Tunnel #Writephoto

Azalus teetered on the bluff’s edge, warded sword wheeling for balance against the brilliant sky. The mountain beneath his feet offered no reprieve, a sheet of obsidian sleek as spilled oil.

Below him, the massive dragon shot up along the mirrored wall, its neck and talons extended. Slit reptilian eyes reflected the inferno erupting from its throat. The beast blasted through its own blaze, and its maw gaped, scorched shards of the last armsman wedged between rows of serrated teeth. In a heartbeat, chances of escape had dropped from doubtful to dismal.

Gaylen’s whip coiled around the vambrace shielding Azalus’s forearm, and he clasped it as his feet slipped into the heated air. His body slammed against the rock wall, and the dragon altered its flight to pick off the newly dangling prey.

“Dragon,” Azalus shouted to his fellow fugitive and pointed the tip of his sword at the ascending beast. Jade scales glimmered like sunlight on still water, and webbed wings beat with the snap of wind-caught sails. Beautiful and deadly.

Above him Gaylen hauled. “Reavers are closing.”

Suspended on the whip, Azalus kicked against the cliff’s sheer face. Gaylen heaved, and when Azalus reached the lip, he thrust his sword arm across the rock, fighting for leverage. Movement at the forest’s rim caught his eye. “Reavers. Behind you!”

Gaylen staggered. His face morphed into a fusion of disbelief and despair as his flesh yielded to their enemy’s iron bolts. The whip’s stock eased from his hand. Azalus slipped into the air.

The monstrous dragon’s throat yawned, jaw bones split, and fangs hyperextended. Azalus straightened, arms overhead, sword in a two-handed grip. The beast’s gullet stretched open, air drawn in for another explosion of fire. He speared between the teeth, slid over the forked tongue, and descended into darkness. The welling heat and sulfurous reek burned his lungs as he glided down the blackened throat. With a vengeful howl, he thrust the blade forward and carved as he fell. Steel sliced through flesh, thudded against bone, and blood gushed, dousing the rising flame.

Azalus’s careening descent ceased, or the dragon plummeted with him. He braced himself against the blood-slick wall, sword jammed deep between the vertebrae. The creature writhed and spasmed, and Azalus swallowed his gorge as they plunged toward the vale.

He woke with a gasp, disoriented, heart pounding. His body felt trampled, but nothing of his pain foreboded death. He gulped a breath and listened, willed his nerves to stillness. The dragon lay motionless, he lodged in its throat in a pool of congealed blood. Rising to a crouch, he yanked his sword free of the flesh, and with fingers tracing the throat’s charred wall, he staggered down the tunnel toward the light.

**

Thanks to Sue Vincent of The Daily Echo for another fun #writephoto prompt. Check out her site and join in the weekly fun.

99 thoughts on “Tunnel #Writephoto

  1. Annika Perry says:

    Wow! This is riveting, Diana; the force and power of your writing is intense and had me gripped as I immediately could picture the violent fight. A real sense of relief that he staggered towards the light at the end of the tunnel. As always, a brilliant take on Sue’s photo prompt. 😀❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow that was so vividly gory, Diana! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. my valiant soul says:

    Simply amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bpsenapati says:

    Action packed fantasy! Love the way you have given a vivid picture through your writing. It’s like watching the movie.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. tpolen says:

    Wonderful imagery, Diana.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So exciting each word had me racing to read the next. Excellent piece of writing Diana. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. OK, I admit to feeling a tiny bit of remorse for the dragon. Is that wrong? Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh!!! Diana, that is breathtaking. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. PoetSpeak says:

    Dramatic and with great classical names!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow! Talk about edge-of-the-seat action! Well done, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, that was a thrill-a-minute story, Diana. Azalus is one tough fighter. Great descriptions as always. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  12. frankhubeny says:

    Nice use of the dragon’s throat as the tunnel. I also liked the phrase “blood gushed, dousing the rising flame”. I didn’t occur to me that the dragon’s own blood could be used in this way.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. reocochran says:

    This was enthralling and exciting, Diana! It’s not everyday that we get a first-hand dive into a dragon’s throat head first, slicing and thrusting a sword! Thank you for this awesome piece of fantasy.
    Now, just to prevent nightmares, I will close my cellphone up for the night and say, “There’s no such thing as dragons!” 🐲 🗡 🐉 Peace!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha. I hope you had a night of pleasant dreams, Robiin. No plummeting down dragon’s throats, or falling off cliffs, or getting roasted alive. (My poor characters). Thanks for the great comment, my friend. ❤

      Like

  14. HOLY MOLY!!! What a masterful piece of writing. I am not sure I breathed once while reading this post. Absolutely. Brilliant. You are one heck of a writer!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I loved this action-packed snippet. I was on the edge of my seat, it is a dangerous game that fighting dragons. I also loved the name, Azalus. Wonderful writing, Diana!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Oh my gosh Diana, I was on pins and needles reading that! Well done, well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. dgkaye says:

    Wow, what an intense piece of flash fiction Diana! Your muse is in full gear. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Joanne Sisco says:

    Wow!! What a ride!!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. hsampson says:

    You are a real word artist D! It is always such a pleasure to read your blog!!! Thank you for sharing this wonderful post!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Sue Vincent says:

    A superb adventure, Diana 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Wow, Diana, this is amazing writing. Your little break certainly got your creative juices flowing.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Kev says:

    It’s amazing how much inspiration can come from a photo. Great story, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Wonderful imagination…. a great, short story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Carrie Rubin says:

    Sliced flesh, gushing blood, flames of fire–your wonderful story has it all!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. willowdot21 says:

    Oh! I did enjoy 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Mae Clair says:

    Ooh, nicely done. The battle was awesome, but this line was poetry:
    “a sheet of obsidian sleek as spilled oil.”

    Liked by 1 person

  27. balroop2013 says:

    Dragons come as naturally into your stories as breeze around us…loved your poetic way of telling a gripping story Diana. Stay blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Monstrous! Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. calmkate says:

    so talented you paint a vivid picture and a gory demise 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Wow. What a dynamic piece. You always go there, D. 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Wonderful writing, action-packed plot. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  32. It’s never good to swallow your gorge!
    Great story

    Liked by 1 person

  33. “…chances of escape had dropped from doubtful to dismal.” Great alliteration, great action writing. I’m out of breath!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Cloud Walker says:

    Great reading while enjoying morning coffee 🌿

    Liked by 1 person

  35. That certainly set my blood racing! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks. I like photo prompts and decided to go with a little adventure. Thanks so much for the follow. I’ll be over for a visit to your site soon. Have a great day and Happy Writing. 😀

      Like

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