I did a post last week about my first impressions of the prompt. When I actually began writing, it was so much harder than WiM Round 1. The story of the previous round came to me in an instant and I typed away. For this one however, I mulled over the photo for hours with nothing creative coming to mind.
The prompt is too simple, and I can’t write contemporary. I needed to make it into fantasy. So I thought. When in doubt – write about Dragons!
Other elements started adding up from there from inspirations around me: Olympics is next year, I was catching up with the anime – Attack on Titan, and Netflix recommended me The Hunger Games.
I also never write in first-person, but the beginning came to me as such, so here’s my first draft after a lot of brain squeezing.
Words Count: 603
The sky was red and so was the ground.
The first Xiomara Trials eight decades ago were brutal. The sky was choked with red smoke and the blood of the fallen painted the clobber stones. Burnt remains of buildings still stand where the revolt took place. They call it the revolt, for us it was the Dark Night. It was our tribute to Xiomara, the first Sentina to ever challenge the Dragons of the Floating Isles.
There was an age-old pact between the upper class, Regina, and the Dragons. They would pick the most brilliant minds every year to take with them and train them in magik, sciences, and other knowledge of the universe. However, for us, we never had that option no matter how smart we were. That was until Xiomara called them out right. She was our visionary. She believed the Sentina could compete with Regina.
This came as great offence to the Dragons and Regina, alike. They didn’t care to be fair; their aim was to set an example to whoever challenged them. They tried to quench the belief Xiomara had spread among her people. They succeeded in destroying her.
That’s when the revolt took place. Their anger and the destruction the Dark Night caused came as a shock for us. Most of it was burnt to the ground by the Dragons flame. What was left of us was destroyed by Regina. Nonetheless, we held our ground, we fought for the spark Xiomara had lighted, we fought for her sake as well. Afterall, we were the dregs – we had nothing to lose.
After the Dark Night, a series of strikes took place impacting the world Regina lived in. They were forced to reach an agreement with the Dragons, but with a caveat. Sentina were only allowed to compete based on physical abilities, not mental ones.
Now, the world Xavi knew had changed a lot since that time. The lines between Regina and Sentina had blurred, but still the two groups rarely mingled in public. Xiomara Trials, now known as the Dragons Tournament, were now held every two years and for the sole purpose of entertainment.
Only a handful of people knew the history of it and the meaning behind the original name. Xavi’s clan, however, made sure they knew about every inch of the what had occurred in the past and what their great ancestor, Xiomara had done to achieve it.
Some traditions still held strong for the Dragons Tournament. The first runner up of the last season would light the flare initiating the beginning of the new season. Xavi wasn’t nervous. She was determined. She had participated in the last season and gotten second place. She wanted to win. She would win; not for herself, definitely not for the dragons, but only for Xiomara.
The flare was handed to her. Her breath hitched. She searched the vast sea of people watching her climb up the lighthouse to where the sky and the sea met. She could make out her people in the public, they all wore black. Anyone identifying as a Sentina did – to honor the Dark Night.
She reached the top of the port and lit the flare, pointing it upwards. She reached out further in the vast openness holding herself by a pole. It was getting cloudy. She didn’t care if the Dragons saw the flare. She tried to reach to Xiomara. A prayer escaped her lips. She held it until the flare ran out. The breeze carried the red smoke steadily over the sea.
The public was cheering in the distance. The Dragon Tournament had officially begun.
Stay tuned for next week for the self-edited draft!
[EDIT: okay, so life got in the way and I wasn’t able to complete this WIM round]