and Kenna stood staring at rubble. Not far away was the skull of a dragon. It was large enough they could have stood side by side in it, peering out the eye sockets. Half of its teeth were broken.
Gerald wondered what it took to break a dragon's teeth. He looked at Kenna. “I don't think I'd want to live here.”
She couldn't argue with that.
Copyright 2015 Miles O'Neal, Round Rock, Texas. All rights reserved.
Illustration from chapter 32 of Year of the Dragon Lordby Alli Ritchie