Forty Years Ago
Princess Pyrite was a dragon who did not like chaos and disorder. Her room was sparkling clean without a single inch of dirt. Her books were all completely dust free and her desk was completely and perfectly organized.
Her mannerism was neat as well. She talked in perfect sentences without overusing words at all. All her siblings knew that she was going to be the next queen. And she knew that they knew.
One morning, her day opened the way it usually did. The sun lined up perfectly with her window so the sunlight glared into her face, waking her up. She would sit up and glide gracefully off her bed, then adorn herself with her jeweled necklaces.
After that, she would fly out of her room and around the tower and land in the main hall. She then slid into her seat and delicately ate her breakfast, then flew out and away from the palace, heading towards the academy.
From then on, she went about her normal school schedule. She walked quietly through the school with her head tilted down and was generally ignored. But, that was what was supposed to happen. What happened was much different.
As she walked from her third class, Biology, to the lunch area, she noticed out of the corner of her eyes a group of dragons in front of her. She stepped to the side to go around them but stopped abruptly when one of the dragons moved to block her.
“You’re not escaping so easily this time.” The dragon said. Pyrite looked up. Staring her down was a tall male ice dragon. His blue eyes stared into hers, and she quickly looked away.
“Would you please move out of my way?” Pyrite said. “I’m trying to get to the lunch area.”
Another of the dragons, a brightly colored gemstone, shoved her back. “Yeah right.” She said, “You owe us something.”
“Excuse me?” Pyrite said. “Who are you?”
“I am Amethyst,” Amethyst said. “My companions are Icicle, Scorpion, and Shadow.” Icicle was a dark blue with a lighter color around his wings and spine. His long tail was covered in long, thin, spines. Scorpion was a warm, sandy color, but her expression was anything but that. Her tail coiled in a spiral, ending in a barb. Shadow was almost completely black, with dark purple talons and eyes.
“We don't want no trouble,” Scorpion said. “But we will fight if we have to.”
“Hmm,” Shadow said.
Amethyst stepped forwards menacingly. “Around three years ago, you took something from me. I want it back.”
“What thing is it?” Pyrite asked. “I have a lot of things.”
“It was purple,” Amethyst said.
“Uh-huh…” Pyrite said.
“It was a necklace.” Amethyst continued.
“Okay…” Pyrite said.
“And you are wearing it right now.” Amethyst finished. Pyrite looked down and saw a glimmering necklace with a purple gemstone set into the center.
“I am afraid that you cannot have this,” Pyrite said, closing a talon around it. “It is mine.”
“Oh, I can’t, can I?” Amethyst said. “I need it. And I will take it if necessary.”
Scorpion and Icicle lunged forward and attacked Pyrite, pinning her on the hard stone ground. Scorpion brought her tail around and pointed the barb at Pyrite’s neck. Shadow stood back and watched.
Amethyst stepped forward and grabbed the necklace. She yanked on it and snapped the small chain. She held it in her talon, looking into the purple crystal. Shadow finally stepped forward. He reached out and grabbed it right out of Amethyst’s claws.
“Hey!” Amethyst said.
“I’m sorry about this,” Shadow said. “You really were my friend.”
“What are you talking about?” Amethyst said.
Shadow smiled and stabbed his talon down into the purple crystal. It shattered, and a smoky purple mist swirled up out of it and around Shadow’s arm. It wound around several times before sinking into the scales.
One by one, each scale faded from its midnight black to the same purple as Shadow’s eyes. Shadow flexed his talons and then swung his wings outwards. They slammed into the rock, sending a shudder throughout the entire building. This triggered some sort of growth. Slowly, Shadow grew taller and taller, filling the tunnel.
“What is happening!” Amethyst yelled.
“I’m sorry,” Shadow said, his voice filled with power. He raised his talon and swung it down. There was a metallic sound and a flash of light. When the dragons could see again, Shadow’s claw was pierced straight through Amethyst’s head.
Shadow pulled his claw out of the hole, and Amethyst rapidly turned to a completely black color that spread from the wound. Then, starting from the wound, the blackness that was Amethyst crumbled to dust, leaving only a pile.
Scorpion screamed and let go of Pyrite. She turned and tried to flee, only to end up with the same fate as Amethyst. Pyrite turned and flew away while Shadow was distracted with Icicle.
She flew and flew, never looking back. She heard screams and yells from the academy, but she continued. She knew that she could not stop Shadow. She knew she had to fly.
Pyrite glided down into the center of the crater. The black depression in the ground was coated with a fine black powder. She knew it was the bodies of the dragons Shadow had slain, turned to black dust.
“Is there anyone here?” Pyrite said. She saw no one. Not a single thing was living in the valley. Her academy was gone. She sighed and flew up and onwards to the castle.
39 years later
“I’ll be fine!” Crystal said. “There is literally nothing to be worried about!”
“I know, I know,” Kryptonite said. “I just am.”
“Well, don’t be,” Crystal said. “I’ll stay safe.” She looked at the clock, then back at Kryptonite. “I have to go. I love you, see you soon, bye.” With that, she flew out and down to the bus.
“Bye,” Kryptonite echoed.
Crystal glided down to the landing yard and landed smoothly right next to the bus. A teacher checked her name off on their clipboard and stepped aside. Crystal then climbed in and made her way to the upper area that she preferred.
There were rows of large cushioned chairs that Crystal absolutely loved. She sank into one gratefully.
“Well, hello there sparkly.” A voice said. Crystal turned her head to see a tall, male, blue-green ocean dragon walking towards her. She scooted over and the new dragon swooped down onto the now-exposed cushion.
“My name is Riptide,” he said.
“Good for you,” Crystal said in a bored tone.
“Surely you’ve heard of me?” Riptide said, affronted.
“Actually, no, I haven’t,” Crystal said.
“I am the captain of the flyball team!” Riptide said.
“Nice,” Crystal said. “But do you have any royal connections?”
“Like anybody does.” Riptide scoffed.
“Oh really?” Crystal said.
“Think you can prove me wrong?” Riptide asked. “Then name anyone within a hundred-mile radius that does.”
“Actually, I do,” Crystal said.
“What!” Riptide said. “Wait. Who?”
“The younger princess,” Crystal said. The bus shook slightly with
“Hey, so,” Riptide said. “Do you think you could set me up with her?” he asked.
“Um, no,” Crystal said.
“Why not!” Riptide said.
“Because she’s already with someone,” Crystal said.
“Who?” Riptide asked.
“Me,” Crystal said casually.
“Hah!” Riptide said. “Good one. But actually, who?”
“I wasn’t joking,” Crystal said.
“But you’re a girl! And she’s also a girl!” Riptide said. “That's! It's!”
“Oh, did I just confuse you terribly?” Crystal said sweetly. “Hmm. Well, it’s called being lesbian.”
“Ohhhh!” Riptide said. “You’re that weird lesbian nerd I’ve been hearing about.”
“You got a problem with that?” Crystal said icily.
“N-n-n-no!” Riptide stammered. “Oh, hey look at the time! Got to go!” With that, he dashed over to a group of loud and rambunctious dragons nearby. He started talking animatedly to the group, who laughed with him.
Stupid dragons. Crystal thought. She sighed and turned to face the outside. In the distance, several dark stormy clouds were barely visible. The bus slowly rolled down the road to the jungle for the field trip.
. . . Three Hours Later . . .
The wind tore furiously at the four dragons standing near the museum.
“We need to get inside!” Crystal said.
“They’ve locked the door!” Tundra said. “We can’t get inside!”
“Let’s try to open it!” Dusty said. “I bet your ice could force the door open.”
“Sure, let’s try,” Coral said. The group tried to get to the door while the wind tried to yank them away. When they got there, Tundra created ice and used it to try and force open the door.
Creeeaaak. Crystal looked up and saw that the large sign that had stood above the museum was tilting. And it was going to fall. On them.
“Move!” Crystal shouted. The group moved backward, but Crystal tripped and the wind caught her wings. She was pulled up into the sky, yelling and kicking the whole way.
The wind was so strong, that when Crystal tried to fly, the wind just carried her backward faster. As she flew, trees and plants and anything else the wind could grab was flying through the air.
With a sudden change of pace, the wind yanked Crystal down and into the trees. She fell, crashing into the shaking branches as she went. When she finally came to rest on the muddy forest floor, she could barely make out her surroundings.
Just before she passed out, Crystal saw a shape above her with four golden eyes looking down at her.
And then all was peaceful blackness.
One thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine years ago
“You can never destroy me,” Shadow said. He smiled down at the mages below him, slowly forming a blade of shadows.
“Really?” the head mage asked. “Because I have a lot of faith in this plan of mine.”
“Nothing you do can stop me,” Shadow said. “Not even your stupid wards can stop you now.” With that, he sent the blade soaring through the air. There was a ringing, bell-like, tone as it pierced through the wards surrounding the head mage before the satisfying sound of metal cutting through flesh and bone echoed around the mountain and back.
There was a snarl of fury that came from all the other mages at once.
“And it will take half the effort to kill you,” Shadow said as he turned. He gathered in more of his power and formed it into several shards.
“I was hoping you would do that,” said a voice from behind Shadow. When he whirled around, he saw that the ghost of the head mage was floating there, smiling.
“I can just as easily kill ghosts,” Shadow said.
“Can you?” the head mage said. She held out her talon towards him and a beam of energy shot out and stabbed into Shadow. It grabbed his power and started to drag it out.
Shadow recoiled. He writhed as, bit by bit, his power was pulled out of him. A thin purple mist snaked through the air until almost all of Shadow’s power had coalesced into a ball that was held between the ghost’s talons.
“What have you done?” Shadow said.
“I have taken 99 percent of your power,” the ghost said. She twisted her talons and the power split into three. The three pieces formed a bracelet, a necklace, and a ring. “And split it into three.”
“Give it back!” Shadow said. Suddenly, a portal opened up and the pieces fell into it.
“Oops!” the head mage said. “Now they’re gone.”
“I can still destroy you,” Shadow said.
“You won’t need to,” the head mage said. She twitched, then shimmered in the air. The wavering outline of her glowed with intense light as she screamed in pain. There was a blast of energy that radiated outwards. When Shadow could see again, the head mage was gone.
He drew on his remaining energy and cast a spell. The energy rushed from him and connected his soul to the three pieces so he would know generally where they were when he came back. Then, with a more substantial release of energy, the mountainside exploded. The blast destroyed the mages so entirely there was nothing, not even stray atoms, left.
The sound echoed around the world as Shadow collapsed and crumpled into nothing, sent forward through time to when no one was expecting him. The rocks sizzled and smoked in the wreckage of the explosion.
And Shadow was waiting. And he was ready. He would always be.