That moment when somebody tries to get you to wake up, but your body does not like that. Your body turns to mush. You don't want to move. Your mind seems to be silently coaxing you back to sleep. It's not an ingredient for the recipe of a good morning.
That's exactly the way Spottedwing started his first morning on the new island.
“Spottedwing,” came Ella's voice. “wake up!”
The blue Night Fury just moaned and twitched his left ear.
“Well I guess that's some sort of sign of life,” Ella grumbled. “Wake up, Spottedwing!” she said again, louder, and shoved him with her paw.
Spottedwing groaned again and meant to say “leave me alone”, but it came out more like “lsebvosibd”
Then the voice of Frill was suddenly beside him. “Don't worry Ella, I've got this.”
The sound of Frill's little paws approached him. Spottedwing didn't open his eyes. The darkness was so soothing....and the grass underneath him was so soft....
A split second later, something wet and covered in slime was stuck up his left nostril.
Instantly he shot out of bed and recoiled into the grasses, shouting “EW!” He got up so fast that his head started to spin, and he lost his balance and fell over onto his side. For a moment he rolled around, trying to get up, and when he did, he scowled at the two dragons in front of him.
Frill and Ella were howling in laughter. Frill was lying in the grass rolling around, laughing so hard he couldn't even breathe, and Ella was doing the same, minus the rolling.
“You should have seen your face!” Frill said between convulsions of laughter. “You...HA...your eyes were huge!” When he said that, Ella laughed harder and started to gasp for breath between shudders of laughter.
Spottedwing felt his face burn in embarrassment. “I was sleepy!” he said indignantly.
Ella was visibly trying to stop laughing, but she was still chuckling. “I'm sorry...but you were asleep for so long, we had to get you up!”
Spottedwing narrowed his eyes and glared at Frill. “So you get Frill to stick his tongue up my nose?”
After he said that, there was a brief silence in which nobody knew what to say. Then, as the realization of how funny what Spottedwing had just said set in, all three of them burst into laughter.
After the laughter started to die down, Spottedwing gave a final chuckle, then stopped. “Well, I guess I'm up. How long did I sleep?”
“It's almost the middle of the day,” Frill replied. “You were out for a long time.”
“That's why we thought we should get you up,” Ella said. “I had no idea it would be that hard.”
Frill snorted. “He's always been that way.”
Spottedwing just shrugged. “What can I say? I'm not a morning dragon.”
“Obviously,” Frill said.
He noticed something. Frill had said it was almost mid-day, but it was shady. He looked up and remembered he was in a coolie. The leaves and thick trees provided shade from the hot sun. He could see why Ella and Toxic decided to live here. It provided good shelter.
“So Spottedwing,” Ella said. “Are you going to leave or would do you want to stay with us for a while more?”
Spottedwing thought about that for a moment. He really didn't have anywhere to go, but he also didn't want to be any trouble to Ella and Toxic.
When he voiced that thought, Ella just smiled that friendly smile again. “You can stay with us as long as you want.”
Frill raised his wing. “I'm all for that one.”
Spottedwing smiled. Perhaps he should have gone out of his way to make friends sooner. But ever since the accident, he never trusted himself to have friends again. “Thank you, Ella. It means a lot to me that you're willing to let a stranger live with you.”
“Don't mention it, Spottedwing.” She turned and walked a little ways up the coolie to a place where the leaves and foliage wasn't so dense. “Toxic is out hunting again. He most likely won't be back until tonight.”
Frill whispered in Spottedwing's ear. “He's gone again because we scared off some elk when we landed yesterday.”
Spottedwing felt a pang of guilt when Frill said that, but pushed it aside. “So...is there anything you'd like me to do, or help you out with, Ella?”
Ella looked back at him. “I don't think so.”
Frill yawned widely. “I dunno about you, but I'm going to go for a fly around. Just to check this island out.”
Spottedwing nodded. “That's a great idea, Frill.”
Frill nodded in turn. “I keep telling you I'm full of them, but you never listen.”
Ella giggled at that.
Spottedwing rolled his eyes. “Whatever. I'm going that way,” he signalled to the west with a flick of his wing. “Are you going to come?”
The terror seemed to think this over for a moment. “Actually, I kind of feel like going east today. How about we meet up back here later tonight?”
The blue Night Fury was a little surprised that Frill didn't want to go with him, but he didn't think much of it. “Alright, that sounds like a good idea.”
After a brief goodbye from Ella, Frill and Spottedwing went their respective ways, neither of them having any idea what to expect.
Later, as Spottedwing wandered through the forest, he noticed a break in the trees up ahead. Since he had left Ella and Toxic's coolie, his current home, he had been so occupied with looking around and studying things he didn't even notice that he had come back to the place where he had met Toxic the previous night.
He stepped out of the trees and felt the breeze from the sea gently hit his face, sending a shiver through his scales as the chill gripped him. He walked out onto the sun-warmed sand. It felt very good on his paws. The blue Night Fury gazed out on the horizon, and the same thought that had struck him when he left Berk was now striking him again.
What am I doing?
He didn't know. When he saw those explosions in the sky, he just felt the impulse to fly out to see what it was.
Perhaps it was because he was thirsty for something interesting that would put some sort of adventure in his rather self-contained lifestyle. Certainly, it could be. How could he want to keep going the way he was going? Would it even had been possible? Or would he have fallen apart if he had taken much more of it? The very fact that he was leaving Berk and discovering a new island seemed to make him....happy? That might be the word. It was something, something else than living by himself and roaming endlessly, drowning himself in self-hate and pity. It was exciting!
And he was glad he decided to. It was time for him to press on. Move away from all the pain he had dwelled on in the past. To go back to where he was would be wrong.
But....the pain still lingered. It would never heal, and he knew it.
A cloud which had recently been covering the sun moved, uncovering the glaring brightness of the yellowy orb in the sky. Spottedwing squinted.
He sniffed, deciding a swim might clear his mind a bit. He lumbered over lazily to the ocean, but stopped.
He didn't know how to swim. It was true. He had never done it before. He knew that he couldn't get his head wet, otherwise he couldn't light his fire. So....kick paws and keep head out of water. That sounded simple enough.
A wave broke a few feet from shore and splashed around his front paws, sending another shiver through his body. The water was slightly chilly.
He narrowed his eyes. Challenges. Challenges were what he liked. This was definitely a challenge.
Spottedwing placed one paw in the water, and a puff of sand scattered under his paw's weight. Then, he placed the next paw. Then the next. And the next.
The next thing he knew, he was up to his belly in water. He clenched his teeth and pushed forward. Kicking his paws frantically and yelping once, he was in the water.
His head above water, his eyes widened. He was swimming! He was doing it!
Suddenly, he felt something brush past his left leg. He frowned. A fish, maybe? He continued to kick, having fun with this new activity.
Then, he felt it again. Suddenly a horrible pain shot into his mind from his tail, and he roared in pain. Something had grabbed hold of his tail! And it had teeth! He struggled, growling as whatever gripped his tail tried to pull him under the water.
“S-stop!” he shouted. His heart began to race. When he shouted, the thing that had hold of his tail pulled down harder.
With a final shout, he was pulled under.