Freeing the Dragons of the Lair

The cell’s iron door swung open, heavy and groaning on tired hinges. Adaryn paused in the broad aisle, blood racing, hands slick with sweat. The reek of foul hung thick in the heat, burning his nose. At the aisle’s end, chains clanked as the winch turned. Massive stable doors rumbled open, welcoming the remaining rays of day and hot breath of summer wind. The hooded dragon swung its tufted head toward the sunlight spearing the stale air. It pulled against battered shackles, swaying with the low thrum and hum of the song that echoed in Adaryn’s chest.

Across the aisle, Hedd and his grandson, Cadan, skyriders of the old Way, stood with eyes gazing inward, calling the dragon down in Belonging. They opened their souls, beckoning the creature into their blood, bones, and heart, their breath filling the dragon’s spaces.

This was Adaryn’s dragon; at least, in his mind it was. It towered over him, lustrous scales the emerald of dragonflies, onyx wings black as midnight. This dragon once brushed the sky with beauty and flew into myth, a copper ring clutched in its talons. A creature of the unfurling world, it arced with a swallow’s grace and hovered with falcons over wildflower meadows. As a rider of the lair, he had flown on this dragon’s back, harnessed its power, and mastered its will. And he would be the rider to finally set it free.

His opportunity arrived. Adaryn wiped the sweat from his forehead with a sleeve, and drawing a breath, released the tension gripping his chest. He took an irresistible, however unwise, risk and entered the cell.

Reaching up, he unclipped all but one of the braided tethers that strapped the hood to the dragon’s head, letting them slip to the stinking foul on the floor. Smooth scale shimmered before his eyes. Sinew flexed, muscle rippling with every sway, breath steaming above his head. The desire to touch it undeniable, his hand rose to the neck’s soft scale. Cautious fingers slid down to the base of the throat where a steel spine had carved its flesh, drawing blood and scarring, not so long ago.

At his touch, the dragon’s song silenced. Muscles tensed beneath his fingertips. Talons extended and curled, scraping the stone floor. Its long tail flicked, rattling the iron bars. The skyriders shifted, and Hedd’s eyes captured his in warning. Adaryn let his hand fall and knelt by the forelegs, unchaining one, then the other. Slowly and with care, he removed pins and slid the bolts free that held the manacles tightly bound.

His body pressed to the black bars, he sidled toward the rear of the cell. He yearned to slide his fingers along the webbed wing, touch the hollow bones, the sleekness of the skin that caught the air. Yet he resisted the impulse. With one rear leg unchained, he stepped carefully over the slender tail to release the second. He slipped back toward the cell’s door and there grasped the one loose tether left hanging from the dragon’s hood. As he stepped into the aisle, he pulled, and the hood fell free.

The dragon’s fiery eyes, splinters of gold, fell on the gaping doors as if the stream of light had harnessed all the sun’s brightness. Adaryn stumbled back against the bars, an arm raised to shield his face as the dragon reared. The giant body turned into the aisle, moving beyond the two skyriders who stood as still as the gray stone.

As the dragon spread its cramped wings, Adaryn felt his own heart swell, his body vibrating. Black webbing unfurled, filling the lair like a moonless night, stretching outward into the world with the dragon’s song. Thunderous wings drummed the air, fanning the heat as the creature rose from the stable floor, casting dust and dirt to the face of the man who embraced the freedom of its flight. The dragon soared through the gaping doors into the failing light.

***

Through a fluke of timing, this poor little trilogy entered the world the same week as The Sorcerer’s Garden and is feeling neglected.  It was time for a little tender loving care. Thanks for reading!

Available on Amazon: Eye of Fire, The Dragon Soul Trilogy, Book One

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70 thoughts on “Freeing the Dragons of the Lair

  1. MY DRAGONS says:

    […] September 29, 2015 […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Truly captivating! I’m a huge fan of dragons and I loved reading this beautiful piece!
    Have a greta day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You paint a magnificent word picture, Diana. So well written. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kev says:

    Reblogged this on Kev's Great Indie Authors and commented:
    I found this so captivating, I had to share! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. inesephoto says:

    Your writing is better than a photograph – more details anyway 🙂 Fascinating, and very real.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fantastic writing! Very eloquent!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kev says:

    Very captivating… I was holding my breath!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Annika Perry says:

    Ah..this should not be neglected! The writing is exquisite,a delight to the senses and full of powerful evocative imagery. Absolute wonderful and I loved reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such absolutely lovely use of language. I have the experience of reading something finely crafted.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great read, Diana! I love dragons! I’m glad you posted this for us to enjoy. x

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Carrie Rubin says:

    Wonderful excerpt. Always nice to tend to the neglected ones every now and then. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That was so beautiful! You know how much I love your writing, and this short excerpt should be enough for anyone to turn into a fan 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Mira Prabhu says:

    Reblogged this on mira prabhu and commented:
    I have always admired dragons and here’s some great writing from D. Wallace Peach about Adaryn…who is about to fly free, a great and shimmering being into a vast sky…

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Erik says:

    I remember the first time I became aware of Anne McCaffrey’s books and Michael Whelan’s art. I think I started at the cover of The White Dragon for days of hours in total, wishing that dragon were mine and that I were that rider. Reading your excerpt here brought back that feeling (though your style is completely different from McCaffrey’s). And you chose the perfect excerpt; it gave strong detail, yet built curiosity rather than explaining much.

    So good to be “back”!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Erik says:

      Also, the artwork of Emilio Rodriguez, which you’ve paired with this exceprt, was reminiscent to me of the feeling I got with Rowena’s cover art. Do you know this artist?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Erik says:

      Egad! My spelling is atrocious today! I guess I really have been away from the keyboard too long!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Erik! So glad to “see” you. Hope your brother’s wedding was wonderful and as relaxing as weddings can be 🙂

      I have to admit I haven’t read McCaffrey’s books. I can now that my dragon writing is done (I think). This is the start of the first book, so I’m glad it sparked a bit of interest 🙂 It’s hard to find pictures of peaceful dragons on the internet, especially royalty free ones. One thing I wanted to do in Myths of the Mirror and this trilogy was turn the “fire-breathing” dragon persona on its head. So my dragons are metaphors for spirit – the bridges to Belonging or oneness with all creation. Thanks so much for stopping by and the kind comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. balroop2013 says:

    This is a very powerful description! It gave me goosebumps.Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Nurse Kelly says:

    Wonderful, Diana! The imagery is incredible!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Frank says:

    I wrote my first novel during 1998-2000. It’s an SFF story strongly influenced by the Ringworld and Dune series, by Lord of the Rings, indirectly by Star Trek, and significantly by Greek mythology. It has, amongst many other fantasy elements, a magic ring, dragons and many wizards, but was ultimately a serious and often philosophical work.

    Unfortunately, in 1997 Harry Potter was published and was very quickly a huge phenomenon, and suddenly everyone was talking about wizards and so on. Added to that was the buzz surrounding the making of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the first of which hit the cinemas in 2001. Lovely. More wizards, and of course The One Ring.

    Despite the vast differences between my novel and any of these, the similarities are enough that it would easily look like I was riding a trend rather than building something quite precious (hmm…). Between that and the way the few friends I gave it to to read seemed far more interested in Harry Potter (not helped by the latter being a friendly paperback rather than a thick, hardbound A4 brick), I was too dispirited to pursue publication.

    And so it gathered dust on my shelf for ten years.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was commenting on your blog as you were commenting on mine. Funny how that happens. How sad that you put your novel aside. Don’t be afraid to dust it off and take a look. If you think of the different genres – crime drama or horror or military sci-fi – there is tons of overlap within each genre. And yet they are peopled with unique characters, set in unique places, and have their own world of details. Add to that, each author’s singular voice and style.

      My stories feel original to me since they come out of my head and heart, and I know the characters as complete human individuals. I lived with them for a long time. I don’t worry that there are other books with dragons or rebellions or sailing ships. As an older person, rich characters matter to me in my reading choices and those characters are what make the books memorable.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Frank. Happy Writing!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Erik says:

      “… for ten years.” This would take you to 2010. What happened then? Does this mean you published it five years ago? (And I agree wholeheartedly with Diana’s take.)

      Liked by 1 person

  18. yes very nice! Rich and full of images!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Steven Baird says:

    Beautifully rich language and detail. I can practically feel the dragon’s scales, and breathe in the anticipation.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. […] Source: Freeing the Dragons of the Lair […]

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