"Amaryllise!! Rose, where are you??" Rose's mother yelled, and, hearing a soft clank, scurried up their wooden stairs into the attic to find Rose with her new armour suit with wings in her hands.
She measured it, then exclaimed quite joyfully, "Perfect!! Exactly the right height, good leather quality, great wings and — Oh! Hello, mother!" She quickly folded her suit and tossed under her rusty desk as she smiled at Sigrid, her mother.
"Yes, hello, darling... Noble and Zane are here to see you, they brought SkullClaw and TornadoWings with them, wanting to go on a flight, they said, and bring Phoenix, as well."
"Oh! Okay." replied Rose, heading towards the window's ladder, "Bye, mom!"
"Be back not long after dusk falls!!" Sigrid called after her as Gia disappeared down the ladder and out into the bright morning sunlight.
Rose was an intelligent, disciplined, 12-year-old girl. Her real name was Amaryllise, but her baby brother, Alvaro, could never quite pronounce her name so decided to call her 'Rose' or 'Rosie' for short.
Once she was at the bottom of the ladder, Rose turned on her heels towards the cliff overhang that her house's back was on. Also known as the Birdwhistle's backyard, the cliff gave a great view over the many deep green woods and forests of Bastria island. A small river wove its way through the trees and bramble, glistening in the sunlight. A dragon flew over the trees, diving in and out of view. It had a black head, with white paws, a white tail, underbelly, spines, and a white nose. As well as black and white, it had red crosses on its ears, a cross with two dots in between its eyes, red band-like shapes with an X through the middle on both front wrists, a single red line around the back legs, and lines coating the bottom of the fins and red lines through the tail. It suddenly changed its course and bolted
upwards, fast, like the speed of light, into the clouds. It streaked through the sky, like a black, scaly bird.
"Phoenix!!" called Rose.
The dragon stopped instantly, turning around at the sound of Rose's voice. It tucked in its wings and tail, diving down and, after only a few breaths, was at Rose's side rubbing its wings against her.
"Good girl!" Rose cooed. Phoenix replied with a soft purr, as Rose rubbed the red cross on her head. Phoenix closed her bright blue eyes and sat down, curling in her tail. "Ready to go for a fly with Tornado and Skull?" Continued Rose, "Oh, I'm sure you are! C'mon!"
Rose ran off, towards the front of their hut, Phoenix bounding behind her. Soon, Noble and Zane, Rose's two very best friends, came into view, along with their dragons, SkullClaw and TornadoWings. Zane, a blonde boy with green eyes looked up as he heard them coming.
A smile instantly spread across his face, as he nudged Noble, who looked up as well, "Rose!" Zane called as Rose finally stopped beside them, "We were gettin' worried!" He joked. They all laughed.
"Haha, Zane, nice try." laughed Rose, "And good morning!"
"Good morning," Noble, a boy with red hair and blue eyes said, and his dragon, TornadoWings, a Sand Wraith, cooed pleasantly towards Phoenix, who returned it with a flick of her tail.
Zane was the tallest of the three, as was he the oldest. His face was slightly chubby and sweet, and his hair was naturally tightly curled. His dragon, SkullClaw, was a Triple Strike, with a black and green pattern and yellow eyes. Noble was shorter than both Zane and Rose, but was the fastest. With a slender body and a slender face, he made the perfect dragon rider of a Sand Wraith. Tornado- Wings was a dark misty orange with grey spots and green eyes. Phoenix was a Night Light, a combination of a Night Fury and a Light Fury. Rose had beautiful brown hair with blonde highlights and naturally had occasional blonde tips. She had kind, brown eyes, and was the youngest of the three but yet she was the leader. She was strong, protective and aggressive when it came to her friends being in danger, and was very intelligent. Zane tended to get lousy with his riding and fell off quite a bit. Noble was timid, despite his name, and was usually focused but avoided a fight whenever he could. They made a good team, but Rose always knew they had room for improve- ment.
"What took you so long?" asked Noble.
"Well, mom kinda took her time trying to find me," replied Rose, "Plus I had to get Phoenix and all that so.."
"Understandable." laughed Zane. They all laughed, including their Dragons. "How about we go on that ride now?"
"Okay!" Noble nodded, and they mounted their dragons. They all had leather saddles with small storage bags made by the village blacksmith, Agnes. They were comfortable, both for the dragon and the rider.
"Last one to the riv-" started Rose, but was cut off abruptly by Zane.
"No way, Rose!! You and Phoenix always win, cause she's a Night-Light!!"
"Fine, fine..." sighed Rose, "but hurry up! It's getting hot!"
Of course, she wasn't joking. It was hot. Blistering hot. Once they actually got to the river, everyone was sweating and panting. The dragons, once the kids were off their backs, bounded into the river, despite their saddles still being on, filled with snacks and drinks for the flights. The boys rolled up their jeans, while Rose rolled up her leggings, till they were above their knees, and waded into the water gratefully.
"Ah, nice, cool water!" said Zane. Rose and Noble nodded in agreement.
"Mhm..." Noble muttered as he scooped up some water and splashed on his already dripping wet face.
"Now what?" asked Rose as she went back to shore and sat on the bank.
The surrounding area was a large grass clearing with Wild Geranium growing throughout it. As the clearing ended, the flowers stopped and shady willows, pine, and maple trees surrounded them on either side of the river and area. Beyond the trees, the wind whistled through the leaves and birds sang on the branches. Hills rose up and out of the ground, creating little valleys. One of the valleys included Blistering Geysers Valley, a canyon-shaped landmark with geysers that shot water hotter than the hottest volcano. It was the one of the most dangerous places on the island, undoubtedly the most feared.
"Hey, Rose?" asked Zane, coming up to her. Rose turned to him as he sat next to her.
"I was wondering..." he said, "if there was anyone who... ya know..." He paused, staring intensely into Rose's eyes. Rose saw fear, and decided to brace herself for the following question, "Is there anyone w-who attracts your- your a-attention?"
"Um..." Rose was surprised, she hadn't expected Zane, of all the boys in the world, to ask her this question, "No... no, not really..."
Zane let out a sigh of relief. "That's good!" He said, "Anywho, I'ma grab Noble, so we can keep flying?"
The wind whipped through her hair. The sun shone brightly against Phoenix's Jewel-Beaded saddle. Rose smiled as she looked a Noble and Zane, racing each other as the wove around her and Phoenix. Thoughts filled her head as a v-formation of birds flew over them, quacking their greetings at them. She was deep in thought of the previous event with Zane... why was he curious? Why had he looked at her that was? Those were just some of the thoughts whirling through her head.
A small growl echoed around the canyon they were flying through. The dragons stopped, and the vikings all looked at each other, nervousness in their eyes. It came again, only this time louder and... maybe two voices? Not just one?
"R-Rose?! W-What is t-that?!?!" stuttered Noble.
"I- I'm not sure..." said Rose, slowly, straining her ears for the sound again and focusing around the canyon for any sign of the creature who made the sound.
Suddenly, something came hurtling at them. Phoenix let out a growl, there was a sound of a whip, a scream, an evil laugh, and a searing pain in Rose's arm.
Then everything went black.