You might remember last November I was rehashing an old novel concept and trying to work in many new elements. Well, it's happened again. Originally titled The Lost Heir, then revamped to The Dragon King's Heir, it's now become Son of the Dragon King and has taken a wild turn I didn't anticipate. I'll welcome any thoughts on the new opening, especially considering I'm not sure if this is the correct place to start.
The stable was still dark, the light from lanterns dimmed almost to nothing as the beasts slept in their stalls. One whistled softly as Hunter crept into the warm closeness of their home, and a triangular, beaky head poked over the half door of that stall ears pricked with interest. The boy patted the proud head and couldn't help but smile a little as the beast chrr'd softly in pleasure.
"Tonight's the night, huh?" Hunter asked softly, getting the bridle down to slip over the pegasus' head as the others began to stir. He needed to disappear before the stable hands woke. "Let me get your tack on, and we'll head out."
It only took a minute. The racing saddle was hardly more than a thin leather pat that cinched under the belly and barrel, and the chest band was as easy as the bridle on Chime. That was her name. It was actually something longer, like 'Chimes in a Summer Breeze' or something like that, but who ever used fanciness like that? Hunter just called her Chime, and she knew the quicker he got her tack on, the sooner they would be in the air.
Nipping gently at his sleeves to hurry him along, the pegasus shifted her feet and shuffled her wings, impatient to be off. As Hunter laughed softly and pushed her head away, he saw that the others were waking, and yanked the cinch as tight as it would go. Chime blew out an annoyed breath, but held still for him as he vaulted up onto her back, settling with his knees braced against her muscular shoulders, and his seat just forward of her wings. Then, reaching down and flicking the latch up with a quick motion, he heaved himself upright as she clattered out into the night, leaving the other pegs in the stable nickering with annoyance or jealousy. They had a race to win.
The chill night air whipped at his face as she galloped into the open training yard and spread her wings. An enormous expanse of feathers opened on either side of him, stretching almost farther than he could see, limited by the darkness. Each wing was more than twice as long as he was tall, and as the mare threw herself skyward, he felt again the stomach-twisting thrill of being airborne. Behind them, he heard a stable hand shout, but he was out of reach already. As long as he cut them in on the winner's purse, they would keep quiet.
So all that was left... was to win.