Eclipse of the Moon

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Chapter 2

Cielast heard the creaking of the old metal cage she was encased in and watched the golden sands below, her eyes filled with terror and sadness. She whimpered and swung herself around as the wire above squeaked and created some kind of a metal tune. She wasn’t the only one above the arena, there were cages littered all over the place, some were hidden in the darkness and some were in the blinding sunlight.

After having finished slaughtering Pyra, Azure returned to Waves’ throne and sat beside it with a sly grin in the corners of his mouth. Cielast kept watch at the doorway, hoping her mother would return and save her from this nightmare but she never came.

Nights passed and there was no sign of her mother, Cielast often refused to eat but that didn’t make a difference at all, the guards were heartless. She watched battle after battle, night after night but there was no sign of Pyra anywhere and Cielast eventually gave up.

She sighed and ran her talons against the steel bars of the cage and swung it back and forth, her eyes slowly closing tiredly. She’d seen death all around her for the past few nights and was beginning to get used to it, but never enjoyed the battles.

Her heart pounded in her chest as the cage sank down the metal line by a few inches, emitting a squeaky tune.

Cielast watched as Waves laughed triumphantly, dragons died down below in his arena, their blood splattering across the golden sands and she frowned. Why are dragons so sadistic? She asked herself.

One thing she’d never forget was the piercing crack of Pyra’s victim beneath her talons, Cielast couldn’t kill another of her kin. She swore on her life that she’d never harm another dragon for someone’s amusement, after all, she was raised by a peacekeeper.

She whimpered silently and pushed against the cage wall and a screech was heard as the cage slowly inched downwards. She peered down at one of the pillars posted around the arena, one of the bolts that would keep her in place was broken. The cage slid down the metal bar with sparks crackling above on the steel wire.

She was oblivious to the fact that Waves was glaring up at her with his battle-scarred eyes, flickering his thin forked-tongue in and out of his mouth. His blood-curdling laugh was scarred deep into her memories and he often appeared in her sleep. He was truly nightmare fuel.

Cielast gulped, grinding her teeth and hoping that nobody would remark her attempts to escape, but down below, the crowd’s attentions veered towards her as the metal wire screeched. She fluttered her wings and stared at the pillar, determined to get herself out of this mess.

“Come on…” the small dragon muttered to herself, preparing to launch out of the cage and fly away.

Waves unfurled his wings and muttered to himself as he lifted himself off of the ground to race towards her. She shook the bars desperately until the door swung open. Confused groans of the crowd echoed below her.

Cielast spread her wings and bolted out of the cage as fast as she could, heading towards the trees. Her heart was pounding, she could feel Waves’ hot breath on her neck which sent chills down her spine. Her body wobbled dangerously through the air, heading down towards the woods.

“What do you think you’re doing?” he hissed and dove straight down towards the hatchling. She whimpered and swung herself out of his reach and into a tree, her vision slipping into a green blur. The leaves tickled her snout and she tried not to sneeze.

Waves and two guards landed on the ground, searching around for her and rummaging through rocks furiously. They fanned out, their dark navy figures looming around the area, scales brushing against the leaves.

She was careful to keep still, hiding in the tree the best she could as she held her breath, her back pinned against the trunk. The guards growled and stabbed the bushes with their spears, only catching berry juice that splattered onto their scales.

Cielast wrapped her wings around herself and sighed, keeping close to the trunk of the tree, she could feel her talons shaking. Her heart was thundering in her chest and she breathed deeply, trying her best to be as quiet as possible.

“Well,” mumbled one of the guards, swinging himself around to look at Waves. “It’s just one hatchling, we can live without it.”

The king slammed his dragon skull-tipped spear against the forest floor and gave his guards a spine-chilling glare before launching himself up and preparing to take off back to his arena. His guards followed close behind, muttering to themselves in frustration.

Cielast took a relieved sigh and put her snout down, breathing loudly as she glanced from side to side. Her wings unfurled less close to her body and took a glimpse back towards Waves’ kingdom. The guards and their king were blurry figures in the distance which was a relieving sight.

Oh mother, she thought reluctantly as tears began to form in the corners of her eyes, ruffling her wings. I wish you were here, we could be on this journey together.

Her claws clicked as she traveled underneath the forest trees, thinking about her mother and hoping she was alive. Pyra had always been by Cielast’s side and had promised to keep her safe for as long as she lived. Her mother was never rough and often took Cielast for rides on her back since her wings were too fragile to fly properly.

Her father, Adrian, however, was a menacing fellow with orange eyes like a cat, he’d always been very mysterious around Pyra and Cielast never got to know him very well. Pyra had hidden Cielast from him, he was too dangerous to be around. Cielast’s mother had told her that he was the reason that she was a sole hatchling.

Cielast dawdled through the forest on her little talons being cautious to avoid any animals bigger than her. Her wings were tucked closely against her sides to prevent them from snagging on the strange bushes that were on both sides of her. Cielast yawned and approached a nearby cave, flopping down on her stomach. She tucked her talons in close and draped her wings over herself, snuggling close to a rock. The wind howled from outside, trees waving their branches in the breeze. The bright rays of sunlight were dying as night approached.

Cielast’s cheeks were stained with tears, looking at the stone floor miserably. She shivered at the thought of her mother dying, curling her tail around a rock.

Cielast closed her eyes, shaking with sadness and doubt as her body became numb, the frigid air encasing her and she fell into a deep slumber.

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