I don’t know how Salanth knew the things that she taught me. I didn’t think to ask at the time, but now the thought haunts me. As a child, I didn’t ask how old my life companion was when I received her. I assumed that she was also a baby. But there is no way a thirty year old dragon could have mastered all the things that she taught me…

After my crying fit was done, after I scarfed down the wretched meal the prison supplied, Salanth began my first lesson, something that gave me strength through the years of battle, through the nights of loneliness:

“In the darkness, there is vision. In the shadow, there is power. In the night, there is life.”

I didn’t understand what she meant at first. The last thing I wanted was more darkness, shadow, or night. The prison didn’t allow a nine life-sentence serving felon have outdoors time, or sunlight time. But after months of repetition, of brainwashing really, I understood what Salanth meant.

It’s almost comical now. Sitting here, on the ashes of my once beloved home, the smell of sulfur stinging my nose, it’s funny how those words of “life” would bring such death.


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