I circled the mountain for the fifth time. The portal stood tall a s the mirror like structure glistened between the light sources. Shifting panthers laid in the trees, watching for any supernatural trying to pass through to the Earth realm.
It wasn’t my turn to be scouting the portal, it was my brother’s, but I had volunteered, trying to get along with my half sibling. He complained his dragon with in him was pacing, that he didn’t want to leave mother and father. I agreed quickly, which appeases my parents.
“Such a magnificent dragon you are, Creed,” she whispered, touching my forehead with hers. The darkened mood that Adam radiated was somber. My stepfather only stood in front o fAdam, averting his gaze from me.
“Your brother continues to show you his love for you by doing this, making up for his mistake when he was younger. You need to accept his attempts to please you,” my step-father scorned him. My beast beamed, hearing the words of my mother’s mate. Father wanted the right thing for his mate, watching me grow and obeying his and mother’s every word had proved to him I wanted his approval.
Father turned to me, his hand squeezing my shoulder. “I know you have done much for the tribe. I’m proud of what you have
done over the years to make up for challenging Adam. You could challenge other tribe’s Alpha position if you wanted to. I think you would make a fine Alpha. You are a good dragon, Creed.” The brief turn of my lip let him know I appreciated his words, my dragon hummed enough for him to feel the vibration under his palm.
Taking a heavy breath in, I crossed my arm over my chest and bowed. Father’s dragon chuckled. “None of that. Come here.” Father pulled me into his embrace, hugging me for the first time since I could remember. My arms went around him, my face buried into his shoulder. Mother clasped her hands together, putting them to her lips. He backed up slowly, grabbing Adam and pulling him into an embrace as well.
“We are happy to have the both of you, you both are blessings from the gods.” Mother’s tears brimmed in her eyes, adoring her mate. He had officially accepted me as his own. “Now, Creed, it is our tribe’s turn to watch over the portal. Return by dusk. Do not come home any earlier until the next dragon from the neighboring tribe comes to relieve you, however.”
I bowed, taking my leave, feeling the daggers in my back. I don’t understand why Adam continued to hate me, even when I was not at fault when we spared. His lies as a child only grew larger as he explained to any dragon that would listen. Many believed him, only because he was the true heir to the Toboki Tribe.
I continued to circle the portal, my dragon clawing at my chest. I couldn’t understand the feeling of uneasiness as I
landed on the cliff. The panthers who stood guard came up to me, nudging my leg as I looked over the land. The Moon Kingdom stood quiet, the King and Queen were a hot topic of discussion as to not having an heir to the throne. Many believed that Queen Estar was infertile and King Emilio should find someone else to bare his pup.
Little did anyone know, they were waiting for a sign from the Goddess Selene.
Smiling, watching them track through the small narrow garden, my dragon took control, having me look towards home in the Northern Mountains. Smoke trails led upwards into the distance. My claws buried deep into soil, wanting to take flight and fly home. My mind continued to bring up the order my father had provided me, to stay at the portal until the next dragon arrived. It was imperative to make sure no rogue could enter, keeping the humans safe for another day.
I paced; the shifters grew agitated while I growled in my chest. The fire burned the lining of my stomach more fiercely.
“Something is wrong,” my deep dragon’s voice spoke to the shifters. “I need to fly home,” our voice growled again. One wolf from the forest, shifted back into his human form.
“We will be fine. We will wait for your replacement. I have mind-linked for more wolves to be present.”
Shaking my head, smoke poured from my mouth and nostrils. “I cannot defy my Alpha order,” my wings pushed into the dirt.
“Something is wrong. I believe you should go. The smoke in the Northern Mountains is large.” Growling, fire spilled from my mouth, dropping to the grass below. “My Alpha of the Warrior pack says he cannot go, it would take too long to arrive at the scene.” It could take several days for the wolves t o even find our territory, it was buried deep into the mountains with scent cloaking herbs around it.
“I cannot disobey.” Wolves were exceedingly lucky to have a mind-link. They could link far and wide if standing on a mountain on a clear day. Dragon’s being able to talk in our beast form was not as lucky.
Night had fallen. My replacement never came. The stars twinkled in the sky. My dragon and I lay in the dirt, making large holes into the purple moss. Small lights continue to fly into the air from the intrusion.
Just as I decided to leave my replacement game. Huffing and puffing came from the purple dragon’s mouth. “A battle,” his beast heaved with smoke. Large slashes on his torso bled onto my claw. “There was a battle in your tribe. You must go!” Not waiting for an explanation, bolting from the ground, my wings caught the wind. Never in my life had I pushed the air between myself and the sky so heavily.
Arriving in record time, a fire consumed the tribe below me. Several dragons fought, tents and buildings burning into the night. Screaming women and their male children went from tree to tree to hide from the fire, ice and acid leaking from the
I roared into the night. Many stopped looking at my appearance. Dragons fled, flying into the night, never to be seen again. One dragon hovered over a couple, scratching its long claws slowly across their torso.
“She was supposed to be mine, mine to repopulate the female dragons.” Acid dripped into the wounds of the naked couple laying on the ground.
Today was the day one of the male Toboki dragons was to mate with a female dragon from another tribe hoping to create more female dragons. Something must have gone horribly wrong in the exchange.
“And you let her go to another species,” I lept forward, pushing the dragon away, once a loyal member of the tribe. M y teeth found his neck and snapped it in an instant. He fell to the ground. My jaw clamped over its neck, ripping it from its body. Throwing its head to a nearby fire, my body turned to the couple laying on the ground.
“No!!” my brother’s dragon cried. He shifted back into his human form, sitting next to the barely recognizable man and woman on the ground. My nose heaved in a breath. Mother and Father. Both were coughing up blood, the acid already seeping into their system, their bodies unable to regenerate.
“Mother,” Adam’s eyes dripped with tears, holding her face to his chest. Shifting back, my hand landed on my father, now covered in his blood.
“Good, you stayed at the portal,” he whispered. Blood trickling from his mouth. “Good boy.” Adam shot a nasty glare.
“No, it as his fault that you are dying. He should have returned!” My mother lifted her hand, grazing Adam’s cheek.“ No, he did what he was told, respecting his alpha.” Father’s light in his eyes faded, his heart no longer was beating. My dragon let out a cry from my cords, causing pain to ripple through my throat.
“L-listen,” her voice but a whisper. “Get along, for the tribe. For me… p-please. Don’t kill each other, p-promise me.” Adam rubbed a tear away from her cheek, not answering her.
“Promise,” my dragon spoke. My love for my mother would never die, and giving her a last wish of trying to make this tribe work was my devotion to her. Adam’s jaw clenched. Mother finally leaned to Adam, waiting for his word. Mother’s throat bobbed, choking on the blood invading her body. Her throat swallowed for the last time, the brightness of her eyes fading until she no longer had a breath to breathe. Her eyes still opened, looking at the son her mate had given her. Even i n death, she was waiting for his promise.
Adam had said nothing. His grip tightened, closing her eyes with his fingers and gently laying her on the ground. Dragons o four tribe encircled us. Many crying for losing their Alphas. M y tears were uncontrollable. They became forced down my face as I continued to look at their lifeless bodies.
Adam stood while I sat in the dirt, now hovering over my mother. I had to hold her one last time. Her spirt could still be there, I had to see if I could feel her. Adam pushed me down into the dirt, kicking me in the stomach. My hand was so close to her, I tried again, only to have Adam step on my hand with his meaty claw.
“This is your fault!” He yelled loud enough for the crowd to hear. “This ‘dragon,’” he spat sarcastically, “had dared ignored the cries, the call his dragon made to him letting him know our tribe was in trouble, he ignored it!” I shook my head, waving my hands around.
Amora came from the clearing, clutching a small child from dragons that were fighting. “He ignored the call! Ignored his instincts!”
“No!” my dragon roared. Many stood back, the fear in their hearts I felt around me. Adam flinched, his head twisting to see me, disgusted. “When your family, your tribe, is in danger, you come to call step-brother. You have always been an outcast, and an outcaste dragon, you will now be named. Being the next in line for Alpha, the loyal son of Kaldran and Ondi, I now take my new rank as Alpha. With my first command of power, I order Creed to be exiled indefinitely for his crimes. He will come when I command, to help protect the tribe, it is what mother would have wanted.” His voice softened as he spoke of mother.
“Leave!” He roared. Many flinched at his tone, but I did not.
Elders whispered as they saw the look that could be confused with defiance. My mouth hung open, unable to explain I was at the portal. I took Adam’s position this day. It was my job to be there.
Dragons looked on at me in disgust, snickering, whispering false rumors to add to my already tarnished reputation.
“I’m sorry this happened to you, Alpha, in the most gruesome way possible,” Elder Naho spoke solemnly. “And to think you were at the portal, waiting for relief when this all happened, I couldn’t imagine the turmoil you endured.” Adam hung his head, nodding
Adam had his claws in everyone.
“It was, but it was my father’s Alpha command that made me stay.” Amora looked at me and then to Adam. I shook my head, rushing to her only to be grabbed by Adam’s clawed hand. “She is no longer your family. None of us are. You are just a waste of air.” My heart clenched, and a rotten piece of stone fruit hits me on the side of my face. My hair whipped into my eyes, smelling the rotten fruit entangle in my hair.
Several more pieces of old food were thrown at me. Curses, disheartening words poked into my hearts like knives. Horrible phrases dug into the deepest parts of my soul. I fell to the ground not because I was physically weak, but now I was alone.
Alone, I was now alone. Not even mother and father could save me from this liar, this cheat and now I had made a promise I
would not kill my mother and father’s true heir to the Alpha title. If only I could speak, if only I could fight back and let them know they follow someone so evil. His personality shined too bright, his confidence to take care of the tribe too strong for me to shake.
They loved him, just like my father. Many dragons came to congratulate and console him while I stood up from the pile of rotting food.
I was now exiled, a piece of rubbish, old food to be stomped upon. My eyes wander to Amora, who hands off a screaming child. Picking up her dress, she runs to me, only to have another dragon lead her to her mate. “Creed,” she whispered softly, her voice tender as the sister I thought her to be. Her eyes soaked, not knowing what to do.
I mouthed to her, “go,” nodding in her direction. I couldn’t ask her to defy her mate. The bond was too strong to separate them. Adam will have to decide in his own time to decide if he was wrong to do what he had done to me.
Gripping my fists, rubbing the rest of the rot from my body, I grabbed my things and headed deep into the forest. Away from the tribe that had given me up with out a look back.