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CaptainObvious's Writing > Nightcatcher (Fantasy Short Story)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

The dragon was in chains. You know what I am tired of calling this thing the dragon. He needs a name. I think I will name him Liam. Yeah. He looks like a Liam. Stop Nayley. You are getting distracted. Get back to the mission.

I hated my job. I knew I didn't want to be a nightcatcher from they day I found out what that was. Unfortunately, it is kinda the family business. You may be wondering what the heck a nightcather is, well my friend a nightcather is the person that empties dreamcatchers. So the next time you buy a dreamcatcher, think of all the torture you are putting me and every other nightcatcher through. My great-great-great grandfather was the first of a long line of nightcatchers. I used to love hearing the stories of all of the adventures my mom, dad, and grandpa had been on. I used to love how heroic they were. Now that I am living it, I hate it.

My name is Nayley. I'm twelve. The first time I had a mission, I was excited, but now that I have done it 606 times, it stinks. My mission tonight was to empty a little girl named Chicago's dreamcatcher. Hopefully since she is only like five she won't have too traumatizing dreams. Update: boy was I wrong. This girl comes up with some freaky stuff. I feel like I am going through one of the teenage dreams. She had dragons, and not the really cute ones. I'm talking the "if they looked into a mirror they would break it" ugly ones. These guys were horrible.

You may be wondering why I even have to empty dreamcatchers. You may be thinking " why can't you just throw one away after six months like a toothbrush". Well if you don't empty the catchers every so often, the dreams start to seep back into the dreamer's brain, but this time they will just get worse and never go away.

This dragon was red and yellow, with a black stripe on the top of its head. It had red beady eyes. If I am right this dragon is a rare breed. Only the darkest of minds can think up them. They are known as Greyling dragons. Quite deadly. I have only ever fought one other . I almost lost an arm. I am not looking forward to this. I so wish I had a partner.

I quietly made my way to where the dragon was sleeping. I examined the chains that bound Liam. The magical chains were quite old. How? I have no clue because this kid is only like five years old. Anyway they were about to break. I looked around trying to find some type of material to fix the chains. No such luck. All there is around here is grass and trees. I don't have enough time to weave a grass net or else I would use one of those to trap him.

Being a nightcatcher doesn't just mean emptying the dreamcatcher into a trashcan or something. You have to defeat their biggest nightmare. Sometimes you get lucky and only have to pass like a really hard test, but other times *cough* this one *cough* *cough* they are not so easy. I have two options, 1) find a way to fix the chains or 2) fight. Considering the lack of resources, I'm gonna have to fight.

Liam is still asleep. If I can hit him in the right spot, I could kill him instantly. If not, imma have to run for my life. I notched my bow. " Don't fail me now Pea Shooter." I whispered to myself, " All ya gotta do is hit Liam right under his chin. Easy enough. You could do this in your eyes closed." Which is actually kind of true. I have been training non stop for the past two years and I was trained to use a bow. Every other nightcatcher has used swords or daggers, but NO, my family had to be different. We had to use bows. Everytime I ask my mom why we don't use daggers or swords her answer is always the same " We can stay a safe distance away and still hit our target with great accuracy." Thanks mom. So much information there.

I pulled back, closed my eyes, and released. Bullseye! I hit him right where I needed to. Problem number one: I woke Liam up. Problem number two: He is really mad. He snapped the chains in half. Much like what he will do to me if I don't hurry up. I fired another arrow. This time aiming straight for Liam's heart. It won't kill him, but it will slow him down. He was going from a normal, nice red to the color of fire. Kind of ironic considering he was

actually breathing fire. I took off sprinting to the left. I rolled just in time to miss another column of fire. I hope this kid is grateful for everything I am doing for her.

I loaded another arrow. It bounced of his leg, impaling a tree. Oops! He spewed more fire. I shot more arrows. I ran and hid behind a tree. " Think!" I muttered, " What do you know about greylings." They are rare and the most terrifying of all the dragons. Their natural habitat is grassy plains with a few trees. They are carnivores. They have two weaknesses. Wait that's it. I only hit one weakness. I have to hit both. I peeked out from behind the tree. The first arrow I fired is still in that weakness. If I can hit him on the shoulder, just below the shoulder blade, I can kill him.

I ran out from behind the tree and charged. I know that sounds incredibly stupid, but hey I run on stupid. I leaped on his back and was now riding him like a cowboy. I know, I know. Stupid. Liam craned his neck around and breathed some really rank fire breath. I mean I know you are a dragon and all, but would it kill you to use a breath mint every once in awhile. I would

like to say I calmly rolled to the side, but that would be a lie. I was screaming my head off. I did roll away though.

He turned his head to the other side and let out another breath. I flung myself towards Liam's shoulder. I slung my bow on my back and gripped an arrow. One chance. Nayley, you have one chance. I traced my fingers over his skin until I found the part that was completely smooth. I lifted the arrow up high and thrust it down. I knew my plan had worked when he stopped dead in his tracks. Six beams of bright lights blinded me and I was hurled in a sea of darkness.

I woke up a little while later with the tip of Liam's tail on top of me. I did it. I crawled out from under the tail and looked at the dragon, dead on the ground. " Sweet. I didn't die." I stated out loud. Not whispering. Not caring who or what heard me. I was alive and that was all that mattered. I tried to stand and collapsed on the ground. Okay, maybe I am not perfectly okay.

I army crawled over to the biggest tree of all. My way out. I pushed up on the tree and reached as far as I could. I touched the dreamcatcher and was teleported back to my bed. It was five o'clock in the morning. I turned over in my bed and put my bow on my nightstand. Then, I fell asleep. It was well deserved. Maybe next time my mission won't be so life threatening.

Who am I kidding? I am a nightcatcher. Life threatening is what we do best.

THE END


message 2: by Ruby, I write. (new)

Ruby (rubyyy) | 174 comments Mod
*gasps*
*claps enthusiastically*

I loved that! Is that an original idea, the whole nightcatcher thing? If so than double thumbs up, jeez!


message 3: by Mj (new)

Mj James (bookrecluse) I like the idea of a nightcatcher A LOT! I am wondering though if maybe the story would benefit from being written in third person instead of first. I kind of feel like I am being lectured when I read it - which pulls me away from the story. The story itself is awesome.

I also wonder why he is out on his own if he is only twelve. It seems like it would be a bit more of an apprenticeship. Also, why did he not want to do it - yet he was excited for his first mission. And then he completely identifies with it at the end.


message 4: by Ruby, I write. (new)

Ruby (rubyyy) | 174 comments Mod
It's a he? Woah okay I thought the main character was a girl - maybe then also specify something about the character's appearance or something that discreetly tells us the gender in the beginning.


message 5: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Oooh I love your idea!! The only thing I'd say is maybe try and have your sentences flow easier. It's a little choppy in some places. Maybe add in some different sentence types and contractions but other than that really good:-) I wish I was that creative.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

♣RubyRedWriter♣ wrote: "*gasps*
*claps enthusiastically*

I loved that! Is that an original idea, the whole nightcatcher thing? If so than double thumbs up, jeez!"


thank you all for the nice comments and the critiques. nayley is a female and i found a writing prompt online and decided to go with it. the writing prompt went a little something like this: every once in a while dreamcathers have to be emptied, who does it and what do they see?


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Mindy wrote: "I like the idea of a nightcatcher A LOT! I am wondering though if maybe the story would benefit from being written in third person instead of first. I kind of feel like I am being lectured when I r..."

thank you for the critique mindy. when i was writing this i pictured Nayley as, yes being twelve, but thinking more along the lines of she was seen as being 100% capable of doing it herself and her parents believed in her to do it herself. then again it could've been the fact that i wrote this in a walmart parking lot at 11:30 at night, so more than likely i was tired and didn't notice it


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