Averial and Dragon friendship story.

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She left in a fit of anger without bothering to leave a note. She wanted to hurt her mother as much as she had been hurt. She didn't care about her brothers or sister at the moment either. She only felt pity for the baby who would have to grow up with that family, grief over the loss of her father, and anger towards the rest of her family.

She never thought twice. She had grabbed her belt off the table as she got a running start and took off. Her tears of anger were now replaced with tears of sadness for her father. She had been flying for a while without knowing where she was going. Her tears blinded her and she just missed a head-on collision with a tree. After this third narrow avoidance she slowly glided to the ground. She was about to find a nice spot to mourn for her father in when her mother's words came back to her:

Unstable, she said to the council, Violent, greedy, deceitful, untrustworthy. I always knew he would do something like that. He's a traitor!

"No!" she screamed.

No! He's not! she cried to the council. Her older siblings grabbed her and tried to silence her but she wouldn't be quiet. He never hurt anyone or anything! He's the kindest, friendliest, most reliable Avariel to ever fly the skies! He loved and protected everyone! He...

She punched a tree as hard as she could, but it didn't help. The council hadn't listened. Of course they hadn't. She's only a child, her mother had said, She's too young to recognize what her father is.

"I'm not too young!" she yelled to no one. "I'm already forty-two!" She hit the tree again and cut open the bruises that had already formed on her knuckles. "The council would have listened to me," she said sadly, "if not for you!" She sank to the ground angrily crying again. She hit the tree one last time and the hollow bones in her hand broke, but she didn't feel the pain.

She sat crying for hours before she began to calm down. She noticed blood on the ground and shook her head. She raised her sore hand and saw that the cuts had already healed. A couple hours more and her bones would be as good as new too. She was tired from all her crying, and her anger had subsided for now. She decided to try and find a good place to sleep for the night since she wasn't going back home. She stood up, stretched her wings, and began to fly. Suddenly a large hand reached out and grabbed her around her waist and legs. She was surprised but recovered when she saw the rest of the creature. A dragon! She beat her wings hard and tried to kick her way free but the dragon's grasp was too strong. He pulled her closer and looked happily at her. Without thinking she cast a Dancing Lights spell in his eyes. He roared in surprise as the lights blinded him. He let go of the Avariel and she fell to the ground unready to be let loose. She looked up and saw the dragon blinking as he began to see through the fading lights.

"Dona," she began, "Schtille duerma." She chanted the first words of a sleep spell as she reached for her pouch on her belt. "Dona," she repeated as the dragon cautiously approached her. "Schtille duer..." she stopped when her hand met her hip and not a pouch. She took her eyes off the dragon and did a double take. No pouch! It was gone, and with it all her spell components. She looked back and saw the dragon reaching for her again. She did her best to avoid his claws as fear swept through her. What to do? She couldn't out fly him. She had no spells without the proper materials. Wait, she did have spells! She had two, but one would take too long to cast. She ducked out of the dragon's way again and flew towards his face. He grabbed at her and she cast another Dancing Lights spell in his eyes. This time he was familiar with the spell and it only stopped him for an instant. She took what she got and sped to the denser part of forest.

The trees would be too close for him to follow. Or so she thought before she saw him flying after her, above the trees. He saw her and roared. Suddenly fire engulfed the branches and leaves around her. She flew from the fire and glanced up at the dragon. She saw him open his mouth again and the trees in front of her exploded into flames. Without time to veer she flew into the growing forest fire. The blaze blinded her and the heat singed her clothes and skin. The fastest, and safest, way out was down so she dove. After the heat subsided she opened her eyes just in time to see a tree branch and swerve, but not in time to miss it totally. The branch caught her wing with a sharp piercing pain. She felt the branch rip through to the top of her wing as her momentum carried her down and the pain overwhelmed her.

She woke up screaming in agony, frustration, and fear. She saw the dragon back off from her as her scream surprised him. She didn't know what to do. She began crying and the dragon again stopped his approach. She thought of using a spell but knew it would take too long to cast with the dragon standing in front of her. She cried harder, unable to stop.

"Please don't cry," the dragon said suddenly, "I'm sorry." Startled at the apology and kindness in his voice, she calmed a little.

"You can stop crying, I won't hurt you...anymore." There was something in his voice that calmed her. It wasn't kindness like she originally thought, it was curiosity and regret. His voice reminded her of a child.

"Why?" she asked timidly. "Why won't you hurt me? Dragons and Avariels are natural enemies."

"You seem so young and frightened," he replied, "It doesn't feel right to harm you. Will your wing regenerate?" He seemed to know more about her than a dragon child probably would, but she couldn't help thinking he wasn't an adult. She looked at her wing and the pain resurfaced. Would it heal? She didn't know. It didn't feel like it was healing yet.

"I don't know," she said. "Are you as young as I think you are? Are you a dragon child?" Since they were being open she felt she could ask him.

"I'm old enough to take care of myself, but no one will treat me like I'm as old as I am," he said with a touch of anger.

"I have the same problem," she replied. They looked at each other and realized they had much in common. "My name is Cila."

"Mine is K'tem."

**A Different Perspective**

I'll show them , he thought to himself, I'll prove I'm old enough to have responsibilities. He sped past the remaining few cliffs towards the forest. Hunters are respected. They'll have to treat me like an adult if I bring back gold or gems. Except he had no idea where to find either. He dove after passing the last cliff and accelerated towards the gigantic forest. It filled his view even though he was still a ways away. The forest is a good place to start , he reasoned, many adventurers pass through it. Someone's bound to have something. He pulled out of the dive as he approached the forest. He spread his powerful wings to an immense length and skimmed over the tree tops.

As he flew he scanned the forest, looking for anything that might impress the others. How can they say I'm too young? That I won't understand? And I can't possibly realize the importance of responsibility? I'm already beginning my fourth cycle! I'm old enough! He puffed smoke out his nostrils as the anger which drove him out here resurfaced. Flames built up in his mouth and a growl grew in his throat. He thought of how his parents denied him freedom and responsibility, but let his siblings have anything they wanted, just because he was the youngest. It wasn't fair! He looked for something to burn, to release his anger on, but all he saw was trees, bushes, and grass. Well that would have to do as he let out a roar and engulfed a tree in flames. He beat his wings and climbed high into the sky. He stretched his arms out in front of him and tried to tear through a cloud with his claws but felt only air. He circled around and dove for the forest again, straight as an arrow with his long tail following. Using the anger to fuel his desire and sharpen his power of observation, he picked up his search where he left off.

After hours of searching the forest he was about to give up when he saw something glisten in the sun on the forest floor. He turned and saw it again, a small sparkle or reflection of the sun's rays. This could be what I need, he thought and flew down to the ground. He looked around but didn't see anything. He took a few steps but couldn't move fast or far because of all the trees. As he turned his head he saw something rising off the ground. It was small and its wings glistened as sunlight danced through them. An Avariel! He almost jumped with excitement. If I brought back an Avariel by myself I would be a hero! I could have whatever I wanted! He reached out and grabbed it. I wonder why it's alone, he thought. As he drew it to him it tried to force its way free. He smiled as he looked at her. That was easier than I thought it would be, he said happily to himself. Suddenly he was blinded by a bunch of extremely bright lights. He dropped the Avariel and tried to move the lights from his eyes by hitting them, which he couldn't. The lights began to fade and he blinked as his eyes began to see again. Magic, he realized and he looked at the Avariel on the ground. He began moving towards her and saw she was casting another spell. He had to stop her from finishing the spell, but how? If he burned her he couldn't take her back to the others. She suddenly stopped chanting and he saw her eyes dart to her waist. This was his chance! He grabbed for her, and this time he would hold her arms so she couldn't cast another spell. But she was too quick and avioded his grasp. He thought he saw her tremble with fear and he again tried to grab her. She ducked and then flew towards him. He reached for her but was momentarily startled by another set of lights. This time he saw through them and saw the avariel fly away into the forest.

He knew he couldn't follow through the trees, but he could try to catch up with her above them. He pushed off the ground amd burst through the tree tops. He flew in the direction she had taken and searched for her. I can't loose her, I can't go back empty clawed! He quickly found her and, unable to control his mounting anger, let loose a terrible roar with flames. He saw the trees catch fire as the avariel flew from them. He built up fire in his mouth and aimed just ahead of her. This time as the trees burst into flames she flew into them instead of out. He watched the growing forest fire but didn't see the averiel emerge. He circled back around and noticed the fire was spreading from tree to tree burning leaves and branches but not the tree trunks or the ground. Hoping she was on the ground he flew to the spot he lost her at and landed in the middle of the fire, which was now a large ring.

He looked around and spotted her lying on the ground. He began to approach her and realized she wasn't moving, not even a wing was fluttering. Then he saw her wing. It was ripped from the center to the top. He grimised as he momentarily imagined that happening to his own wing. She still wasn't moving. He stopped his approach as he suddenly thought that she could be dead. "Dead?" he said with horror, "And I killed her..." He had never killed before. Now that he had, he didn't like the feeling it left inside him. He practically jumped out of his scales as the avariel began to scream, but recovered quickly. He moved towards her but stopped when she began to cry. He was relieved she wasn't dead. He looked at her as she sobbed uncontrolably and thought she was younger than the oter avariels he had seen the Hunters bring back. He knew she was terrified, she had to be if she was facing a dragon all alone.

"Please don't cry," he said in the common language of the forest creatures, "I'm sorry." He could she was just as startled as he was at his words. Why had he said that? He looked at her eyes filled with tears and felt something from her. Eventhough he would be scorned by his parents for leaving if he didn't return with something, he knew he couldn't hurt her again.

"You can stop crying, I won't hurt you," he said, trying to keep the regret from his voice. He saw her wing again and added, "anymore."

"Why?" she asked, looking like she feared the question. "Why won't you hurt me? Dragons and Avariels are natural enemies." She was right. He didn't know what to sayso he told her the truth.

"You seem so young and frightened. It doesn't feel right to harm you," he answered. He looked at her wing and asked, "will your wing regenerate?" He knew avariels had regenerative powers but their wings seemed almost detached from their bodies because, unlike dragons, their wings were not the same color as their skin. He noticed a look of pain on her face as she saw what ahppened to her wing.

"I don't know," she said. "Are you as young as I think you are? Are you a dragon child?" Her questions reminded him of how the others treated him. True, he had asked her a personal question, and therefore he should answer hers, but he didn't like the question.

"I'm old enough to take care of myself," he told her, "but no one will treat me as old as I am." He hoped she would leave the subject alone now that he'd answered her.

"I have the same problem," she said. He looked at her and saw that she understood. He again felt something from her as she said, "My name in Cila." He then knew they had much in common.

"Mine is K'tem."

"Flight" and "A Different Perspective" both written and copyrighted by Jennifer Michelle, 1996.