The orange glow of dawn shone through the gap in the curtains of Ella’s room, illuminating a strip of her ivory complexion, right over her eye. She awoke immediately. Sighing and stretching out her limbs, she buried her face in the linens of her pillow for a second before quietly springing out of bed. Her years of practice and training allowed her to move around silently, so she was in no danger of waking her parents as she got dressed and slipped downstairs. She grabbed one of the goblets from the small kitchen cupboard and pulled on her thick leather boots before quietly exiting through the back, gently closing the back door behind her without a squeak. Once she was out, there was no stopping her. It was still dark outside but the sun was starting to escape the protective barrier, which was, in this case, the high peaks of the mountains. Ella ran down the hills at a ferocious speed, her feet barely making a thud as they touched the cold morning earth. She ran until she reached the old well, stopping and setting her goblet on the stones. It wasn’t the well her whole village used to get their water supply, but an abandoned one she had discovered a few weeks back. Ever since, she had been going to this place to get her morning drink, not only because the water tasted a bit better, but because it was the one thing she alone knew about, which made it her and Arin’s (of course) special place.
She pulled the rope, drawing the wooden bucket back up to the surface and setting it on the low stonewalls. She dipped her cup into the clear solution and took a long drink, endorsing her dry throat with the cold, pure water. When she had satisfied her thirst, she patted her face and neck with some of the water, shaking off droplets from her hand. She lowered the bucket back into the depths of the well, then spun around and placed two fingers in her mouth, letting out a long but quick breath, which resulted in her signature whistle. Two seconds later, the heavy beating of wings echoed throughout the mountains, and another two later a large, glorious, magical creature appeared before her, gentle smoke pouring from his nostrils. There was no need for words between Ella and her dragon, Arin. Instead, she immediately sprang onto his back, hugging him with her legs and holding onto the steal-like scaled of his neck. And just like that, they were off. Gliding together through the tops of the mountains, Ella never felt more wild and free.
The wind caused a frozen sensation to tingle over Ella’s wet skin, and soon enough it had dried off. Her long hair whipped backwards in the wind and she closed her eyes, taking in deep breathes and really smelling the dewy scent of the mountains. After about twenty minutes, Arin had started to circle down into a flat clearing surrounded by mountains, a little too close to the forest for Ella’s taste, but the dragon seemed to have it’s mind set, which meant that there would be no debate. She climbed off his back and spun around a couple of times, checking the area for anything suspicious. Arin had already made himself at home, settling down on a patch of grass and stretching out his body, making him seem even huger than what he already was, which was pretty damn big seeing as he was an especially large dragon. Ella smiled at her majestic partner and made her way over towards him, curling up next to his neck and lying on her back, allowing herself to stare at the clouds and see if she could make out any steps. They lay there for what seemed to be forever, watching the morning creep in further every second until the sky was a pale blue. They were in perfect harmony, until all of a sudden Arin sprung to his huge feet and looked around alarmingly, smoke blowing out of his nostrils. Automatically, Ella draw her petrifying sword from her belt and pointed it in the direction of the noise. “Who goes there?!” she voiced confidently, although on the inside she had never been more terrified.