Emine (pt 14)

Milwurl’s Bonded were a couple, Lorens and Bo. They were the only people who had their own room actually built into the side of their dragon’s nest. While the other Bonded were never that far away from their dragon, most had to do more than open their room door to answer a call.

“They aren’t here right now,” Milwurl said. “Bo’s brother had another child, so I let them go see the newest addition.”

Emine nodded. She knew they had gone to see family, after all, even if she hadn’t known the specifics. Much like how she knew that Milwurl liked human hands to help her clean her feathers, though she had never done such a thing herself.

When the dragon sprawled out into the dirt that she insisted still always line her nest, Emine realized she was probably in a bit of trouble. “What did you need me to do?” she asked, as though she didn’t have an idea.

“They aren’t here right now. My wings are caked in mud.”

She knew it. Emine frowned, examining the situation. “Well, a lot of you is, actually. It was the rainy season and your nest was all mud.”

“Mud is nice, when you are in it.” Milwurl didn’t look at her, those eyes were already closed. “It is not nice when it’s dry.”

This was pampering, pure and simple. Emine knew that. Milwurl knew that. With a sigh, Emine gave in.

Thank you, Miss Tatsu, that will be enough.

He didn’t budge in the slightest. Maybe because she had no leverage, or maybe something else. In any case, the Elite looked over at their watcher, waiting for her to call it off. The woman began to write something down.

“All right, that’s en-”

Then Tatsu bit him in the ankle. The Elite flinched and though he didn’t lose his balance, he shifted off of her shoulder enough for her to pull herself away. Then, with a shriek, she was on him. Four feet tall, Tatsu still had all of that muscle she was showing off earlier. And, perhaps more importantly, she did in fact have one of the traits that she had claimed earlier to have.

She played dirty. Her hand went right up between his legs, squeezing in a not very welcome way on a couple of things that were perhaps important to him.

The man went down, though he had enough self control not to start whimpering. Tatsu threw herself at him again, elbow down on the side of his head.

“Thank you, Miss Tatsu, that will be enough. Your examination is over.”

Tatsu barely stopped herself in time, glancing up at the pen going back and forth over the paper. “Oh. Okay.” She got back to her feet, rubbing her mouth off with the back of her hand. “Yuck.”

The more well behaved applicants looked amongst themselves, then waited for their turns.

His teddy

“Some people believe if you give someone you love a handmade teddy bear named after yourself, then that person will always return your love.”

The boy looked at his teddy bear. Well worn, well loved. He looked back over at his aunt. “What if the person stops loving you anyway?”

His aunt looked at the teddy bear. No dust, not like anything else in the house. “Do you still love him?”

The boy nodded.

“Always return the love.”

That was no answer as the boy wanted it, but it hadn’t changed the truth. He still loved his mother, despite her no longer loving him.

And the Pea

Once upon a time, on a stormy night, a princess arrived in a neighbouring kingdom. The queen wasn’t sure whether to believe this girl was a princess. Many girls had stopped by lately, as her son was looking for a suitable wife, but their manners had all been appalling or they had not had the suitable looks.

“Well, you can’t leave someone out in the rain,” the prince said.

“Of course,” said the queen. “But I’m still going to test her as to if she is a princess.”

The queen set up a fantastic test. She set a pea in the self-proclaimed princess’ bed, covered by many mattresses and feather beds.

The princess looked at her bed for the evening and swallowed. “You are so much richer here than my father and his kingdom,” was all she said.

The queen took the compliment. Behind her, far enough away to be considered polite, the prince facepalmed.

Gio promptly did the stupidest thing and underestimated her.

Tatsu had been waiting a total of a very long time when the other applicants joined her. They all moved about the room, keeping their distance. They looked like soldiers, every single one of them, in one way or another. Not unapproachable, just getting read.

Tatsu scooted over to the closest one with a smile. “Looking forward to today?”

The man eyed her. “More or less.”

“The name’s Tatsu. I heard about the opening yesterday. They told me I should apply, that I’d fit right in. Everyone here for this? I thought there was only one opening!”

“Gio.” Gio rubbed his beard. “Yes and yes. It’s not often one can get promoted into a different branch like this. All our COs recommended us. I don’t believed I’ve seen you before.”

“No. Why do you think I introduced myself?” Tatsu smiled before looking away from him and at the others there. “I wasn’t expecting so many!”

“Are you worried?”

Tatsu frowned, then shook her head. “Not at all. I just wasn’t prepared to leave so many people disappointed.” What she meant couldn’t be misconstrued, not with the tone she used. Gio finally gave her a full once over. She was maybe a little more than half his height and he was about average.

Gio promptly did the stupidest thing and underestimated her.

Emine (pt 13)

Milwurl had a tendency of standing on the ceiling of any given room. Emine didn’t know if she liked surprising the humans who hadn’t gotten used to looking up, or if the dragon did it for her own purposes and the startling of people was an amusing addition.

Emine had been startled already. Several times. This time, she had already darted her eyes upward to see Milwurl there. She did not crane her neck up to look. She had passed that phase. When Milwurl’s long brown neck, flecked with black and grey, came down, Emine did not jump.

“You are not busy.”

Emine had just been busy, but Milwurl was correct. While she had been hoping to return to her room now, hopefully see Sanni, Emine was not busy. “You have whatever energy I have left,” Emine said with a shrug.

“This is why I like you.” Milwurl’s head didn’t move, while the rest of her body made it down the wall. She had a much longer neck than any of the other dragons. As well as thicker nails and shorter wings. She didn’t fly as often, she would glide. “You are much like Sanni, you are honest.”

“I didn’t know honesty wasn’t common.” After all, Emine would think a dragon would know. Very quickly, if not immediately. Emine couldn’t imagine hiding something from any of them.

“It’s not to say the others are liars, dear Emine.” Body on the ground, Milwurl shifted her head into a different position. She still looked directly at Emine. Emine looked at her wide nostrils, where she could see Milwurl’s dark grey and green eyes. “They simply choose to keep certain things to themselves. Or come up with an excuse, which is true, but an excuse nonetheless. Now come, I have need of you.”

Why life is a tree

When approaching the most pivotal branch,
Eyes sparkle to see the directions branch.

A decision to make which sparks the mind
To indecision which hangs from the branch.

Holding on to the leaf which grows so green,
Growing another choice, another branch.

Lifted by the life who brings up to here,
A step forward brings us through the branch.

There we find more green, decision not done,
As one branch merely brings another branch.