The Last Moon Dragon

PSA to idiots on the internet who think it's ok to plagiarise, this story has already been reposted once by a user on wattpad and I (OP / author) reported them immediately. Don't copy and paste other people's stuff. It's against the law. Think of your own idea before stealing an 11 year old's.

CAUTION: TWO YEAR OLD DRAFT VERSION. FULL OF SPELLING MISTAKES AND OTHER GRAMMATICAL ERRORS. "The kingdom of Heriven isn't exactly the best place to live. Ruled by a twisted King and a power-hungry Baron, the poor exist to serve the rich. Attacks from other kingdoms have finally ceased over hundreds of years, but only because of a bigger problem. Other places have infestations of lice and vermin, Heriven has dragons. Although there has not been a dragon sighted in the kingdom for over a decade, and the people are at ease, it won't be long before it all changes, and a legendary dragon shall make its reappearance...This was voted best Fantasy Movella 2012

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43. Moving Branches

Pike lay down behind the abandoned barn on the edge of the village. He knew death could not be far away for him. He hadn't eaten in weeks, and he could feel his bones clicking together when he stretched.

Pike had given up on ever seeing Ocello, Kytra, or even Fletch again. Although he mainly hid around the alleyways now, he had heard the same news as all the other peasants had. The King's sister was missing, and the witch had disappeared in the dead of night, taking all her healing potions with her.

Today the manor-house guards were coming to search the village for Ocello, assumedly on the King's orders, though Pike doubted this. Every house hold that hadn't starved or been made homeless by taxes were opening up everything that a young girl could be hidden in.

Pike had been thinking a lot since his father had been locked away, and his mother left him. Thinking distracted him from hunger and thirst, at least, although barely any of his thoughts were happy ones.

He lay on his back, face looking up at the blaring sun, then he turned onto his side so that the shadow of the shabby building concealed him. He closed his eyes. It wasn't a bad place to die, really. It was warm and dry, and he felt a light breeze ruffle his light hair. His stomach made a dying sort of noise. The little noise of the villagers was beginning to fade...

Pike felt something hard and sharp hit his lower back. He felt around him. It was just a small rock, probably.

Again. Another rock. Pike tried hard to ignore the pain. He was too weak and tired to find out what or who was throwing them at him. Pike picked up one of the small rocks and flinched when it's sharp edge broke his skin. Within moments, the pain started to melt away...

But Pike's eyes snapped open when he heard his name.

"Pike!" a voice hissed from behind him.

He looked at the rock in his hand. Except it wasn't a rock. It was a small, roughly cut yellow gemstone, wet with blood from his hands.

Pike turned on his side. Before his was the dark and wild forest. Hunger has driven me mad, he thought. I was no-where near the forest. Maybe I'm seeing things.

"Pike!"

He looked up, towards the place where he thought the voice was coming from. He recognised it, it was slightly lyrical and quite definitely female. It called his name with the shrill tone of a young bird.

"Pike! Thank goodness! I thought you were dying - or dead!" whispered the voice in a fearful relief.

Through the twisted and blackened tree branches, he saw a pair of eyes the colour of emeralds. He had only ever seen one person with eyes that bright, besides Ocello.

"Kytra?"

Pike jumped at the sound of his own voice. He hadn't heard himself speak in a while, and his throat hurt terribly.

"Here. Take my hand." Kytra forced her arm through the branches. Their thorns snagged her skin and Pike saw the blood.

"Stop! Doesn't that hurt?"

"No! - well, yes, but I need to get to you!"

"Kytra, I can't reach you anyway. I couldn't if I tried."

"I'm not going to let you die here, while I watch!"

Pike felt his eyes start to close again but forced them open, willing himself to stay awake.

"Can't you find an opening in the trees?"

"I'll try."

Pike heard shuffling and a few little yelps. Then, a sigh of annoyance.

"You alright?"

"My hair's all caught in the branches now." he heard Kytra whine. Pike couldn't help smiling.

"I found a gap! It's right near the ground, over here," Kytra called in whisper. Pike heard her and rolled over.

"I can't see you. Put your hand through the gap or something."

"I've got a better idea." said Kytra.

Through the branches that grew into the ground a couple of meters away from where Pike lay, two tiny sparkling gemstones rolled out. They glittered bright white, like icicles.

"Can you see them?" hissed Kytra.

"Yes,"

"Drag yourself to them, and I'll help you."

"Why can't you just come out?"

"Nobody can see me. They'll hunt me down and hang me." Kytra's voice had turned very quick and frightful.

"Trust me, Kytra, everybody here is either dead or dying. There aren't any guards. Please. I can't move," pleaded Pike.

There was a silence as Kytra considered.

"Alright then. Wait a moment, I need to make the gap bigger."

After a few minutes of scuffling and the snapping of branches (as well as few small cries when the thorns caught Kytra's skin), half of Kytra was out of the gap in the trees and she could reach Pike's hands. She looked around, fearfully, and started to pull him into the forest.

"You can go slower, we're not exactly in a rush," Pike said, grumpily.

"Not - really," Kytra panted. "This is no ordinary forest."

"Yes, because apparently dragons live in it. Is that what you're afraid of?"

"Not right now!" hissed Kytra. "It's the trees you've got to be worried about!"

"What are you talking abou - what in the name of fire..."

Kytra almost screamed, but Pike managed to clap his skeletal hand over her mouth just in time.

The black branches, which had seemed so innocently dark and dead when Pike had seen Kytra's eyes through them, were...moving. They were curling and writhing like snakes around his ankles, trapping his feet to the edge of the forest, cutting off the blood flow. Already, his feet were starting to go numb. He tried to kick at them, but he was weak and tired, and the more he kicked the tighter the branches became.

Kytra couldn't move, and this time it wasn't because she was scared. The branches were curling around her neck and she started to choke, her hand loosing it's grip on Pike's -

"KYTRA!"

Her green eyes started to roll up into her head and Pike could only watch in utter horror and dismay.

They were both going to die. Here, locked in the branches of long-dead trees. Nobody would find them. Pike's heart thumped in panic, and that was when he felt the slash down his foot. He cried out.

Someone was cutting - or hacking rather, at the branches that were entwined with his feet. The blade of a small dagger, held by a pale hand, was cutting the branches.

With every slash they fell back and hissed at the intruder, then fell lifeless to the ground.

Finally, Pike's feet were free. he scrambled up through the tunnel of undergrowth that Kytra had cleared, trying to find her. She was unconscious, tied to a twisted trunk by hardened tendrils of trees.

"Give me your blade!" Pike cried desperately to the person on the other side of the forest. Immediately, the dagger slid under the treeline towards Pike's hand. He grabbed it and lifted to the branches around Kytra's neck, coming closer to her. The adrenaline rush caused him to leave his weakness and half-dead mind behind him.

Her eyes flickered as the first few branches fell away, and Pike felt stronger when he heard her breathing. When she was free he pulled her into his bony arms, away from the trees that hissed at him.

Kytra's head on his collarbones, he thanked the owner of the blade, passing the dagger back under the trees.

"That's quite alright, Pike." they said quietly.

Astounded at how a stranger knew his name, he peered closer at the figure through the trees. They were covered with a black cloak.

 Kytra's eyes flickered open, frightened and alert, but when she saw Pike's face over her, she relaxed and stared through the trees as he was.

The stranger lifted her hood and shook out a mane of long dark hair, that could have once been glossy and beautiful, but now resembled the feathers of a decomposing raven.

She looked at Pike and Kytra, pushing the dead branches away. Her eyes stared into Pike's. They shone blue. Blue like Heriven's evening moon, blue like the lake before it was dirtied, and blue like the most exquisite of sapphires.

Pike's heart melted.

"Ocello," he whispered.

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