Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past (Paul Cude) in One Thousand Words

I'm delighted to welcome Paul Cude to One Thousand Worlds, and thank him for being kind enough to share with us the first one thousand words of his exciting novel.

Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past-

Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past is an adventure story children and adults alike will love, about the present day world in which dragons disguised as humans have infiltrated the human race at almost every level, to guide and protect them. Three young dragons in their human guises become caught up in an evil plot to steal a precious commodity, vital to the dragon community. How will the reluctant hero and his friends fare against an enemy of his race from far in the past?
Fascinating insights into the dragon world are interspersed throughout the book. Ever wondered how dragons travel below ground at almost the speed of sound? Or how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes?
In an action packed adventure that features both human and dragon team sports, you’ll get a dragon-like perspective on human social issues and insight into what to do if you meet a giant spider grinning at you when you’re wearing nothing but your smile! You’d be flamin’ mad to miss it.

About this author-

Paul Cude was born in Southampton in 1968, and as a child developed his fanatical interest in hockey. A photocopier engineer until a few years ago, redundancy allowed him to become a full time carer to his two fantastic children. If any free time presents itself, he likes playing and coaching hockey, cycling, squash, taking computers apart (sometimes even putting them back together) and of course, WRITING. He is currently editing the second book in the series, 'Bentwhistle The Dragon In A Chilling Revelation'.

Plumes of dark smoke billowed into the air across the city. The sickly smell of smoke and death wafted on a gentle breeze across the market square, tugging at the canvas of the overturned market stalls scattered haphazardly amongst the raging fires.
Off to one side stood the giant archway, which for hundreds of years had been regarded as the main entrance to the city. Normally a giant monster of an oak gate and portcullis hung, attached to the weathered archway, providing a reassuring air of safety to all the residents of the city. That had all changed about fifteen minutes ago. Now all that remained was the splintered outline of the huge beast, where it had casually walked through both oak gate and metal portcullis, as easily as a knife would slice through butter.
Steam rose from the dark cobbles of the market square; some glowed yellow and orange with the heat. A trickle of water could be heard coming from the debris which not more than ten minutes ago had been the ornate fountain, the grand centrepiece of this magnificent square. The remaining buildings were on fire; the smell of burning flesh and bones was everywhere, but despite this the people still alive were mesmerised by the sight before them.
At the entrance to the square, with wreckage on either side of him, hovering a few metres in the air was a giant dragon. The dragon was matt black all over with a wingspan in excess of fifty metres, and flame was dribbling down both sides of its colossal jaws.
In spite of his size the dragon was clearly agitated, roaring occasionally, scraping the large claws on his feet along the top of the rubble on either side of him, and banging his tail into the ground intermittently. The object of his agitation stood directly opposite, on the other side of the square: out of breath, clad from head to toe in chainmail armour, and clutching a rusty shield in one hand and a shining sword in the other. The knight was sweating profusely and parts of his armour were blackened from fleeting encounters with the dragon’s flame over the past few minutes.
The knight seemed to have spent the last few seconds deciding on a course of action and, in one swift motion, dropped his rusty shield and threw his helm to the ground. He then proceeded to remove his gauntlets and the armour around his feet. You could almost hear a collective gasp from the city folk left alive, as the armour came off and the knight appeared to mouth a silent challenge to the giant beast on the other side of the square. Impossible as it may seem, the dragon appeared to understand the knight’s whispered challenge from over three hundred metres away, and with one huge flap of its wings propelled itself forward, creating such down force with its wings that stone, wood and dead bodies were hurled across the square. At exactly the same time, the knight started sprinting towards the dragon, with most of his armour now removed and just his shining sword for company.
Time seemed to stand still as the speeding dragon travelled towards the knight, just above the ground, emitting a thunderous cone of fire in front of it. As the city folk watched in awe, it seemed there could only be one possible outcome: that the knight would be obliterated by the mighty beast.
As the inevitable drew closer, the sprinting knight managed to find a little more speed and at the split second before hitting the tip of the flame, dived headlong towards the cobbles. The extra speed had caused the dragon to miscalculate and as the knight rolled underneath the dragon, he managed to turn over and thrust the heavy two handed sword into its dark underbelly with just one hand.
The flames died away instantly as the dragon thudded awkwardly to the ground, its massive body narrowly missing the exhausted knight. The dragon let out a low pitched holler that could be heard citywide, as its jaw cracked against the stone of the square. The knight hauled himself up from the ground, visibly panting as he did so. He slowly walked along the side of the downed dragon, as if inspecting it, only stopping when he reached its head. Kneeling down he started to recite some words only he and the beast could hear. Seconds turned to minutes as the knight continued to whisper to the fallen dragon.
Meanwhile, the city folk appeared to be recovering from the shock of previous events by helping the wounded, putting out fires, and comforting those people mourning the loss of a loved one.
From one side of the square a group of people, headed by the mayor, made their way cautiously towards the knight through the burning rubble, thick black smoke, and numerous bodies. As they approached, the knight finished his whispered conversation and a soft purple glow slowly spread from the dragon’s head to the tip of his tail, finally encompassing his whole body.
The knight walked back along the dragon until he got to its belly. Crouching over, he put two hands on the hilt of his sword and swiftly pulled it free from the dragon’s body. As he did so, about dozen tiny scales clattered onto the stone cobbles.  These scales had dropped from the immediate area around the sword’s entry wound and were each about the size of a man’s fingernail. Quick as a flash, the knight scooped them up and poured them into a silk bag which he had produced from beneath his armour. He then sheathed his sword and turned to face the newcomers.
“Is it dead?” asked the mayor, nervously.
“For all intents and purposes, yes,” said the knight.

“How can we ever repay you for what you have done here today, brave knight? That vile beast would surely have destroyed everything had you not stepped up, valiant Sir,” whispered the mayor.

Where to buy Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past:

Paul Cude's books can be found for free at Smashwords, in all formats, or can be purchased in either paperback or kindle version fromAmazon
The Goodreads page for Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past can be found here
Paul's facebook page can be found here
Follow Paul on twitter @paul_cude
Paul has his own website to support the book www.bentwhistlethedragon.co.uk as wells as a blog www.thesoberhockeyplayer.co.uk that provides an insight into the man behind the pen and also offers author interviews.

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