Finding Dragons – Chapter 1 (Part 2 of 3)

Dragon Journal Cover 2 (cropped)

Well, here is part two of the first chapter of Finding Dragons.

I’m posting this chapter in three parts — the first was Monday, so if you haven’t read that yet, you’ll want to check that out first HERE or you’ll probably be lost.  Today (Wednesday) is part two, and I’ll post the third and final piece on Friday.  After each is up, I’ll come back and put the links to the other two parts at the bottom of each post, so you can click to continue reading if you’re starting from scratch.

You can find more information about the image above at the bottom of the post.

Well, enjoy, and please feel free to leave any comments or questions below!

This post is copyright © Jamie Lyn Weigt.  All rights reserved.  Please do not share without credit and a direct link back to this post and my site,

Finding Dragons
by Jamie Lyn Weigt

Chapter 1 (continued…)

“You know it bothers some people,” Kite murmured. “Eagle and Sparrow have both asked me not to cause more trouble, and I don’t like being different,” she said, her voice shaking a little. “We can go look, I’ll help you. But not that way, I’m done with it. Please.” Kite blinked hard and suddenly released Azur’s hand to swipe at her eyes. Then she took a deep breath and looked up at the sky. “It’s fine, Az,” she said, shifting her basket to her other arm as she exhaled in a sigh. “It really is. Just don’t make a big deal about it, okay? It will be better if I’m the same as everyone else.”

But Azur — born Azur Dove, then given an early Naming Ceremony and renamed Azur Nuthatch when she was only nine, after the only bird they knew of in all of Sky that could climb headfirst down trees — had never been one to let things alone.

“That’s ridiculous!” Azur said, placing her basket on top of Kite’s, then snatching them both out of her friend’s grasp and setting them on the ground beside them. She placed her hands on Kite’s shoulders and shook her a little. “What’s so different about you? You can find things–”

She was surprised when Kite interrupted her. “But it’s not natural!” Kite said, startled.

“Who says?” Azur countered. “Your mom remembers all the healing plants better than anyone else. My mom cooks the best stew. Little Tern can weave the most amazing mats that never fray.” She nodded down at the baskets. “See, you can even tell that one’s not hers, it’s already coming apart,” she said.

She pulled Kite forward until their foreheads were touching. Her friend’s eyes were wide, a combination of alarm and fear, Azur thought. “Now you listen to me,” Azur continued, less excitedly now. “I’m not saying you should use it all the time. I know it tires you out, more than when we were little. And if you really don’t want to, I won’t make you.” She released Kite’s shoulders and pulled her friend into a hug. Azur had braided Kite’s hair herself, leaving some of it loose to flow down her friend’s back in unruly ringlets, which she smoothed down as she rubbed Kite’s back. “But we’re all different, Kite, we all have different gifts. That’s what makes each of us important,” Azur finished.

Kite buried her face in Azur’s shoulder, returning the hug fiercely. The two girls, as close as sisters, stood together for a long moment, and then Kite shivered a little. “What if they ask me to leave?” Kite said in a small voice.

Azur scoffed at her friend’s exaggeration and hugged her tighter. Unlike some of the other bands in Sky, the Small Wings were known to be accepting of almost anyone, and only the gravest infractions warranted expulsion. But she could tell her friend was still on edge, so she pulled away to look into Kite’s eyes again. “Then we’ll go live with your uncles,” Azur said brightly. “Aren’t they still with the Bright Tails in the south? This close to the Gathering, they wouldn’t be hard to find. They bring so much fish every year, they must follow the lake edge as they come north.”

Kite gave a slight nod as if she were really considering this as a possible plan. Azur stifled a laugh at Kite’s earnestnest as she broke away to pick up their baskets once more. “Right then. I’ll trade in my spear for… well, a fishing spear.” She handed Kite the wrong basket first, in order to rummage through the items Kite had picked up.

That got a small chuckle out of her friend, Azur was happy to hear. “But first, I need to find the woven bracelets I was working on yesterday, you saw them,” she continued. “Most of them are green highgrass, but I wove Nuthatch feathers into a few of them so they’re more blue. I haven’t missed a trade exchange with Sandpiper since we met, and I can’t mess it up this year, our most important. I’m sure you could find them if you tried,” Azur said, but she was careful not to stress the word find so noticeably this time.

Kite pressed her lips together and mock-glared at Azur, the way she always did when she was about to give in to Azur’s plans. “All right. I’ll try,” Kite said, though she sent one more nervous glance toward the bustle near the center gathering space in the adult camp. Azur followed her gaze and saw some of the adults speaking with some elders before the group broke apart abruptly, and they all went different directions.

“I know you can do it,” Azur said, pulling Kite’s attention back to the issue at hand. “Sandpiper has to invite me to visit the Talons after the Gathering, once he accepts the bracelets, and we’ve always gotten along so well.” Azur knew she was beaming; she felt a fluttering in her stomach every time she thought about Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. He was a boy in the Talon band to the east, tall and strong, and when they’d seen each other at the last Gathering a year ago, he’d given her the carved antler ear piercings she had worn and treasured every day since. The bracelets she’d made were a symbol that she wanted to deepen their relationship, since Sandpiper, like Azur, was about to attend her sixteenth gathering. According to the Traditions of the four Bird Territories of Sky, young people were allowed to pursue romantic relationships beginning at their sixteenth gathering, either in their own band or in another they shared peaceful ties with.

Kite was still only fifteen, however, and Azur knew she found the subject of romantic partners hopeless. Just after the last Gathering, Azur had pestered Kite about her crush on a girl, older than them by a few years, who had come to stay with the Small Wings; but she had only stayed long enough to have her child and bless it’s adoption before returning to the Dark Hearts in the north, so Kite’s crush had been short-lived.

More recently, Azur had caught Kite sneaking veiled looks at their fledgemate, Tawny Pipet, although Kite hotly denied this when pressed. But even if things worked out with Sandpiper, Azur thought, she’d still have a year or more before they made any decisions as to where they would settle down, giving her plenty of time to guide her best friend through the trials of love while she navigated it herself.

“We have to finish the north hill before we look, though,” Kite said resolutely, and Azur, brought back from her thoughts about love, conceded that they had a duty to their band and a task to finish before she could go searching for her own bracelets. But with the two of them combing the hillsides together, they soon made short work of picking up the rest of the small things scattered by the winds.

They were returning to the children’s camp, so called because it was set up by the younglings who wanted a taste of adulthood and no longer wanted to stay with their parents every night, when Azur noticed one couple in the adult’s camp going from tent to tent, talking to everyone they met. Azur wondered if they were putting together a hunting party, and she didn’t want to be roped in before she’d had a chance to go looking for her trade gifts. On top of that, she could see by a sideways glance at Kite’s face that her reassurances were beginning to wear off, and her friend’s anxieties were creeping back. Still, she didn’t want to push Kite to use her power; even Azur had to admit to herself that what Kite could do was more than recalling herbs, so she didn’t mention the bracelets again just yet.

Even though they were planning to break camp later that day, most of the tents that had blown down had been reset again out of habit, once they were sure the unnatural winds had calmed. The tousled occupants had worked mostly by feel in the pre-dawn shadows, with the help of anyone else who was close, to put their shelters back up for use on their last day at this camp.

Luckily, no one had been hurt, although one family’s inner tent lining had been badly singed, as the couple had been up feeding their infant and the small fire pit in their tent had been uncovered at the time.  Earlier, Azur had seen a group of young children gathered around the tent’s owner to watch him make repairs to the lining, and wondered if she should stop by later for a refresher herself.

Once back at their own shared tent, Kite fussed with the lines and the smoke hole flaps and the door covering after she had set the baskets inside for safe keeping. Azur watched, debating whether they should strike the tent now or wait until later, when she heard voices approaching. She looked over in annoyance — it was nearing midday already, so surely she’d be asked on a hunt soon, or Kite would be asked to join a forage group — but her scowl quickly changed to a smile when she saw the boys approaching. Tawny Pipet and his twin, Winter Wren, both dressed as Azur was in soft breeches, Pipet bare-chested and Wren wearing a much more intricately beaded tunic than Azur’s, squabbled loudly as they headed toward their own tent across from the girls’, which hadn’t blown down.

“They can’t just all be gone,” Wren said, exasperated. “You probably weren’t even in the right place. Were you in the lead?” The bright feathers twisted in Wren’s dark hair caught the light and shimmered as a strong breeze lifted his many braids.

“I’m telling you, every dragonet, and every bird,” Pipet countered, pounding the ground with the butt of his spear for emphasis. He’d secured his dreadlocks up out of his face with a braided cord today. “I just got back with Redshank’s hunting party, and the entire nesting grounds is empty.  They’re just gone.”

(To be concluded…)

Thank you for reading!  Part 3 will be posted on Friday… click HERE if it’s blue for the conclusion of the chapter!

This post is copyright © Jamie Lyn Weigt.  All rights reserved.  Please do not share without credit and a direct link back to this post and my site,

Dragon Journal Cover 2

For continuity’s sake, today’s image is another angle of the beautiful journal cover I found on Monday (and you can find even more images at that link, and I’ll share another on Friday).  From what I can tell, it was a piece that is currently unavailable by Mandarin Duck Journals and Jewelry.  She has many other beautiful pieces and even tutorials on how to create your own available through her shop, so go check them out!

Image credit

3 thoughts on “Finding Dragons – Chapter 1 (Part 2 of 3)

  1. Pingback: Finding Dragons – Chapter 1 (Part 3 of 3) | Writing Dragons

  2. Pingback: Finding Dragons – Chapter 1 (Part 1 of 3) | Writing Dragons

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