“Sharpclaw soared through the sky. Finally, free, he thought. Sharpclaw looked behind him at the army chasing him.”
Sharpclaw soared through the sky. Finally, free, he thought. Sharpclaw looked behind him at the army chasing him. Sharpclaw flapped furiously, and the landscape blurred. Forests with tall pine trees, mountains with tall peaks, and deserts with prickly cacti and large blue pools whirled by until he reached the sea. The world swam before his eyes and soon, out of sheer exhaustion, he passed out.
Sharpclaw woke to the crackling of a fire. Sharpclaw, with his dark blue scales and dark, unforgiving gray eyes, tried to sit up, but someone said in a fresh but dark voice:
“Do not try. You are very tired and on the verge of death. I will bring you back in due time but for now, you need rest.”
Sharpclaw closed his eyes, and the human spooned some soup into his mouth. It was delicious, the perfect combination of buttery and salty with chunks of vegetables and meat. Then he felt horrible, like someone was sticking a red hot needle into his back. Then he felt it on his tail, on his wing, and in his neck. Sharpclaw thrashed and kicked, but it did nothing. Finally the pain stopped, and Sharpclaw stopped kicking. Everything hurt, but it wasn’t as bad as before. Sharpclaw wondered what was happening to him, but he was too tired and closed his eyes. The next day, Sharpclaw awoke to someone petting him.
“Brave one. You escaped the King Albitroix’s wrath. I’m proud of you,” said the person, who now Sharpclaw could identify as a young boy with black hair and freckles that lightly dotted his face.
Sharpclaw closed his eyes as the human commented, “You are Sharpclaw, aren’t you.”
Sharpclaw replied without speaking, by telepathy. ‘Yes, little one, I am Sharpclaw. That is obvious, but who are you?
‘My name is Darius. I am honored to meet you. How did you escape, and what will you do now?’ asked Darius.
‘I will destroy everything the Albitroix owns and loves. I will kill all his men, and I will pillage every village in the entire kingdom of Endview who are all loyal to the tyrant of a king that we have,’ Sharpclaw ranted.
‘Yes. I agree. Will you join me to defeat the king?’ asked Darius.
‘Yes, on one condition: I kill the king,’ replied Sharpclaw.
‘I will talk to Shadowcourt about it,’ Darius told Sharpclaw.
‘Shadowcourt? You mean the mythic clan that is hidden from everyone?’ asked Sharpclaw, surprised.
‘Why yes, how did you know?’ questioned Darius.
‘I heard my, ugh, master the king talking about finding and destroying Shadowcourt,’ Sharpclaw answered.
‘Yes, if you would like to come to Shadowcourt in less than three weeks, I suggest we start now,’ suggested Darius. The sun warmed his face and reflected of Sharpclaw’s body. The birds tweeted.
Sharpclaw tested his body. His wings rose up and down, and his legs made circles in the sand. It felt surprisingly good. Sharpclaw had expected to feel sore, but he felt like he could fly around a mountain.
‘Let’s go. Climb onto my back,’ Sharpclaw ordered.
Darius climbed onto Sharpclaw’s back and gripped the curved spikes that protruded from his back. Then Darius leaped onto Sharpclaw’s scales, where the saddle would be if Sharpclaw had one, and Sharpclaw took a running leap, stretching his wings out wide. The wind caught at his wings, and Sharpclaw began his ascent. It tore at Sharpclaw’s wings as he fought to fly higher. Darius gripped Sharpclaw’s scales, and his face turned white. Sharpclaw flew faster and faster, then dove down through the forest, leaving Darius’s stomach far behind. And his guts. Sharpclaw weaved between the pine trees that dotted the forest floor. Then, Sharpclaw lunged at a rather plump chicken who was resting on the ground and raced towards it before he caught it in his mouth. After that, Sharpclaw rose out of the forest..
‘That’s what real fun looks like,’ declared Sharpclaw as he launched himself higher.
“Cluck cluck cluck,” clucked the chicken, terrified at the big flying thing that had appeared in its life.
Sharpclaw landed at an incredible speed, but the landing was completely smooth. Darius fell off Sharpclaw’s back and ran to the bushes where Sharpclaw heard some pretty disturbing noises that consisted of “Ugh,” “Blech,” and things like that.
‘Little one, was that too much fun?’ Sharpclaw questioned.
“Blech!” replied Darius.
Wow, Sharpclaw thought. Darius really does not look good. Maybe I should help. Sharpclaw was astonished at how he was thinking. Just yesterday, he would have thought: Eww. Gross, get away from that disgusting creep. But now Sharpclaw wanted to help. Sharpclaw arranged stones in a circle.
“Cluck cluck cluck!” the chicken clucked.
Sharpclaw silenced the chicken once and for all by breathing fire. That singed the feathers off the chicken, and the chicken died a fast death. Sad but delicious. Then, Sharpclaw gathered some leaves and made a place for Darius to sit himself. Then, Sharpclaw sent a message with his mind to Darius:
‘Come, little human, sit down and eat. You must be starving. I will go and hunt for myself.’
With that Sharpclaw launched himself into the air and sped off. Darius groaned.