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It was one of those days where staying in was purely impossible. Your own talons would drag you out the door, early in the morning, leaving three sleeping dragons behind.
Not because the sun was shining brightly over the vast arctic tundra, lighting up the world miles away. A lazy sea breeze would tickle your ear, while you swooped up and down in graceful circles, laughing as snowflakes piled on your horns, soon to fall to the terrain below.
But none of those things were happening. During one of those days, Jökull would most likely be sitting in his room, huddled under a bearskin blanket while his siblings enjoyed the nice day by playing tag around the village with some other dragonets, and his grandparents would invite one of their friends over to gamble over reindeer antlers or seal blubber and stupid things like that, all for the purpose of putting their winnings on a wall, to be untouched for years to come.
No, today the clouds swallowed up every inch of blue sky there was, darkening the world with gray fog for miles in every direction. Earlier in the day you might have been able to make out the distant pillars of Queen Glacier‘s palace, stretching high above the mountains that loomed over you to the northwest. But now you would struggle to see your own talons when you waved them in front of your face. Snow falls as thick as blankets, pummeling any dragon‘s sides who was daring (or stupid) enough to go for a fly in this weather.
Also known as Jökull.
He beat his wings heavily, panting with large, yet empty breaths. He squinted, straining to make out the ground below him. It might look like the usual snow-covered tundra that made up most of the Ice Kingdom—at least, the area around his village—but Jökull knew that directly beneath him was a vast field of ice, which snow had fallen over. This was the area everyone in the village would usually go hunting. Most mornings, if you looked out over the frozen bay, you would be likely to find an IceWing searching for the familiar gray snout of a seal poking their head through one of the holes in the ice for a breather. That was the reason there was a fairly remote village planted on the eastern coast of the Ice Kingdom, right next to a bay—the area was filled with seals. That was the purpose of Jökull‘s hometown—to supply seals for the larger, more important IceWing villages to the north. As long as the upper-class IceWing cities had enough seals to go around, they never gave his village—Skjól—a second thought.
Villages with real, normal IceWings, Jökull thought bitterly, scanning the horizon. Who actually care about their places in the rankings instead of just being lazy RainWings all day, sitting around eating seals.
Jökull had seen other IceWing villages. There were a few larger ones a few ways north of Skjól, and he had been to a few of them—only briefly—and the dragons there were nothing like Jökull‘s family, all stern and strict, whereas everyone Jökull had never known were relaxed, carefree commoners who wouldn‘t give a walrus over a number on a wall.
Jökull had seen these IceWings, and he admired them. Wealthy and nonchalant, who worked hard to keep up their rankings, and their family‘s ones as well. But the best thing about them were that they were nothing like his family.
They were dragons he could think highly of, dragons he could look up to. As for his mother and grandparents . . . he didn’t want to end up cooped up in a small house in the middle of nowhere, stuck under the same roof as five other dragons.
He wasn’t going to be like them.
This was what he told himself every morning as he looked out the window, that he would grow up and leave this town and do something great—something he could be proud of, which was more that his mother and grandparents could say about themselves.
Something normal, Jökull had decided as he watched every snowstorm, every blizzard, every day, every night, every hour.
But today he’d gone outside, not to catch a seal, but to escape. Escape low rankings, lazy mothers, nosy siblings, and dead grandparents. Escape Skjól, if only just for a minute.
Which he was trying to do. If it weren’t for CERTAIN BLIZZARDS, he might have had time to catch a seal and sulk more about his horrible upbringing.
But wait . . . Jökull thought. He strained his ears, tilting his head toward the sky. Are those . . . wingbeats? Immediately, he twisted his head, panning the sky for anyone behind him. Indeed, there was a shape, with wings tucked in to their chest to make it easier to move through the roaring wind, a small distance behind him. He stopped in midair, then quickly turned around.
“Who are you and why are you following me?”
This chapter was somewhat short, so I'll post the second soon to make up for it.
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She | her | SandWing
Forum sibs: Zane, Prism, Jacquelyn,
Glamour & Nimarfira
"We are not doing get help."
"Take it in but don't look down,
I'm on top of the world!"
A Talon in Three Worlds: /353086