The Skywing Kingdom by Calie Brown

Waking up with the sun hitting your eyes is never fun, neither is hanging upside down in someone else’s talons being hauled off to some unknown place that you’re sure you’re not coming back from. The wind slapping Vortex in the face as she regains consciousness, not being able to see with the light hitting her closed eyes. She tries slapping at whatever is carrying her so it would let her go. She hears a grunt and gets dropped onto a hard and sharp surface. Rolling a bit before hitting a wall, she groans and sits up rubbing her eyes. 

The blue sky and cold wind hits her black and silver scales. She hears wing beats coming toward her, but not having the energy she needed to look around, still dazed to understand where she is. An orange and green dragon flies up and lands next to her. “Oh wow, I knew you’d look different from the other nightwings, but this is something else.” Vortex looks up at the tall dragon as he starts circling her. “I guess it’s to be expected as you are half icewing. Mother will be so happy when she hears that I caught a hybrid.” The dragon exclaims.

Vortex goes to stand up but is pushed back down, the dragon looming overtop of her with a slesy smile “May I know your name dear, you are going to be here for a while, so it’s better to get introductions out of the way now.” He says with a snarky tone, 

“My name is Vortex, now can you tell me where I am.” She looks around again, her eyes finally adjusted to the light. Clouds surround them as they sit on a tall pillar made of rock, a rod sticks out of the middle and wires stick out from the rod, leading to other pillars with other dragons on them. She reaches up and grabs a necklace thats around her neck 

“Vortex, what a creative name and what a pretty piece of jewelry.” He stares at it with admiration.

“My friend got it for me. Can I know your name?” She holds her necklace tighter and backs up trying to get as far away from the other dragon. 

“Do you not know my name? Have you been living under a rock or something, you must have, I’m the talk of all the dragons by now.” Vortex glares at him as her memory flashes to the volcano island, the ash filled air and the fiery lava rivers that went through the whole place, the rocky caves they were forced to sleep in.

“My name is Malachite, the prince of the sky wings and the sea wings. If you don’t know me, then I should let you know I was the peace treaty that let skywings and seawings come together. No more wars between the two tribes.” Malachite goes on a tangent about how he was a prophecy and was destined to riches, all while Vortex looks around to find a way down from the pillar. She tries to open her wings only to be met with a sharp pain. She yelps and looks at her wings, finding a thick gold band around her wings with a chain between the two so she wouldn’t be able to fly. 

“Oh dear that sounded painful, sorry about those. I just need you in one spot so my mother can get a good look at you, don’t need you flying away now do we?” Malachite takes a step toward her and expands his wings. 

“Here, I’ll take you into the palace, these pillars are for prisoners really, not fit for someone like you.” He kicks off and starts flying, picking her up and flying to the palace. The cold air and the warm rays of the sun fill up Vortex’ senses, staring out to the mountains in the distance trees cover them with beautiful greens, reds, yellow, and oranges. Vortex looks at her necklace.

“Do you see this view Sunrise? You would have loved it.” She whispers to herself and goes back to staring at the colors of the trees.

Malachite lands on a platform hanging off the side of a cliff, torches and guards adorn the platform, and Malachite lets Vortex go. She drops to the floor and slowly stands back up, looking around at the guards. Most of them are skywings, their slender faces and their huge wings give it away. Only three or four are seawings, their seafoam green to clear ocean blue scales and classic seawing markings clash with the bright reds and muddy oranges of the skywings. The armor plates made of gold look as though they have recently been to the ocean, water dripping off of them. One of the seawing guards walks up and bows to Malachite. 

“Hello prince Malachite, your mother has come to visit the palace, alone with the rainwing friend. They are waiting in the throne room for you.” The guard says, then stands and turns, expanding their wings. The guard flashes their seawing light then the other guards follow, expanding their wings and taking off, the wind given off from them blowing dirt and rocks all around. 

“Did you hear that Vortex, mother is here! And Gecko came too. Today is a good day, come along now!” Malachite shouts. He grabs ahold of Vortex’s arm and pulls her along into the palace.

The bright fire and dazzling chandeliers made of sea glass and gold burned against the stained glass windows, each glass with a different design. Malachite hums as he pulls Vortex along, the tapping of their talons bouncing off the walls. They soon walk up to a big door with gems and crystals of all shapes and sizes surrounding it. 

“Mother is in here. I hope you’re ready to meet her, and Gecko is in here too! Oh, you are going to love her.” Malachite exclaims as he pushes the door open, and as soon as he does yelling could be heard. 

“I just dont think he should be allowed to do stuff like this! It’s kidnapping, and it’s wrong!” A muddy gray and purple dragon yelled. 

“Well, that’s not for you to decide now is it, my son can do as he wishes.” A seawing with sea green scales, covered in pearls with a big crown spiraling like a shell, all of it colored rose gold sneered at the other dragon.

“Mother, Gecko I have returned from the pillars, and I have my hybrid friend!” Malachite leaps into the room, pulling Vortex in with him. The muddy gray dragon walks over and hugs Malachite whispering something into his ear before backing up and grinning. 

“Welcome back Mala, hope you had a good day.” She looks up at Malachite. 

“Oh I have Gecko, such a wonderful day!” He grabs Vortex by her talons and starts leading her to his mother. 

“Hello mother! I have finally got a hybrid, look at her, isn’t she beautiful?” He grins at his mother then looks back to Vortex.

“You should bow to a royal. She is the sea queen after all.” Vortex hesitantly bows down to her as the dragon above giggles. 

“Oh dear, son you have really outdone yourself this time. What kind of hybrid is she anyways?” Talons wrap around Vortex’s chin and pull her head up, making eye contact with the queen. 

“I believe she’s a icewing nightwing hybrid, so special, and look at the teardrop scale next to her eyes!” She winces as Malachite yells in her ear, the queen tilting her head from side to side, getting too close for comfort to look at her scales. 

“And look at her necklace! It’s so pretty and shiny, but I couldn’t get a good look at it.” He pouts and gets closer to his mother.

“Well that won’t do now will it? Won’t you be a dear and show us that pretty thing? Don’t wanna make me mad now do you?” The queen glares at Vortex daring her to disobey her order, slowly Vortex pushes her necklace up so they could see them. A silver chain with a half moon pendant hangs from her neck, the moon made up of amethyst and small bits of quarts as it shines in an almost fake looking way. 

“What a pretty piece of jewelry. Where did you get it?” Vortex leans back as the queen stares at the jewelry.

“I got it from my friend, this is the last thing I have from them.” She goes to pull away but the queen grabs ahold of the necklace.

Vortex glances up at the queen and gulps down some saliva that was building in her mouth. 

“Can you please let go of it?” The queen grins at Vortex.

“Sorry, I just like it so much.” The queen’s grip only gets tighter as she pulls on the necklace as the chain digs into Vortex scales. Gecko walks over.

“Perl what are you doing let her go.” Malachite goes and hugs Gecko. 

“Now, now Gecko, It’s ok. You know mother won’t hurt her.” Malachite’s laid back tone makes Gecko ease up, but she still tries to leave Malachite’s hug. The queen pulls harder on the chain of the necklace as Vortex yelps.

“Please let it go!” She yells, trying to pull away from the talons that are pulling on her. The queen frowns.

“Dear, you should be more thankful. Your queen is taking something of yours.” The pulling keeps going, then it breaks. The little bits of chain that broke off and fell onto the floor. Vortex falls down and starts holding her head as tears build up in her tear ducts, gripping her horns, she lets out a howl of pain. 

“Vortex! Are you ok.” Malachite runs over, followed by Gecko. 

“Vortex?” She could barely hear them, the thoughts of other dragons filled her head so fast. Malachite goes to reach out and help her get up, but his mother’s arm stops him. 

“Stop, dont touch her. I knew something was up with her, she is a mind reader.” Malachite looks down at Vortex, big fat tears run down her face and the grip on her horns hardends. Her vision goes blurry, and right before she passes out, she looks up at the three dragons and whispers.

“I don’t want to hurt anybody. My friend died for that necklace, it’s to stop my powers because it’s animus touched.” Then her head flops to the floor, her eyes shut, and her breathing settles out.

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