Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's Coming - #FridayFlash

It's Coming

"Cover you mouths, now!"

The four soldiers held their breaths and crouched, squinting against the deafening blow of poisonous steam. As the vapor started dissipating they rose to their feet in a swift coordinated movement and ran to the castle’s narrower passageways.

The ground shook when the beast made its way in, leaving skin, scales and stone behind.

A deep silence fell upon them. Alanas looked at his men; Ehkart, his second in command, had an intent look in his face; Tkhur nodded, ready for orders; Liyas looked incessantly at all directions, wide eyed. Alanas sighed.

Tkhur elbowed Liyas in the rib and Alanas signaled them to the stairs that lead to the cave below the castle. Ehkart frowned, making the kings sign with his hands. Alanas touched his sword handle, nodding towards it. Ehkart’s eyes narrowed, gazing towards the destruction from where they had come he assented.

The beast’s stench seized their attention. Acting by instinct they all plunged to the floor, feeling the heat right above them.

Tkhur quickly put out the fire on his coat while Liyas coughed, “The damned thing is too close sir!”

With a hard look to his protégé Alanas sprinted down the corridor toward the king and his people’s hiding, followed by what remained of his battalion.

They arrived at a large cavern of more than fifty feet high, with stalactites and stalagmites the size of three warriors, fallen rocks and pools of dripping water untouched by living beings. Turning right, they crossed the cave’s main chamber as fast and silently as they could, heading to the labyrinth below, hoping that it would accomplish what the solid castle walls weren’t able to.

Taking his gem out, Ehkart signaled to the captain, “Have you any news sir?”
Blowing at his own gem Alanas replied, “Nothing yet. If Ehkord failed I’m afraid I'll have brought doom to our people.”

The other two mimicked them, making the cave’s large corridor shine blue. They all placed their stones on their left shoulders and passed their hands over it to lower the light.

"Damned be dragon's hearing. Even after death it's good enough to track us down," said Ehkart.

"It can hear us all right," Alanas said, "but I doubt its understanding of sounds is the same as when it was alive. We wouldn't have survived this long."

The others waited, knowing that a strategy was forming in their captain's mind.

"We'll keep on with the sign language, but we'll make noise with our bodies. The cave's echoes should confuse it."

Alanas guided his men swiftly in a wide curve toward the cave’s main entry. He made many twists and turns, climbing up and down slippery wholes, passing by narrow passages that allowed one man at the time walking sideways, crawling beneath solid rocks the size of a room, running through larger spaces, reducing speed only when the cave demanded him to.

They were far ahead when the dragon squeezed itself out, to the cave's main chamber. Its frustrated howl shook the cave’s structure, being heard by the group of four, and died in a whimpering sound.

They almost lost their balance at the beast first thrust in the cave's narrow passages. In the second, they heard rock falling at distance. There was a silence and the air temperature raised. Everyone covered their mouths and noses when Liyas coughed, although the dragon was still at safe distance.

He wiped the blood off his mouth in his jacket, looking wide eyed at Alanas. He wouldn't last much.

Soon after, they found a minor chamber cooled by a small subterranean stream, where they drank avidly and set to rest chewing slowly their remaining rations. They put out all but one gem and talked with their hands through the deep blue of Tkhur's gem.

“The clean water might be a light of hope for Liyas,” signaled Ehkart, “but his poisoning is too advanced to be sure.”

“Yes,” said Alanas, “we must find a way of taking him to the healers. Our regular potions won’t hold him long.”

Liyas had distant eyes, being barely aware that they were talking about him.
“We might have to split up sir,” suggested Ehkart.

Alanas nodded. "Tkhur will take Liyas to the healers and give word to the king."
Tkhur frowned but signaled positively. He didn’t like the idea of leaving only two men two fight the monster that had killed every soul who had dared defying it, although he would not question his leader's wisdom.

"Be silent and swift," Alanas continued, "we'll keep going this way, making noise to cover your escape."

The thundering sound was coming closer, too soon. Alanas stood up to leave when Tkhur’s gem went out. A shuffling sound followed as Alanas and Ehkart picked their stones and blew on them. No light.

“It seems that the beast’s master followed it from the grave,” Alanas said aloud. “You must send word to the king personally Tkhur. No communication from now own, we can’t take any chances. Let’s hope that we all are blessed enough to meet our goals. Go.

Tkhur made a silent salute and went his way, passing Liyas arm over his shoulder and supporting him by the waist. Alanas grabbed his second man’s forearm; they looked grimly at each other in the dark.



Note1: This story was inspired by Lena, at Informally Yours and Fictious Flashes, who suggested we both wrote a flash fiction on zombie dragons after reading my #FridayFlash debut, Zombie Walk. Having become fond of writing challenges I accepted this one with earnest. I suggest you stop by her blog and see her own vision of this dreadful monster. ;)

Note2: I found that breath taking illustration here, where you'll find many other dragon awesomenesses, including an actual zombie dragon! I chose to adapt this image, although the dragon in it doesn't look too much like a zombie, because it was too fitting for my story. ;)


  1. Great story, Mari. Zombie dragons. Who knew? Very imaginative. Really enjoyed this.

  2. Love love love this! Even from this little short I feel I have a good sense about the world and what these men are facing. I look forward to the next installment. Thanks for taking this challenge head on!

  3. Seems like this will be leading to ... future installments? They're in a bit of a predicament, i'd say. Zombie dragons indeed!

  4. Is there a reason the text switches between black and grey? I am pretty sure it isn't just my eyes.

    Good heroic fiction, Mari. Paced well and the picture at the end is fabulous.

  5. really enjoyed the choice of words...and composition of sentences.

    favorite being: grabbed his second man’s forearm; they looked grimly at each other in the dark.

  6. This is brilliant! One of the best pieces I have ever read by you! Finish it, I can't wait to see what happens!

  7. --Gracie: Thank you! It was originally Lena's idea. My initial reaction was much like yours, but I had so much fun writing it that it grew. *grinz*

    --Lena: Thank *you* for suggesting it! I needed a nudge to put fantasy stuff at Randomities and you gave me the perfect one. :D

    --PJ: They're in big trouble these poor souls, heh.

    It's a first installment indeed. *winks* I'm not sure I'll be able to escape Randomities erratics though...

    --John: I was wondering if you could see the grey too! Thank you for the feedback. I have no idea why it happens. I try to change the collor back to black but blogger won't accept it. It makes the changes on its own. Me and the colors, heh.

    Glad you liked and couldn't find a typo this time. ha! ;P

    --Annie (a.q.s.): Thank you, that is some compliment! :D

    --Nishi: Thank you! I am in my most beloved genre after all. If the piece were "blah" I wouldn't recover ever! heh

  8. I do love dragons, and your writing - it is vivid, clear, and paced to perfection.
    Happy Friday.

  9. Quite the great descriptions here, as well as the pacing!

    Heart-thumping predicament, Mari-girl!

    And just love the combo of dragon and zombie. Yay to more installments!

  10. --Erin & Mari-girl (Marisa): Thank you! Need to work on descriptions, as I was told it was my weak point. (which makes lots of sense) Glad you liked. :D

  11. I think you're becoming hooked on zombies, Mari-girl! More installments?

  12. Nice take on zombie dragons. I'm with Laura, I think there are more installments here.

    Can I request Zombie Angels?

  13. --Laura: Hum, err... well... I do confess having written another odd zombie piece last night... Hooked? Hmmm...

    As for installments, yes, definitely! ;)

    --Aidan: Zombie Angels? Oh my, this is a challenge I'd have to think about before accepting. I'll get back to you though. :)

  14. I like dragons and fantasy. I'd like to see more of it from you -- you do it well.

    It's funny how you can make loads of stuff into Zombies, anything that's alive can be undead right? How about zombie cats?

  15. --Barry: Thank you!

    Well, zombie cats seem to be a simpler challenge than Angel Zombies. I've been experimenting with trees though... Let's see what comes out of it, heh. ;)

  16. An update. I accepted Aidan's challenge!

    It should be up next Friday, if I don't post another installment of this story first. It'll be one or the other.

    Any preferences guys? :)

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. #zombieangels please :)

    Course, this should be like the pies my Sambo's family bakes for desert. The first time I had dinner with her parents, they asked me which pie I wanted. I selected one. Everyone else, chose one of each. :)

  19. Zombie Angel, please! The contrast would be awesome.

    Great story, and like the illustrations as well.

  20. --Aidan: We are indeed having both. The question here is which comes first, heh.

    --ganymeder: Thanks! And thank you for the vote! :)

  21. New update:

    The voting ended up moving to twitter, so I'm posting here the results from time to time. ;) Here's how we are now:

    zombie angels 4 x 2 zombie dragons
    @aidanfritz @madisonwoods
    @ganymeder @jsterlings

    Which are you with? Zombie dragons or zombie angels? ;)

  22. Zombie Dragons. You go Zombie Mari. You know, there was an antho open awhile back ago that was asking for zombie dragons (hehe). Very nice writing. Lots of action. You seem to have an instinct of what goes where for story writing. Keep this up, Mari.

  23. Angel Zombies. Oh my! Now THAT is a scary thought. Write us one, Mari. ;-)

  24. Looove your imagination, Mari, great flash!

  25. --Jodi: Thank you! I'd better use this instinct with better technique, eh? lol

    --Estrella: Thank you! :D

  26. Final Update on Voting

    Here's how it went: @techtigger voted for zombie angels on twitter, and I can't but count Jodi's enthusiasm for the theme as a vote.

    So, the final result is: *drumroll*

    zombie angels 6 x 2 zombie dragons

    Zombie angels it is! Tee heee! heh

    All right, now you know that next week (after the angels) there'll be another installment of the zombie dragon story, and after that...

    Well, @JSterlingS challenged me to write about a different sort of troll. So stay tunned! ;D

  27. Oh right. I'm re-reading Jodi's comment and it was an actual request. *duh* lol

  28. Ahh. THERE is the zombie. I was worried!

  29. --Susan: Not sure what you were worried about, but I'm still zombie-Mari, thanks to you, and this month will have lots of flash and brains as appetizers here at Randomities, heh. *licks lips*

    Psst, the Zombie Luv Flash Fic Contest is to be launched in the next few days! :D

  30. ...That thing just didn't wanna die...

  31. --W.G.: The poor beast didn't have a choice... ;P

    Welcome to randomities!


Recent Popular Posts