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The Seeker from Hivrala



A short fantasy story.



C.M. Simpson



Sandfire is a dragon, a guardian of the mountains, and a servant of the Gatekeepers. It is her duty to collect those the Gatekeepers designate seekers and bring them to her masters. The only problem is that the latest seeker doesn’t want to go. Vestera doesn’t care what the dragon wants; as far as she’s concerned she’s not about to become a dragon’s pet—but now she has to choose: go with the dragon, or face the royal guard. If only she knew which was worse...



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Smashwords Edition

C.M. Simpson Publishing

Copyright © April 21, 2017 C.M. Simpson

Cover Photograph—Mountain top in the clouds © Nordroden at Dreamstime

Cover Art—3D-rendering fantasy dragon on white © Valentyna Chukhlyebova (Vacs) at Dreamstime

Cover Design © March 11, 2017, C.M. Simpson

All rights reserved.





Dedication



This is for all those who believed in me enough that, eventually, I had the courage to believe in myself, and who taught me that the only way to make the impossible possible is get to making it happen.


Thank you.





Contents



The Seeker from Hivrala

About C.M. Simpson

More Work by C. M. Simpson





The Seeker from Hivrala



I started this story on July 21, 2015 as part of the Story-Match Challenge, but only got 1,200 words through it, before I had to stop. It was completed on August 14, 2016, as part of the Story-A-Week Catch-Up Challenge, and is a blend of science fiction and fantasy. It was first titled The Plain Magician, but, when it was done, it became clear that this title just would not do, so I renamed it The Seeker from Hivrala.



Sandfire snorted at the air, snuffling down the sweet currents blowing up from the plains lapping at her mountain’s feet. She raised her snout and flicked out her tongue, tasting the sweetness, making sure the faint touch of sharpness was still there, that somewhere amidst the grasses below a seeker came. When she was sure, the dragon trumpeted the news to the mountain heights, and launched herself into the wind. Hers was the honour of the first overflight, and the capture, if she could take it.


* * *


Vestera heard the bugled notes ring out in the distant range, and curled her lip. If they thought she came looking for one of them, they had another think coming. She did not want to become a dragon’s pet. She had merely fled the city before the royal guard could find her. Charlatan, indeed! What would they know?

Nothing, she decided. They can know nothing. And that was the way it as going to remain. Them, ignorant and empty-handed, and she free to roam whatever lands lay beyond the mountains. She looked up at the towering peaks, and felt the first sliver of doubt. Of course, first she had to cross those forbidding heights.

Vestera adjusted the weight of her pack, and hoped she had enough to make the journey. She’d brought food, and what water she could carry, rope and pitons—although she was no climber—a tent for shelter, warm blankets, sewn together at the edges to make a pouch she could slide into at night, flint and tinder and a cooking pot.

Truth be known, she was hoping to find snow further up, or a stream. She could eat the rations dry, but she could not drink them, and they tasted better softened. First, though, she had to take cover. She had no desire to be scooped up by the dragons, and taken from her intended course.

Fortunately, the plains were not as flat as many assumed. They rippled and undulated, their grasses concealing gullies carved out by hidden streams that came and went with the seasons. Vestera looked for one of those and, when she couldn’t find one, contented herself with sinking below the level of the grass stems and curling herself around the base of one of clumps. In this way, she would be covered by the outward spreading stalks, her form invisible to the sky.

She had not counted on the powerful downdraft created by the dragon’s wings as it pivoted mid-air above her.


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