An Upside-Down Fantasy World

Three harsh wooden knocks resounded inside Briar’s skull. She glared at the scaly beast at the front of the room as it waved a mallet in its claws. It shouted unintelligible words, but Briar doubted that anyone apart from her could even hear the sound over the commotion in the vast chamber. These dragons were too undisciplined to have any kind of order. 

Crack, crack, crack. The dragon once again banged its mallet against a podium, standing on its hind legs in a crude imitation of a human—but that was where the similarities between it and Briar ended. It was two or three times her size and covered in a layer of thick, dull brown scales underneath its strange flowing robe. Its angular head and fearsome teeth already told of a fierce predator, but as the creature pulled its scaly lips back in a snarl, Briar felt a rush of adrenaline run through her veins.

The chatter in the room continued to rise in volume until the dragon spread its wings and lifted its forelegs. It roared so loudly that the whole world seemed to shake. 

Briar’s ears rang. Silence. 

The dragon huffed. A few sparks shot out and narrowly missed Briar. She briefly wondered how the dragons managed to avoid catching their entire city on fire. 

As the room surprisingly remained quiet, Briar observed her surroundings out of habit. The circular room had only one entrance and exit, an oversized door that split two sections of seats. The occupants were crowded together so closely that their wings brushed against each other as they moved. Perhaps, if Briar was quick enough, she’d be able to escape through the door, using her smaller size to her advantage. In such a crowded room, the dragons would fall all over themselves…

Quickly, Briar shook those thoughts away. She wasn’t here to escape. 

The Dragon’s Den

Hooked yet? This is only the beginning of my new fantasy novella, The Dragon’s Den. This opening image actually inspired the whole story. When thinking of a new fantasy book, I knew I wanted it to involve dragons, but that was about it. Then, as I often do when writing stories, I asked myself what would happen if I flipped normal conventions on their heads. What if dragons were the sophisticated ones with courtrooms and sprawling cities and humans were the ones hoarding treasure and living in caves? This is the foundation of The Dragon’s Den, but soon enough, it became so much more.

In this story, I wanted to delve into the meaning of honour, the value of independent thinking, and most of all, what it means to be human. Convention says that dragons and humans are polar opposites, but what if a dragon acts more human and a human acts more draconic? Which one truly embodies humanity?

If these questions have already got you thinking, I hope you’ll join Briar on her journey in The Dragon’s Den, available now for $2.99 as an ebook or free with Kindle Unlimited! As an indie author, every single sale and review is important to me. Thank you for reading!


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Photo by Alexandra Fuller on Unsplash

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