Out of the Woods – Chapter 3

by Gracie Jane

I FINALLY CHOSE A NAME, WOOHOO! (even though it may not be the final name)

So this is Spring Break’s story/chapter, but I was camping the entirety of Spring Break, and last week was actually kinda-sorta schoolish? I always seem to forget about typing up this thing as soon as I sit down in front of the computer.

ALSO ALSO it’s uhh kinda no longer the week after Spring Break. I thought this posted and then got caught up with testing and the start of Summer and didn’t make the nextttt chapter, soo here you go. 😅

At least I made a temporary book cover.

Please enjoy! Next chapter coming… As soon as possible. No guarantees on the date. 🙂

I was in a murky cave. Drip, drip, the leaky stone sang. I glanced around for a minute, then put my “quit vial” in my boots. After walking around for a second, I found anther passageway in the cavern. I saw a small dagger, covered with moss, and a wooden staff with little stones in the familiar colors of the elements. A magic staff! But… A dagger? Growing up in the Loster Colony had taught me that violence is frowned upon. But my beating heart told me otherwise. If it was here, it would probably be useful somewhere along the way. I picked it up, legs trembling. Oh, how I wish I could do fairy magic, or at least snap-magic!

I continued down the path. Small crevices in the stone were crawling with spiderwebs. The heavy air warmed up a tad as I kept on moving. There has to be an end, I thought.

A questionable leak of sunlight came from the ground. I warily stepped over it. Sunlight in a cave? Coming from the ground? It seemed pretty sketchy to me.

The few minutes later, my pace was the same, although my adrenaline had heightened. I turned a corner and waked into a circular area. There were two different exits, the one where I had come in, and another one on the opposite side of the cavern. A pool of lava simmered in the middle. To the side, a black kitten scampered near the bubbling fire.

Splash! The helpless thing had fallen into the lava! I yelped, running over to where its head was bobbing, terrified cat shrieks escaping from its mouth.

I grabbed it up by the scruff of its neck, like a mother cat would do. I held the poor thing to my chest, but it scratched me. I dropped it, my hand touching the searing magma.

“Ouch!” I screamed, preparing for heat to burn my arm to a crisp. To my amazement, no impact came. Dragonscar, I realized with a start. I remembered reading a snippet about this rare flame – Was it only last night that I had been reading about it from the textbook? It seemed like I had been walking forever – from my elemental fairy magic book, in the tools section. It appeared like regular lava, but it only burned dragons.

I looked around for the cat, but as soon as I caught sight of it, it glittered away. I guess it was a magical decoy, designed to test me and guide me towards the dragonscar.

Just then, a tiny shadow appeared, coming from the opposite way I had come in from. A tiny lizard walked in, with a burgundy body and a triangle pattern going down its body. I cooed at the cutie. A snot of flame arrogantly sputtered from its nostrils as it marched towards me, growing with every step.

“Human!! Why do you oppose me?” The not-a-lizard thundered in a deep male’s voice. It had grown a few feet tall, and was still growing. Wings were also growing with it, which I hadn’t noticed before.

“I, uh…” I faltered. I “I didn’t, I-um, I called you cute?” I was doing my best to ignore the emergency vial that my fingers were wrapped around. It was getting hard to breathe, and the lizard – No, dragon! – was touching the roof of the large cavern, and he towered over me!

“I will not tolerate such foolhardy behavior!!” he roared. I yanked my arm out of the dragonscar lava, remembering a spell from the textbook.

“Wisda,” I whispered, waving the magic staff in a pattern, which I hoped was replicating wind. A slight breeze picked up, curling a bit of the dragonscar at the top of the pit. I gaped, surprised and more encouraged after seeing how I had gotten the easy spell right, first try ever.

I muttered the wind spell again. The lava stirred upward faintly, but only a few inches. By now, the dragon was noticing. Smoke billowed from its nostrils, casting dark fumes above its scaly snout. “Intolerable human!” he demand my attention. “Drop that blasted stick right this second, and stop messing with things double your size!”

I gulped and made a very large, very visible, windy swirl with the staff in the air, starting at the lava, then snaking towards the dragon’s eyes. My heart was beating hundreds of miles an hour as I murmured the spell chant again. I closed my eyes for a second, then cracked one open. No wind. No dragon screaming in pain. I sighed. Had I been trying too hard for a beginner?

My hands shook as I waved the staff in a larger, more complicated manner, basically just trying to hit the dragon. After all, if you aim past the limit for upward magic, go crazy and hope for damage with a zigzag pattern. Right? Yeah, I needed some strategy talk at school for sure. 

What if I can’t do this?

Uh, what was that? Just like that, tons of other negative thoughts rushed in.

How do you expect to do this? You found it in a book.

You’ve never done this before.

You haven’t gone to school yet.

You haven’t even passed the entrance exam.

I was nearing the final part of my spell, but one final thought disrupted the shaky action. 

First you tried to be a fake fairy, now you’re trying to be a fake wizard. You’ll never be able to do anything right.

And I believed myself for a second. I was always the odd one out: Originally I was the human girl, and now I would most likely be the one raised by fairies. How was I ever supposed to do something right? At the moment, I hated the fairies for twisting my mind and making me believe things humans would never think twice about.

A smoky roar brought me back. Frightened, I accidentally flinged the staff backwards, where it splashed into the dragonscar. A bit of fire escaped the lava pit from the impact, wetting my boots and searing the dragon’s clawed feet. That was the final straw for him. He was done messing with me, and reared back, ready to blow! 

I anticipated his move. We both acted at the same time, him sending flames throughout the cavern, and me jumping backwards, into the dragonscar.

The impact of my fall into the lava had splashed onto the dragon’s wings, which were tightly tucked together in the narrow cavern. He yelped, and muttered some curses in Dreggese, the dragon language. He shook his wings madly, but he didn’t have much room in the cramped area. A hole simmered in his left wing, where the dragonscar had burned him. Taking advantage of his pain, I paid attention to my own injuries.

I hadn’t noticed my own burning braid in the excitement, but I sure could feel it then. My hands clamped my braid, and I felt my hair burning up from the dragon’s own fire. The flames started to dance dangerously close to my neck, and I felt my tree root hair tie shrivelling up into smithereens. I blindly swatted out the my fiery hair’s flames behind me. Luckily, only a bit more than an inch of hair was blackened and burned.

I turned around, leaving the sooty hair to be dealt with later. The staff was only a few feet away, floating in the lava pit. I dipped my head under the lava, in its direction, and prepared to swim, only to realize too late that I had never been taught!

I struggled in the red liquid fire, noting that it was denser than I had thought. Was I really going to drown? There were thousands of good ways to die, but drowning wasn’t one of them.

I distanting realized that I was sinking quickly. Yep, I’m dead…, I thought.

Then, my heavy boots struck the bottom of the pit. With a joly, I stopped receding into my subconsciousness, and instead kicked the ground, which pushed me upwards. My heavy tree branch boots did nothing but to slow down the process. I considered removing them as I struggled for air, but their magic was too valuable, although growing roots wasn’t much help in a stone cave.

That’s when I remembered the dagger. It couldn’t be much use against a dragon, right? And I probably wouldn’t even be able to use it if I didn’t release some weight. I pulled the heavy, mossy knife out of my boots, and released it in the lava below.

A second later, just wen I was ready to give up, my outstretched hand broke te surface, and scraped a wood. The staff! I grabbed the buoyant stick and used it to push me up. Air! Finally!

The dragon had lost a few feet in height, and was the size of a child, and still shrinking. He had a satisfied grin on his face, and was walking towards the door opposite I had come in. And uh… He was whistling through his nostrils?

I couldn’t hold it in. My laugh rang through the cavern, and the dragon turned his head, his eyes narrowed at the site of me. His wing, now smaller, like the rest of his body, flapped in annoyance. The hole that the dragonscar had left still burned a bit.

“You were supposed to drown,” he growled.

I ignored him, instead rapidly kicked my legs to stay afloat in the dragonscar while using my staff to do the wind spell again. 

I took note of the dragon’s smaller size and decided to aim for his belly. I quickly waved the staff, then shouted, “Wisda!” A gust of air shot out from my staff, which propelled the dragonscar upwards and towards the dragon. The dragon looked up in surprise, and seemed to be in shock for a second, but when he did decide to duck, it was too late. The dragonscar hit him in the stomach, and I looked away. The dragon convulsed, and fell belly-first. Grateful not to see the dead dragon’s wound, I dog-paddled over to the edge of the lava pit where I lifted myself up.

I gulped, stepping over the claw of the dead dragon. The dead dragon that I had killed. I shivered, then scampered down the cavern exit.

The path I had taken was pretty much the same as the original passageway I had used. Stone, stone, puddles, some more stone. At least it was less longer of a walk. My heavy legs still didn’t like it, though.

A few minutes later, I reached a glowing cavern. A green and brown light radiated from inside. I took a peek inside. A vial of dust was fulled with intermingle colors of brown and green dust. The colors of Oakmer Academy!

I picked up the vial and uncorked it. The glow grew brighter. I pinched a bit of the dust and tossed it into the air above me. I quickly grabbed all the items that I had used, and the vial, minus the dagger. That thing was probably at the bottom of the lava pit by now.

The cave glittered away as the school’s colors obscured my vision. Was I seriously a student at Oakmer now? It was hard to believe. 

That fairy life seemed so far away now.

One thought on “Out of the Woods – Chapter 3

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.