Chapter 1: Common Night in Berk
This is Berk. The island is twelve days north of hopeless and a few degrees south of freezing to death. It's located solidly on the Meridian of Misery.
My village. In a word, sturdy. It has been here for several generations but every single building is new. We have hunting, fishing, and a charming view of the sunset. The only problem is the pests.
A sheep grazes on one of the many patches of grass in the village, along with its large herd everywhere. Suddenly, the sheep is taken away, leaving behind grass and a big "Blaaaaaah!" A sheep looks up and walks to the spot where his pal vanished, then starts eating again, oblivious of the danger.
Some places have bugs or mice or mosquitoes. But we have a more unique and dangerous pest called…
A boy with auburn hair and green eyes and freckles opens a door and sees a monster flying in. He quickly closes the door just as the beast shoots a spray of molten fire, shooting from the sides and singing the front of the door.
"Dragons." he pants.
Everywhere, dragons fly to their prey and blows fire to the buildings. Big, burly men and women rush out with weapons in hand and start fighting back the terror.
Most people would flee. But not us: We're Vikings. We have stubbornness issues when it comes to, well, pretty much anything.
The boy, wearing a green tunic with darker jeans, fur boots and fur vest, runs out and starts toward the middle of the village, but dodges a falling Viking and ax. He quickly gets up, grabbing his weapon, and runs back to the battle.
My name's Hiccup. Great name, I know. But it's not the worst. A parent thinks that a horrible name will ward off gnomes and trolls. Like our Viking demeanor wouldn't do that.
A rock-ish dragon shoots out a fireball, which sends one Viking flying toward Hiccup. He quickly dodges to the right just as the Viking lands on his feet. "Mornin'!" he says before running off.
The boy continues to rush to his destination, running past the large beacons full of fire that keeps some of the dragons in the air, and other Vikings he yell at him to get inside. He doesn't pay attention to where he's going, and was about to run into dragon fire range, but a big hand quickly pulls him back. "Hiccup!"
The Viking holds him up and yells, "What is he doin-! What are you doing out? Get inside!" before pushing me toward the blacksmith.
That's Stoic the Vast, chief of the tribe. They say when he was a baby he popped a dragon's head clean off its neck. Do I believe it? Yes I do.
"What've we got?" he asks to a nearby Viking.
"Gronkles, Nadders, Zipplebacks, oh and Hoark saw a Monstrous Nightmare."
A fireball explodes a house, and the Viking quickly hides behind his shield as debris flies around, but Stoic ignore it. "Any Night Furies?"
"None so far."
"Good." He says, flicking a burning wood piece off his armor.
Hiccup finally makes it to the blacksmith where his friend fixes a sword. "Nice of you to join the party. I thought you'd be carried off."
"What? Who, me?" the boy asks, switching his vest for an apron. "No no, I'm way too muscular for their taste. They wouldn't know what to do with all…this."
"Well, they need toothpicks, don't they?" he asks jokingly.
The meathead with attitude and changeable hand is Gobber. I've been his apprentice ever since I was little. Well, littler anyway.
Hiccup opens the window-door and let's fellow Vikings drop their beat up weapons down. He puts them into a pile of hot coals and heats them up to fix.
Outside, a large dragon sets a house on fire with his molten attack.
See that? Old village, lots and lots of new houses.
A group of teens hastily pull a barrel of water to the fire and quickly fill up their buckets.
Oh, and that's Fishlegs, the large beefy kid. Snotlout, sort of an airhead and also my cousin, somehow. The twins, Ruffnut and Tuffnut, ones who always argue. And their leader, the beautiful Kristal.
Hiccup stares at the girl with a kind of hypnotized face as she and the others run past him to refill their buckets.
Oh their job is so much cooler than mine. And, I'll admit, I have a small crush on Kristal, but who can't ignore her charm?
He was about to crawl out when Gobber grabs him with metal pincers and pulls him back. "Aw, c'mon just let me out? I need to make my mark out there!"
"Oh, you made plenty of marks." The blonde says, putting him down. "All in the wrong places!"
"Just two minutes, alright? I'll kill a dragon. My life will get infinitely better. I might even get a date."
"You can't throw a hammer. You can't swing an axe." He throws out, counting each with his fingers. The man picks up bolas and says, "You can't even throw one of these!"
Just as he finishes, a Viking grabs the bolas and throws at a Gronkle, which tangles it and makes it crash on the dirt.
"Yeah, I know. But this will throw it for me." Hiccup says referring to a machine he built. He places a hand on it and the machine springs open and launches bolas at a Viking outside, knocking him to the ground.
"Now this, right here, is what I'm talking about!"
"Uh, but mild calibration-"
"Hiccup! If you want to get out there and fight dragons, you need to stop all…this"
"But you just pointed to all of me."
"Yeah. That's it! Stop being all of you."
"Ohhh." Hiccup sounds.
Y-you sir are playing a dangerous game. Keeping this raw Viking-ness contained, there will be consequences!"
"I'll take my chances. Sword. Sharpen. Now."
The boy takes the sword Gobber tossed him and starts sharpening it on the grinder, annoyed for the hundredth time today.
One day I'll get out there. Because killing a dragon is everything around here.
A Nadder will surely get me noticed. Gronkles are tough. Killing one will definitely get me a girlfriend. Zippleback? Exotic. Two heads, twice the status. And then, there's the Monstrous Nightmare. Only the best of Vikings chase after those. They have a nasty habit of setting themselves on fire.
And then, there's one that nobody has ever seen.
A high-pitch noise echoes through the village, and one Viking yells, "Night Fury!" before all ducking under their shields. A white-blue fireball flies in the air, exploding a catapult. A shadow flies over the fire at high-speed, and the Vikings try to bring the dragon down, but miss by a long shot.
The Night Fury never shows itself, never steals anything, and never misses. Nobody has captured a Night Fury. That's why I'm gonna be the first to do the impossible.
Gobber tosses his pincers down and attaches a hammer to his prosthetic hand, saying, "Man the fort Hiccup. They need me out there." He was about to leave, but turns and orders, "Stay. Put. There. You know what I mean. Yaaaargh!"
When he vanishes, the boy quickly switches his apron with the vest, grabs the machine, and runs out. He dodges the other Vikings and rushes to a clear spot, where no light is near to ruin his vision. He opens the mechanism and aims it in the sky, searching for any sign of the unseen dragon. "C'mon. Gimme something to shoot at. Gimme something to shoot at."
In the skies, something blocks out the white stars of many, and the auburn looks through the eyepiece, ready to shoot. The high-pitch whistle comes again and fires another fireball at an untouched catapult, and Hiccup notices the fire was more of a blue than before, but has no time to dwell on it as a dark shape flies by. He quickly turns the machine and fires, but the force knocks him back. The boy quickly gets up and hears the sound he has been waiting for. A shriek comes from the sky and Hiccup spots a form falling toward the forest across the bay of the island.
"I did it?" he asks, disbelief in his voice. "Yes! I did it! Did anybody see that?"
Just then, a growl comes from behind and a red and black Monstrous Nightmare crawls up, smashing the contraption to bits. Hiccup turns around and says, "Except for you." then runs off, screaming.
Stoic hears the boy's screams and turns to see the Nightmare chasing Hiccup. He sighs in disbelief and orders, "Do not let them escape!"
Hiccup dodges a stream of fire from the Nightmare and runs behind a pole, breathing hard. He flinches as lava-like substance flies on the sides and the boy slowly starts looking to the left to find the dragon. The dragon's head hovers on the other side and was about to bite the kid's head off when Stoic kicks him back. Enraged, the Nightmare let's out another blast, but all that comes out is a little stream that quickly hits the floor, and it stares sheepishly at the Viking, who says, "You're all out." He starts punching and kicking the dragon's head back until it flies away, screeching in pain. Stoic turns back to the burning pole, which finally collapse and tips over, revealing Hiccup. The bowl at the top of the pole falls down the hill and Hiccup flinches every time he hears a yell from a Viking.
Oh, and there's one more thing you need to know.
The flaming bowl rolls down and Vikings run to safety, letting some Nadders free. Hiccup watches as dragons fly away with their kill in their claws.
Stoic scowls and looks at his son.
Uncertainty in his head, Hiccup says, "Okay, but I hit a Night Fury."
His father grabs the boy's collar and pulls him away.
"It's not like the last times, dad. I mean I really actually hit it. You were all busy and I had a very clear shot. It went over just off Raven Point. Let's get a search party and look for-"
"Stop!" Stoic's booming voice breaks Hiccup's rambling.
Calming down, Stoic continues, "Just stop. Every time you set foot outside, disaster happens. Can you not see my bigger problems? Winter is almost here, and I have an entire village to feed!"
"Well, between you and me, the village could do with a little less feeding, don't ya think?" Hiccup mumbles.
"This isn't a joke, Hiccup! Why can't you just follow the simplest orders?"
"I can't help myself. I see a dragon and I just want to kill, you know? It's who I am, dad."
Stoic sighs, pinching his nose. "You're many things Hiccup. But a dragon hunter is not one of them." He turns to his brother, Spitelout, and says, "Get him back home. I have this mess to clean up."
Hiccup's uncle leads the boy back home, and they pass the group of teens, some laughing at his failure. Tuffnut says, "Great performance, Hiccup."
"I've never seen anyone mess up that badly. That helped!" Snotlout yells.
"Thank you. I was trying." He answers back with sarcasm. Spitelout slaps the back of his son's head, knocking the horned helmet off.
Near the house, Hiccup mumbles, "I really did hit a Night Fury."
"If you say so."
"He never listens!"
"Trust me, Hiccup. It runs in the family."
"But every time he does it's with his disappointed scowl, like someone skimped on the meat." In a deep voice, Hiccup says, "Excuse me, barmaid. I'm afraid you've brought me the wrong offspring. I ordered an extra large child with beefy arms. Extra guts and glory on the side. This here, this is a talking fishbone!"
"Hiccup, it's not what you look like. You just don't have the qualifications of a Viking."
"Does it have something to do with being skinny?"
"No. I mean, look at Kristal. She's lean and she is tough. Tougher than Snotlout, I can tell you that. You just don't have the…instinct or strength or bravery of being a Viking."
"Thank you for summing that up, uncle."
"Look, what I'm trying to say is stop trying to be someone you're not."
Sighing, Hiccup says, "I just want to be one of you guys." He walks into his house, closing the door behind him, and Spitelout sighs, rubbing his forehead. "But he does have the stubbornness of his father, unfortunately." He walks back to the village and doesn't spot the auburn haired boy jump out the back way and run to the forest. I'll show you I have the instinct, strength, and bravery of a Viking.