Susan McDonough-Wachtman would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Arabella's Gift

By Susan McDonough-Wachtman All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Romance

Dragon/ friend

The next morning was overcast, with a fine mist hanging over their rock and a thick fog rolling in from the north. Arabella felt a little guilty about the large bundle she’d made of her plunder from the dragon’s cavern. She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye, wondering if he was regretting his offer now that he saw how much she’d taken. He didn’t appear to be aware of her at all, however. He was staring out to sea with an intent look, as though watching something.

Arabella stared as well. “Is there a ship?”

“Pardon? Oh, no, I see nothing out there.” The dragon gave a curious shiver. “It is inside that I am seeing something.”

“Inside? Are you feeling ill again?” She put a hand on his side and probed for pain, but felt none. “Perhaps you should rest another day.” She said it half worriedly, half hopefully, and the dragon laughed.

“Get on. Or should I carry you?”

“No,” she sighed. “I will get on.” She hitched up her skirts and accepted the help of his long clawed fingers as she scrambled on to his back, lugging her bundle with her. She was grateful that he made no comment on its size.

“Slide back a little,” he ordered. “To where my neck meets my wings. That will be the safest and most comfortable place for you.”

“Have you carried people before?” she asked as she slid obediently backward.

“Nay, most are too frightened of me to come anywhere near.”

“I can understand that.” She settled her bundle in front of her. Her perch was surprisingly comfortable, with the dragon’s neck rather thinner there so that her thighs were not strained to straddle it, and the bones of the wing a support behind her.

“You dared come near.” Anthony snaked his head around to look at her.

She smiled ruefully at him. “I was desperate.”

“Do you feel desperate any longer, Arabella?” he asked as he turned slowly around to face the water, his tail sliding back into the mouth of the tunnel.

“Nay,” she said thoughtfully. “I do not. Mostly thanks to you, I believe. You have convinced me that, though a grievous sinner, I am not damned for all eternity.”

“I’ve always wondered about that,” Anthony said, flexing his wings.

“About what?”

“Whether any unwilling human is damned for all eternity.”

Arabella gasped at this heresy.

“Well,” Anthony said defensively. “All eternity is a long time for a loving God to punish someone. Having experienced God’s good justice myself, I rather doubt that any person willing to make reparations for his sins would be damned. I think damnation is something you choose.”

“You choose! Whatever do you mean?”

“I mean you choose Satan rather than God, you reject God as we are told to reject Satan. It must be an active sin, not a passive one. And you wouldn’t cry about it afterward.”

Arabella shook her head. “Do all bishops have such strange thoughts, or is it just you?”

Anthony’s wings flapped slowly. “I believe I have passed far beyond being a bishop. I think I am seeing a glimmer of what I was sent to learn.”

Before she could ask him what that was, he launched himself off the rock. Arabella shrieked as the air whipped the wimple from her head, and they dropped toward the water. It seemed to her they dropped for an eternity before the huge wings began to flap. Their fall slowed, and they soared up and away from the rocks and the waves, climbing into the sky. Arabella had to tell her lungs to take a breath. She scooped in air with a desperate heave, and threw herself forward over Anthony’s neck, trying to find a handhold. Her fat bundle of treasures was squeezed tightly between her and the dragon, as her hands scrabbled for purchase.

“Stop that, you’re tickling me.” Anthony twisted his head around. “Don’t be frightened. If you drop off, I’ll catch you.”

Arabella stared at him, lacking the breath to tell him his statement did not reassure her, and she wished he would attend to what he was doing. She was relieved when he faced forward. He leveled out into a steady flight, and she began to relax. She watched the water skimming by below her, and gradually she was able to draw a normal breath. This must be what a hawk or a falcon feels like, she thought. This freedom, this amazing release from the bounds of the earth. She sat up a little and watched open-mouthed, as they swooped around the island. She closed her eyes, feeling the wind rushing through her short hair, the faint mist in the air dampening her face. It was wonderful.

Anthony seemed to feel so too, for he suddenly bellowed, “The voice of the Lord is over the waters, the God of glory thunders over vast waters. And in his temple all say, ‘Glory!’”

Lacking such erudition, Arabella merely threw her head back and yelled as loudly as she could in response. They sailed in over the mainland, and the dragon bellowed again, a wordless cry of joy. The shoreline passed in the blink of an eye, and they were soaring over the trees. Daringly, Arabella released one hand from her grip on the dragon’s neck. She thrust her arm out and felt the wind whipping past it. She laughed, tossing her head. She took a deep breath and threw out her other hand. She sat there with her arms wide and her head back, shrieking and gripping the dragon with her thighs. She could feel the rumble of his laughter between her legs.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Susan McDonough-Wachtman
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Brian Shaber: I very much enjoyed this. I was a fun read, the characters and story expanding immensely as it went (almost to the point of bewildering me). The characters, settings, and scenes were vivid. The world-building (though, as I said, bewildering after a while) was most impressive. The grammar erro...

abdiabdullahi: i liked it a lot you have so much room for improvement i am not saying i have great knowledge of writing i know if you put in more effort you could reach new levels and i kinda felt like you were rushing things and we did not get to see the better part of oriens growing up

Supercow97: This was a very well written book and I found no grammatical errors while reading. The author's writing style was good and it made me want to keep reading. At times I was confused and I had to reread a certain section of the book a few times because I didn't know what the author was talking about...

Aki Trilee: This is one of the best books I've ever read. The author tells a story about a girl who goes through so much stress but able to find true love. Beautifully written, very emotional and romantic. I ended up staying up until three in the morning so I could keep reading. FLAWLESS!

GWritesNovels : This book was highly enjoyable! The story was beautiful and I loved every moment of it. Allison and Nicole felt very real and three-dimensional, and their relationship was beautiful. I would definitely read it again, and these characters will stay with me for a long time.

William Elliott Kern: Long story, the plot uncovered midway through the story. From beginning, the story was fast moving. Then dragged on for quite some time. The Author was good in describing her characters, their clothing, etc. but a lot of that disclosure distracted from the story moving fast.Not withstanding, the...

More Recommendations

NancyRichFoster: This second book of the Anmah Series was as awesome as the first story, I disagree with spare runner. The names were ordinary names with different spellings, which I for one loved. I am now going to read the third book in this amazingly awesome story!

Deleted User: I love your use of writer's craft and how you use figurative language to enhance your writing. It great how you didn't have any spelling or grammar issues.

Lauren Kabanyana: It's simply amazing, the story is touching and has you captivated while reading! I loved it! Would read it over and over again. I applaud the way this book was able to evoke a mixture of feelings. I felt everything the two main characters felt from the start to end, i would recommend this novel t...

Ro-Ange Olson: This is such a different romance story. I loved it. The book was very long and could be split into 2-3 books in my opinion, but I'd hate to have to wait to read the next part too. I loved the chapter from Darius's point of view. It was a really different way for the writer to cover time and also ...

Alkira Joan: Great story, I found it hard to read especially the dialogue. You just need to fix up some spelling errors and the gramma .I enjoyed this book. was a little hard to get though.,.,..,.,.,,..,.,.,, , , , ,.,, , , , , , , ,., ,,.,,,,,

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.