Armored Dragon

“You could be brave.”

“I could be.”

“You could be strong.”

“I could be.”

“And you could be the champion.”

“I could be the champion.”

“So then… why not?”

I can’t help but laugh a little at how incredulous he sounds. How perplexed. It would make no sense to him, being a former champion and all, but:

It makes sense to me.

Turning from the ring of fighters, I walk away as I tell him.

“Not all things that could, should.”

Besides.

I have better things to do than win titles.

I have a king to slay. Continue reading “Armored Dragon”

Battle Hound

He looked…

Rough, I guess.

That’s a light word for it, but that’s the only one I can think of. Scars dragging along his face, shattering the color of his eyes. Creating the most piercing stare I’ve ever seen, all wrapped up in sharp teeth and a snarl.

“You the new rider?” he asked, voice rumbling like a rock falling off a mountain.

“Yes,” I told him levelly. Proud of myself for looking him in the eye.

He snorted, though I’m not sure what it meant.

He said, “Then I guess I’m your wolf.”

Continue reading “Battle Hound”

Be Still, Dark

Falling through the dark.

Face-first. Arms out. Stretching forward. Wanting to go deeper. Willing to dive further.

I didn’t fall as it wanted me to. As it’s tried so hard to get me to do. I didn’t stumble into the dark. Didn’t trip my way into this void. No, I didn’t fall.

I jumped.

I jumped into the darkness.

When it threatened to swallow me whole, I didn’t dare back down. Not this time. Not ever again. This has been going on for too long now. Weighed on me too heavily.

But no more.

I will not be afraid.

Continue reading “Be Still, Dark”

Sailing Pursuits

Sailing was hardly a choice anymore.

Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without sailing. Without a boat. Rivers or oceans, it didn’t matter. As long as I had a boat, I could follow it. As long as I had a boat, I didn’t have to stick around. Didn’t have to watch and wait.

I could chase.

The wind whistles in my ears, and I drop my sail. Canvas catching, directed. Guided. Over hungry waves and demanding tides, the wind howls through my ears.

I sail forward.

I chase. Continue reading “Sailing Pursuits”

Gryphon’s Disciple

“That’s not my name.”

Those were the first words you said to me.

To me.

The Mighty Gryphon. A beast like no other. Lord of Magic, Watcher of the Mountains. Harbinger of Fall and Beast of the Rising Tide. Timeless Warrior. Champion of Valken. Raiser of Scourge.

I gave you a name.

And you—a tiny, puny human without a single light in your sky— you tell me:

“That’s not my name.”

Forgive me for laughing, but, I know.

This is going to be one long, hard task. Continue reading “Gryphon’s Disciple”

Wishing Well

I watched him.

For years, I watched him.

Wandering into the forest, the boy with rags. Holes in his soles. He’d wander in, following the old rocks. Leap the fallen logs. Meander through the fallen leaves until, at last, he’d find it.

The well.

And, that poor boy—do you know what he’d do?

Toss a copper.

Make a wish.

Throw offerings into the well.

Hope that his prayers said before the stones were heard. That his wish would rise off the water, echo into the heavens.

Tossing his living into the well. Continue reading “Wishing Well”

Rider

I heard the thundering off in the distance. The rolling percussion that signaled their arrival. That sounded the alarms. That started the wave of panic.

They’re coming.

The Four.

Today, they ride.

They ride. Continue reading “Rider”

Strength of the Wolf

Power is not something earned, or something given.

It’s built.

Bricks stacked together, to build monuments. Dynamite stacked on dynamite, to blow through mountains. Metal bolted to metal, to make tanks.

Power is not in you. It’s something you build.

You can build power in anything, with anything. With anyone.

Power is a determination. A mindset.

Tell me:

What’s the difference between wolves and coyotes?

Not what you think it is, I bet.

I’ll tell you.

It’s not in the bite, or the bark, or the way they howl.

It’s in the way they walk. Continue reading “Strength of the Wolf”

Fierce Heart

They say that you should watch out for love, because it’s fierce. Strong. Something unbreakable. Unbound. Love has no stopping point, it simply starts and goes.

And goes, and goes.

Love is like a wildfire. Once it breaks out, it makes its mark. Gathers everything into itself. It burns, and sustains, and moves. Aggressive, and fierce. Unending. Unyielding. A fire does not wish to be extinguished.

So be careful of love.

That’s what I’ve always heard.

Because fire is beautiful, and warm, but it is also fierce.

So fierce.

And yet…

I find that the fiercest things are the most beautiful. The things I’m drawn to.

Things like you. Continue reading “Fierce Heart”

Demi-Reach

Within reach.

I’m not a big person. I don’t have long limbs. I don’t have height. I don’t have weight. I’m average in all those things. I don’t stand out in a crowd in any way.

Which should disappoint me. Should discourage me.

Should be a driving factor in deciding when I quit.

And I should quit all the time, really.

But I don’t.

Being short, or being “less-than” in something else?

It just means you have to learn how to reach harder.

Reach farther. Continue reading “Demi-Reach”