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I jerk my hand back as I am shocked by the cage that confines me from the outside world. But still I smile. I have my treasure.
I bring the egg closer to my body, leaning my head against it, and listening to the tiny screeches and thumps from inside. The egg radiates heat, and is a white tinted with blue and purple, and broken up by tiny cracks running across it. Finally the shell breaks open, and a blue and purple dragon emerges from it. She nudges my leg with her delicate head, and I gently reach out to touch one of her iridescent, white horns.
“Ivy!” I hear my name and panic. The later I am the more I am hurt. I grab the dragon who at this point still can fit in my hand. Then I run towards the house. Cold and dark.
My dad waits at the door to the backyard. He grabs me and slams me to the ground. I push the little dragon away, and hope he doesn’t see it run off. Then I huddle in a corner, my arms wrapped around me, terrified of what he might do. He kicks me, and then picks me up and throws me against the wall. He continues to hit me and kick me until I am barely conscious. Then he picks me up, and shoves me into the closet. I shiver. The room is damp, and without light, there is not even room enough to stand. I sigh and close my eyes. Trying to escape from this prison of a world.
I wake up warm, and dry. I open my eyes, and see the dragon, puffs of smoke coming from her nose.
“How did you get in here?” I ask, keeping my voice low. She tilts her head toward the door, that has a small hole burnt through it. I smile. And in my head I decide I will keep her.
“Thank you Klia, “ I whisper as I crawl through the hole. “Thank you for my freedom.” I crawl down the hallway, and to the front door.
“Can you burn it?” I ask. I turn to look at Klia, and see fire shooting from her snout.
I trip out the door and break into a sprint. I hear his voice in my mind. Screaming. And then pain spreading throughout my body as he hits me, and kicks me, unrelenting until I lose consciousness. My breath is coming in ragged gasps now, I can not keep going much longer. I am weak with exhaustion, and I haven’t eaten in days. I glance behind me, and see he hasn’t followed.
I fall down and do my best to hide. I turn, and see bloody footprints tracked in the snow. And then I don’t see anymore, and my vision blacks, a familiar feeling for me now.
I wake up, shivering, and dusted in snow.
I take a handful of snow, and use it to clean myself up as best as I can. Then I tear strips of fabric from my tunic to wrap up anything still bleeding.
Then slowly, carefully, I stand. Wincing at the pain I walk, a few steps, then stop. I collapse onto my knees, tears flowing freely, realizing what I have done. I am free. This is the real world. No cage charged with electricity to surround me, holding me in. Just air.
I trudge into the village, exhausted, but in high spirits. The villagers turn and stare, whispering and pointing. I smile and wave but they don’t seem to care. A flurry of conversations erupt, and everyone keeps glancing suspiciously my way. I walk up to an old, and kindly looking woman; she is rocking back and forth in her rocking chair, a blanket pulled snug around her. She sits on the porch of a small house. The roof is caving in and the paint is peeling. It seems to be the village’s style, rundown and sad-looking.
“Could you tell me where an inn is? Someplace to stay? I’m most cold, and I could w-”
“Get away from me you little freak!” She spits the word out, revealing rotted teeth. I take a step back, surprised, and try again.
“I only wanted to know-” Rough hands grab me, pulling me away from her. I scream as memories flood over me. My dad hitting me, never stopping. Killing my spirits, and leaving me alone, hopeless, and hurting. Seeing my mothers eyes close forever, after he hit her one time too many. And then his screams. Saying it was all my fault. That I made him kill her.
I pull away from the hands, and the memories. And run, my vision blurred with tears. I see the men who were holding me, big, and burly, holding their guns with an ease that sends a shiver down my spine.
The villagers surround me. Grabbing me, forcing me to my knees. Chanting... “Kill her! Kill her!”
Then, elbowing his way through the crowd comes a man. Holding himself with dignity he takes my hand, and pulls me to my feet. “Wait. We are not murderers. We will wait.”
The villagers nod, and murmur their agreement. He is obviously well respected.
The men who had grabbed me earlier walk up to him now. He hands me over to them now.
“Hold her in the prison till tomorrow. Then we will make our decision.”
They pull me away then, their hands locked around my wrists.
I wake up shivering, and confused. I am surrounded by cement walls. The cell has a door made of metal, with a small barred window. I can make out a vague shape, a bucket it seems. There are no other furnishings.
I shake my wings out, normally a brilliant blue-green they are now encrusted in blood and dirt.
My mother had purple wings, and long, blonde hair. She had much the same build as me, small, and delicate, but thats where the similarities ended. She was always a fighter, where as I was timid and weak.
And then there was my dad. Vicious, but wingless. He would often pin us down so we couldn’t fly. He kept us confined to small rooms. I always figured he was jealous. But now I saw the truth. The wings made us freaks. And that made him hate us.
The door burst opens, slamming against the wall. I jump back, cowering, expecting to be hit. But the blow doesn’t come. But the words are just as bad.
“Your execution will be tomorrow night at sundown.” Then the door slams back closed, and I fall to the floor, shaking, and crying.
I think back to the other day. Warm, and safe. Klia curled up beside me. I had to leave her when I went into the village. Already she had grown as big as me. She was too obvious to bring with me. And now here I was shivering, and crying. I should never have left her. Endless hours pass. I sleep some. Cry for many more. Wonder what death feels like.
When the door opens I don’t even fight. Just let them take me. Tie the rope around my wings. And loop another around my neck. They push me down. I feel pain at first as the rope tears at my neck. then I close my eyes and forget about the pain. About the unfairness of it all. Killing someone for such a small physical difference. My heart was still the same. I am waiting to lose consciousness. And afterwards. I wait to die.
When I awaken I’m in a whole new world. The snow is gone, and I can hear waves lapping at the shore. I look around; wondering if this is heaven. I see dragons everywhere. Perched on ledges, and nesting in soft sand. And sitting right by me is Klia. The one who rescued me twice. I stretch my wings, and fly for the first time in months. I am not in heaven. But it is close enough for me.