The Spirit of Halloween - Chapter 1

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The Spirit of Halloween

by TechTurtle

Libraries: Fantasy, OneShots, OriginalFiction

Published on / 1 Chapter(s) / 2 Review(s)

Updated on

-- Write a Spooky or Halloween story with your dragon. --rnrnMy entry for the Spirit of Halloween prompt! The start of a story where Smolder and Duracell has to outswim a certain Big Giant... rnrnWord Count: 2427

He struggled to get up through the current, the weight of the water pushing his body from one side to the other. Disoriented he kept trying to face upwards, but his compass had a hard time continuously adjusting. He was unable to use his fins properly and it took most of his energy to not succumb to the current. He pushed upwards until his body was burning hot and his vision tunneled.

With one final push he felt the tugging fading an he drifted up into calmer waters. The evening sun was casting warm beams into the surface of the waters he was now in. Yellow and orange light danced around him, warm and relaxing. Smolder took a moment to look around and took in the beams hitting small sea critters, bubbles and foliage on the way down, illuminating them and covering them in a gold shine.

Smolder relaxed a little, letting the numbness overtake him for a moment. He was floating, hovering a dolphins length under the surface, flippers down and eyes slowly closing shut.

He was near the coast, Igneous rocks creating odd shapes and dark lines going down from the surface, along the earth deep into the dark and wild waters below him. He looked along the rim and was surprised by the many crevasses he saw, all traveling inwards towards the island, like something was clawing its way onto it. The island was made of two volcanos, resting next to one another. The sun casted it’s light upon Smolder from in between the two volcanos, creating two very long shadows both left and right from where Smolder was floating.  Smolder couldn’t remember the islands’ name, but he could remember the Vulcanic eruption happening a year ago. He was there, actually. Well, not really, he was actually scavenging miles away and completely oblivious about the eruption, but he was close. So close that he could’ve been there if he knew about it at the time. And now he was here! How cool. Or hot? Well, whatever.

He swam closer to the rock, as close as he dared. He slowly swam along the coast, one eye peeking into some of the crevasses. He couldn’t see much, most of it was either too shallow for something interesting to make home in there, or too deep and dark to see if anything was in there at all.

Or was there nothing that wanted to be in there?

“What are you doing here?” A voice exclaimed. The sound came from a distance, signaling him beforehand someone was closing. Someone who was very thoughtful of Smolders skittish nature. From this and the wavelength of the voice he knew immediately it was Alina.

Smolder swam a half turn quickly and made his way towards he, meting her halfway. Hu bumped his nose onto her forehead as a greeting. He wasn’t too successful in dodging her horns, but Alina just laughed. She was always so OK with everything. Sometimes it was annoying, but most of the times it was actually really nice. The only reason for it to be annoying was that Smolder found himself feeling a little jalouse. Alina (or Duracell, as most of her acquaintances call her) always seemed to have many friends and visitors. She always had many creatures swimming around her anyways. She took the light down to their town, improving food availability, and everybody wanted to be close for that (and the cozy warmness of it all).  Thanks to that everybody loved and adored her. Smolder had a hard time making friends, and he hated it when he was just hanging out with her and everyone started to bother them because they want to be with Alina. She was his mentor and only friend, and he was always cranky when he had to share their time with the other Aqrion. Alina never waved them away too, because she was just that nice…

Even so he adored her and her company, more so then most, and he was happily surprised she came up here. “How nice to see you here! What a day to come up here for light though, the current is a bi-“ One stern look from Alina and the word got stuck in his throat. “Uuh… A bit difficult to navigate..?”

Alina laughed and bumped his side with the flat side of her horns. “I know Tiny. It was quite a ride to get here, but I’m much bigger and harder to push aside for the Water. She didn’t get the best of me today. And not of you either.” She said, with a little pride in her voice. “You’ve grown!”

Smolders tail started to shine just a bit more, and he couldn’t contain his smile. His chest bloated and he drifted a bit higher. “Thanks! I am eating well.”

“So I’ve heard.” Alina said.

“From who?”

“Aqrion you stole food from?”

“It’s not stealing if I give something back!” Smolder exclaimed.

Alina looked at him again with that stern look on her face.

Smolder started, blushing. “Well I just haven’t found anything yet to give back to them! But I’m working on it trust me.’

Alina just rolled her eyes. “Be careful not to steal or borrow from the wrong person kiddo, that’ll cost you.” She pushed herself upwards to the surface and broke it. From down below Smolder saw how she spread her limbs. The vague rusty spots on her head and side seemed to come alive, and slowly but surely it started to shine in the evening sun. She was recharging her scales so she could bring the light supply down to their town.  

Thank you. Smolder thought.

He looked up to her so much and it sometimes made it difficult for him to speak his mind. He wanted to compliment her so often, but he was actually too scared to utter the words. She was his mentor, she needed to train him and compliment him, not the other way around. She was better then him in any way, what position was he in to give her a compliment? She didn’t need to become better, she already was the best?

Suddenly Alina’s head shot upwards out of sight, and a second later the water broke. A huge creature dove into the water, claws first and wings and heads after. Smolder instantly knew who it was from the panicked expression; little crow Ja-Yr had stopped by and body slammed himself into the ocean. He always had these silly ideas that work out great in his head but not in practice. Like landing in a castles’ garden and almost getting impaled by humans. Or by wanting to look at a wildfire and almost losing his tail feathers.

Or diving headfirst into the ocean for fun and not knowing how to swim. Luckily he slowly drifted back to the surface, braking it to float next too Alina. Smolder saw how Alina helped Ja-Yr find his balance. Once Ja-Yr had everything under control Smolder joined them on the surface.

“Ja-yr, what are you doing here? Isn’t this part of the world a little… Well, too wet for birds?” Smolder asked.

Ja-Yr shrugged. “Probably. Well, yes actually, but you never know if you don’t try it first.’’ He didn’t even seem to care.

“And who is going to protect you when the Behemoth arrives?” Smolder asked jokingly.

“Pfft, those don’t exist! And if they did they wouldn’t be an Aqrion like you. They’d be something cool! Like. Like… A Stryx! A Corva to be precise.”

“So, like you?” Smolder asked, his voice dripping with skepticism.

“Boys, boys. Knock it off.” Alina splashed water in between the two with her fins, breaking their little verbal frolic.

“He started it…’ Smolder huffed. Ja-Yr looked down at smolder, and suddenly bobbed his head sideways, making Smolder laugh.  

“All good?’ Alina asked.

“Sure.” They both answered at the same time.

After floating together for a while, Ja-Yr asked “Have you heard about the Giant?”.

“The Giant what?” Alina asked.

“The Giant! The big one!”

“Well, let me tell you. Most giants are big.”

“UuuUuuughhh I know Alina! I mean the really big giant.

“Wait. Are you talking about Behemoth? You just said he didn’t exist?” Smolder asked.

“No the Behemoth doesn’t, they died out a very long time ago they say, before any of us were even born! No, I mean the one the humans talk about.” Ja-Yr explained, looking at the horizon and pointing at one of the ships in the far distance. “Supposedly they are searching for the Big Giant. I was tailing one of the ships in their fleet yesterday and overheard them talking about it.’

Smolder got a little anxious, knowing very well that when humans talk about these things the outcome was never in favor of whatever the humans came in contact with. They would either find what thing they were looking for and kill it, or not find it and kill creatures either way. Their fleets were destructive in nature, just like their captains and crew, and Smolder always swam way down when he saw their shadows appear nearby.

He respected Ja-Yr fir being so brave (or dump) to get so close to the fleet. It was like he wasn’t even afraid for them? Smolder heard stories that some of the Stryx even bond with humans. How fascinatingly strange.

“The humans, did they describe it?” Smolder asked. He wanted to know if it was anyone he knew that was in danger. Sometimes humans would see a Fluke Singer and are just so taken aback by their sheer size they would hunt them down, thinking they were monsters. Size was just relative, how does being big make you a monster? That means being small is being nice, and that didn’t make any sense. Smolder knew no Aqrion his size that was nice.

“Well. It was very big- “Ja-Yr spread his wings out as far as he could without sinking. “And supposedly it’s made out of ink and lives near coastal areas. It lives on land and in the waters. It sometimes even flies!” He flapped his wings to empower is description, knocking water into the Aqrions faces. “Apparently Stryx from the Her Majesty\'s Postal Company have been scouting this area for the humans for months in search of it.” It looked like Ja-Yr wanted to say more, but he got distracted by fish skimming the surface. He snapped at them and even though he trashed like a chick in a tidepool he managed to get pierce a big fish to his pointy beak. He threw his head backwards, wringed it open with his toung and and let it slide down his throat.

Smolder just looked at this display of bird behavior, somewhere in between discusted and fascinated. Then he remembered they were talking about the Big Giant and asked “Uuuh… So, what is it? It has fins and it has wings?”

“it is all, and is nothing. That’s what they say.” Ja-Yr answererd, licking his beak. “Apparently it can swim underwater and fly in the sky. Several Scout Stryx have reported it; some mentioned it was a feathered creature, others said it looked like a Amoux, others said it was an Aqrion. It doesn’t make much sense, but they all report that it looked like ink taking shape, and so the humans do believe the stories to be true. It’s very coincidental that they all report the same thing. Odd thing is they usually see it during the day! Or maybe they only see it at daytime because it is so black… Hmmm….” His head bobbed sidewards again, now to the other side, and his eyes were fixed on the horizon. It was clear that he suddenly was miles away with his thoughts.

Smolder turned his attention to Alina and asked “do you think it’s true?”

“Maybe. It’s not the first time I hear about it.” Alina replied, clearly thinking. She seemed to unconsciously mimic Ja-Yr, her head slightly more to one side.

Smolder wasn’t sure if he also needed to this. He wasn’t even sure what to think about when doing it, but he tried it anyways. However when he tried he didn’t seem to think much better than before. What is the use of this movement when it doesn’t help you think? He moved his head the other side, but that didn’t seem to work either. He slowly moved his head back; maybe for him it wasn’t supposed to go left or right, but backwards or forwards.

The moment he looked over his shoulder to the island his jaw dropped. His mind just stopped working and his eyes widened. Before he could even register what was happening his body was already on edge, frozen to the spot and going into overdrive. He didn’t even hear Alina yell for him, or Ja-Yr screaming that the boats were closing in on the other side.

The island rose out of the ocean before them, two volcanos dividing the island in two sections. And in between the two volcanos a shadow slowly rose up into the sky. First, one claw on the left slop. Then a right on the right slope. A cloud of black ink follower, slowly blocking out the remaining sunlight. The ink was black, swirling, dripping, alive and yet dreadfully dead. Suddenly all sunlight disappeared and the creature was up high above them, looming over the sea from atop the now even smaller looking island. The top of the shade took the form a huge bird head, and suddenly two holes opened up, like eyes, but void of eyeballs. The beak opened up, but there was nothing but even darker black on the inside. Somehow, it was deafening, and yet it did not make any sound. It was so quiet that it drowned out all the noise, just like it seemed to do with all the light. The only light was coming from Alina, and it didn’t go unnoticed by the Big Giant.

“Swim.” Ja-Yr screeched, and he lifted himself off of the surface, flapping his wings like a madcrow.

Alina threw her body on top of Smolder, pushing him under. “Go! Dive!” She screamed.

The waves crashed over Smolder, but not before he saw with fear that the shadow bowed down with great speed. His beak open, the shadows swirling off of him and leaving small ink-like trails in the night sky. He was going to crash down on them, and there was nothing they could do.

Because who could out swim Behemoth?

 


 

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