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Introverted Comforts: A Poem

The sun has set, night comes again,
moonlight now floods my room.
I’m at peace snuggled in my bed,
cosy in my bedroom.

Candlelight flickers and dances
off the walls beside me.
I wrap the doona around me
slowly sipping my tea.

My window slightly cracked ajar,
cool air brushes my skin.
Cold winter breeze relaxes me,
my happy days begin.

I breathe a sigh of happiness
I’m in my comfort zone.
Silence fills the room around me
I love to be alone.

Days are filled with anxiety
But nights are filled with joy.
Bundled up with my book in bed
Is just what I enjoy.

I love to immerse in my books
absorb stories and tales.
My books comfort me every day
of this, they never fail.

My books open up new-found worlds
New people and places.
I can delve into foreign lands
Right by my bookcases.

I do not have to leave my home
to find my own pleasure
Comfort is found where I am safe
Relaxed at my leisure.

I love my introverted life
of simple joys and highs.
I feel so relaxed and happy
I slowly close my eyes.

My books bring me so much comfort
My dreams bring me delight.
I know the stories are not true
But they often feel right.

Night-time brings me so much comfort
I can forget my plights
I love my introverted life
I love the quiet nights

Quiet introverted comforts
are what I so enjoy.
I spend nights quietly, alone
It brings me so much joy.

author, Short Story, writing

A Different Trip: A Short Story

I stared up at the glowing board, carefully doing the math in my head. 2pm boarding. Diaper change at 1:45. Get milk ready on plane. When is he supposed to nap? Will he even sleep in the air?

My husband glanced over at me, concern etched into his eyebrows. I could feel my leg jigging up and down, a nervous twitch I never outgrew. My son was playing in the stroller, happily smashing toys together, oblivious to his mothers distress.

“We were allowed his diaper bag to carry on, right?” I questioned, suddenly doubting everything I’d heard from the staff.

“It’s fine,” replied my husband.

He sounded slightly annoyed. How many times had I asked that? So many scenarios were running through my head. What if they didn’t let us bring his bag on? What if they think we stole this airport stroller? What if the plane leaves without us?

“Stop,” grumbled my husband. “You’re going to start an earthquake.”

The jigging. The stupid leg jig. I pushed my hand down into my leg, determined to stop it moving. Stupid habit.

I heard our flight announcement over the speakers. Boarding opening for parents with children. Our turn. I quickly ducked into the parents room and changed the diaper. We hurried to the gate. I knew he was starting to get grumpy, nap time was about 30 minutes ago. Why are planes never on time?

We took our seats, my husband putting our bags overhead while I held onto the diaper bag. We booked him his own seat, even though he didn’t really ‘need’ one. Figured it would be easier to have him between us rather than on our laps. Also saves someone else from sitting next to a baby. Possibly a screaming one.

Take-off was delayed. Baby getting more and more tired by the second. When we finally started to move I quickly whipped out the bottle and started feeding him while we took off from the ground. I read somewhere that it’s supposed to help. He was still fussy though so I don’t know how well it actually worked.

He wasn’t happy being contained on a plane. He finally fell asleep in my arms and that’s where he stayed for hours. Not comfortable at all, but it was more important to me that he sleep. The hours went by incredibly slowly. I watched a few movies, desperately hoping to fall asleep. But sleep never came for me.

My husband was fast asleep beside me. Since I had to hold bubba he was able to spread over two chairs. More room for him, less for me. I knew he’d sleep, but it still made me mad. I couldn’t sleep and had a baby in my lap. Felt somewhat unfair.

We finally started descending. Baby woke up as we started dropping in the sky – the air pressure wasn’t comfortable for me, so it must have been really hard for a little bubba. My husband made a bottle quickly. The air pressure change was irritating him and although I was still unsure the articles were right I was willing to give it a go. I started feeding him as we descended, desperately hoping that the bottle trick did actually work. I think it had some impact, at least he wasn’t screaming. When we finally landed bubba was happy. I was exhausted.

We waited for everyone else to depart the plane. It wasn’t worth fighting the crowds with a baby – he’d get grumpy surrounded by a lot of people. My husband grabbed the carry-ons and we slowly left the plane, smiling at the flight attendants as we finally departed.

“Well, that wasn’t so bad,” said my husband.

I’ve never been as mad as I was in that moment. Easy. Easy for him. It did go better than I expected but I’ve never been so tired in my life, not even when bubba was a newborn.

author, Short Story, writing

Return To The Abyss: A Short Story

The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. I stared out my window, unable to pull my eyes from the sight. A candle was burning, there was no mistake about that.

My family and I lived within view of the old, abandoned cabin. Despite begging for a different room for years, my window stared straight at the creepy cabin. There were many different rumors about what happened there – an old man who was killed, an old witch coven, a woman murdering her own children, and the most recent rumor, the gateway to hell.

I never believed any rumors. They were all farfetched and strange… but I still hated looking at that cabin every day. I often kept my blinds shut so I didn’t have to see it, but tonight, of all nights, it was too damn hot to keep my window closed.

The cabin was abandoned. It was definitely abandoned. There had been no sign of life in years. I recoiled from the window when I saw a shadow pass by the burning flame. “What the hell?” I muttered, finally tearing my eyes away.

I hurriedly shut my blinds, resigning myself to sleeping in the heat rather than staring at the candle all night. I felt an insatiable urge to go up there. I had to check it out. But, I wasn’t stupid… I’ve seen horror movies. I would go check it out in the morning when the sun was bright and nothing could hide under the cover of the moon.

Sleep did not come easy. My mind was racing, conjuring ideas of what was happening in that old cabin. The most reasonable explanation was that someone broke in and was doing something there, like some teenagers hooking up. But that also felt unbelievable… no one ever trespassed. Everyone was too afraid of the old cabin.

I knew my family wouldn’t be awake for a few hours after the sun rose, and as soon as light spilled into our house I raced out of bed, threw on some jeans and a shirt, and flew out the front door.

Going up to an abandoned cabin on your own first thing in the morning probably wasn’t my smartest move, but I had to know if I was losing my mind or if someone really was at the cabin last night. My body seemed to pull me there, I had a strange urge that I had to go. I had to see what was happening in the cabin.

The shrubbery was thick. No one had travelled the path between our houses in a long time. I vaguely remember my mother taking me down this path when I was younger – when the path was clear and safe. Now, the trees were dense and weeds covered the splintered cobblestone path. I pushed past the thick vines and emerged in the overgrown front yard leading to the old cabin.

My heart skipped a beat as I slowly made my way to the front door. It was hanging off its hinge, creaking slowly as the wind rushed past. The entire area felt eerie and unnatural. Something did happen here in the past, I could feel it in my bones. My eyes scanned the broken porch, familiarity settling in my mind. I felt like I’d been here before.

I carefully navigated the rotting steps and bypassed the creaking door. There was no light within the cabin – sunlight didn’t even breach the fractured windows. I moved carefully, not only afraid that I would fall through the floor but also terrified that I would alert someone that I was inside.

I could feel my heartbeat in my ears. I refused to believe in fairytales or witchcraft, so why was I so afraid? Why did my hair stand on end and my body tremble? I slowly peeked around the corner leading to the dilapidated living area. Old furniture had been covered with white sheets and a layer of dust coated every inch of the room, so thick that I could feel it in my lungs. I could see a candle sitting in the window and my heart started beating faster.

Slowly, I approached the candle, my eyes still darting around the room. I felt like someone was watching me, but there was no sign of life anywhere. As soon as I drew close enough I knew what I had seen during the night wasn’t a hallucination. Warmth still emitted from the candle and fresh wax had dried onto the crumbling windowsill.

Wind brushed past my face, blowing my blonde hair to the side. I was standing at the only window in the room, which was still intact and closed. My breathing grew laboured as the temperature plummeted, fog escaping my mouth with each shallow breath. Something flickered in my peripheral vision, moving quickly out of view.

I internally swore, cursing myself for being so stupidly curious. Goosebumps rose on my arms as I slowly turned, a scream never had the chance to escape as the white figure embraced me.

A familiar and yet terrifying snarl echoed in my ears as my vision blackened. “Welcome home.”

Home. I had forgotten. I was born here, intended to be a sacrifice. Firstborn blood to initiate a ritual. My mother… adopted mother took me. She stopped the ritual from occurring when I was a child. I felt blood trickle down my body as I lay motionless on the ground. Relief flooded my body as the darkness grew closer. My task was complete. My sole reason for existing was coming to fruition. The dark days were about to begin.

author, poetry, writing

Wedding: A Poem

Weddings are always a big deal,
So much music, dancing and love
It almost feels surreal.

There’s always laughter and a good meal,
And love exudes through the air.
Weddings are always a big deal.

I love the way weddings make me feel,
As I remember my own special day,
It almost feels surreal.

Sometimes it doesn’t quite feel real,
To see people so in love.
Weddings are always a big deal.

There is always so much appeal,
In going to a beautiful wedding.
It almost feels surreal.

Weddings can bring families to heal,
And show we can overcome a lot
Weddings are always a big deal
It almost feels surreal.

author, holidays, University, writing

Prepping For A Big Month

September is going to be huge! There’s a lot to do during this month and it will be borderline chaos! My sister is getting married, assessments are due and my little boy turns 1!

Things are definitely chaotic. I’m still entering some short story competitions here and there (I was gifted a free membership for Vocal+ which I’m taking advantage of and entering comps there) as well as writing and editing my books. It adds extra things on top of everything else though!

I’m going to take the month of September off writing. Maybe not completely, but I am going to take a breather and not write as often as I normally do. I don’t particularly have the time at the moment to write. I mean, technically I am still writing for University assessments but it doesn’t quite count.

I’ll keep an eye on some short story competitions in case I want to throw in an entry, but I’m not going to put any pressure on myself or try to write because I have to. I do love writing, don’t get me wrong, but it has become my job and I think it’s time for a bit of a ‘annual leave.’

I’ll still do my blogs but since September is so incredibly busy I won’t be super active. I’m going to prioritise family in this busy month since so much is happening! I’ll be back into writing in October, ready to prep for NaNoWriMo!

author, Short Story, writing

Love Between Weavers: A Short Story

Alette scanned the clear blue water surrounding her as she pursed her lips. Eryx had been here the day before on his kayak. He usually went out on the lagoon every morning, he said it was perfect training for the lakes nearby. Not too shallow and not too deep. Crystal clear with no waves – the perfect conditions. But he never returned. It had been days and Alette had finally had enough of waiting.

She waded into the water, careful with every step she took. Her slender fingers traced the top of the water, gently coaxing it for information. She felt the power surge through her hand, drawing up the memories that the water held.

The lagoon swirled under her touch and liquid figures rose from the water. Alette recognised her brother, but the other person was unknown. The mystery figure seemed to yell something before pulling Eryx out of his boat and across the water.

Her concentration broke and the water fell lifelessly back into place. Something had moved in the corner of her eye. Alette waded across the bank, fear drowning her senses as she recognised her brother’s most important possession. The kayak had washed up on the banks of the lagoon, broken beyond repair. Black burn marks snaked around the base, identifying the perpetrator that attacked Eryx. A fire weaver.

But that didn’t make sense. The water weavers and fire weavers had a truce. There hadn’t been an attack in nearly 30 years. The mystery figure also pulled Eryx across the water, almost like an air weaver.

“Crap,” muttered Alette. “What the hell happened?”

“Alette?” She spun around, frowning as her mother stared her down from the trees. “What are you doing?”

“I’m looking for Eryx.”

“That is not your job. The trackers are on the mission.”

Alette sneered. “The trackers didn’t even come here. They’re useless. The water showed me that Eryx was taken – his kayak is broken. He was attacked!”

Her mother glanced at the kayak, her brows knitting together. “The water and fire weavers have a truce, Alette. We cannot break that truce because of this.”

“They already broke it attacking Eryx!”

Her mother silenced her with a single-hand movement. “That is enough, Alette. Return to the village and allow the trackers to do their work.”

Alette grumbled under her breath but didn’t protest. Her mother was an Elder, one of the most powerful weavers in the village. No one dared to disobey her, especially not her children.

Alette quietly walked back to the village. Anger seethed within her, but she refused to give up. She had to find her brother. As soon as night fell and the village went to bed, Alette made her way out of the cottage and back to the shores of the lagoon. It glistened in the moonlight, the surroundings reflecting in the mirror-like surface.

She knelt beside the water’s edge, carefully tracing her finger along the still water. She felt something within the lagoon, something was not right. Alette waded into the water and started to swim. She could feel something pulling her from the centre, something important. The water worked with her strokes, urging her forward faster and faster. It sensed her desperation. Her magic crackled on her skin, giving the water life around her body.

Once she reached the centre, she dived under. The water magic allowed her to breathe underwater as she dove deeper, determined to scour the bottom for any clues.

Her jaw almost dropped as she recognised something at the bottom. It was another kayak – it was light in colour and the mark of the air weavers was branded on the side. It was undamaged, apart from the water embracing it as a new piece of the lagoon. She gently touched the edge, shock racing through her as images echoed in her mind. She closed her eyes and focused on what was being shown to her.

Eryx appeared, unharmed. He smiled, his blue eyes twinkling as he embraced a young girl with jet-black hair. They each stood on a kayak, embracing each other perilously across the cracks.

“They suspect something,” whispered the girl. “We can’t keep meeting on the lagoon. They’re following me.”

Eryx held her tighter. “I’ll protect you, Vita.”

The girl broke the embrace. “How? What are we going to do?”

Eryx gripped her arm and turned, seeming to face Alette. “Alette will protect us. We will leave, flee the area, and she will protect us. Won’t you, Alette?”

She couldn’t respond, but Eryx smiled as if she did. “Thank you,” he said. “I will always love you, dear sister. But I need to be with Vita. I knew you would find this message. Only you could control the water to see images and sense the emotions hidden within the lagoon.”

The young girl, Vita, bowed her head. “Thank you for protecting our secret. The air weavers and water weavers have always been on rocky relations. I was due to marry an Elder’s son, but I cannot. I love Eryx, and only Eryx.”

“Maybe one day we will see you again, dear sister. For now, I love you. Goodbye.”

He crossed onto the other kayak, holding onto Vita tightly as he set fire to his kayak. Fire engulfed the wood, damaging the kayak beyond repair. There was no turning back for Eryx.

Alette’s eyes shot open, and the water propelled her to the surface. She took deep, shuddering breaths, calming her heart and mind. They’d used air weaving to send her a message. A message only she would see. As she swam to shore, Alette willed the water to bury the air kayak. Nobody could know what her brother had done. She would protect him, no matter what.

author, tips, University, writing

10 Tips To A Successful University Semester

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Oh the grind of University! It’s very different with a child in tow but I find that tips are pretty universal – sometimes you just have to work around a baby!

1. Attend your classes (even if they’re online videos)

It can really suck attending classes, and sometimes the lecturer is the most boring person alive. However, classes are very important to attend. Useful questions are asked and confusing concepts are clarified during classes. It can be hard finding the motivation to attend, especially when your classes are online, but it is incredibly beneficial.

2. Find a quiet spot to study

“Wisdom grows in quiet places.”

Austin O’Malley

This is an essential factor for me. I can’t study when it’s noisy or busy around me. I need a nice, quiet spot to focus my mind and get me into the zone to study. I didn’t think noise or actions around me would be so distracting, but boy they are. A quiet zone is peaceful and perfect study space!

Obviously for me I can’t study while bubba is awake – it’s way too noisy. I try to study while he’s asleep and get a quiet space to study and attend my classes (mainly our study).

3. Finish assessments early

It sounds kind of lame, but finishing assessments early is amazing. Not only do you feel productive, but you also have time to go over those assessments again and revise them. Most people have experienced an all-nighter, I certainly have, but it is incredibly beneficial to spend extra time editing and revising days before an assessment is due.

4. Planning

For me, planning is soothing. I enjoy being able to plan out my day, week and month in advance. It helps me keep track of what I’m doing and when I need to have things done by. It is really helpful to plan out your days or weeks in advance so that you know what you need to do in the week and when you have time to study. It also helps to keep track of assessments and know what is due and when.

5. Take notes, and then re-write said notes

This is something that really works for me in my psychology degree. I take physical notes during classes and then I re-write those notes onto my computer after the classes. I find it’s a good way to revise topics and imprint these concepts into my mind. It helps remind me of what I learnt in the class and I can look up things I didn’t understand while writing out those notes.

6. Take breaks

Breaks are super duper important for productivity! It’s useless to spend hours staring at books or computer screens and continuing to study the same thing over and over. You need to take breaks to rest your mind and your eyes in order to remain productive.

7. Get plenty of sleep

Orange Cat Sleeping on White Bed

On that previous note, sleep is so incredibly important during University! Your body and brain needs sleep to rejuvenate and refresh. You need to get good sleep in order to keep your brain functioning and able to understand new concepts. You also need sleep in order to remain healthy and able to study and attend classes. Lack of sleep leads to lower immune systems and, put bluntly, disaster!

8. Try not to procrastinate

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”

Pablo Picasso

It sounds stupid to say, but sometimes it needs to be said. Procrastination is a useless venture and, I admit, it is a hard habit to overcome. It’s quite easy to become distracted with other things and out off your work until the last minute. It is so important to catch yourself when you’re doing these things and force yourself to go study or do your assessment. Procrastination gets you nowhere, you need to focus and try to remain focused until the semester is over!

9. Take care of your mental health

“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.”

Glenn Close

I am 100% a major mental health advocate (must be something to do with the psych degree). It is so important to take care of your mental health, especially during a University semester. Uni can be so stressful and hard that your mental health might decline, which is very common. It’s important to eat well, exercise and see a professional if you feel your mindset slipping. It is hard to get through Uni, but even harder with mental illness weighing you down. Make sure you take time for yourself and know your limits!

10. Coffee, coffee, coffee!

Cup of Coffee on Saucer

For me, coffee is life. I love my coffee, it is the breath of life into me each day. But, my main point in this is to find things you enjoy. Find joy in your University life and enjoy each moment spent on campus or doing online classes. It is a long haul, but University is a short stint in your life and you definitely need to enjoy it! For me, I find my joy in having multiple cups of coffee from my favourite cafes on campus. Brings joy to me!

“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.”

John Maxwell
author, poetry, writing

Dreams: A Poem

In my dreams, I can fly away
across ocean and sea.
In my dreams, I forget the day
I’m allowed to be me.

In my dreams, I dare to cast spells,
and rule over the land.
In my dreams, I collect sea shells,
buried deep in the sand.

In my dreams, there are never fights
only peace, love and joy.
Everything always feels so right,
there’s so much to enjoy.

In my dreams, there are no pains
They release me from my chains.

author, tips, University, writing

Busy: Expectations vs. Reality

Life is crazy. Honestly, incredibly crazy! Being a stay-at-home mum, working from home and studying my Masters… it’s just hectic. I know I touched on all this in one of my recent blogs but I didn’t realise just how busy things would get as the semester started kicking into gear! I was expecting life to get hectic with University thrown into the mix, but my expectations were not reality (isn’t that always the way?)

It’s been about a month since classes went back, which is only 4 weeks out of 10 but holy moly life is chaos! I’m having to work on my coursework after dinner and trying to work throughout the day.

It’s bringing a bit of mum guilt into my life. I was fine previously, I would work while bub napped, but he’s older now and only naps twice a day. I can’t effectively work and do my studies just during his nap times so it’s starting to spill into his wake times.

He’ll be playing beside me and I’ll be in a lecture. I’ll be finishing up some work while he’s rolling on the floor. I need to do all this, and I love studying and being able to work but the mum guilt is real!

It’s still a work in progress but I do have a basic routine now. I’m trying to spend as much time with bubba as possible when he’s awake but I also know I need to meet deadlines and so I sometimes work while he’s playing. I’m still with him and can interact – it’s not 100% attention all the time but I’m doing my best!

I’ll take each day as it comes and continue juggling my days as best I can – once this semester is over it’ll be a lot easier!

author, Short Story, writing

The Hunted: A Short Story

There weren’t always dragons in the valley. Dragons had been extinct for years, and although there used to be dragons roaming the land, the land had been void of them for so long. There weren’t always dragons in the valley, until one cold winters day started to change the world as we know it.

“Genevieve, has your brother returned?” My mother shuffled towards me; concern etched on her face. “It is nearly sundown.”

“I know Mama,” I replied, turning my ice blue eyes towards the horizon. “He only went to gather wood for the fire. I can go find him?”

“Please do. We cannot be out after dark.”

My mother pulled her shawl tightly around her thin shoulders, her curly black hair caught between her neck and the fabric. She hurried back into the cottage, escaping the sharp breeze outside. I frowned as I examined the forest. William should have been back by noon.

I stepped carefully as I made my way through the forest. You never knew what was lurking around a corner. It was dangerous to be in the forest, especially after dark. I figured William would have gone to the Valley, that’s usually where he collected the wood from. It was empty and dark, but there was always plenty of downed trees. I hurried to the edge of the forest, desperate to collect him before the sun set.

A shriek escaped my lips as I emerged from the trees. Large eyes were staring down at me. The creature roared and large wings flapped, the wind knocking me to the ground. I heard a shout and my brothers arms encased me.

“What the hell?” I whispered, clutching onto him.

William carefully drew me to my feet. “It’s a dragon,” he breathed, excitement in his voice. “A dragon.”

“But they’re extinct.”

He shook his head and pointed at the creature. Large scales covered its body, glistening in the setting sun. Its amber eyes pierced through me, studying me. Wings beat in a steady rhythm, keeping it above the ground. It was a dragon.

“How?” I asked. “How is there a dragon here?”

“I don’t know,” replied William. “I got here this morning and it was here. It had injured its wing and I couldn’t leave it.”

“We have to tell the Elders.”

William gripped my arm tightly. “They’ll kill it. They can’t ever know.”

“That’s a crime,” I growled. “We need to tell the Elders of a dragon existing. It’s law.”

“She’s innocent,” replied William. “Please Genevieve! She’s gentle, she doesn’t deserve to die for just existing!”

I glanced at the dragon. A shiver went up my spine as its eyes connected with mine. A dragon was unheard of; they had been hunted to extinction. Its eyes softened as it stared at me, and it slowly lowered itself to the ground. It looked less threatening by the second.

“Fine,” I replied. “I won’t report it, but it can’t stay here. The Elders will find it.”

“Her,” he said. “The dragon is a female.”

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. “It doesn’t matter William. What are you going to do with it… her?”

“I think she’s lost. There’s others, I’m sure of it. She needs to get back to her own kind.”

“How are you going to do that?”

William pulled a small device from his pocket. “I created this,” he whispered. “I didn’t know I could… but I felt desperate, I had to help her… and then this appeared. It is showing me the way to go, I think it’s where other dragons are.”

My eyes widened. “Magic?” I breathed. “But that’s impossible. Magic has been lost for centuries.”

“Since the dragons disappeared.”

Something clicked in my mind. “You don’t think that the old magic is tied to the presence of dragons, do you?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe it was in us the whole time and we never knew to use it? Maybe it is tied to dragons? I don’t know. But I feel it in my heart that we need to protect her.”

I sighed. “Mama is not going to like this.”

“She doesn’t need to know. Telling her will only implicate her. We need to keep her safe, keep her in the dark from it all.”

“What are we supposed to tell her? We’re going on a trip Mama, bye?”

William frowned. “You’re staying with her.”

“No, I’m not. You’re not doing this alone.”

“She needs you, Genevieve. We can’t both go; she needs one of us.”

I knew he was right, but I didn’t want to admit it. “The sun is setting. We need to get home.”

William nodded. He gently patted the dragon’s head. “You can follow us but be quiet. We’ll leave in the morning to find your family.”

The dragon let out a gurgle and gently flew into the air. It was barely visible as it soared the skies above us. We hurried back to the hut. The forest was full of creatures that emerged during the night, it wasn’t safe to be out while it was dark.

I saw a bright orange light as we neared the edge of the forest. It looked almost like flames. I stumbled as I watched it grow brighter and brighter.

“Fire!” yelled William. “Mama!”

We sprinted to the cottage. The Elders were surrounding it, watching the flames as they soared into the sky. The oldest, Theodore, turned towards us as we approached. “This may be an incentive, William,” he hissed.

“Mama!” I shrieked. “Where is she? What have you done?”

He sneered. “She is gone. A simple warning. You will be next unless William gives us the dragon.”

William’s eyes widened. “How did you know?”

Someone shuffled behind Theodore. His son, Arthur, stared us down. “I saw it,” he said. “I heard what you were saying. You were going to hide it from us.”

William twitched. “So, you decided to kill our mother?”

Rage simmered inside me. Our mother was sickly. She did nothing wrong, she was always loyal to the Elders. Always. William placed a hand on my shoulder. “We need to go,” he murmured.

The dragon roared overhead, startling the group. She landed beside William, smoke escaping her mouth. He took a step forward, hand brushing her wings. “She is not dangerous,” he said. “I will protect, especially now that you have killed our mother. We will never hand her over to you.”

Theodore snarled and I cried out as one of the other elders aimed an arrow at my brother. It was fast, too fast to dodge. I saw my brother drop like a rock. There was no way he had survived the hit. I took one step forward, staring at my brothers still body. The dragon roared behind me and I felt something surging within. I twitched and stared at our attackers, rage fuelling me. A scream escaped my lips, something warm exploding from my body as I screamed. My hands squeezed into fists and my eyes shut tightly as I screamed and screamed. I felt the power erupt from within me, a magical presence I never knew I had.

I don’t know how long it had been before I felt a gentle pat on my head. The rage left in an instance, and I slowly opened my eyes. The area around me had been flattened, my brothers body the only thing within reach. I glanced over at the Elders. All except one were on the ground, lifeless. Arthur was staring at me with wide eyes. He took a step backwards and violently shook his head. “Power… Too much power! This will be your end!” he screamed before sprinting away.

I collapsed to the ground, crawling over to William’s body. The dragon had already laid next to him, placing a gentle paw on his chest. I could’ve sworn I saw a tear escape her eyes. I gently dusted his face, my tears splashing on him. They’d taken him from me. All over a dragon. One dragon.

She picked him up in his claw and let out a roar before flying off. I let out a sigh and stared up at the sky as rain started to fall. We were on our own now. I had to continue William’s task. I had to get the dragon back to her own kind and away from those that would harm her. I had to protect her from this world, for my brother.