chapter twelve

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Storm's eyes snapped open.

Where am I? She thought, twisting her ginger head to look around. Everything was pitch dark.

Suddenly memories flooded to her head.

Peak. Hatred. Normal. Darkness.

The SkyWing shuddered, feeling sick. Wherever she was, it was dark.

Storm attempted at wrapping her wings around herself but failed, for metal clamps kept her wings splayed outwards.

Her neck was fixed in a cold chain and her mouth was shut with small brown loops.

"Hrp!" She choker through the loops, feeling helpless. Is this how I'm going to die?

She let out a cry of anguish that was cut short by the loops. It was painful and hurt like claws dragging through her throat.

Suddenly something moved.

A scraping sound emerged and Storm stood rigid with fear. Her ears were pinned back and her tail fidgeted with nervousness.

Then a head appeared.

It was a silvery-green head, it's face wrinkled with confusion. Nasty black scars decorated the face, almost hiding the sideways pupils and a grill around the neck...

"RnWfg!" Whispered Storm, still gagged by the loops. "Thath a rainwnh!"

The RainWing hissed and reached a talon towards her face. Fear plummeted to the back of Storm's mind and it was replaced with paralyzing thoughts.

I was so shy at first.

The claws drew closer.

What have I become?

Suddenly the loops were yanked off her jaws and the RainWing leaped back, hissing loudly. His scales were dark magenta and lime green, showing pride and fear.

Storm's eyes widened as the RainWing began to speak. "Where... is... she...!" His voice was scratchy and it sounded like claws on a dying tree.

Her heart shuddered and her body did the same. "W-who's she?" The SkyWing asked in a quiet voice.

An angry look crossed the RainWing's face. He flashed briefly to a yellow-pink color that reminded her of...

"Lotus!" She yelped out loud, then squeezed her eyes shut in embarrassment.

"Lotus..."

Then everything was black again.


"I don't think she's awake." Storm was awoken by a familiar voice whispering above her head:

"Then why is her tail moving?" Another voice joined the mix, sounding concerned and alert.

"It could be a dream!" A bouncy vocal chimed in, prodding Storm's side with one talon.

Lotus.

Storm struggled upright, blinking sleep from her eyes. "Lotus!" She sputtered, snatching up her talons and running her palms on them. "Your safe."

Lotus was a pale pink ball of scales. A bit of tawny brown was etching along her wings, showing the slightest bit of discomfort.

Storm let go of her talons and looked around. Shiver, Inkwriter and Lotus were there. Staring curiously at her.

"Where where you?" Snapped Shiver, lashing her tail angrily. "You missed everything."

"Everything?" Murmured the SkyWing, her thoughts dazed.

"Everything." Agreed Lotus, twining her tail with Inkwriter. "Like Inkwriter being SO courageous and asking for more salt on his pig!"

Inkwriter shuffled in embarrassment and squeezed Lotus's tail tighter. "Uh, yeah. That's me, totally courageous!"

He looked as if he was listening to something and Storm thought at him fiercely. Get OUT of my HEAD!

He blinked and frowned at her. He shifted his black wings and hugged himself closer to the pink RainWing.

Shiver sashayed out of the room, snorting at the three dragonets as she walked away.

Storm focused on Lotus, trying to see straight. "Uh, mind if I tag along with you two tonight?" She stumbled forward, not listening to their response.

She hobbled after them to their room. Lotus gently fixed her a makeshift nest out of blankets and pillows.

Storm drearily closed her eyes, and everything floated away.

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