“Meal time, kid killer!”
The guard yelled as he thrust a plate of slop through the door. It was hardly a meal. Watered down porridge, a dried piece of bread, and the body of a cockroach.
I couldn’t see his face, but I could imagine the toothless grin he had. He thought he was clever, trying to gross out a child with a dead bug in her food. And for most kids, it would have worked.
But then, I wasn’t most kids.
I had a dragon. And she taught me many things.
Looking back on it all now, I am amazed at what I had overcome. Yes, my world was different. Yes, having a unique life companion shaped me into a rare breed of person. But I was still a kid. Being stripped of my family, even though they feared and resented me, was a nightmare. There were nights in prison that I wept, feeling alone, feeling abandoned.
The hatred, the rejection, those negative feelings carry enough weight to crush a child into a powder.
My weeping and mourning went on for weeks before Salanth came down from her perch.
“Come,” she said, “it’s time to push through this, child.”
I didn’t even question that my dragon was speaking to me. The pain was too great to process what was happening.
“How?” I sobbed.
“I will teach you.”
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