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It was five years ago when I first saw the dragon. I was young, foolish, and I had no idea what it meant. Now that I look back, I wonder that all the clues were in front of my face and I never was able to determine what they lead to. I had been swimming in the local swimming pool, where with some of my friends we’d been doing jumps off the deep end. It was only five feet deep, so dives were out, and the lifeguards pulled people from the pool who were clearly horsing around.
I stepped to the line, and ignored the suggestions from the pool, waving them away from where I’d be jumping. I took five quick steps and began a corkscrew-like turn, but stopped midway with my eyes on the fence. I couldn’t register what stopped me before I hit the water, mostly on my stomach. When I surfaced, I was facing the fence and ignoring the world around me, treading water and staring eye-to-eye with the dragon. It was as white as pure, new snow, with wings like cr ystal. The eyes were a deep, clear blue like the pool. Like my own eyes.
“Hey, Tina!” Someone splashed an armful of water at me, and I blinked, turning around. It was Kelly, who waved me to the side of the pool. “What are you staring at? You didn’t hit the water that hard.”
“I was . . . did you see anything?” I asked her, voice quiet.
“Just the most awful flop in a while.” Kelly laughed and pulled herself out of the pool. “You should sit out the next one, maybe you’re just tired.” So I did, and looked at the fence now and then, where the dragon had been. Naturally, there hadn’t been anything for me to see.
The next time I saw the dragon was that night, while at a slumber party. We’d come back to Kelly’s house where we would be sleeping with our clothes and sleeping bags. We went to sleep well after midnight, but I was awakened a few hours later by something. I walked barefoot to the balcony. Kelly’s house is a rare one in the neighborhood, having a back porch and a balcony over it. I could see all the stars that night, and the full moon raising into the sky like a balloon.
That was when I saw the dragon perched on the railing nearby, watching me. I tilted my head, and it did so too. I noticed more details up close, seeing the dragon’s hide was a smooth but scaly hide like a snake Timmy brought to class one day to scare the girls. The claws were like a cat’s, looking like needles on its paws. The tail was long and thin, but didn’t end in a spade like all the books seem to think, rather it just tapered to a whip-like point.
elves. curled up with dew having settled over me. I could hear Kelly’s father out watering the lawn. gliding through the sky easily and with freedom no little girl would ever forget to dream of afterwards. and closed my eyes. wicked witches. But I get ahead of myself. stories about faeries. . it leapt into the air. fair y tales. I almost forgot about the dragon. leaving me on the balcony. wondering how I fell asleep without realizing it.I should mention that I read fantas y books. I smiled in spite of myself. I don’t read man y about dragons. The other girls were not yet awake. Then I found myself wondering about how it felt to fly. dreaming of catching the air in wings. princesses. I woke up when the morning light came. vampires. and I was out on the balcony. and happily-ever-after. in all that happened that morning with me getting ready to leave and go home. and things which lurk in the night for evil reasons. and I crept back inside. those blue eyes finding mine again. and I am rambling off. I went into the bathroom and used a towel to wipe myself dr y. and raise its head to stare at me. watching the cr ystal wings flicker in the moonlight. I saw the dragon jump off the perch. Then as if it was satisfied at having seen me. unicorns. I especially stayed away from stories about werewolves. which was a mistake I have come to regret now that I know more.
The dragon alighted on the window and I opened it. but it was a few weeks before the dragon came to me again. and then hopping onto the bed. the size of a large dog. nuzzling at my hand.I waited for more.” She said.” “Then you will have to think on it. It sounded so much like me. I thought. awestruck.” I whispered. “How did I know you would be back?” “You know why. It’s a good thing my room has carpet. in my bed and staring out the window at the full moon. It stepped through the window. I was not surprised its teeth were perfectly straight and white. “I’ve been waiting for you.” . “You know why. For the patient. It purred and rubbed into the hand. little Christina. speaking through the muzzle. or my parents would hear it. I didn’t know how I knew it would return. This time I was alone. hopping to the floor.” “No I don’t. her voice just a bit off-pitch from mine. without considering the dangers. “Sleep and dream. all answers will come. between two ears which stood up much like a cat’s.” She replied. sitting on her haunches. I reached out and patted it on the head. All will become clear in time.
but I wasn’t upset. James . On the first day of ninth grade. Rather. the window was closed. . promising to blossom well. I had grown up lithe and strong. There was Kelly. and lacked what made the boys look at girls. In a new school. and surly. . broad. who was on the cheerleading squad. Brandon.I really don’t remember what happened. There was Timothy. but instead my mother explained to me a very embarrassing fact of life I would have to live with for the rest of my life. I didn’t care much then. just that I woke up expecting to find the window open and the dragon on my sheets. Richard. Michael. and I still find them ver y like that. but it was just what would happen. and I care less now. For this reason alone. all of them either kind and willing to speak with me as an equal or snide and condescending. I despise them . I knew I was different. I didn’t see the dragon that night. The whole day I expected more of seeing the dragon. who had grown tall. So I had to wear a pad on my underwear. who was still quiet and absorbed in books and fantasies in his mind. I saw the dragon again. which was only a little uncomfortable. There was Andrew. I found new faces. I admit. But it was necessar y. but the rest of the children went out of their way to exclude me. and there was nothing to show the dragon had ever been there. Gregor y. it still sounds gross and disgusting. For some reason I knew it would not appear for a great long time. Taliah.
" One of the boys behind him mocked. leering at me. . I wanted to smash his face in with a fist. My mother said it to me many times: “The best thing you can do is to avoid the ones who make your life difficult. walking away. But there is not much to tell about that day other than I found Timothy was still the same jerk he was before.all for what they did. I got up and dusted myself off. then sprawled forward as he stuck out a foot to trip me down the stairs. I looked up and saw the dragon across the lot. and how they left me behind. "Well. and when I got up. and ignored the laughter behind me. but with friends who felt the same way now. He cornered me as I left the school. "Timmy. get out of my way. get out of my way. guess some girls aren’t so luck y to have anything. and he glared over a shoulder. "Oh. but I had resolved to do just that." He turned. I nursed the anger. Timmy." I said. I took that moment to walk around him. I again get too far ahead of the story. and let them roll off your back. patches of red scales on her flanks.” It was never easy. Tina. a lot. She sat calmly there and watched me. playing to his audience who laughed and played to his ego. It hurt. not in the mood for his antics.
“I didn’t do an ything. And for some reason. and dreamed I saw the dragon chewing on something. he tossed me down the stairs roughly and followed. Reddening.I dreamed again of flying that night. and then spat for real. ready to give me a beating. I felt powerful and glad it had done so. When she was done. It wasn’t too bright. You deserved it!” I spat back. The next day. now. scrambling up to my feet swiftly after. I knew what had happened. I saw her take off into the skies again. wheeling about. Bullies like him expect victims to lie still and take it. Timothy’s bicycle was missing at the bike rack. but I cheered it on. assuming I had magically divined where he lived and been able to get to his bike. and I heard from one of the gossipers that it had been run over by a truck. almost feverishly. I didn’t see what it was. . “You! You broke my bike!” This was. But I think reason was not really what had him convinced it was me. Which is what I did. the dragon had ruined the bike. Timothy pushed me against the doors when I left school that day. and I had cheered it on. not get up and deliver a vicious kick to his knee. what I did after he held me there. but I’m not sorry for what happened one bit. I understood he kept it in the garage locked tight. it wasn’t fit to ride anymore. of course. landing it on his cheek.
they must have been pressed ever y day for the creases to be as sharp as they were. as if daring him to start again. not one of his boys. spinning him over a hip and shoulder in a throw I knew I had never been taught. I was barely aware of what I did in response. I remembered absently. and I turned to see . There was a silence between us. you got your shot. and I stared at him. He landed hard. and glared as he got up. he was a ‘catch’ I suppose you could say. “Okay. and moved in again. which seemed far too old to belong to him. He and Lucas had a staring match which lasted a good thirty seconds before Tim broke away and stalked off. . . she got hers. Clear brown eyes. I let out a breath I wasn’t even aware I’d been holding in. but didn’t do anything.“I’m going to take it out of your hide!” He called out. Tim. But I could see him getting through that fear. Dressed neatly in a button-up shirt and slacks. well. but with blond hair tied back in a pon ytail like older guys use.” A voice said behind me. which seemed to frighten him more than me. “I don’t listen to wimps. fair y-boy. “Move on. but I couldn’t recall when I had met him.” Tim spat at the ground.” He snarled. Tall and thin. and leave it. . and angr y again. His name was Lucas.
“You’re good.” Those eyes seemed to draw me in deeply. I didn’t see him come back. He’s not as good as you. and one night I went with him to a movie. turning to look me in the eyes as clearly as he had Tim. changing the subject to small-talk. and went inside. Once I reached my doorstep. Tim’s friends left me alone. but he’d be able to really hurt you if you missed an opening or got unlucky. “I’ll just defend myself. There was a tension. I felt a silent approval of it’s new look. I didn’t dream that night. That is what it was. or no dreams that I remember. For a month I felt brave as Timothy avoided me. . Lucas left. though I felt their eyes on me for the first bit of walking. I saw the dragon perched on a rooftop across the street then. except they weren’t anywhere near as ready to be cruel as he was. but I failed to notice him whispering more among the gang he had formed. and I felt it keenly while in his presence. He’s a bully.” Lucas said to me. Midway through. the reddish color having spread over her back and looking a little more dangerous. but I am not a victim.” I said evenly. he excused himself. “But you shouldn’t fight him. Lucas and I spent some time together. walking on. and his eyebrows went up. I knew there was something familiar about him now. He shrugged and walked me home. but I didn’t recognize what. and I left the theater to look for him.
“Tina. who was seeing the new action film the next theater down. I didn’t mention to him I had went looking. nor did he offer any explanation for why it took him so long. and found Lucas back in the seat when I reentered the theater. Lucas glanced back at me. “Don’t pay them any attention. no.I instead ran smack into Timothy. angry. When we left. we heard them whooping and running our way. the heel of my hand smashing into his chin.” He muttered. and we sped up our walk. grabbing Lucas and slamming him against the wall of a storefront. Yet as soon as we turned a corner. Timothy was first. I felt all the more unsettled for it. I ignored his howl. “Guess what. and turned to see Timothy leaving .” “Leave him alone!” I shouted. fairy-boy. smacking him with my backhand swing. Lucas leaned over. we’ve got your number now. He smirked. instead going past me. folding his leg under him. stay back!” I wasn’t hearing him as Timothy’s boys tried to hold me. I felt exhilarated. The other lost his grip as I spun. but said nothing to me. we got about a block before we noticed Timothy and his bo ys following us. I flung my arm out at the one. energized. my foot taking out his knee from behind.
“Tina. loudly. which made me wince. smirking.Lucas to move towards me threateningly.. confused. Timmy!” I cried out. whirling a punch at him. and I felt a slight pinch on my back. . I was not really aware of the fight after the first swing. To me it had seemed like I’d just gotten lucky and the boys had been careless. “Let’s go. in my opinion. He led me off. I’m not through with him!" I said. When he spoke again. I guessed my shirt had gotten stuck to me or something. not yet.” He said quietly to me. but I know Timothy was hurting badly at the end. “Come on. before I saw Lucas’ eyes. It was hardly an advantage to avoid using.” “What are you talking about?” I asked. and I just smiled. “Come on!” He came forward. since it was the only edge I had over them. It’s wrong. "No. you really shouldn’t use your advantages so much. Lucas grabbed me b y the shoulders before I could take another swing. almost mature beyond appearances. holding his nose and his side. Lucas was thoughtful.
” She interrupted. Her talons were pronounced. and realized there was something I was not remembering. . I wondered at what he said. or perhaps just tired. “Your evening has been . “You are learning much. “Noticed what?” “Never mind it. As I fell to sleep that night.” “I see all you do. Her eyes were not calm and collected now. it’s a better idea to avoid confrontation than to brawl your way through it. her wings shot through with reddish streaks now. angr y. Just . “I would say so. Did you see the way I . clicking on my floor in the dream as she approached my bed. something I had missed. . for it to be safe. . . sounding sad. more of her scales turned red. But too fast. haven’t you?” This was his turn to sound confused. voice deep and rich.” “I don’t understand.“You’ve noticed by now. sounding again like a much more lovely version of my own. .” . quite active. too aggressively. despite my encouraging noises. I saw the dragon in my dreams. they were alive. .” She said.” He didn’t talk after that. as though the answer wasn’t what he expected.
I saw it as another dragon. and I felt sickened and elated at the same time.” I was unaware how I followed her. through an open window. who yelled at him. then I felt a jolt run through my mind. the howls Timoth y let out in pain as the belt slapped him where I had bruised his hips. he played about my dragon with a grace I admired silently. a piece of knowing. wheeling in the air. I wanted the dream to be real. I watched through the dragon’s eyes as she swung closer in the sky. and through the dragon’s senses told me he was being beaten with a belt. A bare heartbeat later. A clear brown. Next thing I knew. even if it was his own father. and another shape was in the sky. so wonderful was the feeling of flight with another dragon. the dragon was spiraling up into the night air. I heard a heavy swat. but I saw and heard anyway.She sighed. I thought absently. “Let us fly tonight. ever y swat. and spiraled in the air. and turned away from me. That bully deserved to be beaten by someone. The other dragon was Lucas. but I could see through her eyes as she flew out of my house. almost like coffee. And see more. Then I got a good look into the other ’s eyes. you must learn more. The dragon left after a while. I thought to myself. Slender and long. and I saw him clearly. We saw Timothy’s house. . I didn’t want to see. where he was explaining how he was bruised and battered to his father. silver y scales reflecting the moonlight.
as if making a decision to himself. “You’re-“ I stopped as he simply gave me half a nod. He shook his head. “You know. at lunch. but you aren’t realizing. but I ignored him.” He left. I saw him waiting for me at my locker.” He shook his shoulders and then looked around for a moment. and I couldn’t help but feel cheated. The greatest mystery I had been allowed to wonder at and he was leaving me hours to dwell on it! I closed my locker and almost stalked to class.” He said quietly. The morning was a blur to me.” I whispered.” “You are the dragon. “But how?” “Listen to me first. “Think for a moment. I saw you last night as well. Why was he . Then I saw him look to one side and noticed Timothy limping his way into the hallway from the entrance. eyes alight.” I was about to say that was impossible but he stopped me. almost whispering. until I remembered all the nastiness. I almost felt pity. he was deserving anything he got.The following Monday. and he nodded. he slid into a seat next to me. “How?” I asked. while I kept doodling dragons on the edge of my notebook. I leaned close. “Later.. Lucas was frowning at me now. Then I hid a smile. “The same way you saw me. At lunch.
“Only a handful of bloodlines survived that age.” “I can see why. “But you can’t tell anyone. where the blood became thinned and diluted by human interaction. nodding. “It’s all real?” “It is. It’s in your blood.” . Including other shape-shifters. the true dragons. The Renaissance killed many of the ancient bloodlines. You know what I mean. in the world as well. “Long ago.” He shifted in his seat and again glanced around.” I shook my head. far more numerous than you could guess these days. and you know what that is. . and made a conceding shrug of a shoulder with a nod. but let me continue. . and after that the wars pruned the lines to mere threads. and the others of dragon-kin. as you’ve obviously read the tales.” A wry smile. But then we began to fade away as belief in the magic which made us what we are faded. “Wait. our kind was numerous.” He agreed.” “Were-dragon?” I whispered. how did you avoid it . never mind. as it’s in mine. He seemed to consider the word. hearing the word in my mind. in addition to making the ‘pure’ humans more fruitful. and he looked surprised.being so cautious? “You and I are the same thing. because there is a great fear of our kind. as numerous as our kin.
‘fairy-boy’. You have heard my nickname. Your line runs through your father ’s side. but it’s not because of my hair.” I nodded. understanding part of it. I don’t feel bad in saying. The arts. not just brawling. all of them. And I know a lot.” He waved a hand. It’s because I play the flute. “But my memories tell me your line has always been warriors. You have sensed the powers we have.” “Why?” “Why does any child have certain aptitudes? It’s not exactly inherited.“Let me talk.” "What there is of those arts in your memories. "Which is unusual. “No. “And I’m good at the fighting arts. And very well. we excel at. never knew much about her except through small bits and pieces.” His eyes sparkled. this most likely contributed to why they thinned considerably in numbers over the years. but only true fighting. I do not recall hearing of another were-dragon in . I know enough to know that. and I fell right into them for a moment. “Fighting is instinctual.” “Was it my mother?” I never met her growing up.” He tilted his head a little.
I was not sure the . or rather. “So what is the deal with the dragon . almost fiercely strong. or a ver y dangerous one.” I didn’t see him in any classes after lunch.” How old was he? I wondered. an image in your mind. be careful which instincts do.” He tapped the table as the bell rang to signal the end of lunch. and I was glad. now it’s. Wild and dangerous.?” “Think of it as a mirror of your soul. I am not going to be able to speak with you again for a long time. You’ve changed. You have in you the potential to be a very beautiful were-dragon. “It reflects your inner self. you know?” I couldn’t put into words the feeling when looking at the dragon. Timothy steered clear of me for the month. “Listen carefully. Do not let your instincts take you over. myself. and your developing understanding” “But it was once so cute. I can’t understand how you went unnoticed. not for a few days. and it changed with you. especially if your father is still alive. well.” Lucas’ gaze became ver y intent suddenly. “No. . Then I asked the question I really wanted to know.this place and time. .
Just before Christmas. after I saw the snow globe I just knew it was for her. Lucas had apparently dropped off the face of the world. to explain why – the phrase ‘were-dragon’ wasn’t meant to suggest a connection to the moon like with werewolves. I remembered her talking about having lived there when she was young and missing the skyline. I know a little more now. I was foolish to be walking this late. no doubt. Though when I looked to the skies. and I was slightly sure he was just being a were-dragon.power would be with me without the full moon. whatever that meant. I should have expected what happened after a few weeks’ time. They jumped me at a dark alley. It was winter. I was walking home from the bus stop. It was meant literally to suggest we hid among human beings in their forms. School had slowed to prepare for the Christmas break. remembering my thrashing them. Despite my best efforts not to think on it. a hand snatching my arm and pulling me into the shadows. the city blanketed in white. now that I knew what I was. cool and snow y. but I had hoped they would remain afraid of me. to wonder at it. Timothy and his boys left me alone. . I should have seen it coming. having found the perfect gift for my step-mother. So. just after sunset. a snow globe of New York. there was a call which was felt no matter what the lunar phase was.
Fear drives humans to do silly things. . and I’m going to carve it into you to make sure you get the message. I snarled at him as I stood up from the snow. you’re going to regret making a fool out of me. then he got a look at my eyes and he paled. just over my navel. about how it was dangerous to do too much. That was the only warning before my body seemed to explode. Lucas’ warning rang in my ears. Timothy had a knife. I felt a heat inside of me. “I’m going to make sure you understand your place. Then it happened. Tina. Fiery pain coursed through my veins as I actually felt the transformation this time. primal. as I kicked and fought with my feet six inches from the ground.” I watched the knife’s point dip down to touch my stomach. and dangerous surged upwards through me and seemed to force out the fear. and this was no exception. You’re nothing. but I clung to the last part. I would be very dangerous. and he laughed. though. One of them gagged me before I could yell out. Something dark. and was confident he now had a better weapon than mere fists. Did they know what I was? I would show them! My growl stopped Timothy. “Come on. When the blade touched my skin. to these punks who thought they could threaten me.” His friends held me against the wall of the alley. but all I shouted were muffled curses anyway.
since my feet now touched the ground. no longer holding back with my fighting. fire-red. talons ripping open his arm. I was no longer pulling my punches. enough to feel something give. flexing my legs and arms with a wild joy. I felt the final touches slide through me . but it bounced off my chest as I stood there. It never landed. but it came out of my transformed mouth like a series of short rumbles. but I was armored in scales now. My clothes were ruined. certain I heard his cheekbone snap apart. I lashed out at the last standing boy with a foot. They wanted to pick a fight. I would take it to another level and let them know just how outmatched they were. and wings which blocked the light from the alley. The two holding me up let me go. feeling something give when I struck. I whirled and struck one with a fist. and talons grew from my fingers.Scales slid out of my skin. As they collapsed. I let out a laugh. and one rose from his sprawl to charge me with a fist drawn for a blow. . I didn’t care. but they hardly needed to. letting them see the beast they had conspired to bring out of me. and escalate it into something worse.the tail which gave me balance and another weapon to bring to bear. I whirled around again and kicked the other in the face. Timothy threw the knife at me. and stepped forward. as I grabbed him by the throat and allowed a slight twist.
Wolf-like features sharp.” I growled back. how archaic it all sounded. Then another growl sounded behind me in the deeper alley.” I replied. “Leave them. “This is not your affair. but I understood them as clearly. Part of it was the language. Timothy had run past me while I . “They are mine. detecting a third scent in the dark alley. and their scent very noticeable in the confined space. child of scale. letting out a growl.Tim was as white as the snow as I turned to face him fully.” “They sought to draw the blood of a sister to dragons. They were ver y easily identifiable to even me. Do not force us to break the covenant which has protected all of our sisters and brothers from them. an older set of words which was far more poetic in sound than what you hear on the streets. “You have overstepped your limits. they paid for their affront in their blood. her ears flattening. the words slurred and barely recognizable. teeth bared in a quiet challenge. and sniffed while I drew myself up. and each other. in public.” One growled out. I turned to see a pair of furry forms slip out of the shadows.” The other wolf growled out. You endanger us all. They were also not in English. not aware of how formal. werewolves. true werewolves.” “You would reveal our existence to the humans.
I struck a combat pose from distant memor y. The second wolf proved unpredictable and more savage in his attack. there was a sense which reached me. Fine. the root of all. “Who is first to die?” They were hesitant to strike. but they were committed to the act.” “You want it to stop. I was surprised as he . But beyond that. or any martial art. “You endanger us all.” Haughtily. I knew exactly who it was without turning.” His voice came out as rich and lyrical as I had expected from someone who claimed to play the flute. yet I relished the challenge of anticipating him. leaving behind a sharp scent I knew but did not dwell on. let this go.was distracted. then tr y to stop me.. “Lucas. Blow and counter-blow moved in quick motion and it played out almost exactly as I had envisioned it. ending with her on her back with a shattered arm and three broken ribs. you betray me? To these walking rugs. It was older than those forms. The female came at me with a lunging blow. I knew the flow of the battle before I blocked the leap with a forearm and tugged downwards. you would give me up?” “I can’t let you go through with this any longer. Come with me. one which could have been mistaken for karate.
and dragged his friend to the shadows. “Take Gina back to your pack. Then Lucas came after me into the skies. . not wanting to flee blindly and expose myself. I couldn’t hold it for long.” “I obey. it would just be Lucas. but with a slighter and narrower build. I waited above. I saw Lucas turn to the wolf. but his betrayal of me would need to end in his death. He started to attack. and I determined to take Lucas out of the fight. Then Lucas stepped out of the shadows. blood brother.managed to hold his own. The flow of the fight turned against me when he took a kick to the chest. It didn’t work out that way. and kept me from doing more than ripping into him. and lifted my leg out of the way. though now I can look back and tell it was not going to end like that. using my talons to climb the alley walls and then my wings to keep climbing. With the wolf unable to follow. Tell them the were-dragon Christina has broken the covenant.” The wolf bowed. and she is not protected any longer. leaving me exposed to take a hit from the wolf. a silvery twin to my form. driving me to a defensive which would seem frantic to outsiders but it was a simple fluid dance to me. I felt sad it had to be that way. his expression neutral as he climbed to the rooftop across from me. and let them know what has happened here. I chose then to break away and leapt into the air.
I wouldn’t cr y. There is no way to describe our duel to someone who is not a were-dragon. He managed to escape me. feeling cheated and betrayed. and I was burning with the rush of battle. and I would not let myself rest until he was dead for it. and don’t fight another of your kind. through a cloud and a snowstorm. He followed. I tried to track Lucas from the city I was born in. letting my body flow into the dragon form. “Let it go. I found that he was older than he looked. so I suppose I must simply tell you. . I raged in the sky.” He was almost pleading as he crouched. Instead I fled to the wilderness on the edges of cities.“Tina. Lucas had sold me out to the others. but contrar y to what I had expected there were really few records of him or his family. As I said before: it didn’t work out neatly or as I had hoped. I couldn’t cr y. unless I caught him unaware someday and ended it rather than let Time steal him from me. places where people wouldn’t be looking. there’s still time to turn away. as it was no longer my home. lunging up into the air and climbing. that I too would look as timeless as he did now that I had grown to maturity. I would outlive Timothy’s cruel human self.” I snarled back.” “Fight you? I’ll simply kill you. I never went home.
simply traveling abroad and supporting myself on deception and acts of petty theft which could not be explained for the authorities to believe. closed and hostile to me. of course. A silly dream of a long forgotten innocence. there are humans who believe and remember the old tales.Lucas disappeared into the underworld which the shape-shifters inhabit. Yet. among the ignorant. one in which Lucas and I continued the lines we were born into. They fear me as they should. shattered that December night so completely it could never be rebuilt. Yes. as they known. Oh yes. who do not understand that it is they who are the prey I live to hunt. I still dream. I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to be at peace with humans and shape-shifters instead of at war with them both. you can hardly turn around without tripping over one. and among the believers. Foolish cattle. and whose willing blindness supports the others. of course they have human friends. . the believers. It is a silly dream. I didn’t care. The shape-shifters were well aware of the infamy I was accumulating. Circles within circles of people who hold a dark and ancient secret from their human friends. I found the Circles. and revere the other shape-shifters for what they are.
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