The Dragon's Shard

The Dragon's Shard

I changed this to first person :)

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

by: _Andreea_
I was lying back on the soft, long grass which grew only on Morrtner's Hill, chewing absentmindedly on a straw, when I noticed the frantic boy running toward me. I sat up and spit the mushy mess out of my mouth before grabbing my thick shepherdess's staff and whistling loudly, the noise amplified by its echo as it bounced back off the mountains surrounding the valley.

My flock of sheep lazily moved towards me, obviously annoyed by the too-early return call. Judging by the sun, they should have had at least another hourglass of grazing, but something in the eyes of the approaching figure told me to hurry. 

"Cyra!! Cyra!!" the boy yelled, waving his arms. 

"I'm coming, hold on," I called back, brushing my skirts off and holding back a complain as the rough material grazed my legs. 

"Leave the sheep, you've got to come!" his eyes darted back and forth anxiously. 

"Aw, Tredd, you know I can't leave them. They're my herd, what'll I do without them?" I didn't mention my father would kill me, quite literally. 

"Trust me, they don't matter. It's the Soundless, they got your family!!"

My eyes widened, and I ran down the hill. The sheep baa'd resentfully at my back, but my mind was set on reaching the farmhouse as fast as possible. I had always been a quick runner, beating every girl and even most boys in my village in any race, but now my legs seemed to move too slowly. 

The Soundless had my family. Panic gripped my heart. Even if I go there in time, what could I do? I was but a young girl, a human shepherdess. I stood no chance against full grown men, Magicals too, for that matter. I was pretty sure there wasn't a drop of golden blood flowing through my veins. Yet I had to do something, anything. I couldn't just cower in fear like a little child. 

The house was nestled at the bottom of Mount Seron, a good quarter hourglass from Morrtner's Hill, but I got there in at least half that time. I stayed under the cover of the trees, close to the rich dark soil, which was still moist from the rains. Sneaking as close to the house as I dared, I crouched behind a bush. 

My breath caught in my throat. Sure enough, a black-clad figure stood guard by the door of the little log cabin. More must have been inside. I needed help, but that was out of question.  The nearest neighbor lived at least two miles away, across the fields. Not only would the run there take too long, but I would surely be spotted without any trees to cover me. Going the other way, into the nearest town, was also impossible. My bare feet were bleeding from stepping on sharp rocks on the way here, and by the time I got back with some men, my family could already be gone. No, I had do do something myself. 

My golden-brown eyes darted in every direction as I tried to come up with a plan. But I needed to know how many of them there were before jumping into action. I needed to somehow get inside and scout. An idea sparked in my mind. 

I made my way cautiously around the side of the house, bitting my lip. They'd catch me. I knew they would. My heart beat so loudly it was impossible for them not to hear it and come after me. I was just a simple peasant. Why did this have to happen to me? Tears blurred my vision, and I quickly wiped them away. No time for this. 

The image of my little sister crying with fear spurred me on. I rounded the corner and grinned, despite the circumstances. Trust my mother to leave the cellar doors wide open, even when the sky could break out in rain at any moment. I slipped down the stone steps and into the low, cold cellar. Shelves packed full of jars containing jam or preserves lined the walls. The other door was smaller, and I had to bend slightly to fit through. 

As soon as I was in the kitchen, I heard voices. A steel hand grabbed my heart and rendered me motionless, my blood pulsing in my ears. The cellar door came out under the table, which offered slight protection, but the men could still easily spot me.  

"-long while," a voice said. 

"She might not even show up," another whined. 

"Then we go after 'er," a third voice growled.  

For a while there was silence, then a little girl crying. 

"Make 'er shut up," the second voice demanded. 

I could hear my mother trying to comfort Sofie, who was no older than three. She didn't stop crying. 

"I said, make 'er shut up!!"

From my spot under the table, I saw the shadow of a leg swinging into a kick, and my mother grunting in pain. 

"Easy there, Gruffly," the first voice warned. 

"She annoys me, can we kill 'er?" Gruffly begged. 

"We will be patient," the first one said again. 

"You're no fun, Tin," the third voice chimed in. The glint of a blade reflected into the kitchen. I shivered. Footsteps approached and I held my breath, energy rushing through my every vein, yet I crouched there, frozen.

 A pair of black boots wandered into the room and to a cabinet. There was some banging around, followed by a few mugs crashing to the ground and shattering. A piece hit me, and I involuntarily drew in a sharp breath. 

The boots stopped pacing. "Who's there?"

"What are you talking about, you idiot?" Gruffly yelled from the bedroom. 

"I heard something. Riley, Gruff, git over here," Tin called. Two more sets of boots walked in. 

One groaned. "Now look what you did. I liked that mug!" Gruffly squatted down to pick up a piece of ceramic and froze. His head turned slowly, until he was looking me right in the eye. 

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