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My real robotics team has a small pink dragon stuffed animal that we decorate with articles of things that represent each individual person. We named her Legacy, and I decided I wanted to tell her stroy from her point of view along with the untold stories of the members from my team. I hope you all enjoy it!
Many say that destiny is found by following one’s dreams and ambitions, but mine had been instilled in me from the beginning.
It was early morning, when I hatched. Sunlight caught the sea and turned it gold; a soft wind blew leaves about the nest. I felt the breeze move my egg, slightly. It was time to face the world, I thought, as good of a time as any. I butted the side of my egg with my tiny nose. It cracked, almost too easily, and I blinked once or twice in the sudden brightness, then put an eye to the peephole I had formed. There was an enormous mass of turquoise scales in front of me, that I instantly, inexplicably, knew was my mama. I took a breath of the sharp air, raised my claw to the peephole, and pulled down with all my might. The egg splintered, and I rolled across the ground, cold and wet, completely and utterly spent. I lay on the twigs and leaves, wings tucked in and my head burrowed in my left forearm. My mama nudged me in the side, trying to roll me over and elicit a sign of life from within me.
“Maybe it’s dead,” a voice scoffed gruffly.
I lifted my head, shook it, and dared to open my teal eyes. The sun was horribly blinding and it took quite a bit of blinking to get used to it.The outside world was bright and beautiful and terrifying. I desperately wanted to crawl back into my egg, now scattered about the nest in tiny, colorful bits. Instead, I took a deep breath, tottered up onto my legs, and stood. This was only the beginning of it all.
“Ugh!” the voice exclaimed. “It’s pink! A bright, disgusting shade of nauseating pink.” I turned my head to look at what creature had made this comment to my introduction into the world. There before me stood a large, indigo dragon with black accents. She had red claws that matched the jewels and rings in her ears. Her eyes were small slits focused directly on me. I gulped and smiled nervously, hoping to impress this onlooker of mine. But she breathed dissatisfied puffs of smoke out of her nose and turned her back on me, her giant tail threatening to knock me back down onto the cold, hard slab of cliff that was my birthplace. I ducked just in time to miss the fateful swing, but, due to feeling proud of myself, I didn’t notice the return of it. I was beamed in the head while the wind in my lungs left me and I toppled back over. I wasn’t hurt physically, but this new world was already scaring me; I didn’t like it, so I began to cry.
“Marinda,” came a warning tone. “This is your ba-by si-ster. Can’t you welcome her nicely?”
Through my blurry, salty tears, I saw my majestic mother, with spikes that I now noticed were spring green in color, confronting the indigo bully. The dragon Marinda, whom I assumed to be my sister, craned her neck around to face the dragon who was my beautiful mother. She rolled her mustard flecked eyes.
“Of course not, Mother. I mean look at her: she’s pathetic,” she spat. I folded my ears in and curled into as small of a ball as I could with my tail wrapped pitifully around me.
“Give her chance - she may surprise you…”
While they argued, I wobbled over to a shallow puddle of water and got the first glimpse of myself. I was a Heliconia-colored specimen with big, floppy, webbed ears and glittering iridescent pink wings. Even my claws shimmered. I knew I looked nothing like my family and I immediately became ashamed of myself. I was determined to prove my worth somehow, though. I just needed to figure out my forté.
** ** ** ** **
The next couple years of my young dragon-hood were spent learning about the world around me and being prepared for my journey out of the Hollow. I vividly remember trying to fly for the first time: I was well on my way to the rocks below by the time my mama swooped down and gingerly grabbed me. I clung to her claw for the rest of the day, vowing that I would never try to fly again. Of course, by the end of the week, I was up in the air, though I could barely tell up from down and required nearly constant rescue. For her part, Mama dealt quite well with all of this, though looking back, I knew that she wished for a normal dragon, and not one like me. She would occasionally lumber out of the nest when she thought I was asleep, stand on a ledge, and blow smoke rings to the stars. Her eyes shone in the darkness, dimly, and when she looked up, narrow twin spotlights played in the heavens. After a time, she would come back to the nest, turn once or twice, and then sink into the twigs and leaves with a sigh that smelled like charcoal.
I despised Target-hunting. Mother would fly up until she was a speck in the blue, and then drop small multicolored rocks to grab in the air. My sister adored grabbing each pebble at speeds that I was certain I could not ever reach. She would spit out the stones right in front of me, one by one, and then grin toothily at my certain defeat. I could never grab any more than a rock or two, and when I returned, panting and weary, my mother would look at me with such an expression of tender, loving, profound disapproval that I wanted to scream. Then she would pick up more pebbles, and I would try my best again. And again. By the end of the first two weeks of target-hunting, I had only a clawful of pebbles to my name. My sister, however, had amassed a pile large enough to bury me in. And that is exactly what she did, whenever my mother wasn’t looking. Some minutes later, I would emerge from the mound, spitting pebbles and hissing with anger and humiliation, and my sister would throw her head back and laugh.
After a while, I had mustered the speed to grab more than half of the pebbles, but there was hardly any reason to continue. After all, every other normal dragon my age had mastered the art of target-hunting, and had moved on to the more advanced arts of Stalking, or Stealth, or Speed, or Swooping. “The Four-S Plan,” as it was called, was one that every dragon had to become proficient at, and I had a late start.
I had my first inkling of life beyond the Four-S Plan when I heard a muffled cry in the forest. I figured that I could practice my Swooping - marked Below Proficient for the third straight week - and see what was happening, and so I dove towards the treetops, only wobbling a little as I descended. Trying to pull out of my Swoop didn’t work very well, of course - it never did - and I tumbled head over wings into the midst of the trees. Hitting the ground with a nasty thump, I saw out of the corner of one eye a fox with some poor, unlucky thing in its mouth. The fox tore away with its prize, and I began to shake my wings out and attempt to take off. And then I felt something warm and small step onto my claw. I looked down. It was a baby raccoon.
I peered down at the little bundle of fur, which was looking up at me with round eyes. The little creature did its best to hold off its tears; I had already realized what the thing in the fox’s mouth was. I gently put my head next to it, and it collapsed onto my snout and began to cry: thin, high-pitched, and soft. The noise echoed off the trees.
This was the day I realized that I would never be taken seriously by any dragons: I cared too much for all living things, except fish and boars which I saw more as a delicacy, and my scales didn’t frighten off or hypnotize danger; instead, they invited mockery and the possibility of death - so I was told. I was nowhere near as majestic looking as the rest of the dragons nor as graceful. But what did it matter? My mindset began to shift dramatically.
Suddenly, I wasn’t so self-conscious anymore. This tiny creature needed help and if I wasn’t willing to do it, no one was. Of course , if the others found him a nuisance, he’d end up a small delicacy. Screw it, I’d protect him with my life. I picked up the raccoon by the scruff of the neck and dropped it on my back close to my neck. It was quite surprised that someone other than its deceased mother had the nerve to transport it around this way. I told it to hang on tight while I crouched into a launch position and spread my wings.
1…. I knew that everything depended on me not messing this up.
2…. One missed tree and neither of us would wake to see daylight again.
3! I shot up diagonally into the sky, shaving a few leaves off the enormous red oak I had just nearly skewered myself on. I continued upwards until I reached the point of elevation where I couldn’t take in a full breath. I allowed myself to drop a bit. From there I flew speedily towards the center of the Hollow. Speedily! I was flying speedily! I had finally learned part of the Four-S Plan.
About 20 miles from the center, I decided to take a risk and try another swoop. I picked up speed; 30... 40... 55.... 65….88 miles per hour: I was 9 miles away now; 94….105….116 miles per hour, I was streamlining. The two-mile mark had just been reached when I curved upwards before hitting zero velocity and plummeting nose first towards the population of dragons that bustled about in the Hollow. I gained speed like crazy, but I knew I was scaring my furry friend; I could feel its sharp claws penetrating my scales while it tried to hang on for dear life.
Just before hitting the tower that rose almost up to the clouds, I made a swift change in my direction by veering to the left while spiraling to the right. I glided gracefully around the tower in a circle then made peaceful parabolas above my onlookers’ heads. I became proud of myself. I turned my head to grin at the little raccoon who was struggling to catch his breath.
I landed smoothly on the jeweled cobblestone and bent down to let the raccoon slide off. Everyone’s eyes were on us and there was plenty of awed murmuring coming from the crowded town square. Dragons began coming up to greet us asking how I had executed such perfect demonstrations; others asked about the striped animal’s name to which I replied Peter. Many were impressed that I had finally learned my purpose in life as a dragon and some even thought that I might make it after all. At least, that’s what they thought until Marinda the Big-Mouthed stepped in and interrupted the harmony of it all.
“Please,” she sniffed, attempting to look un-amazed. “That was sheer luck. That is what that pitiful show was. Sheer luck.” I was offended by her commentary on my performance. I straightened my shoulders.
“No, it was not,” I stammered in doubt of myself. Marinda gave me a look of consideration before throwing her head back dramatically and guffawing. The anger built up inside of me and I began to lift myself into the air with my wings pounding so hard they made wind.
“I’ll prove it!” And I shot forward, dodging street merchants’ stands and looping around posts. I turned to my sister and shot her a daring look.
“Why am I no good, exactly?” I cooed with pleasure. Marinda smirked.
“Well, for one thing… you never pay attention to where you’re going.”
The next thing I knew, I was lifting my face out of a puddle of mashed fruit and splintered wood. I had crashed into a produce stand - hard. When I looked up I saw Mother shaking her head and the Professor coming towards me. And he most definitely was not pleased.
Princess Micdi wore a soft pink dress today. It was a pleasant change from the deep, luscious greens she normally wore. She was giving another speech about what it would take to be a Keeper of the Past. These speeches were never-ending, but they never failed to excite me. The job was the most admirable in the group; like the others here, I wanted it. Badly.
“It’s an important job and one must be versatile to learning about others. Also, the Keeper of the Past must be trustworthy.” Princess Micdi faced the both of us. She looked straight into our eyes and made her succeeding statement directly to us.
“The Chosen One must also be prepared for anything and - “This time she smiled knowingly at me. “Stronger than anyone has ever known.” My ears drooped a little, then.
Mecha sat down and straightened his back, puffed out his chest, and raised his head high. His golden horns glinted in the sun and tendrils of sweet smelling smoke drifted out of his shiny black nostrils. He was powerful and sleek and fast. It was utterly sickening.
It made me feel small and inferior whenever he took on the persona of Gambé. They were the two most selfish beings I had ever met, even worse than my sister. Whenever an opportunity arose for someone’s light to shine in a specific area, they wasted no time stealing it out from under their nose and taking the glory for themselves. To them, everything was a competition; they claimed ideas as their own and made even the most false and gruesome topics sound pleasant with the charm that oozed from lips. I knew I’d never be surprised if Gambé had a slippery, forked tongue as Mecha did. I shuddered at the thought.
I knew, however, that there was a better chance that Mecha and Gambé would be the Keepers of the Past than I would. I didn’t know anyone well enough for them to trust me, first of all, and the fact that I didn’t have a name didn’t help my situation in the slightest. I swallowed hard and hung my head. I would never become great; I would have to return to my family and hear the never-ending, patronizing speeches of my stupidly emoish sister. Now that I thought about it, she and Mecha might make a good couple, preying on the weak together. On the other hand, she was family and no one thought such cruel things like that about family.