Prompt Openings: Dragon Snickers

This week’s story opening started from a prompt: Dragon Snickers.

I followed one of Master Darren’s stable boys across a meadow of lush green grass dotted with pink and purple wildflowers. The day was sunny and mild, the sky as clear a blue as Mother’s favorite sapphire broach. As we left the stables behind, the subtly sweet fragrances of grass and wildflower teased my senses. Too bad this jaunt into the hills wasn’t just a leisurely stroll to enjoy a beautiful day.

The stable boy, a jug-eared youth with a mop of curly brown hair, wearing a sturdy leather jerkin over a linsey-woolsey shirt and plain brown trews, carried a large pack on his back. I was similarly dressed, though my shirt was of finely woven linen and my trousers were leather. I too carried a heavily laden pack.

Soon the ground became rocky with a distinct upward slope. At this point I noticed the boy was following a faint path. The way was not obvious, but once noted could be discerned easily enough as it wound its way among the rocks ever upward into the foothills of the great mountain that overlooked King Elbert’s castle.

At last we came to the crest of a ridge and I had my first glimpse of the stone hovel that was to be my new home. My face must have registered my dismay, for the boy spoke. His first words in our morning’s trek.

“It’s not so bad, m’lord,” he said in a would-be-cheerful voice. “I know it looks rough from here, but it’s solid and well-built and we keep the roof thatched tight.” He looked across the narrow valley to where the stone building sat before a thicket of aspen and birch. “And it has three rooms. A good-sized main room with a hearth and fireplace that draws like me old da’s best pipe … and two bedrooms.”

He added this last as though astounded at the luxury afforded by the hut. By his lights, it probably was a dwelling to be admired, but to me, a young man of royal lineage, born to the amenities of a courtier’s life, it felt like I’d been banished from all that was good and fair in the world.

I thought back to the day the king had appointed me to this task. Prince Jeron’s smug expression should have been my first clue that all was not as I might have hoped. Jeron and I have always had a complicated relationship. I’ve never wanted more than to live happily ever after. Jeron’s desire has ever been to grind me into dust.

Unfortunately for me, Jeron is the prince, while I’m only a royal cousin. His wishes trump mine.

Fortunately, his father, King Elbert, is fond of my mother, and by extension, of me. So despite Jeron’s false accusations, nasty innuendos, and outright lies about my character, I’ve been able to maintain a dignified, if modest, existence at court.

At least, until now.

I glanced at the boy. Determined as I was that no word of my despair should reach Jeron’s ears, I schooled my features, settled my pack more comfortably on my shoulders and bade the boy lead me on to my doom.

Royal Dragon Keeper.

I wonder where the story will go from here?

About Debbie

Debbie Mumford specializes in fantasy and paranormal romance. She loves mythology and is especially fond of Celtic and Native American lore. She writes about faeries, dragons, and other fantasy creatures for adults as herself, and for tweens and young adults as Deb Logan.
This entry was posted in Excerpts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.