Something was blocking my path. I pushed it away. The something let out a high, whistle-like noise. Whimper. The word came, like it always did. The whimpering mound was my brother. He gazed up at me with the same look as what a little amninal, no, animal would make when it knows it’s in big time doo-doo.
“Raaaaa-ooooooorrrrrrrreee!” I announced myself. Tullio stopped being a mound real quick and started being a comet. A grey and purple comet with wing outstretched trying to take off. He went to far; he teetered at the edge of the cliff before tumbling over. A little spark hung in midair before vanishing. But mum was there quick, and she had him back in the cave before you could growl. Mum is rich, shiny, deep plum with black claws. She’s not like me. Tullio’s not like me, either. All of my sisters and brothers, growing up with me, they’re not like me, either. Sometimes I wonder . . . sometimes I think . . . am I like me? And the anesor, answer, is, no, I’m not like me. I’m not like anyone. It’s like, like . . . oh, Tiamat, yeah, I know her. She’s the weird one who don’t look like us and don’t act like us, neither. I don’t know what she’s a doin’ here, `cause she don’t belong, that’s fer sure. Actually that’s what I heard one of the guys say when I snuck out of the cave and climbed down to the valley a few weeks back when I was just six years old.
I growled at nothing and quickly snatched at the first thing I saw: a mouse. Poor little thing didn’t have a chance. It froze right away and I moodily pulled it apart. But I didn’t feel like food just then, so I sent the bloody and mutilated shreds of rodent skittering across the cave to my brothers, who fought each other for it. Then they realized it was me who’d gone and killed it and they got nice and feared up and backed away. Everyone’s afeared of me `cause I’m bigger than them and my scales is red and gold, `stead of purple.
I turned my back on them and stared at the wall of the cave. Let them eat. As soons as they could tell I wasn’t awatnen wanting my share, I could hear the shuffles and squeals as they continued to scrabble over it.
Now I didn’t know it but Mum was watchin’ me. She’s always saying dumb stuff like `you’re fire and blood, you’re good, and strong, you could beat anything that crossed you. You’re fire, we’re ash.’ `Course she never really meant it, I could see it in her eyes. I didn’t belong here, I wasn’t like her, and she knew it. But she gone and told me anyway, to make me feel good.
But this wasn’t me. I wasn’t meant to come here, I seen it the day I came about. She wasn’t `spectin’ me. I was just Tiamet, the different baby dragon.
That night I was sittin’ alone in a corner, watching Tullio and Lenara and Screlira and all the rest curled up `round Mum, and feeling lonesome, when I desided, `If I’m gonna be different from me, I’m not gonna do it with everyone around to watch and notice. I’m out. It stinks.’ So that was when I left. No one noticed `cept maybe a couple rats, and they wasn’t about to talk. I jumped off the ledge and caught the wind and was off.
Since I was young and the other babies weren’t old enough to fly Mum had thought I was too young, too. But I wasn’t. I’d been able to fly for ages and now I did, for hours. I landed when the big bright light rose up and started to fly across the sky towards night.
I landed in a cave to rest a bit. This cave was different than mine. The rocks were different. But I shuffled about and dugged a hole for sleep. When I was digging I upturned a really weird rock. It shone like water on a day when the light wasn’t covered. It looked like fire, like blood, like me. I wanted it to be all mine, forever. I wanted more like it. I wanted a million and ten of these rocks to make a nest of and to curl around and protect. There was never anything like this at home. No one cared if things were shiny and beautiful or ugly and dark and boring. But I wanted more. More! I wanted every single one there was to hold and polish and care for. I slid it into my pouch. It was hard and cold but I didn’t care because it was mine. All mine. It was a frightful and wonderful feeling. I was full of life and I stretched my wings and flew on with no sleepy hours till the light had reached the end of the world and fell away behind the mountains, leaving red and gold. The colors of Tiamet, princess over all the world.
I stayed to rest in a cave I found by a wide, slow river. I curled up in a nest and slept. But when I woke up, I was hungry, and that made a new problem, `cause I’d never really hunted before. Sure, I’d pulled rats from their little nawks nooks, and I could pounce my siblings and breath fire but hunting . . . that was harder. So I flew high just watchin’ until the sun was setting making the river glow bright gold. Then I membered the rock in my pouch and I thought: If I can have this river to be gold and my rock to be red, I’ll find me everywhere. I landed by the river and across it there was an with four long legs and brown fur- a deer, and my dinner.
I took off once more and got across the river where the deer was. I took a deep breath and blew fire hard at it. It tried to run but the smell of cooked meat filled my nose afore long, and I set into the hot carcass right away, and nothing ever tasted so good as that. I’d done it all by myself, and now that I had, nothing could stop me.
I looked west into the red and gold of the sun, and I took out my stone. My light, smeared across the sky forever across the mountains, covered it with shimmers and streaks of cold brilliance. It was my lifeblood pumping through my veins, and I would live forever as long as the sun set and my rock glowed.
Author’s Note: You’ll not see the Tolkien for the first part or so. Sorry about that. But it’ll be there . . . don’t you worry. And spelling/grammar mistakes are in there on purpose, because Tiamet is young and hasn’t learned these things just yet.