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Blood of Beast
Sam entered the old mine, a buffalo leg in his hands. He scuffed his feet over the wooden rails in the earth below, creating echoes through the seemingly endless tunnel. Continuing forward, the light from the outside no longer comforted him. But Sam knew he had nothing to fear, he’d been here before. The purpose was clear; his beast waited for him at the dead end, its smoky grunts could be heard echoing off the surrounding walls.
After a few minutes, he’d reached his destination, a lantern glowed a yellow flame over his dragon, whose deep ruby eyes were watchful and weary of Sam. His hands dropped the carnage in front of the beast, allowing a full inspection. Dinner would be starting soon, and Sam knew he had to be punctual, so his family wouldn’t become suspicious of his absence. He turned, as quick as he came, running out into the wide open area, and pushing himself through the front door. He passed through the kitchen, where his mother’s glassy eyes glared at him across the pots and pans burning over the stove. Sam ignored the common greeting he received from her, and continued into the dining room, where his big bulky father sat at the end of the long table, his brother sat in the middle, grinning at him smugly as he came forward. He sat across from his mischievous brother, taking a grape from one of the many colorful bowls sitting atop the table and sucking on it nervously.
“Samael,” his brother’s tongue spoke his name as if it was a curse. “What’ve you been up to lately? Nothing good, I can presume?” His eyes flicked to his right, a thin smile spread his lips until he found his father not watching him, but the steaming food entering the room with their mother. Ornias was what you would call a kiss-up. All impulse of his crude actions derived from the only one he would ever care about, his father.
“I’ll have you know, exploring is no crime, Ornias.” Sam brought his brother’s attention back onto him. A plate of chicken was placed in between them.
“Exploring? Where have you been exploring?”
“You can’t be so ignorant not to notice the forests surrounding us.”
"You think I know little, brother. But I do notice, and I do watch.” This started Sam’s thought process as his mother quietly sat down at the other end of the table and they began passing each other plates and bowls of delicious food that without the disturbing comment made by Ornias, he would be enjoying. Minutes passed and the giant’s voice boomed through the room,
“Your mother makes the most delicious food, doesn’t she boys?” The two nodded quickly, both staring at the food plopped down on their plates. “Do we have seconds to go around, Lilith? I know Ornias and I found plenty of Buffalo for another round.”
“I only had a few to work with, I don’t know of these imaginary extra legs I hear you talking about.” She said softly. Though a stern woman, Lilith was very tiny, and easily intimidated by her husband’s presence.
“Where have they gone, then? I was sure we’d managed to catch at least twenty this week!” Sam’s jaw shifted.
“This is a concern we need to address, we can’t have all our food disappear. Sam, Ornias, do you have any idea what’s happened to all our buffalo meat?”
Ornias spoke up, “I helped you catch them, I wouldn’t be involved in creating more work for us.” Suddenly all eyes in the room flicked to Sam, who had been waiting for a chance to clean his plate in the sink.
“I get hungry during the day, and I’ve been taking a leg with me when I go out into the forests.” He licked sweat off his lip. The tension in the room lowered, his father was about to laugh when Ornias burst out at him,
“You’re a liar! I know you’ve been going into that old mine with that buffalo father and I took all day to catch! What are you hiding, Sam, what are you hiding from us?”
“I’m not hiding anything! You should mind your own business!”
“So you wouldn’t mind if I just went and took a look? If you aren’t hiding anything from us then you should have nothing to worry about.” Ornias stood up and scooted his chair in, leaving his plate on the table and walking towards the kitchen. Sam quickly followed him, blocking the doorway. He was pushed to the floor with one swipe.
“No! I’ll tell you, Ornias, I’ll tell you everything!” He screamed through the kitchen, pleading.
“Sam, what are you hiding?” His father’s voice boomed again, it made Sam shake with fear. This superior was, by far the most intimidating thing he’d ever encountered in his short life.
“A dragon, father, I’m hiding a dragon in the old mine near our home.” His mother gasped from across the room. “Please father, let me explain!” Sam desperately yelled as his father violently pushed out his chair, stomping towards him. Grabbing him by the leg, the boy was flown upwards, now hanging upside down.
“You better explain, do it now!”
Small lips opened to speak, but were interrupted by large, puffy ones, “Do you have any idea how much danger you have brought us, Samael? These monsters are not just toys you can play with!” Heat suddenly spiked in Sam’s heart, each word his father hissed stung his nerves.
“Don’t you dare talk about them that way! “Monster” is never to be given to a dragon! Do not mistake fear and ignorance for intelligence and knowledge, father!”
“I don’t know what to do with you, you little brat! Always wanting what you can’t have!”
“They won’t hurt us! I know because I’ve been keeping Knox for years and he hasn’t harmed me, not once!”
“Knox? You’ve already named the beast? I need to end this, now! This has been going on long enough!” A giant palm released Sam from two feet in the air, dropping him on his head, and leaving him behind.
When he finally came to, all he felt was searing pain in his head and a horrible sickness in his stomach. As his vision cleared, he noticed the room still lit brightly for only him to see. His family was nowhere to be found. He stood and began walking into the kitchen in search of anyone he could possibly find. Suddenly the entire house shook violently as a screech sounded from outside. He knew where they were, it made him even sicker than before, smashing through the front door, scraping his bruised feet against the earth, pushing harder, harder. The screeching went on, Sam screamed in response. As he tried to enter the mine, two large hands gripped his shoulders and pushed him back so hard he fell onto his back. Sam didn’t care, he would try again, this time he could see the crooked outline of Ornias’s face, a smile painted from cheek to cheek. He was struck again, hard knuckles to his right lip.
“When will you ever learn, Sam?!” Ornias laughed at him. “You’ll never win! Just give up!” Getting up again, he charged once more at this tall enemy, whom he once called brother. Those hands picked him up and threw him to the ground.
A screech filled their ears again, suddenly stomps and scratching noises came from inside. Ornias turned, and sped out as fast as he could. Knox followed; his brilliant red scales reflected all light. Bad wounds covered most of his beauty with blood. An attempt to fly to his escape failed, the enormous dragon crashed quickly to the ground a few meters away. Sam scrambled up on his trembling bloody limbs and threw himself forward, pushing over the field through a trail of red, his father close behind. When Sam was in reaching distance of an injured wing, he was picked up for the third time and thrown to the side. He landed on a pile of wood near the house, crushing his skull on the nearest log. He watched helplessly as his father took out his sword and cracked his foot over Knox’s injured wing. Shrieks of innocent pain broke through the air, time stopped. The blade suddenly came into contact with his scaled chest; it sliced through Sam’s only fine memories of the past. His beast had been brutally slain.