This is a chapter book I’m writing based on the poem of the same name. Here’s a link to the poem.
This is a very rough draft and has not been edited, ( I’m probably the worst person to edit my own stuff..lol ) or formatted for this site.
I hope you enjoy and maybe give me a little feedback.
*7/11/13*…I’m bringing this in for some changes and a rewrite. Here’s glimpse to give you an idea of the storyline.
The Dragon and the Butterfly
The man stood in the middle of the room and let the darkness come. It came from everywhere slowly at first, from every crack, every crevice, it came from the ruins carved into the stone floor and walls. It was sucked from the blackest parts of the night, from the dark and desolate place in people’s hearts. The dread streamed into the room, long tendrils, smoky streams of black, the absence of light. They were the color of death. At first they danced in the room seemingly not having anywhere to go. Then all at once they started to circle the man. Starting at his feet it worked upward surrounding him until all at once he was no more.
The man smiled knowing his spell was complete he was now a shadow. The shadows name was Dolbi.
He had waited for this moment, waited a long time going over spells, repeating them over and over until he had learned them by heart. He knew the magic’s source now and he would only have one chance. “I will not fail” he told himself.
He left the room becoming part of the night
Making his way down the street he passed drunks who lie groggy in the alleys from a night out at the taverns. Past city guards changing watch but nobody saw him. The only sign of his passing was a cold chill that came from the inside and worked its way out.
When he finally made his destination, a bush in the middle of the cities garden he stepped into it. And when he stepped out of the bush he left the darkness behind.
“Now”, he thought to himself the only thing left is the dragon.
The Dragon opened his eyes.
It was lonely on top of the mountain, especially since he was the last one of his kind.
The blue and gray scenery spotted with caps of white snow that never seemed to melt. This did more than reflect that loneliness, it seemed to amplify it ten fold. Was this what was left to him? Was this his creator’s way of getting even for all the hurt his kind brought on in the past? The people down in the village were afraid of dragons so he kept to himself. Even though deep inside he felt different. Not like the dragons that came before him. He felt something deep inside. Something struggling to show itself, a kind of warmth he didn’t know how to handle something he didn’t quite understand. Feelings he didn’t know how to deal with.
The only thing he was sure of was fear. A fear so profound, that sometimes big dragon tears would fill his eyes. An ache so real, always hoping that some day he would have someone to share his life with. But knowing he would pass from this cold mountain top alone. And dragons live a very long time.
The village of Neverfrost lay on the opposite side of the valley. Directly below the mountain ranges the dragon called home. It was a beautiful valley, always seeming to remain in a perpetual state of spring or summer. The rain never seemed to fall too hard or the wind blow too harshly. The grass was always green and lush perfect for bare feet and picnics. Trees never lost their leaves in the valley. Flowers bloomed all the time. It was a valley full of happiness, peace, and hope. A valley filled to the brim with love.
Nobody ever thought about winter, loneliness, or despair. The things the people of the village thought about the least were dragons. Although there were rumors, even a couple of sightings. When the subject of dragons was brought up in the local tavern, or at children’s playtime these were attributed to over active imaginations or too much ale.
Nobody really knew.
The dragon did all his hunting at night and never, ever would he satisfy his hunger by killing the villager’s cattle or other livestock, or the villagers themselves. Even though this would have been much easier he hunted the deer and other wild animals that made the valley their home. He did this so he would not bring unwanted attention to himself. He surely didn’t want the villagers hunting him down to kill him. He was happy just letting them wonder about dragons.
He was a magnificent creature, as far as dragons go. He was green of course but his underbelly was a bright yellow. Then there were his wings, the most magnificent wings (by dragon standards) that any dragon could ever wish for. They were a pastel mix of purples and rose, even a little blue thrown in. They absolutely sparkled. They couldn’t possibly have been more beautiful. The thing that made him so different though was his eyes. They were dark brown, not yellow or green. Sometimes the dragon would wonder about them. “How did I get such dark brown eyes?” he would say to himself. He could never answer this question though after all there weren’t any dragons left to talk to about it.
He slowly sat up and stretched. What a strange dream I had he wondered to himself. It was almost real. It was almost like I was human. Although the dragon had dreams about being human quite often, he really wished he were. This one was different. He remembered telling someone that he loved her and that someone said it back. Just then the dragon burst into a corkscrew straight up. “WOW”, he exclaimed. Wouldn’t that be so wonderful? Somebody actually saying that they LOVE Me! But then he glided slowly back to his perch. “Oh well”, he said, “at least I can dream about love”.
Love was something that the dragon always wished for. Even though he didn’t quite know what it was or even if he had ever felt it. He thought about how good and wonderful it must be. Sometimes he would hear the villagers talking about it. He would watch couples young and old alike sharing special times. He would watch families having picnics. The togetherness of it all, what it must be like to share life and love with someone? It always seemed to make them so happy. He knew deep down inside that nobody could ever love a dragon. “For who could love a dragon, so alone I will remain,” he would say. “Being the only dragon means, alone I will grow old.”
Then it hit him– he remembered something else about the dream– a name. Yes someone had called him something. It was a name! “Now what was that name,” he said. Let me think! but as hard as he thought he just couldn’t remember. “Oh well at least I still have my dragon name, Drake.” A name given to him by his only friend.
You see not knowing anything about love he was sure someone could teach him. The dragon thought it was something you learned how to do. Like flying, or breathing fire, he was certain that everyone learned about love. The dragon knew that if he found the right people. They could teach him how to love and he would feel real happy. Just like the villagers, he would hear talk about it. He didn’t realize love was something you felt way down deep in your heart. A special bond between people, or the way you feel about family or yourself. Something that is just as wonderful to give, as it is to receive. Truth is the dragon didn’t know too much about feelings at all. He never had anyone to share anything with. He couldn’t remember his parents. As a matter of fact he couldn’t remember ever seeing another dragon ever. What really confused the dragon was the fact that he new anything about dragons at all.
The dragon didn’t have many friends. No one ever came to visit him way up on his perch. The ones that did, found his company rather boring and left rather quickly. The only one that ever came up to talk on a regular basis was a dragonfly named Hector. But the only thing the dragon ever wanted to talk about was humans. How they felt, what they did. He would ask every question he could think of about humans. So that he could dream about being one. Soon even Hector would tire of this and leave. The dragon couldn’t wait until next time he saw Hector. He would tell him all about the dream.
This made the dragon feel good. So to celebrate he did a little dragon dance around his perch. By the time he was done the dragon realized it was getting dark. Time to take to the skies in search of, well in search of anything. He wasn’t hungry he had just eaten yesterday, so tonight he would just fly around and look for someone to teach him how to love. Even though he knew he wouldn’t find anyone. He never did. Drake loved to fly, and breathe fire of course. Sometimes he would pretend he was in a dragon battle and do loops and circles breathing fire and showing his dragon claws. Maybe tonight would be one of those nights.
It was a cloudless night the air was very still. You could see forever, all the stars were shining very brightly. Dull yellow moonlight reflected strange shadows over everything it came in contact with. It was quiet; you could here a firefly’s soft buzzing sound for miles. Their lights looked like a small carnival dancing across the floor of the valley.
The blue dragon turned quickly. Its razor sharp claws just missed Drakes underbelly. He retaliated with a backwards loop coming up from underneath and behind the large blue. Before the blue dragon realized what had happened Drake blew out a large ball of fire aimed directly at the back of the blue’s head. But the larger dragon was quicker than Drake thought and turned out of the way before the fireball hit him. Back and forth across the sky the dragon and the large blue battled for hours. Both of them growing very weary of the fight. And neither one gaining an advantage. So Drake did what every dragon that fights a dragon bigger than him. Fain exhaustion. The blue took the bait But just when it looked like Drake was going to loose the fight he came at the giant blue. But just before he made contact, he rose straight up in the air doing a back flip. He continued to fly backwards until the precise moment when he let out three huge fireballs. One directly at the giant blue and one more to each side, the blue dragon didn’t realize what had happened until it was to late. He easily dodged the first fireball only to get hit straight on by the second one. This spun him around right in line with the third one. Before the blue dragon knew what happened it was too late. He fell from the sky landing with a hard thud onto the ground. Drake watched for a few minutes, as the blue dragon lay motionless on the ground a sign the fight was over. It was time to go home. Back to his perch, where he would rest his battle wounds and sleep.
The villagers knew nothing of the dragon fight. The mountaintop was too high and far away. They just knew that every once and awhile, atop the furthest peak. What looked like fire, danced across the mountaintop. Parents would tell their young children it was just some kind of strange mountain lightning. Some people would mention the word dragon, but growing sentiment was that it was a sign of bad and evil things that might befall the village or worse maybe the entire kingdom. What ever it was every time it happened most of them would bring their families or sweethearts. They would all sit at the edge of the village to watch the spectacular light show. It even got to the point where they would bring food and drink. They would the dance to music provided by the village musicians. The children of the village would get to stay up late to watch the fire in the sky. Businesses would stay open later. People would gather at the center of town. You were either celebrating or praying whatever the case the village would come to life.
Tonight’s display was an especially good one. When they were sure it was over they all clapped and whistled. They would all disband, businesses would close, and the festivities would end. Then they would all slowly make their way back to their homes; put the children to bed, wondering what could cause such an amazing display of lights.
Drake was tired. After all an imaginary dragon fight was almost as tiring as a real one. He had no idea that his memories of other dragons, what they were like, how they acted or even how they fought. Were put there by the person that summoned him too this land. It was all part of his training. So when the dragon got back to his perch he laid down himself and soon was fast asleep. Dreaming what it must be like to be human and in love.
“Hey, Hey You Wake Up!” the voice was faint but stern. The dragon was sure he could hear someone calling. “HEY!” there it was again. This time the dragon felt himself being shaken. “Who is it? Who’s out there?” The dragon asked. The last thing he remembered was the dragon fight. He couldn’t explain it but something was different. He was sure about that much. “PLEASE! Can you help me!” this time the voice was clearer. “Who is it? Who is calling me?” he thought.
Then things started to become clearer. Dan stood in a wooded area. He could see a small pond; he could hear the sounds of a small stream and songbirds in the background. He noticed butterflies, lots of butterflies all around. It wasn’t fully light but it wasn’t fully dark either. He was under a canopy of trees deep in a wooded area with just enough filtered sunlight to make out shadows. He looked around and he saw something moving next to him and when his vision finally cleared he found himself staring into the most beautiful pair of blue eyes he had ever seen “Who are you?” he stammered.
“Who am I!” she smiled. Although he could see she had been crying.
‘I want to know who you are and how you got here?” she stood up throwing her arms down to her side, both hands clenched in fist. “I’ve been walking around here for hours it seems.” She glanced at him thinking how silly she must look so she walked over to him sat down, crossed her legs and continued. “then I find you out of nowhere.” “How did you get here but more important can you get us out?”
The dragon stood, looking down on her sitting form his eyes narrowed. “What sort of magic is this?” Be it sorcery or witchcraft one should be better versed then to sneak upon a sleeping dragon.” “You young maiden or whatever you are, to answer your question I am the dragon!” With that dragon spread its wings and leaped into the air. “The last dragon you will ever…” He never finished, he looked out to see his magnificent wings were nothing more than arms “ARMS” with hands and fingers. And even though they were pumping franticly they would not help him to fly. That’s when the dragon noticed the earth and the grass coming way to fast. Before he could prepare himself he hit. Then the wind left his chest in one big grunt and for the second time in less than 10 minutes the dragons sight became blurry.
The girl with the most amazing blue eyes burst into laughter.
Whether out of instinct or complete embarrassment the dragon jumped to his hands and knees shaking off the fuzz in his head. Getting his breathing under control he turned to wipe the moisture from his eyes on his shoulder looked over at the girl. This time the tears were tears of laughter.
The dragon spit the grass out of his mouth and smiled a sheepish grin.
He walked over to her and when she looked up their eyes met. “You win” He said slowly as he reached down to take her hand
“I don’t know what spell you have me under but truly you are the victor, I concede defeat.” The dragon sat down beside her, he looked again into her eyes and continued “The only questions I have are, will you never release me from this dream and is this what they call love?”
“Love!, Huh, what are you talking about?” she composed herself and stood. “What do you mean spell?” “What are you talking about?” “I’m no witch or whatever you may think. I’m stuck here trying to get out; it seems we share the same fate.”
“You crazy, well silly……Dragon.” An indistinct sound of laughter came with the last word, “Oh my names Jenna by the way. whats yours.”
The dragon was about to say “Drake” when another name started to come to him. But before he had time to think about it he heard something.
The Dragon’s ear twitched; all he could hear was this bothersome buzzing in his ears. “Hey! Dragon,” came a voice, “you’re not going to sleep through the entire day are you?” He opened his eyes, looked up to see where the noise was coming from. Just then right before his eyes was a dragonfly. “Oh! It’s you” the dragon moaned, “Hector, I was just having the most magnificent dream about being human. Why do you have to bother me?”
“Well, dragon it’s like this, your little escapade last night drew up quite a stir in the village,” explained Hector. “If I were you dragon…”
“Huh,” Drake jumped up to his feet sending Hector end over end into a bush. “I know what I have to tell you,” he exclaimed, “my name’s not dragon, at least not my human name, so there.” “Except you woke me before I could think about it.”
Hector stood himself up, brushed off his wings and flew back up to stare directly into the dragon’s eyes. “Yea, Yea, Yea, dragon, what should I call you then, LIZARD, Hey LIZARD!” Hector laughed. “What’s for dinner? Fly soup?”
Drake’s eyes got real squinty as he put his long nose in front of Hector. Little puffs of smoke rings started to appear from Dan’s nostrils. “Yes,” he said very slowly. “DRAGONFLY SOUP!”
Hectors eyes got real big. “Now wait a minute, Heh!, just kidding lizard, Oh! I mean dragon…OK; OK; I give. So what is your name, your human name?”
The dragons face burst into a wide grin. “My name, YOU want to know MY name, Well, Well, Well, as a matter of fact I do have a name.”
“OK, OK, enough with the suspense” cried Hector. “So now what is your name?”
“Well if you really must know,” replied the dragon
It’s. I can’t remember.”
Hector burst into laughter so quickly he spit dragonfly spit all over the dragons nose.
“Oops! Sorry.” Beads of sweat were starting to run down Hectors forehead. “What’s wrong with Drake? It’s a beautiful name, shows nothing but character.”
“Do you really think so?” Drake’s anger was starting to wear off. He even started to smile.
“Sure do,” said Hector trying hard to hold back a grin and slowly crossing his wings behind his back. “Very powerful name, as a matter of fact one of the most powerful names that anyone could ever have.” “It just rings with authority. Yep wouldn’t want to mess with anyone named Drake.”
“Ok, Ok,” replied Drake “Enough is enough.”
Drake knew better though, another name was there, on the tip of his tongue. He just couldn’t remember it.
Hector knew how much it pained his friend so he didn’t push it. Besides they needed Drake to be a dragon for awhile.
The rest of the morning Drake and Hector talked about names. Of course, by the time afternoon rolled around Drake had forgotten all about his dream, Jenna, and what it might have meant.
The village of Neverfrost was surrounded by a large mountain range on all sides. Except for a small pass behind the village and a larger more used opening at the other end of the valley. At the furthest end on top of the highest peak is where Drake made his home. Nobody ever traveled that high up the mountain.
They had everything they needed at their end of the valley. The valley being large enough to provide ample farming and grazing land. Several fresh water streams for drinking, bathing and filling up the washtub. A fresh water lake stocked with plenty of fish and flocks of water foul occupying the surrounding shores. There was an abundance of game in the forest and woodland that surrounded the floor of the valley. If the townsfolk ever felt the need to go to one of the larger towns or cities of the kingdom, they would just take the back road through a small pass, which joined one of the larger, and more traveled on king’s highways.
The people of Neverfrost were very proud of their village. It was one of the larger ones. It had craftsman and guildsman, blacksmiths, doctors and even a hospital for the very sick. It was self-sustaining and needed little help from the King or other nobility in the area. This fact alone made the villagers very proud.
But the thing that made the village of Neverfrost extra special was right smack dab in the middle of the village. There was this bush, now this was no ordinary bush it was the only one of its kind in the whole kingdom. It had beautiful multicolored flowers and shiny green leaves. It also had huge thorns that were very toxic, in some cases deadly. It was so dense you couldn’t see through it. Not even the smallest insect could get near or fly into this strange shrubbery. It was huge; it stood fifteen feet tall and ten feet around its base. The villagers had built a fence around it so know one could get close enough to be pricked by the sharp thorns. It had been made into a shrine; a huge park was built around it. People came from all over just to see it. And every ten years on the first day of spring what seemed like every butterfly in the entire kingdom would come to the park to fly around it and just be close to it. It almost seemed like a pilgrimage.
They would land upon it flutter there wings to and fro then fly up and around it again. They would repeat this strange behavior for hours. Thus it’s name the Monarch bush. A name it had been given over a hundred years before. The people knew it was this strange and unusual plant that kept peace in the valley, kept it forever warm, kept them not wanting for anything. Now the first day of spring was not very long away. Already the village of Neverfrost was splitting at the seams with tourists.
In all the hustle and bustle, what the villagers didn’t realize was the bush had started to wilt. As a matter of fact nobody noticed until one day a little girl came running over to her mom, started pulling on her dress.
The little girl’s mom looked down and said, “Yes dear now run along and play”.
The little girl kept pulling she said to her mom. “But mommy…”
“Yes what is it dear?” the little girl’s mother was starting to get a little irritated. “Can’t you see I’m talking?”
“Mommy…” insisted the little girl.
“Very well then, what is it, what can’t possibly wait till we get home?” The girl’s mother looked at her daughter.
The little girl pointed at the bush and said, “how come the leaves are starting to turn black and fall off?”
The girl’s mother smiled and said, “Now, now dear let’s not tell stories.” But when the little girl’s mother looked over at the Monarch bush she realized the little girl was telling the truth. A sudden look of fear crossed her face. She turned to tell her friend who screamed.
Soon the whole village, then the kingdom knew the plight of their sacred bush. From that point on the entire village, the entire kingdom raced to find the answers. Wizards, Priests, Botanists, and even simple gardeners were brought in from throughout the kingdom to try to find the answers. They brought in special fertilizers and nutrients, waters from very sacred streams and ponds; they said prayers and did magical spells. Nothing seemed to work. The very thing that brought peace and happiness to the kingdom for hundreds of years was slowly dying. And nobody knew what to do.
People started talking about the butterflies. Shouldn’t they have started to arrive by now? It was true, usually this close to the first day of spring the butterflies should have started to trickle in. Not one had shown so far. Then the people started to think. When was the last time they’d seen a butterfly? They usually would flutter all around the gardens and meadows of the kingdom. Nobody in the village could positively remember seeing a butterfly in a very long time. So the call went out throughout the entire kingdom to anyone who had seen a butterfly. Finally the answer came back. No one had seen a butterfly for at least five years. The kingdom and the villagers were in shock. “How could this happen” they would exclaim. The entire kingdom started to panic.
Everyone was in such a fuss about this whole thing that the king, queen, and half of his army moved into the village. The King also brought with him his own housekeepers and took over the largest estate in the valley. His most powerful wizards, most holy priests, and even his private gardeners that took care of the castle’s gardens also came. The king was leaving nothing to chance. Soon the entire valley was under curfew. Guards were set up at both ends of the valley, and nobody was let into the park to see the Monarch bush accept by appointment. Life in the valley started to get very strict. Even though the people knew the king was doing what he had to it didn’t mean they had to like it.
What the king or his subjects didn’t realize was that it wasn’t the Monarch bush’s wilting that should worry them so. It was something else, something that was missing, the one thing left over from the times of fairies. The one true magic left over from a time long passed. It was what kept peace and happiness, it was also the only thing that kept a constant balance between good and evil. The question that the king and everyone else should have been concentrating on was,
“Where did all the butterflies go?”
It started to happen over five years before. One at a time at first then in groups, butterflies from throughout the kingdom started to disappear. The old world magic was slowly starting to disappear from the kingdom. Who was doing this? What sort of evil could commit such a vile and heinous act?