The Chosen Dragon

Well this story I have been working on for a while. It was inspired by the story Eona and the Chinese zodiac. In summary it is about a girl who made a promise to fight corruption till her last breath. Not only does she have to fight other people, she has to fight herself... Hope you enjoy it.

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1. Condemned

     The morning started off normal.  I was yelled at by the overseer for defying her, helped a poor soul out of his undeserved whipping, and was sent to take care of the horses, the usual.  I am, at the moment, mucking out the horses’ stalls.  I mull over the wild and the once abused horses I care for. They never liked humans, but they always seem to respect me.  Even the recently caught wild ones respect me.  Why is that, I do not know.   It is probably because I understand their situation, being a slave ever since my rite of passage went terribly wrong.  I understand what it was like to be taken from their home and forced into captivity. I shudder at the memory, as I concentrate on my work to push back memory lane.  I never liked to think about my past since it was so...unpleasant.  I finish cleaning the stall of a magnificent, but very defiant stallion.  He never was given a name, unless stupid horse counts.  He is as dark as a shadow, but as feisty as fire.  He never allows anyone to ride him; I have never tried because I respect him.  I bring the wheelbarrow full of smelly horse poop out of his stall and close the door.  I wish I could leave the door open so he can escape, but when I try he never leaves.  I have no clue why, because I know he hates humans and would love to escape.  I puzzle over it while I carry the horses’ wastes to the compost pile, which is at the end of the long hall.  I am halfway there when I hear my name being called

               “Mirva! Mirva!” someone cries.  I turn around and see my closest ally Toby sprinting towards me at full speed.  He is old enough to take the rite of passage, if he was free.  He was taken from the desert when he was young, and his looks are in complete contrast of mine.  His skin is very dark in difference of my pale skin.  His night black hair differs from my dull blond hair.  Even his eyes are strange, because they are as pale yellow as the sand, or that is what he compares it to.  He says it is good for camouflage in the desert.  He compares my eyes to a clear river not only because of the light blue color, but that my emotions are best read through my eyes.

               “Slow down!” I call back, “You don’t need to hurt yourself, or get in trouble for spooking the horses.”  Toby came up beside me panting hard.  I set down the wheelbarrow and fetch him some water, before I ask, “What’s the hurry?  Is it something from the big house?”  Toby is the best of finding secrets from the big house.  He is good at both hiding and faking that he is dim-witted, so he finds out a lot of news from the big house.  He shares the news with me because I helped him out of a few tight spots.

               “Do you… remember…when you…angered that …priest,” he pants.

               “I think so,” I answer, picking up the wheelbarrow and walking to the compost, “Was it when the priest put your friend on the List and you begged me to hide him?”  Toby nods as he follows, starting to regain his breath.  I snort and say, “I remember the look on his face when he could not find him and I told him that he looks after his appetite better than his job.  By the dragon, he was mad, but I highly doubt he will remember me. They are so high and mighty that they hardly look at us slaves”

               Toby says, “He did though. He is back and he put you on the List.  You are going to go to the Pit.”  I freeze.  The Pit! It is dreariest place in the kingdom.  It is the home of the spirituals, the most powerful beings on earth. I do not why they live in such a dreary place.  The condemned are sent in to be eaten for a sacrifice.  Only the priest, or the spirituals’ chosen, can speak and can call on the in time of need without being eaten. It is legend that the spirituals has called on the priest to help them communicate with the people and call on them when there is trouble. In return they send the condemned to them once a half year to be sacrificed.  I believe that story as I believe that flying monkeys could exist.   But, that snake cursed priest must have had a grudge for many months to get his revenge.

               “When is he coming?” I ask moving again towards the compost.

               “He just arrived,” Toby answers, looking worried, “He is probably making sure you do not hide.” I nod in agreement.

               I say, “You better go then, or else you may be next; I need someone to look out for others, like I did. I do not need to be a cause for an uprising that we are unprepared for.”  Toby looked like he was going to argue, but he saw my point.   He gave me a surprise by giving me a hug, which stops me in my tracks.

               “I’ll miss you,” he says, “We all will.”  He turns and walks toward the door he came through leaving me speechless.  I knew we were close, but not that close.  Tears came to my eyes, but I pushed them away, knowing that it will be the last time I see him.  Now I have another painful memory to add to my collection my sad past.  I pick up the wheelbarrow, for what I knew it would be the last time, and walk out of the stable and pour the wastes in the compost pile.  I look up and see two warriors coming towards me. They are dark skinned muscular men with gray eyes empty of emotion.  They are wearing the traditional warrior outfit, sleeveless red shirts fastened by gold buttons, with black pants.  Their naked curved swords hang from a silver sash wrapped around their waists.

               “Are you Mirva of the mountains?” one of them ask.

               “Yes,” I answer, resigning myself to my fate.

               “Come with us,” the first says.  I follow the first guard, and the second follows me.  When we start to walk past the slave quarters, I see every slave coming out of their homes and laying flowers or their treasured pieces on the side of the road where I passed.  I was really moved by their actions, because it is our way to honor those who are going to die.  My guess is Toby spread the word to them.  I could tell this made the warriors nervous by the way they were clutching their swords.  The slaves follow us to the big house, a death march, another way to respect the condemned.  I never knew I affected so many, because usually only family goes on the death march.

               The second warrior asks, “I thought this was to be a secret?”

               “It was,” answers the first in a matter of fact tone.  We walk up the steps to the patio of the big house and I see the priest I angered a season ago.  He has not changed by his looks.  He is still so fat that his rolls were hanging off the sides of chair that has long poles at the bottom for slaves to carry. I am surprised that his chair still holds all that fat. He wears the same brown robe, but it is embroidered with more jewels and gold than I seen the last time.  His eyes are the same cruel, calculating, stone gray.  He has a triumphant look, but he kept glancing nervously at the crowd that is still gathering from below.

               “So,” he says with a silky smooth voice full of contempt, “what are your lasts words, before you are carted off to the Pit?”  I know he expects begging and pleading, or insults and threats.  But I could not pass up the chance to infuriate him further. I am going to die anyways, so why not make the best of it.

               “Are you so fat that they have to reinforce the whole chair with titanium so it would not break?” I ask innocently.  A warrior punches me in the gut, making me double over, but I still enjoyed the priest flushing angrily.  I struck a nerve.

               “Take her away and you will regret those last words to the chosen one of the pig spiritual,” says the priest loftily.

               I say, “That would be an insult to the pigs in general.”  I felt pain in my head as another warrior gave me a blow to the head.  I am half dragged, half carried down the wooden steps before I regain my footing.  I walk to the cart of the condemned, I climb into the wagon and tied to the railing.  I look out to the crowd who has gathered for me.  I could not see Toby but I could hear his voice as he sings the song of farewell in his language.  I raise a hand in farewell as the cart jolts to move forward.

 

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