Cheyenne Dregobban, Prairie Dragon waving

Prairie Dragon

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Tears and Tumultuous Times

An influx of modern-day knights bounded down upon our lands while we lay sleeping. They shackled us. They beat us. They dragged us out of our tunnels, caves, bushes, and trees. They set fire to our homes. They forced us to darkness. They dared laugh and mock us as they took us all by surprise. These modern-day knights did this to us, the dragons and chimeras of this world.

We have shared this world with others for eons. We have lived side by side. Yes, there have been battles before, but it has been thousands of years since a butchering of this nature has occurred.

Locked in darkness, with little given to feed our bodies and souls, we waited. We waited our day. We waited our night. We waited our moment when we would be able to rise against these creatures that dared hold us here.

The sky darkened to a lightless black. With their backs turned, we breathed as one and set flames upon them. We scorched their land, yes, but it was our land as well. For this one act, we knew hunger would remain our constant for some time to come. Yet, we threw our flames – for freedom.

As the fires grew without our help, we walked away. Some of us called the waters to cool the searing landscape. It would help feed the innocent caught in this inexplicable devastation.

On our way to return to our homes, or rather to where our homes used to lay, we all took routes not travelled by us before. This way, we could visit old friends not seen for more years than we dared to say. This way, we could visit the places where our new friends used to live and dreamt of rebuilding. These travels were marked with determination to prevent this tragedy from ever occurring again – to any creature on this planet. Plans were discussed, but the plans seemed as long as our journeys home.

Still far from my own home, I saw a tiny creature: a mousy brown chimera mix of girl and rodent. She was crouched in a ball beside a giant mushroom growing on a tree hundreds of years old, recently burnt of all its leaves. She rocked back and forth. She sobbed as she looked at her two empty hands.

“Books,” she whispered as she looked up at me. “All of them. They are all gone.”

“Which books?” I asked as I sat beside her.

“All of them. The entire library is gone.”

“I’m sure we can get them back.”

“No. You don’t understand. The noise was so great, I abandoned everything behind me. I ran out the doors empty handed. I turned to look back only once. The noise filled my entire being as the sight of red and orange filled my ears. And then I realized everything…everything was gone. All those books. Forever gone. The one I held dearest was the only one of its kind. He had entrusted it to me. It was incredibly old. I was trying to translate it so that others would understand what the Mouse Knight wrote. Now it and my work are gone.”

I sobbed beside her. We spoke about her work, about what she remembered from the Mouse Knight’s writings. We spoke about what happened at the library.

We smiled.

After all this time, after all that happened, I finally found her. I found Lydia Lavrenik.

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