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Our Surviving Village

by Deasia Williams about a month ago in Short Story
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Kill or be Killed

There weren't always dragons in the valley or any other mythical creatures for that matter. I hide among the burnt pile of wood that used to be my home. Watching as this dark green scaly dragon rears its head and roars to the heavens. Silence is its response as the villagers, and I hide among the destruction to stay undetected. Not a word is uttered as the creature sniffs once, twice before spreading its huge wings. Sending dust and debris my way, it takes off with a final yell echoing in the sky. We wait in silence a little longer to be sure it isn't circling the area before leaving our hiding spots.

The smell of burnt wood and animal carcasses fills my nose making my face scrunch in disgust. I walk along the dirt road analyzing the damage. There's nothing that say people live here. Everything is in piles of rubble, and some still burn with the dragon's fire. My house, my land, my animals, my village has all been taken away in the mere hour that dragon was upon us. Sadness creeps in my heart and tears build until they spill from my eyes. A hand on my shoulder forces me to turn to my mother.

Here chocolate skin is covered in dirt and soot and her brown eyes are filled with sadness and fear. I know mine show the same emotions. Without a word, she pulls me in a hug. No words need to be exchanged as I return it. A wave of calm rushes through my veins as the reality of the situation fills my head. We survived another day. Thanks to our new king, our little village has been overtaxed and under protected. This attack is the fourth one in six months. Each lead by a different monster that's not prone to this region.

Our first attacker was a raging bull the size of one our horse, skin as hard as steel with muscles rippling under it. Its loud roar woke us up in the middle of the night before it lay waste to our land. It uprooted our vegetables, crashed through a few homes and put a few of my fellow villagers in the hospital from broken bones. Too busy causing havoc, it didn't realize our plan to capture it using a large fishing net. Using someone as bait, we lured it to an empty field for it to activate the trap, capturing it. Using every weapon we could find; we murdered the bull. We skinned it for armor and used the meat for food. The bones still rest in the woods nearby.

Two weeks later, we met our next attacker. We were still recovering when an extremely rare hippogriff flew in spitting fire. Luckily it was only one, since they're known to fly in packs. It raided our livestock and was feasting on them. We lost more than half our animals that was used for trading before we came up with a plan. Using a goat as bait, we tricked the hippogriff to fall into a bear trap. Handicapped, we tore off its wings and finished it seconds later. Thinking back on it, that hippogriff could've done much more damage, but it was more focused on satisfying its hunger. I guess lady luck was on our side that day.

Three months after that, a Basilisk found its way to us. It started with our animals being eaten again, but then it got a taste of human flesh. One small child who didn't have a chance to grow up was swallowed whole. With this creature, we had to be extremely careful of not only his venom, but his gaze too. Not even Medusa have the power to paralyze prey the way this monster does. Once again, we tried our bait and trap trick. It almost worked until its eyes meet mine while I was crouched behind a half-built house. It paused and we had a stare down for what felt like minutes. Not bothering with the bait anymore, it turned around and left without so much as a hiss. We were all confused by that but didn't dwell on it and celebrated another day of survival.

It's been two weeks since then, and we're dealing with the end result of that dragon. Pulling myself out of her arms, I turn to the rest of the villagers. Despite our previous battles, we've been able to keep these last few alive. Unfortunately, we did lose one person this time and something in my head click like a light switch. Anger floods my chest knowing we have to bury someone else again. Why? Why do we have to suffer? Thinking about the souls we lost turns my anger to boiling rage. Shocked gasps fill my ears, making me focus on those around me. Fear is etched across their faces as they back away. Confused, I turn to my mother for an explanation but her calm demeaner raises more questions. Not bothering with everyone else, she grabs my hands softly.

"My lovely daughter. I love you but it's time you know the truth."

"Truth, about what?"

"About whom you are. It's a secret I have kept from everyone, including you."

"Mom, what's going on?" Taking a deep breath, she kisses my hands she's still holding hostage.

"I'm not your mother and it's about time that you know your father. He's a creature of many names but is known here as one. King Lawrence. The king of this country is your father." Shock pulses through me and it shows on some of the villager's faces as well. Others look at her with disgust but don't dare speak on their internal thoughts. Ignoring the confused crowd, she walks me over to the lake in the middle of the village. My heart jumps in my throat at my reflection. I have dark blood red eyes, black markings on my face, my black hair is now a purple color, but my skin still has its chocolate color. Around my neck is a scripture written in Latin making it look like a necklace. I turn to the woman whom I thought was my mother for years.

"What am I?"

"A demon princess Myra. One whose father wants to murder anyone who gets in his way." So that's why we've been attacked so much. This is my father's bidding, sending these creatures to wipe us out. Surprisingly, knowing she's not my mother brings relief to my chest. There's a lot of unexplained events that happened when I was child that makes more sense now. However, I will deal with them later. Now, I must take care of my father and the only way to do that, is to go to him.

"Take me to him." Looking into my eyes, she takes a deep breath and nods. Packing what little things we have; we begin our journey to the castle. My father's life isn't going to bring back the people we've lost but as queen, I can rectify his decision when it comes to not only the village, but the country. I will be a better ruler, but that's only if I can kill him. We travel far west to the gates of the royal castle. Looking up at the wooden door, I take slow breaths to calm my racing heart. Only when my body relaxes do we open the door, ready to face a new battle.

Short Story

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Deasia Williams

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