The Eagle and the Dragon
Written by: Ash Cinder
A gift for Adler and Blazen
The eagle trekked through the snowy mountains, the strong icy wind making his beak sting. His light blue feathers normally kept him warm, but he wasn’t used to weather like this. The scholars hadn’t predicted a snowstorm like this when he spoke with them before he made his journey to the next town through the mountains.
Adler knew he couldn’t just set up camp now, the wind would surely blow his tent away and put out any fire he tried to set to warm himself further. He was practically losing feathers at this point the wind was so powerful. Where could he possibly go from here? He could barely see a foot in front of him with the powerful blizzard raging all around the poor bird.
He looked around for some place to take shelter; a cave, some spot under a rock, a miraculous cabin on the mountain. But there was nothing but snow as far as his eyes could see. Then as he was looking something caught his eye, a shadow moving fast on the ground. It looked like the shadow of something flying around, and the shadow was coming right toward him!
Adler looked up and his beak fell open as he saw some kind of creature flying around in circles above him! Adler quickly kicked it into high gear and started running up the mountain’s path trying to outrun whatever it was chasing him, but the shadow stayed right behind him, following him with extreme precision, even zigzagging didn’t throw whatever it was off Adler’s tail, it stayed locked on him.
Adler looked back and let out a panicked squawk as he saw whatever the thing was descending slowly on him.
“No! Get away!” He screamed.
He snapped his head back to look ahead at where he was running and gasped realizing he’d run off the path and was headed right for a cliff. He tried to stop in time but ended up sliding right off the edge of the cliff. His screams echoed off the side of the mountain as he fell. He tried to flap his wings attempting to try and fly out of this situation, but he was carrying too much stuff on his back. He closed his eyes and braced for impact but after a few seconds it no longer felt like he was falling anymore.
He opened his eyes to see that he was indeed soaring through the air, but how? He then looked up to see that a black and blue dragon had grabbed ahold of his backpack whisked him into the air.
“Ah! Put me down!” The bird demanded.
“Is that anyway to thank me for saving your life?” The dragon shouted over the strong wind.
“Besides, if I put you down here, you’d just fall down the side of the mountain again.” He said, laughing a little.
“Wait, so you’re not trying to kill me?” Adler asked.
“Look, let’s wait till we get back to my place to talk, so we don’t have to shout over this storm.” The dragon said.
The black and blue reptile flew Adler around the mountain before flying toward the mountain’s face and landing in a cave, the dragon made sure to be careful of his landing so that he wouldn’t hurt the smaller bird.
Once they landed softly, the blue bird shook the snow off his feathers and clothes and turned to the dragon that had just saved his life, who was also brushing snow off his body. Adler got a good look at his savior now that they were out of the storm. He was a black dragon with light blue horns, claws, and wings, and he had a small blue spot on his snout. He was wearing a bit of leather armor with a sword holster on his back. Adler had to admit, the dragon did look very heroic.
“Wow, uh, thanks for saving me back there… I mean, after you nearly scared me out of my feathers.” Adler said.
“Sorry about that,” The dragon said, scratching behind his head nervously. “I saw you wandering around down there and tried to get closer to see you more clearly. I’d imagine you couldn’t see me that clearly either in that storm.”
“Yeah,” The eagle said.
“What were you doing out there anyway?”
“I’m a messenger eagle from the town on the east side of the mountain and I’m tasked with delivering messages over to the town on the west side.”
“Yeah, ‘Don’t worry’ they said, ‘It’ll be an easy journey’ they said! ‘No inclement weather at all’.” The bird vented, rolling his eyes.
“Dang, sounds like they really gave you the shaft,” The dragon said. “I’m Blazen, by the way.” He said, reaching out his hand.
“Adler,” The bird greeted, grabbing the dragon’s hand with his wing and shaking it.
“Nice to meet you,” Blazen said with a smile, “even if it is through some pretty crazy circumstances.”
“Yeah, so you live up here?” Adler asked.
“Sure do!” He said proudly. “Perfect place actually, don’t have to worry about anyone coming down here and stealing my stuff, and I can easily fly down to the two towns on either side of the mountain to take jobs and buy supplies.”
“I’m surprised we haven’t met yet,” Adler said.
“Well, I mostly find jobs in the other town your traveling to, so that’s why.”
“Ah, so can I stay here until the storm stops?” Adler asked.
“Of course, I didn’t save you and bring you all the way up here just to send you back out in the cold.”
“Thanks so much!” Adler said.
He immediately dropped the backpack he was carrying and ran over and hugged the dragon. Blazen was taken aback slightly at the sudden display of affection from the friendly bird, but he didn’t reject it. He had to admit, he enjoyed the softness of the bird’s feathers against his scales. He returned the hug, wrapping his muscular arms around the smaller bird. Adler realized how sudden this was and quickly released the dragon from his embrace.
“Sorry, I’ve just been having a miserable journey and I’m glad I could find a place to stay the night.”
“Well, once the storm blows over, I could just fly you down to the town if you want.” Blazen suggested.
“I mean, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble…” Adler said.
“Oh, please it’s nothing, I have to fly down tomorrow for some supplies anyway.”
“I’d really appreciate it.” Adler said, still shivering a little.
“You still cold?” Blazen asked.
“Y-Yeah, that storm really blew a lot of feathers off me,” Adler explained. “Take a look.”
He held up one of his wings which Blazen could clearly see was missing a few feathers, just as Adler had said.
“Don’t worry, they’ll grow back, but I’m definitely going to be a bit colder tonight because of it.”
Blazen blushed a bit, as he thought of asking the bird if he would want to share body heat to keep warm, worried he might find that awkward.
“Well…” Blazen started, “I’ve got some food, I could cook you a hot meal to reheat you?” He suggested instead.
“Uh, yeah that’d be great!” Adler said, realizing that he was a little hungry.
“Alright, well I’ll get the food ready then. You just get settled and I’ll be back in a few.” Blazen said before running off to go cook something for his avian guest.
While Adler waited, he couldn’t help but marvel at what good fortune had shined on him. He never expected some dragon would swoop in and whisk him away from that cold squalor that was going on outside. And even luckier, the dragon offered to fly him down to his destination in the morning.
Adler had to admit the dragon was pretty cute, seemed to be a bit of the bashful sort, but that was probably just because he wasn’t used to having company up here in his cave. Adler still couldn’t believe that he’d almost ran off a cliff trying to get away from him.
After a few minutes Adler could smell something cooking from another part of the cave and decided to follow the scent. A little deeper into the cave and he found his reptilian host cooking a pot over a makeshift fire. The dragon looked up.
“Oh hi,” He greeted.
“Hi, sorry I smelled the cooking and couldn’t stay away.”
“I made some soup with some vegetables I had, didn’t know if you were vegetarian or not, so I wanted to be safe.”
“Thanks! It smells great!”
“Good to hear,” Blazen said, “I don’t usually have anyone up here with me, so it’s nice to get complimented on my cooking. Or the smell, at least, we’ll see if it tastes good.” He said a bit nervously.
“I’m sure it’ll be fine.”
Blazen stirred the soup a little more before grabbing a bowl and serving the eagle some of it, waiting eagerly to hear what he thought of it. Adler grabbed a spoon and took a bite of the soup, savoring the nice flavor of all the different vegetables the dragon put in. He licked his beak and happily ate some more of the soup. Blazen smiled seeing Adler enjoying his cooking.
“I’m guessing with the fact that it’s not making you sick that it’s good?” He asked.
“Oh, it’s great! Just what I need to warm me up!” Adler said happily.
“Yay! I’m not a bad cook!” Blazen cheered, serving himself a bowl.
The two young anthros enjoyed their warm meal and eventually moved over to Blazen’s chair he kept by the fire. Turned out Adler didn’t mind getting a little close to stay warm. They talked more about their lives and interests, but as they both continued, they started to get tired and eventually both ended up dozing off in the chair together.
Blazen woke up in the middle of the night, as he often did if he fell asleep anywhere besides his bed and quickly turned red when he realized he and his newly found bird friend had fallen asleep together in the chair.
Blazen had to admit, the blue eagle looked pretty cute snuggled up against him. His feathers felt really nice too. Blazen wondered if he should wake the little guy up or not and ultimately decided against it. Who was he to disturb the bird’s slumber after the hard journey he’d had. Plus, it wasn’t like it bothered the dragon at all. He nuzzled the bird’s head a bit before falling back asleep.
Adler was the first to wake when morning came, he’d almost forgotten where he was until he remembered being flown up here by his new dragon friend, who he just realized he’d fallen asleep with in his leather arm chair. Adler giggled a bit looking up at the black and blue dragon, quietly snoring away in the chair, his arms wrapped around the smaller bird.
Adler had to admit, he did enjoy the reptile’s warm embrace, better than any blanket he could have had. He snuggled a bit against the dragon’s muscled body while he continued to sleep. While he relaxed, he listened around the cave, realizing he couldn’t hear the wind blowing from outside. The storm must have stopped.
Adler heard Blazen yawn and stretch out his arms, finally waking up. He looked down at the blue avian.
“Morning big guy,” Adler greeted.
“Hey,” Blazen yawned again.
“Sounds like the snowstorm stopped now,” Adler said.
Blazen stretched his arms again and let Adler climb off the chair.
“Think you can fly me down in a few? I’d like to get these messages down as soon as I can.”
“No problem! Just let me get a change of clothes.”
Blazen changed and both of them headed outside the cave.
“Alright, hold out your wings.” Blazen said.
Adler made his body in the shape of a T. Blazen gripped Adler’s wings firmly before starting to flap his and lifted them both off into the air. Adler looked back as they left Blazen’s cave behind.
“So, can you not fly with those wings of yours?” Blazen asked.
“I can… when I’m not having to lug around a heavy backpack.”
“Ah, you should ditch it then, could probably make a lot more faster trips.”
“Nah, I have to carry it, it’s part of my job for when I’m delivering messages to another town. So, unfortunately it has to stay.”
In no time at all, Blazen landed in the next town, letting Adler go.
“Thanks so much for all your help.” Adler said, “I guess I’ll be going, got a few messages to deliver to everyone in town.”
Blazen was a bit sad to part ways with his new friend. He really hoped they’d be able to meet again at some point in the future. Then the dragon got an idea.
“Hey,” Blazen said, blushing a bit, “maybe you don’t have to journey up the mountain anymore?” He suggested.
“What do you mean?” Adler asked.
“I mean, if you ever have to make another journey and I’m in town, just ask me to fly you over, you won’t have to make the extra long journey up and down the mountain anymore, or risk getting lost in snowstorms.”
“You suggesting a partnership or something?”
“Hm, not having to worry about the freezing cold and getting to hangout with the nice guy who cooked me soup last night?” Adler pondered. “Sounds great!”
“Alright!” Blazen said, a bit more excited than he meant to sound.
Adler giggled, even if it had been a pain to make it up that mountain in the first place, he was glad that he ended up making a really good friend along the way.
My Patreon Editors
Michael E. Dunlop