The only requirement is that you must (choose) a pet you have never owned.
Duchess is majestic.
Her wings shimmer an incandescent blue/gray in the dawn light.
Reaching out toward her, she folds her wings in as she lands next to me. Gently nuzzling my hand, loudly chomping away at whatever plants she has managed to find, she lets out a sigh of contentment.
“Oh Duchess. Did you have any luck scouting ahead?”
She nods and I feel that now normal-to-me buzz occurring in my brain. I know she has found a great spot ahead for us to venture to. She lets me know that it is safe and has clean water.
I pat her and tell her “Good work!”
She has finished her snack and playfully bops her head up under my hand to get me to rub her scales the way she likes.
I can’t remember a time without her in my life.
We have been traveling together a few years now, her sleeping outside of my tent every night we set up in the nicer months, and cuddling with me in cavernous caves during the colder months.
My head buzzes again and I know she is letting me know that she will never forget how grateful she is that I rescued her.
“Anyone would have, Duch!” I smile at her.
She snorts at me as she backs up, stretching out her wings and shakes her head for emphasis.
“Oh come on! Knights aren’t that scary. He just didn’t know any better.”
She takes off into the air and I wonder if I have offended her somehow. I guess she’s right. Not every human girl would have risked her life to save a dragon from a knight intent on killing her simply for her existence.
I felt bad that I hadn’t come across them until her family had already been killed. Duchess was practically still a baby. She had been with her mom and two siblings when I finally came along.
The knight was my brother. My stupid naive brother. Hellbent on making a name for himself. Had I not decided to follow after him that day, thinking something was going on when I saw him armor up… I shuddered at the thought. My only regret was that I had lost sight of him in the woods. If I had kept pace with him, not let him get away from me, I might have been able to have saved…sigh. Best not to think on that. I wasn’t able to and I had to stop beating myself up for it. Duchess knew Rolland and I were brother and sister, but she didn’t care. She had even told me once that that was probably why he listened to me and spared her.
My family and I haven’t been on good terms since. They, like the royal family they fawn all over, all think it’s fine to murder dragons for “sport”. It makes my stomach turn. I unclench my fists.
Duchess had told me that her dad had already been slaughtered in the King Games the previous year and that her mom had tried to hide them the best she could. If the winter hadn’t been so bad, they would have flown on to a different land, but the winds made it difficult for the baby dragons to fly so instead of risk it, they had instead tried to stay huddled in a cave that unfortunately was too easy to find.
I shelter my eyes with my hand as I peer up into the sky. I smile as I realize Duchess has noticed me watching her because she executes a perfect somersault in the air. She is such a ham sometimes.
Duchess is more family to me than my actual family ever was.
She swoops down and the buzz lets me know she is ready for me to “board”. I tell her patience and gather up our meager belongings.
When I am all set, I signal to her. She leans down in the yoga pose downward facing dog, sticking her butt way up into the air as I climb up, always mindful of her scales. I settle in and we lift up into the air making our way to, if we are lucky, our new spot for the next couple days.
Page 9 Inspiration.
The Writing Exercise: My Pet
A portrait of a pet is also one way of creating a portrait of its owner…
Possibly it may express impulses that its owner does not want to or cannot express.
Expanded the creative muscles happily. I woke up at 3am (on a Sunday!l) and spent a bit of time working through thinking about this exercise. A dragon just felt like the more “tale” animal pet choice.
Imagining and fleshing out some “back story” for the dragon origins of meeting and present day was interesting because the “story” unfolded as I typed. I wove more of the events together and I realized that the “knight” was the narrators’ brother and that Duchess was like her family now. “Learning” this made the rest of the short story come together well.
Hello September! I am doing my own self-imposed writing challenge this month using the Now Write book series to do so. I will NOT be posting every single day. Maybe just a few here or there that I especially like for whatever reason. Enjoy!