Dragons in the Resistance – Chapter One

Many authors post snippets of their work or their entire work on Wattpad. I’d like to try a more personal approach with my writing and start posting right here on my website. If you enjoy what you read, and please remember it’s a work in progress, riddled with grammar and punctuation errors, please spread the word. Not only, but as the story evolves it will change.

I’d be very appreciative, if you come around and read, to leave a comment with your thoughts about what you read. Be truthful and blunt I don’t need you to  sugar-coat your comments.

I hope you enjoy and let your friends know.

Dragons in the Resistance is a young adult novel that takes place in a strange planet and tackles some real life issues.

Enjoy.

Chapter One

 

Eva moaned, her ears ringing with the clashing sounds of the spaceship crashing. The agony searing her leg clouded her mind, blurred her vision. Even though her shoulder lay against a sharp metal object, jabbing her back, the bloody leg hurt too much to move. She closed her eyes to steady her breathing, to block out the terrible carnage. A chill ran through her body. She shuddered and winced in pain.

Small screeching noises filled her ears. Debris settled, projecting creaky sounds around the aircraft. Each jarring echo made her heart jolt.

She forced her lids open and squinted to improve her vision, the scene around her hazy from the dust still settling throughout the spaceship wreckage. The captain’s chair lay on its side, its bottom still bolted to a warped deck. Her gaze roamed a little farther. Shivers shook her body at the recognition of her mother’s exquisitely manicured fingernails, the red lacquer still shiny on the charred hand that once cradled her as a baby. Blinking away the stinging tears, she turned away as if to deny the reality by defying its presence.

Please, someone be alive, she prayed. As she wiped tears and dust from her face, the floating particles made her cough, shooting jets of pain down her leg. She stared at the large pole across her limb. Blood puddled under the gash on her thigh. Damn! I’m losing too much blood. Wincing, she removed her jacket, bunched it up, pushing it on the wound. Survival instincts kicked in. The heavy beam pinning her made it difficult to apply pressure to stop the bleeding. She tried to push the massive rafter off her unresponsive leg, but it did not budge.

The effort brought a bout of nausea. Sweat trickled into her eyes, burning. Blood saturated the jacket, slicked her hands, draining her strength, bringing on light-headedness with chills. Another quiet prayer from deep within her heart went out to God. Please make me die with the rest of my family. Warm tears streaked down her icy cheeks. Her nose stuffed from sobbing made it hard to breathe. With a slow movement, she wiped phlegm with her sleeve.

She turned to stare at the darkened bridge with its harsh emergency lighting. The seed of hope still lay in her that someone, anyone, would get up.

No one did.

The pain of death, the loss of blood stole her strength. Her eyes fluttered closed, then the sensation of floating overtook her body.

***

Eva groaned. Her lids flickered open. She stared into a shiny round eye gazing back.

She gasped.

Fear took over her mind and body, fingers closed into fists while her body went rigid. The gigantic beast, a snow-white lizard, possibly, moved away as she focused. The corners of its mouth seemed to curl. Is the creature smiling? It can’t be. She shook her head in disbelief, her fear momentarily placed on hold. The monster moved farther away. Taking a few deep breaths, Eva assessed her surroundings. Swallowing, she moistened her parched throat then concentrated on calming the drumming of her heart that pained her ears. The ship had vanished. She sat in a cave on a foamy pad with no pain. Even the heavy beam across her legs was gone. Where am I? Her gaze returned to the lizard to make sure it had not moved. With a frown, she appraised the giant. It was stunning. The beast resembled a dragon from one of her childhood fairytale books. Only this snow-white dragon had almost human like legs and arms—even hands with fingers and leathery wings. In a silent exclamation she blinked several times to make sure what she saw was real. Even as its beauty transfixed her, she did not trust the huge thing towering over her.

Glimpsing around, wonderment seeped into her consciousness.

A cave.

The walls sparkled with a diffused aura of light that spread throughout the space even up into the dizzying heights of the ceiling. Diamonds. She’d never seen anything so magnificent, even though she had visited plenty of planets in her sixteen years.

She glanced around for an opening, finding one—several meters away. With the corner of her eye, she glanced at the nine-foot monster moving in slow motion toward her. Heart racing, limbs shaking, Eva jumped to her feet. The cave spun. She took a deep breath to steady her footing. Staring at the approaching beast, she inched her way to the wall, moving backward as fast as her wobbly legs allowed, almost losing her balance. She stretched her arms behind her and touched diamonds with her palms. She pulled her hands away from the cold, burning surface, bringing them forward, she watched as instant blisters formed. With trembling lips, she glanced back at the shiny diamonds.

The monster stopped approaching, holding its hands out, palms up.

A colony of ants invaded her brain, the same sensation as when her foot fell asleep. In panic, she raised her burning palms pressing her blistered fingertips against the sides of her temples to dispel the prickles. Shockwaves of pain made her drop them to her sides. She glared at the creature even though the feeling lasted only a few seconds. It shook its head. Silent tremors pulsed through the cave.

“Eva, I’m not going to hurt you. The thought crawled inside her head, while the monster bobbed its head.

Eva frowned. Impossible.

From his deep vibrations, she assumed it was a male. Paralyzed, she did not know whether to be amazed or scared. She looked up into the gentle brown eyes gazing at her.

The creature waited.

She looked down at her leg, remembering her wound. No sign of the big gash that had drained her of so much blood. No pain. She turned to the monster that continued to watch her.

“You fixed my leg.” She cocked in disbelief of her own words.

Bobbing its head, the monster moved toward her again.

Eva gasped then glanced around. Nowhere to escape.

The lizard stopped, raising his hands, palms up, once again. “I’m not going to hurt you, but I do need to examine your wounds, the burn will continue to eat away at your flesh,” he spoke aloud.

The soothing voice was hypnotic, yet Eva did not trust the giant.

“If I wanted to hurt you, I would have done so when I found you.” He lowered his arms to his sides.

She flapped her arms, the cool air helped a bit but the fires of hell consumed her with pain. She peered at what she thought might be the cave’s mouth, too far away to make a run for it. From the tenuous light coming from the opening, she gathered evening would approach soon…or maybe it was dawn, she really couldn’t tell. Sweat from her forehead trickled down the sides of her face.

“Please let me check the damage on your paws.”

The wounds worsened. Blisters were oozing. Tears obscured her vision. The monster had somehow moved closer. Eva’s shallow gasps accelerated yet she couldn’t fill her lungs with enough oxygen. The pretty brilliant diamonds glared while the cave spun in slow motion. Stabbing knife like throbs punctured the blisters, which continued to secrete. Shaking her body burned.

The tingling sensation in her head came back, this time it lasted longer.

“Eva, you need to fill your lungs with air then let it out slowly through your mouth,” the dragon told her.

A few deep breaths later, her heart rate slowed and she calmed. The dragon stood only a few feet away. Her jugular pounded, more tears rolled down her cheeks, while she waited for the worst to happen. Oh, God. It’s going to rip me to shreds and gobble me up.

With one large step, the dragon stood before Eva. He took one of her hands. With a tender touch of his wet snout the blisters evaporated—the pain all gone.

She stared up at his gentle brown eyes, offering him her other hand. All the pain vanished. A faint smile of thanks, mixed with confusion was all she offered as her panic level subsided.

The giant backed away. “Little one, you understand I will not hurt you.”

She inspected the strange creature. Nothing indicated he was lying, but then he wasn’t human. How could she tell?

“Yes,” she said, trying to keep her voice steady.

Pictures of the crash with severed body parts flashed through her mind, making it difficult to keep her focus upon the giant. Eva stiffened again, renewed fear replacing the wonderment of her healed blisters. As long as the monster was not moving, she could believe things were fine.

And then, her empty stomach growled in protest.

“What do you eat?”

“Dragons don’t exist,” she murmured, examining every detail of his sleek strong body.

“Eva.” He paused, maybe searching for the proper words to speak. “I am sorry, but you are the only survivor.”

She knew his statement to be true, but chose to ignore it. “You healed my leg, didn’t you?”

“I did.”

“Do you have a name?”

“Mirthrog.”

An explosion shook the cave. Dust rained down to cover the top of their heads.

Eva rubbed particles from her eyes. “What was that?”

A second explosion rocked the ground. She lost her balance landing on her butt.

“Kulu!”

Eva tilted her head. The dragon swore!

The brutal anger in his voice shocked her. He stormed out of the cave. Jumping to her feet, she followed him.

“Mirto, what’s happening?”

“Mirthrog.” Turning, he ushered her deeper into the cave. “They are coming too close. I shouldn’t have brought you here, but you had lost too much blood. I needed an indoor place where to heal you and keep you warm.”

“Who are they? Why are they fighting?”

“It’s those damn Niroshids and their terrible war. But you have nothing to worry about.” The dragon strode about the cave.

“What are they fighting about?” A new danger took her mind away from the pain of death.

“They want the world to embrace their religious and political beliefs. You need not worry about them.” He swished his tail behind as he paced the length of the cave. “Kulu! Why did they come close to my valley?” Sparks of fire flew from his nostrils as he mumbled.

Another explosion brought down more debris from the cave’s high ceiling.

Coughing, Eva dusted her hair. “We should go,” she shrieked, panicking. “We shouldn’t stay here.”

“Calm down. I didn’t save your life so the Niroshids could claim it.” He spit more fire from his nostrils. “Before we can depart, I need to go on a reconnaissance flight to see where they are. They should not see us leaving the valley.”

“You can’t leave me here alone!”

“You need to stay in the cave. I’ll only be a few minutes.” Mirthrog scrutinized Eva in the same way Mother appraised her whenever she worried. His sad eyes shone, his head tilted to one side, his lips tightened.

Strange.

Twisting away, he dashed out the mouth of the cave.

 

Eva sat on the smooth dirt floor with the sparkling diamonds surrounding her. No more explosions rattled the cave, but in the distance the fighting went on. Still, she waited, but the dragon didn’t return.

I am alone. The thought swirling inside her head drowned her senses. The realization of her family’s death hit her full force. The pain spread from her mind, sharp knives stabbing, down to the pit of her stomach. Tears overflowed. Her body shook with the uncontrollable sobs escaping her throat.

When at last she quieted, Eva wiped her nose with her sleeve and dried her tears with her palms. The urge to rush to the crash site to verify Mirthrog had told the truth—that she was the sole survivor—consumed her. If others were alive, they could help her return home.

The horror of the crash swept through her mind again. Can the spaceship even be repaired? Do the beings on this planet have any type of technology that could help me at least send a distress call? Are there other beings besides dragons on this planet? Too many questions crowded her mind.

Thoughts of Father filled her heart with more pain. Never again would he tease her with that crooked smile of his. Having been replaced by robots at work, he’d turned to the freedom of space, mining the uraninite and carnotite for its small amounts of uranium that had become scarce on Earth. Every summer, she had joined him with Mother on his mining expeditions. More tears spilled when she realized no more voyages would fill her summers. Sobs shook her body once more. She would never see Father and Mother again.

Together, they visited a few planets that could not support human life. No Earthly mission had discovered intelligent life, although these planets were plentiful with plants and bacteria, they did not contain enough oxygen to breathe. On this final planet, she encountered both, yet she was alone.

As the tears subsided, she got to her feet. After pausing a moment to steady her weak legs, she wobbled to the cave’s wall to better study the brilliant diamonds—she knew better than to touch them again. They didn’t shine like diamonds did, refracting colorful light. Their light was clear white similar to fluorescent light.

The silence within the cave drove her mad. She wobbled to the entrance, peeking outside. The sunrise took her breath away. A splash of burned oranges, yellows, and greens played in the sky, casting a supernatural glow on the ground. Leaning against the mouth of the cave, Eva stood transfixed, admiring the colorful canvas. Gigantic boulders lay scattered around the landscape, adding a sense of loneliness to the skewed green scenery. The trunks of the trees bent and curved in unusual ways, giving a distinctly alien feel to her surroundings. She gazed up into the smaller branches reaching for the sky. She craned her neck, trying to glimpse the tallest branch. The explosions came closer again and she stared at the horizon, fear scrambling back into her mind.

A skittering sound drew her attention, shifting her focus to the ground. A peculiar furry animal, reminiscent of a bunny with short ears and no tail, ran across the small clearing near the entrance of the cave, disappearing behind a boulder.

In need to escape the somber thoughts crushing her soul, she sighed, stepping out of the cave. Hot air enveloped her. A cool breeze blew, refreshing her warm cheeks. Breathing deep, she realized the air was thin, filled with sulfur. With one last glimpse around, she hobbled back to the cave where she could breathe easier. She sat on the floor with her back hunched over, burying her face in her palms, the lack of oxygen having made her queasy.

“Eva.”

She jumped at Mirthrog’s voice, having not heard his approach.

He placed his hand on her shoulder. “We need to leave the valley right now. The fighting is getting too close.”

She glanced from the dragon to the entrance. “How?”

The cave shook. Dust sprinkled down, hazing Eva’s vision. She coughed and swiped her hand in front of her face to clear the air. She scrambled to her feet, stumbling forward. Mirthrog caught her. Eva’s hand slipped into his. He pulled her to the mouth of the cave.

He laid on his stomach at her feet. “Climb aboard, Eva.”

She stared.

“Little one, we must go.”

She continued to stare at the dragon lying at her feet. The fear of death from flying on the back of a dragon froze her.

“Eva, get on my back now.” His voice boomed inside her head.

Startled, she took a few steps back.

“Do you like to fly?” the dragon asked.

“Yes, it’s a fun thing to do.”

“I am glad you enjoy it.” His expression softened. She cocked her head, was that a smile of encouragement? “Now, climb aboard and hold on tight to one of my spines.”

“What?” She moved farther away.

“We will be flying to reach Saffron’s Valley.”

“How are we going to escape their fire?”

“Would you rather stay until the cave collapses on our heads? The fighting has not reached Saffron’s Valley yet. It will be safe there.”

“But I’ve never flown on the back of a dragon before.”

“I will protect you. Nothing will happen to you.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Eva, do as I say. The Niroshids are coming toward my ca—”

Five soldiers burst through the entrance, weapons raised. Eva stared transfixed at the males dressed in black with what looked like oxygen masks covering most of their faces. Their perfectly round eyes moved from the dragon to her in what seemed startled amazement. Mirthrog jumped to his feet and, with one puff, incinerated three of them. While one stood in shock, staring at the ashes, the other pointed his weapon at Mirthrog. Before he could fire, the dragon breathed on him.

“If we don’t hurry, more are going to come into the cave. I won’t be able to guarantee your safety.” He lay at her feet again.

“But I could fall to my death.” She stared at his spiny back.

“I promise not to drop you. If you enjoy flying, this will be an invigorating experience for you.” He seemed to be thinking about something, and then added, “Do not worry, I will keep you safe. I will make the experience a wonderful one for you.”

The cave shook again. Her arms flailed as she almost lost her balance. The fifth soldier stood dumbfounded, staring at the golden hair cascading to her shoulders. With her heart beating in her throat, she scrambled on the dragon’s back. Settling right above the wings between two spines, she wiggled her bottom and tightened her knees around his middle to find a secure position.

“I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.” Her voice trembled with fear mingled with expectation while trying to anticipate his movements.

When he got up, standing upright, the movement jolted her. She tightened her hold around his spine, her knuckles turned white.

He twisted his neck to see her better. “Relax, I promise to keep you safe.” He released a burst of fire on the fifth soldier. She gasped. “He saw you. I cannot risk the Niroshid’s finding out about you.”

She wrinkled her nose, her stomach full of butterflies as Mirthrog walked out of the cave. His wings opened, and before she could blink, they were soaring through the sky, climbing to dizzying altitudes.

 

thank you for stopping by

About annamaria

Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish. Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.
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