“Look! There’s a dragon!”
“Dragons don’t exist...” My voice shakes.
“Have you ever seen one?” She continues to gaze upwards.
“Then how to you know they don’t exist?” Her smirk soon disappears as the reality of the situation creeps back in.
Peering over their shoulders, her eyebrows furrow and her words are unnaturally quiet, “Where’re we going?
The crowds enquiring eyes were left behind a while back and any recognisable landmark vanished from sight within our human confine.
I glance up at a guard beside me, but his eyes don’t leave the front, his staff not at my neck to shut me up. “It’s called The College.”
Eyes swivel as her mouth opens to question. “Lots of people go there.” They all face front again. My reassurance in the government must have sounded slightly convincing.
“I hate school. I have to close my eyes to stop “staring into space”. And they torture you with number rubbish.” Through the mumbling and the lowered eyes, I still admire her strength. I wish I had some of it left.
A guard’s staff jabs her side. I wince, flinching to try and protect her, but I can’t.
What has the world come to when a father can’t protect his own daughter?
I want to say more. Say everything’ll be OK. But I can’t with them breathing down my neck.
She looks up at the sky again. The sparkle in her blue eyes returns. You can almost feel her thoughts dancing, lighting up the shadowy space around us. It’s dangerous, but I’d so risk it to be like her; to imagine were weren’t being marched to our deaths.
OK, maybe that was a bit cynical. We’ll just be marched to The College, then to court, obviously found guilty and then our chance of death falls to about eighty, nighty percent. But, I know that that tiny chance of survival is still worth fighting for. Hope and the will to actually live was what got us here and maybe that might just get us out.
There, I can be more optimistic!
Squeezing her hand tighter, I’m so glad she doesn’t know this. Know the pain it is to be in my head.
The guards gather in closer, almost blocking out the clouds.
No dragon could save us now.