Strange ShadowsMature

Tong! Tong! Tong! The sound of my hammer striking hot metal resounded throughout my cave. I blew another stream of fire from my maw to keep the steel malleable. A mimic in Cileka put in an order that morning for a complicated chain whip, one that would take me a few days. Though it was late into the night I wanted to at least have a good start before turning in. Forging weapons was my job and passion after all.

Tong! Tong! Tong! Tong! Tong! After several more minutes of pounding away I stopped. “Not a bad start,” I said looking at the weapon. The whip was to be composed of one hundred thousand small chains, with some hooks at the end. It was not easy task as it required extreme delicacy, but then again, that’s what my weapons and I were known for. I’d already made the handle and created eight thousand chains. Still had a long way to go. It wouldn’t hurt for me to take a quick break and get some air before returning.

I walked to the mouth of my cave. From there I could see the many peaks that my most of my species, the drakks, called home. I prepared to take off, feeling the familiar ripping sensation of my wings bursting forth from my backside scales and expanding to their full length. I still hadn’t gotten used to the feeling, despite the over two hundred years I’d had to do so. Shaking it off, I spread my wings and took to the air.

I soared north, deeper into the mountains. I weaved through the peaks until I spotted my destination, a lake within a small valley. I descended by the lake’s edge. I felt my wings shrink and meld into my back. I looked at my reflection. A youthful drakk stared back at me. He was a little shorter than the average drakk, with dark crimson scales covering his body, and a long whip-like tail, and short black horns growing from his head. He didn’t have any blemishes save a small scar just under his left eye from a flying accident from his hatchling days. Not a bad figure really.

I looked up from my reflection to the starry sky above. I could feel that something big was going to happen soon. It had been too calm around here. The last major event to happen in drakk history had been the “Great Oak Incident” with the Terralye, and that had been over a hundred years before my hatching. Since then the drakks had kept to themselves; I was one of the few who interacted with the other species.

I sighed and was about to take off again when a strange mist descended upon the valley seemingly from thin air, consuming the area in seconds. It was so thick I couldn't even see my claw in front of my snout. I had never seen such a phenomenon before. Whatever it was, I wasn't going to let it overwhelm me. I reached deep within myself for the fire in my soul and let forth a huge stream of flames. The fiery burst cut into the thick mist, dispersing it a little. For a split-second I could see several shadows hidden in the dense mist, illuminated by the flames. Then they vanished into the veiling vapor once more before I could distinguish them clearly. All of a sudden, the mist abruptly reversed its course and began to clear. I watched in astonishment as it lifted as fast as it had fallen, leaving me alone in the valley once more.

Before I could even begin to make sense of what had just happened I heard a female wail come from the other side of the valley, where my friend Avinia and her child Tempito lived. I jumped.

"What's going on now?" I wondered as I took off towards their cave. I arrived a minute later at the entrance. I could hear Aviana weeping from within. "Avinia?" I called out. “It's Ignaiciér. I’m coming in!” I entered their cave and quickly walked towards their main den. I found Avinia collapsed on the floor. I raced over to her. “What happened? I asked anxiously. “I was on the other side of the valley and could hear you from there.” I looked around. “Where’s Tempi? He should be here with you.” The pretty female drakk looked up, unshed tears in her green cat-like eyes.

“He’s gone, Ciér. He’s gone.”


“Gone with the mist.” Avinia broke down once more. I looked back outside to the lake. I still didn’t know what I had seen in that strange mist, but I was sure of one thing: the shadows I’d seen in the mist, whoever or whatever they'd been, had been the ones to kidnap Tempi.

The End

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