2. Early Mornings and Late Nights

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The rooster's crows woke me up, the sun peered through the windows so I got up and put my best furs on. Training starts an hour after the rooster crows. The others got ready as well and we were all out the door on time.

Annabelle, Ingrid and I went to the beginner class as the others went to their average training day in another part of the stadium.

"Okay class. Our first session will be finding out which dragon you will ride. Let's head to the stables." Our instructor, Mrs. Black, explained, getting strait to the point. With that we headed to the stables.

The stables are underground, below the arena. There are rows and rows of cages. The end cages, about 30, were left for the newbies to choose from. On each cage hung a description of the dragon.

It starts with their name, what breed, age, how to control them, weather it be more leg, more hands, or mix of both, kind of like horses. Next was their personality type, weather they are easily excited, calm, or anything else.

I found a small, 3 year old, Spara in the last cage, her name is Fiona. She easily adjusts to any riding style, is easily excited and hard to slow down. That must be why no one's picked her, but she's perfect for me. I wrote my name 'L. Porter' under the riders name and gave her a treat. The line of riders who have already chosen was getting longer, I joined them.

I notices a huge black Dracons out of the corner of my eye. His name is Roman, he's strong, fast, hard to control at times and his rider is R. Malcolm. This one must have been caught and trained before the law passed, Dracons are losing numbers so until they repopulate a bit we can't kill or capture them. Ingrid came over and I nudged her and flicked my head towards Roman.

"He's cool, but someone already has him."

"Look who."

"R. Malcolm? As in Ryder? Do you think he'll be here?"

"I hope so!" We fan girled for a moment than calmed down as if nothing happened.

Mrs. Black showed us how to put a halter on and before we knew it we where going to do it ourselves. I grabbed a red one off Fiona's hook and convinced her to let me put it on her. We waited in the frame of her cage for the others. I noticed I was the first one. Fiona seems more eager than the others, her wings pushed at the bindings, trying to break free and fly. It's funny watching the others fight to get their dragon out of its cage. Once standing in the doorway one feel asleep on his rider and I had to hold in a laugh.

Next we lined up in the hallway and attached the halters on either side. Their tack is in the gaps between the cages. I grabbed the saddle pad with slits in it. It fit perfectly, with her back spikes sticking out of the slits and her wings out the bottom. The saddle was in the same spot as the pad, I slid it on over the pad and fastened it around her belly.

We had to wait for everyone to be tacked up before we could put on the bridles. Not everyone is as fast as I am. Eventually Mrs. Black told us how to put the bridles on and let us do it. I struggled with placing it on Fiona properly but she stood still to let me work it out. Her long pointed snout is similar to a horse so I was okay that way, but the horn on the tip of her nose and the spikes that start near her ears threw me off a bit. Once I got the bit in her mouth she pushed her head forward and wiggled into place. Fiona is a great dragon, why wouldn't anyone want her?

Everyone has their bridles on, and are ready to head to the arena. Single file, we all followed Mrs. Black, I was last. The large double doors swung open to revile an amazing arena, there's no roof, it's shaped like a bowl with the seats angling down towards the dirt ground. I looked around in awe, I've never seen anything like it. The older, more experienced riders were already flying around, because their training starts earlier than ours and they get their dragons ready faster. I guess Ryder's not coming if his dragon's still in the stables.

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