The Dragon’s Quest for Hopper starts off as any other low brow elf seeking a real place in life. He didn’t think the real place would be babysitter to a dragon. Part of him wishes the dragon mother decided on eating him instead of shoving him into this new role. What was he thinking getting involved with Linda or Hartliebe or thinking he deserved more in life than running a beer company. Beer is his life. Or it was. His life now seems a lot different. And scary.
Genres: Adventure, fantasy
Cyro and Dominik
Linda rubs her arm. She gives her glass to me, and then tugs her sleeve out of the way to see the burn mark burning. “Crap.”
“What does that mean?” I point at the mark there.
“The dragon is coming for me.” She stares at me fear shooting daggers my way. “I will need to offer her something or she’ll…”
“Offer me.” I tap my chest.
“But either you will be marked and made a noble or taken to her horde.”
“Oh…” I tap the glass in my hand. “So either you have to sacrifice someone in the village…”
“Or get married.” She weakly smiles at me.
I laugh out loud at such a horrible idea. “Dragons won’t accept beer in exchange would they?”
“Nope.” She pulls her knees up to her chest humming softly. “I want my parents back.”
I stand up yelling at the room to be quiet. It takes a while, but they do so. “The Dragon comes and needs a sacrifice.” The room backs off now completely silent. No one willingly offers themselves for such a task. I look around really wishing I could call on someone to be it. Who would the dragon accept that we do not need in the village? I gulp knowing who many would say: me. “I offer myself since no one will jump at the chance.”
A pin would make a rather loud sound as we all stand there. Every set of eyes is either on me or the ground. Linda stands up. “I am going to ready him. Say your goodbyes.” She walks off.
The whispered good byes have me begging to take back my words. I offered myself. I gave myself to the dragon. I will lose everything I know. Either I will become a noble somewhere or part of the dragon’s horde. And she could eat me if she decided that was the best option. I could be a baby dragon’s play thing. Whatever the dragon chooses.
Standing tall, I walk to where Linda went. I find her setting out a full suit, but it was her father’s. It does not fit at all. She tugs the clothes into place and as she does so the magic in her essence fixes the fabric. “Listen and do whatever the dragon says.”
“I know that. The only class I didn’t fail was Dragon Knowledge.” The four years of schooling in these boondocks contained a lot of knowledge. Unless you can use magic, you stopped at four pass or fail. I took over learning my father’s line as many who are magic-less did. “Where will we meet her?”
“Just out of village in the field.” She wipes the imaginary dust off my outfit. “Her name is Hartliebe. And do not say it wrong. Ever. You will be eaten,” she sternly tells me like I would want to call the dragon by a wrong name.
“Can I call her Dragon?”
“I’d go Oh Blessed One. Safest route. That’s what I called her when I got my mark.” She shrugs taking me out of her tree. The people watch us, following at a distance. They stop at the edge of town. Linda and I walk on. The dragon needs space to land and lounge while visiting. Otherwise we may lose a tree or have our village set on fire. The stories the older elves can tell.
We stand there out on the field. Linda rubs her mark as we wait. The mist swirls around us teasing our senses. The dragon comes. And like any great being, she will make an entrance.
“Do you know the way to Terrick?” A man leans over my shoulder. I had no idea someone got so close. As I look at him, he looks weird. His ears do not point. His silk clothing speaks of weight and muscle like my own. Not an elf. Not an elf means dangerous.
“No.” I take a step turning to face him. The dragon comes. She comes. This cannot be her. “What is?” He pulls open a book that says, ‘Kevin Hopper’. I stare at him as he hums while searching.
“Cyro?” A female elf lands behind me walking between Linda and I to reach the non-elf before me. Something clicks inside letting me know this girl is not an elf either even if the looks are right. “What are you doing here?”
“Looking for Terrick. The book you gave me referenced it. I swear it would be near the nightshade forests.” He closes the book annoyed. “But no one around here knows about it.”
“I told you to stop looking for imaginary places.” She crosses her arms ignoring Linda and me. “I have business to handle…”
“Terrick is not imaginary, Mother.” He glares at her. “I know it exists.” The creature stomps one foot on the ground and the tremors almost have me fall. Good thing my wings work faster than my brain. Linda flutters beside me looking more confused than I am.
“Stop it. I will take away the books.” She holds one hand out to remove the book from his grasps.
“I will have Georgiann write a new one.” He huffs out hiding the book behind his back.
“Leave my elves alone.” She stares him down.
“Fine.” He walks off muttering.
She turns to me looking me over. “Viable. New husband?”
“No…” Linda begins.
The dragon stops her. “Good.” One second I stand there confused; the next, a mark burns into the skin of my arm. “Guide my son.”
“What?” I look at the dragon leaving my sight. “How can I…?”
“Go!” I am magically pushed. “Take this, too. Learn to wield it well.” When I reach the dragon’s son, I find a wand in my hands. Great, new tool, new powers, and new job.
“Ready to find Terrick?” He looks at me tapping his book.
“Um…” I look at the wand unsure how I can hold on to it. I accidentally drop it while trying to put it on my back. It ends up back in my hands. “I guess so.”
Cyro jumps up excited. “I cannot wait to find the place from the book. Then we can go back to Georgiann and ask for a new book.”
“Yay?” How can I really be excited when my new job is to follow a child dragon on his adventure? I go from wingman to sidekick. I am not sure if this is better.
“Hungry? I think there is a flock of sheep up ahead.”
Nope, definitely not better. “No, I am not. How about we leave the sheep alone?” I grab for the dragon’s arm, but he is quicker than me by far.
“Keep up, elfie.” He soars to the air without wings. I try to keep up, but he is bothering the sheep before I get there. Hartliebe gave me the most difficult job ever. If only she ate me. That probably would have been much better.