In answer to the daily prompt First!: Tell us about your first day at something — your first day of school, first day of work, first day living on your own, first day blogging, first day as a parent, whatever.
This will probably end up as part of a novel I’ve been working on for some time. I posted a scene that I wrote some time ago on this blog. To ensure I finished the story, I took part in NaNoWriMo this past November and I’ve started the edition process. I’m actually fairly certain it’s got another 15k words to it.
This is an added scene or rather one scene that I originally wrote from the other protagonist’s POV. I might add it or include some part into the scene as it is currently standing. Today’s prompt was perfect because it made me realise I actually needed to know how my female protagonist felt about this scene and it would have been a first for her. I might not have tried the exercise without the prompt. So there you go.
It was extremely difficult to conceal how excited I was. Everything else paled in comparison. Coming here was a duty, something I had to do for my king, for the realm, for my people. And ultimately it was all for the benefit of both kingdoms and their inhabitants. But this… this was the most extraordinary moment of my entire existence. Holding my first bow, shooting my first arrow did not even come close to this. And nobody could understand, not even the young prince to whom I bound my life the night before.
Prince Cadfael had grown up, knowing exactly what he was; well not entirely, but that was beside the point. He had known for almost twenty years that he was meant to be more than just a man or a soldier. He said as much to me when we first spoke. I only discovered a few years before what I truly was and even then, I could not speak of it: for my own safety and other reasons that I did not care much about. They were irrelevant. But now I was here. And today for the very first time I would actually experience what it meant to be a Dragon Seer.
I was born of a dragon and a fairy and I had never seen a dragon in the eighteen years of my short life. Confined for most its duration, at first in a small cottage as far from Tír na Nóg as could be, then in the Faerie castle itself, I had not once stood in the presence of one of my brethren. The dragons were that after all, as much as the other children born of my mother.
Who could blame me if I fidgeted a little as I walked near the prince towards the field where the beasts were kept? And who would know that it was anticipation and exhilaration that made my steps lighter? They probably would not even notice that I almost glided, hovering above rather than walking on the ground. Prince Cadfael may be the King Rider, the one dragon rider capable of leading them into the battle that was ahead of us, but he did not share their blood. Well that was no longer completely true since we exchanged blood the night before. Now mine flowed in his veins, allowing him that connection to the creatures he had ridden since he was six years old.
I had imagined that day so many times in the past four years. Like the rider prince, I had read of course; there were thousands of books in the library of Tír na Nóg about the dragons. I knew there was a link between each dragon and its rider, one based on trust. Supposedly, I could take control of these chains and make each dragon do my bidding. How many times I imagined them all bowing to me, their queen, bringing them to Tir Sidhe to prove my worth and save our land from its decline, disappearance from the world.
Except that it was not at all what I thought it would be. As we approached the field, voices raised, that almost rumbled. Were there many people taking care of the animals here? I turned towards the prince but he did not appear concerned. He did not even notice that I looked at him. The noise increased as we reached the field, conversations overlapping; I stopped in my tracks. I was hearing their voices in my head. How? They spoke? I had thought… discussing. They were discussing among themselves. My blood seemed to be vibrating in my veins, as if reaching for them.
They felt it. Or maybe it was the king rider they felt because they all turned towards him. But I felt their attention upon me. One of the voices spoke.
“Cailean, he has acknowledged his role. He is the king rider. And she’s here.”
Other names were offered: Bleddyn, Huarwor, Gwrtheyrn, Idwall, Bychan, Trahaearn and more that I could not quite catch. I could not see any links between them. I could not see anything but I could hear them. And their voices were… by the gods. They said that the Sidhe’s voices were enchanting but these were compelling. They called my name – how could they know my name? – insistently. They wanted my attention. And they had it for sure. Every time they pronounced my name my blood seemed to leap in answer. There was a bound. I may not see it, but it was there.
Something tugged at me. And a hand clasped mine. I almost jerked away and faced prince Cadfael, whose face held something of a question and then surprise. I asked him.
“Can you hear them too?”
“I did not until you took my hand. Can you hear them all the time?”
“I have never heard them before. I have never seen one until today. I knew I could in theory but this…”
How could I even say it? This was… there were no words.