Chapter 1 - A Lone Fledgling
A young dragon lay sleeping by her mother, three other eggs lay nearby but appeared to be failed births. Looking up at her mother she said, “Mother, where are my siblings?“. The mother looked down at her daughter, “They didn’t make it, you’ll understand when you’re older.” The mother responded as she glanced at the skies, her eyes looked around for any other dragons. This was her only child, and that meant extra protection was needed, especially because the father left.
The young dragon glanced around, seeing a butterfly. “I wish I could fly already, I could fly with the butterflies!” She said, cheerfully as she ran out towards the butterfly. “Darling, come back!” Called her mother, as she chased after her. Then a purple and white dragon dived down at the young dragon, running in the way her mother got knocked to the ground and hit a tree.
“Mother!” Called the young dragon, as the dragon hissed at her. “Leave my mother alone!” The young dragon said as she breathed fire, the fire burned the ground as the dragon flew off. The young dragon glanced over at her mother, fear in her eyes. Running towards her mother, she nudged her. “Mother? Wake up, please!” She cried out. Her mother didn’t move, her body didn’t even move to the rhythm of any breathing. Her mother was undoubtedly dead, and there was nothing the young dragon could do. “Mother, I’m sorry..” The dragon said, as she lay near her mother’s body.
A few years later, the young dragon was older but still young. She lived in the same area she hatched, which was also the same area her mother passed. The young dragon had buried her mother, near the nest. She also buried her failed siblings, she would cherish her family even when they weren’t present. She knew she needed a name, and she thought of a perfect one.
Layla; Her mother had always spoken of this name. She had said she wanted her only daughter to be named Layla, and so the young dragon named herself Layla. Layla curled up in the nest and slowly woke up, her eyes darted up towards the sunny sky.
“Today shall be a great day.” She said softly, glancing at her mother’s grave she felt a bit gloomy. It had been 5 years since her mother died and she hadn’t seen any sign of the strange dragon who took her mothers life. Spreading her wings she flew into the air, “Time for breakfast.” She said with a smile as she flew off.
Layla’s heart skipped a beat as she saw two other dragons in the air, diving towards the watering hole. Perhaps one of those dragons was the one who took my mother from me, she thought to herself as she flapped her wings harder and flew towards them. Landing in the forest nearby, hidden by trees she glanced over towards the dragons.
A handsome red dragon and a clumsy shy looking green dragon drank from the watering hole, “Flame, should we catch some food? I heard from Skunk there are excellent bears around here, and even moose.” The green one said, gulping up the water. Flame stopped drinking and sat on his haunches, “Well Thorn, you know I hate bears. I personally enjoy moose, their meat is so much more chewy and juicy.” Flame said with a smile.
Layla crept forward, as she stepped on a branch.
Layla froze and glanced towards Flame and Thorn, Oh no. She got ready to fly, when Flame breathed fire towards the bushes. Burning the bushes, Flame and Thorn stepped towards her. “Who are you?” Flame asked, sniffing at Layla. “I-I’m Layla..” She stuttered, as her wings cradled back down by her sides.
Thorn tilted his head, “She’s only a fledgling, where are your parents’ young one?” Thorn said, glancing at her. “My mother was k-killed.. And I never met my father.” Layla said, looking at her claws. Flame sighed sadly, “We’re sorry to hear that, perhaps you could come back to our Flock.” Flame said, smiling a bit. “Really? Me? I would love to!” Layla said, happily. “What is your element, if you don’t mind me asking?” Thorn asked. “What is an element?” Layla asked.
“An element is what your flame or well power is, for example mine is fire and Thorns’ is poison.” Flame said, breathing a bit of fire to show off his power. Some green acid smoke poured from Thorn’s mouth as he showed off his power.
“Oh, mine is fire but I never use it.” Layla replied. “Why?” Asked Flame. “Because mine is strong, and hard to control. The one time I ever used it, I burnt the ground. I almost killed an entire dragon..” She said, shyly. “Dragon’s that strong are rare.” Thorn said. “How about you show us your strength, fledgling.” Flame said, a bit of mockingness in his voice.
Layla sighed as she stepped back, “Should I burn something?” She asked, as she realized she had nothing to shoot at. Nudging a few logs near her, Thorn backed up. “Go ahead.” They said, as they glanced at her. Breathing heavily, Layla began.
Golden fire swept its way out of her mouth with a strong force, burning the logs immediately it turned them crisp. Small sprinkles of flame bounced out at the green grass, turning the ends black. Layla stopped and backed up, nervous.
Then a large black dragon landed near them, “Who blew that flame?” He asked, gruffly. Another black dragon, a bit smaller, landed next to the other one. A tan female dragon landed as well, glancing around. Flame and Thorn glanced at the three, “Hello Zara, Cloud, and Jack. This is Layla, she’s with us.” Flame said. Jack puffed a bit, smoke coming out of his nose. “This is a fledgling.” He said, stepping towards Layla.
Cloud looked at Jack nervously, “Jack what are you doing?” He asked. Zara giggled a bit and stepped alongside Jack, the two ganged up on Layla. Flame and Thorn backed up, “We can’t help you. He’s stronger than us.” They said. Jack glared at Zara, “Let me fight her.” He snapped, as Zara went back beside Cloud.
Layla stood her ground, she needed to win. Jack showed his fangs, as he was about to reach out a claw. Turning to the side, Layla pounced on his back. Clawing his wings with her back legs, she clawed at his back with her front legs. I must not show fire, I cannot kill this dragon, she thought.
Jack roared as he shook her off, falling to the ground Layla hit the dirt with a thud. Jack clawed at her, leaving a mark on her arm. Layla hissed as she rolled over, shielding herself with her wings. “Come at me.” Layla said, glaring at Jack. Roaring loudly, Jack came at her.
Flapping her wings, Layla flew up and dived down towards his wings. With a quick smack, Jack’s wing smacked Layla down. Jack turned and stepped towards Layla, going for the final kill.
Layla huffed as she got ready to shoot fire, glaring at Jack. A golden flame tunneled its way out of her mouth and at Jack. Circling its way around his neck, it burned his protective scales off and crisped his skin a bit. With a roar, Jack tried to get away.
The flames came close to his eyes, almost burning them. Layla closed her mouth, and jumped at him. Collapsing, Jack hissed. The fire slowly stopped as Layla was seen on top of Jack, her claw over his neck. She had won.
Cloud gasped in shock, as he glared at Layla. “She’s amazing! I’ve never seen a flame that strong.” He said. Zara didn’t say anything, she admired Layla. Jack tried to get up but failed, as he lay his head down. Layla glanced around, feeling strong. Her flame was strong, and she too felt strong.