Tag Archive: Saira

I Dream

 Elder Synaera shifted in her sleep, rumpling the blankets that lined her nest.  She was in the midst of a horrendous dream.  It started with what appeared to be a convocation, except a young dragen stood where Paesha had always stood and two of the elders were blocked from her sight by swirling dark clouds.

 Suddenly a huge rent appeared in the wall as a horde of demons flew by carrying a young dragen.  He might have been a wind dragen but fur could almost be seen along his ears, marking him as one of her own clan.  He screamed in such terror that she tried to intervene.  But he was suddenly by her side, smiling wanly.

 “I’m alright,” he said in a soft voice.  “You need to listen.  We’re very young but we know more than some venerable ones.”

 Then he disappeared and the sky that she could see through the jagged hole across from her turned black, blood red streaks darted through it.  Thousands of people were screaming then, some in anger, some in terror.  Over it all she heard a young voice say, “You thought you could control them?”

 “I didn’t mean for this to happen,” another, almost familiar voice called back. 

 A startled cry not far away drew her attention.  She immediately recognized the person who’d cried out as Elder Gynro.  He struggled, naked, in the grasp of an unfamiliar water dragen.  “No, please, stop,” he moaned as his struggles continued.

 A soft voice, terrified and deeply upset said from beside her, “But… why?  Why would he do this?”  She turned to see a pretty young earth dragen standing beside her.  Tears streamed down her face as she asked, “What should I do?  How can I fight him?”

 Synaera sat up, finally awake.  Tears streamed down her face.  “Paesha,” she whispered.  “Gynro.”  She stood and crossed to the summoning stone.  Her energies swirled around the stone for a moment before the face of her dear friend appeared. 

Soon a Downpour Will be Coming

He’d been hurt by the rejection and pleasantly surprised at the welcome the ice dragens had given him.  He was as different from them as he could be.  He had furry ears and soft feathery wings.  They all had long prehensile tails tipped in a soft tuft of fur.  He ate fruits and vegetables practically in their pure states.  The ice dragens ate nearly all their fruits in the form of preserves and their vegetables mixed into hearty stews.  He had to bundle up warm when it was cold but could happily fly about in weather as warm as the high eighties.  The ice dragens had no real need of coats in the winter months but couldn’t stand the heat of summer.

 However different they were, the ice dragens hadn’t mind.  If anything their differences made him all the more interesting for them.  They were a curious, questioning clan.  They tested the limits of magic and science.  They were the fiercest warriors Denair had ever seen.  He hadn’t been all that surprised to learn of the numbers killed in the catastrophic final battle of the war.  Small as they were, the ice dragens didn’t have an ounce of submission in them.

 “I’ve been researching the sealing spell,” he said finally, changing the subject.  Myro nodded, he’d known as much.  He’d in fact gotten the working notes of the spell from the elder of the light dragens for Denair’s use.  “Something seems to be missing.”  He opened the notebook he always carried and showed it to Myro.  “See how it seems to change gears halfway through a sentence?  I don’t think that the master mage being odd.  I think there’s a page missing.  Perhaps a diagram as well.”

 “I think you’re the first person to notice that in ten years,” Myro said softly.  “You really are remarkable, Denair.  It’s no wonder that my grandfather is so keen to teach you.”

 “Thanks,” Denair said as he pushed hair out of his eyes.  He looked out and smiled.  “I suppose I will stay… for a while longer.  But… since the heat doesn’t bother me and the healers have said I’m well enough.  I think I’ll go for a fly.”

 “Fair winds,” Myro said.  Denair smiled over his shoulder as he spread his broad wings and jumped off the overlook.  Myro watched him soar until he’d rode the winds out of sight.  “He’ll be back.  I hope he’s found a place here.”

 “Me too,” Saira said softly.


Chapter Four Excerpt

I can see all too clear; the time has come to face my fear

Saira watched the elder closely.  The memorial songs got to him every year.  Why the venerable ones of the clan felt the need to mark such a grim anniversary every single year was beyond her.  Didn’t any of them see how upsetting it was to the elder of the clan?  She remembered when they were nestlings and had looked forward to the beginning of winter.

 The cold and snow of winter didn’t phase ice dragens at all.  If anything they reveled in it.  Myro especially had loved the winter.  He would spend all day outside if he could.  As they grew older, his parents and hers had both agreed that so long as they were together they’d be safe enough on their own.  Once they’d learned to fly and to judge the sometimes strange air currents of the mountains in winter, she and Myro had explored far beyond any of the other fledglings.

 The demon war had curtailed that activity, if only slightly.  They were still permitted to explore and sport in the icy winds; as long as they stayed close to the den, or at least some shelter.  Demons didn’t mind the cold any more than ice dragens.

 Myro sighed heavily and glanced her way.  His favorite time of year was now punctuated by grief.  It would have been so even without the memorial ceremony and songs; they’d been orphaned at the opening of the season.  Still, it hurt to see him so down at a time of year where the Myro of her memories was so happy.

 In the years since she’d come to be his subordinate and not just a good friend, Saira had grown even closer to him.  To say she’d become protective would not be an exaggeration.  Sometimes she wondered if he felt the same.  She couldn’t ask though.  She smiled at him and his tail flicked out to coil around hers.  This display of affection was all they were allowed in front of all the others in the clan.  She remembered when he’d become elder and they had both come to understand how their relationship would have to change.

They had stayed at arms length from each other and kept their relationship strictly professional.  There were times when one or the other would edge toward the closeness that they had felt in their shared grief, but then the moment would pass.

 However, now the clan was recovering.  There were nearly as many mated pairs and young families as there had been on that fateful day when the war ended.  Saira smiled over at Mryo and tugged on his tail to draw his attention closer.  He leaned in so she could speak softly to him.  “Maybe we should ask,” she said.

 “After… the ceremony?” he murmured.  “Would you come with me?  If he says no… I… wouldn’t be able to tell you, I think.”

 Saira nodded and shifted just a little closer.  They joined in the final song of leave taking and left the dais.  She remained a silent presence as he joined his grandfather and the other oldones who advised him as clan elder.  “Grand – Master Ryden?” he called.  Even after ten years he felt strange addressing his grandfather so formally.

 “Elder Myro?” the old dragen replied.  “You have something to ask?”

 “I do,” Myro said almost hesitantly.  His tail coiled around Saira’s and she smiled up at him to reassure him.  “We’ve never… we’ve wondered since… I became elder… is it… appropriate… would it be alright… Saira’s my sub-elder but… I… um.”  Suddenly tongue-tied, Myro chuckled nervously.

 “You want to know if it is appropriate for you to court your sub-elder?” Ryden asked dryly.  “I thought you already were, child, or I would have told you long since that it was fine.”

 “Well… all that anxiety for nothing,” Myro said, rolling his eyes.  “I hadn’t seen any relationship like it in the histories.  It always seemed that the elder and sub-elder were nothing more than comrades or friends at most.”

 “That is because much of the time, they’re both male,” Ryden said in a matter-of-fact tone.  “Saira’s mother, may her next life be a joyous one, was the first female sub-elder in generations and your father, may his next life be a joyous one, had already set his cup for your mother,” this time Myro joined on the traditional phrase for a departed dragen.

 “So all this time, you thought I was courting Saira?” Myro asked.  “Our parents expected it, didn’t they?”

 “They were always pushing you together, what did you think that was for?” Ryden snapped, his frustration finally showing.

 Myro’s tone held the same impatience as he retorted, “We weren’t sure, Grandfather.  That’s why we asked.”  He took Saira’s hands and bumped her forehead with his.  “So this is me, formally setting my cup for Saira, if she’ll have, fool that I am.”

 “I’m just as foolish, since I didn’t realize it either, Myro,” Saira said, returning the bump and completing the ceremony.

 “We have to announce this.  The clan needs to know,” Ryden chirped.  He dragged the pair back to the dais and hailed the dispersing crowd.  When the hum of voices had died back down he clutched their joined hands in his and said, “Your Elder, Myro Hailstrom has set his cup for this woman, Sub-elder Saira Iceshine.”

 A cheer that nearly deafened them went up from the crowd.  Some of the old ones that were near to the dais could be heard to mutter, “It’s about time,” or “I thought he already had.”  Chuckling, Myro bumped Saira’s forehead again.

 “Are you happy?” she asked.  He frowned and shook his head, point a free hand at his ear.  She chuckled and shouted, “Are you happy, My?”

 “Deliriously,” he shouted back.  “Want to go flying later?”

 “I thought you’d never ask!” she said.  Still clutching his hand, she dashed off the dais and dragged him, protesting half-heartedly, up to the overlook.  “He set his cup for me,” she shouted to the sentinel.

 “Congratulations,” the dragen shouted back.  “Much happiness,” he added as they launched from the edge to fly out over the snow-covered mountains.

They were meant to remain inside.  Both of his parents had told him to stay inside separately.  Saira, to, had been told by her mother to remain inside.  All the fledglings and nestlings were to stay inside with the more venerable members of the clan during the fighting.  It was meant to keep them safe, Myro knew.

 Saira was curious, however.  She kept going out on the overlook to see what was going on.  They couldn’t see what was going on from where they were, of course.  Every time she went out, Myro would follow her, to keep her out of trouble.  Every time they went out, his grandfather would find them and bring them back into the den.

 “Your parents left you in my care until they return,” he said softly.  “Stay in the den where I can watch you.”

 “Yes, grandfather,” Mryo said, as he had each time.  He settled down on a bench with a book and glanced over at Saira.  She looked ready to go out again.  “Stay there,” he hissed.  “You’re going to get us in trouble.”

 She shrugged.  Myro knew that the other dragen was going to get him in trouble again, no matter how hard he tried.  They both grinned.

Fields of New Grasses

Myro sighed in wonder.  All around him new life was springing forth.  It was natural for this time of year, of course.  The springtime had always brought new life with it before and this year wouldn’t be any exception.

 However, this particular region had been the hardest hit during the recent war with the demons.  The fields had been burned to such a depth that they had appeared infertile.  A joyous cry distracted him and he looked up just in time to see a fledgling taking his first flight.

 “Looks good,” Saira said as she landed nearby.  “Looking better every day, in fact.”

 “Indeed it is,” Myro agreed softly as he returned to watching the new grasses rustle in the breeze.

As if Tired from Their Pilgrimage

Myro landed on a rocky ledge and glanced back at Saira.  Her eyes were red-rimmed from crying but she seemed to be calming down now.  They had both lost their parents in the fighting.  His father had been the elder while her mother was the sub-elder.  Now he filled his father’s post and she her mother’s.  It felt strange to be in charge and even stranger to be in charge of his oldest friend.

 “Is it nearby?” he asked softly, trying to get her mind off whatever had upset her enough to make her cry.

 “Yeah,” she murmured hoarsely.  “I went with my mother last year when she did this,” she volunteered after a moment.  Myro nodded, waiting for her to continue.  “She was showing me what to look for in a summering over place.  I… guess I didn’t expect to need to know so soon.  I guess… she knew better, huh?”

 “They just… wanted us to be prepared… in case… a lot of people died in the fighting,” Myro said.  “Even before that last… last battle.”

 “Yeah,” Saira sighed and jumped into the air.  “Let’s go.  It’s just over this rise.”  Myro nodded and followed.  The Ice Dragens would continue.  It might be difficult and wearying to replace parents, aunts and uncles that had filled positions formerly, but they would survive.

Monica Ferris

an author with many hats

A Land of Curiosity

From the files of Shynian Intelligence

Heather's Fancies

tales from the enchanted gardens and shadow hollow


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