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Hardened Jewel

by Mikayla Decker 2 months ago in Short Story

Prized Prisoners

Chains rattle above me. I’m numb and everything hurts, especially my shoulder sockets. Chilled to the bone and bleeding from my wrists, I swing lazily beneath a giant flying lizard- a dragon. I moan as he lightly turns on an updraft and it causes me to swing to the right. I bite my lip- hard as the cuffs continue to chafe. The dragon glances down at me angrily, as if my pain and agony is an annoyance to him. Oh excuse me sir, I didn’t mean to disturb you.

I can feel warm liquid gushing down my wrists as I continue to swing to and fro. The vicious wind tears at my clothes, the blood, my hair, anything it can try and take from me; as if I haven’t given enough. My clothes are soaked with my blood from when I was running, now with us being so high, I am sure that very same blood is frozen, making my clothes stiff. Not like I could touch them to see if this was indeed true, the thought flits into my head and just as quickly- gone again. My lips, blue and bloodless, quake, not sure why. Yeah my head is as numb as my body and is fuzzy, it’s becoming harder to hold onto any coherent thoughts.

The dragon glances down at me again and this time it doesn’t look like anger..more like concern. Mhm I must be losing it then. He angles downward and then a slight dip has my stomach in revolt- if I had anything in it that is. I wonder, when we land, if I will be lunch. I am curious for just a moment before dizziness threatens me, why I haven’t been killed yet. Why fly me somewhere? What an odd beast indeed. I must have blacked out during our descent to the ground, because I don’t remember the landing.

I’m laying on the ground, chains still on, watching the beast watch me. Blood Loss must really be getting to me, because the dragon seems to have a very acute awareness of my condition. He also makes no move to eat me or use his fire to cook me. Plus what kind of an animal flies an injured criminal across the land and then just watches her? None of this makes sense, maybe I am dead already? I can feel the cold starting to seep a little more intimately into my soul. This is the kind of cold people don’t wake up from. No, I must not be dead, if I were I would not feel this horrendous pain from the shackles around my wrist. I dare to take my eyes off the reptile for a bit to examine the damage to my wrists. Yikes nearly to the bone, disgusting to look at, the flight I just involuntarily went on certainly did not help those in the slightest.

Dragon, right, I could be staring death in the face, I whip my eyes back to him to find his gaze had also moved to my injuries. At my attention being back on him he moves from his hunched crouch (a position he could’ve pounced from like a cat to kill), into a more relaxed position. He still loosened a growl, one that I am sure had I had my wits about me, I’m sure would have scared me. In my condition, however, I simply stare at him.

He opens his maw in a yawn, and a fetid meat stench emits from within. I try not to gag on it. He brings his face closer to me to where one extremely large eye looms overtop me. He blinks and his eyelid makes a snick sound. I start to shudder from the cold, certainly not from fear at how close he is. Oddly enough, he starts to shudder too.

Short Story

Mikayla Decker

Read next: House on the Hill

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