Friday, September 27, 2013

Fragment Friday #1 -- The Dragon Struts His Stuff

 This Friday Fragment is from my award-winning, bestselling novel, THE DRAGON HOUR.

The setting is a land called Lochlorraine, a 17th century village ripped out of time by a bold science experiment that bounces them from century to century. When a 21st century band of thugs gets trapped inside, the village's acting ruler, Lady Caryn, recognizes one of them and know the role he's destined to play.  But Luke doesn't see it that way.  This excerpt shows Lady Caryn doing her best to convince Luke that he truly is their legendary dragon slayer.

“Clearly you know naught of dragons, sir.” Her tone annoyed him.

“Only what I've read in fairy tales.”

“Then you must have read of their fiery breath. And if you know that, then you must also know that it sets the roofs afire.”

With the volume of sparks that flew from the chimneys, Luke found it miraculous that the straw roofs didn't routinely burst into flames. 

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The horn blew again.  Ormeskirk swooped low over the village. Not a volley had been fired at his approach. His unexpected appearance had apparently caught the castle sentry off guard. Now, with the bird so close to the ground, the soldiers wouldn't shoot for fear of hitting one of their own. As the bird glided low, they rushed forward with pitchforks and axes. A man leaped up on the dip of a wing and caught it with the tine of his weapon.

Ormeskirk faltered, a sight that evoked a prayer of thanks from Caryn's lips. But Luke's heart twisted at the ensuing scream. As the bird struggled to stay aloft, his injured wing struck a cottage. Straw flew into the wind. A rafter collapsed, pulling in a stretch of roof. With another scream, the bird rose and turned, his open beak poised just above the crumbling roof. The cottage instantly burst into flames.

“Jesus!” Luke exclaimed, snapping his head toward Caryn.

She gave him a censuring look. “So, Sir Luke Slade, do ye still affirm that dragons do not exist? Or do birds of your time breathe fire and smoke as this one does?”

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