Isaldrí

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Hi guys, I just want to say that this is dedicated to Galinor for giving me the wonderful dragon name, because I wouldn't have one without him.

As more cracks started to appear, I looked at what I now realized was an egg, bewildered.

"What am I going to do about this?"

"Why me?"

"How is this even possible?"

All those questions went through my mind at the time. The cracks deepened, and I stared at it, mesmerized. A piece fell off. A small rhombus shaped head poked out. It was a dragon! It couldn't be possible! Dragons were fantastical beasts, that only existed in literature and legends. Besides, since this morning's walk, everything that had happened almost exactly that had happened to one of my favorite characters, Eragon, from the Inheritance Cycle. This was how he had found Saphira's egg, and I simply couldn't understand why all this happened to me.

The hatchling had finally gone out of the egg, and was starting to clean itself. It was a beautiful bronze color, the same as its egg. The tips of its scales were a deep sapphire blue, like the veins. It also happened to be my favorite color. It was small, about the length of my forearm, and not very tall. The little dragon was cute, but a little intimidating at the same time because of the spikes along its back, and the sharp fangs in its mouth. Instinctively, I reached out to touch it with my right hand. The moment I made contact, it felt as if a river were rushing through me, charging me with energy. A coppery light blinded me, and it stayed that way for what seemed was hours, but in reality, only a few seconds.

When I was able to see again, I immediately looked at my palm. As I suspected, there lied the mark of a Dragon Rider. But it wasn't one like the ones from Alagaësia. The mark was coppery, instead of the silver color described in the books, and was in the shape of a crescent moon, unlike the disfigured oval of the books. Besides, even if it perfectly matched that description, it wouldn't have made sense, as Alagaësia was a fictional world, one that Christopher Paolini had created from his imagination.

My mind was blank for a few seconds, trying to process everything, and then it occurred to me.

"How will I hide the mark? My family will surely notice, and I can't use gloves in the summer to conceal it. Maybe makeup? The problem is that I don't own any. I'm not that kind of girl. I am almost fifteen, but I prefer to camp or explore in the forest, than go shopping any day. Well, unless it was shopping for books, new tack for my mare, Flicka, or new riding clothes."

Thinking about Flicka gave me an idea. If, when I was home from school, I stayed working with her at the stables, I could avoid suspicion from my parents, and younger sister and brother, not to mention everyone there, as I would be wearing gloves, so the reins wouldn't slip out of my hands. Besides, the work would definitely benefit her.

Solving this problem didn't mean that they had all gone away. What about school? And hiding my little dragon? I couldn't let my classmates and teachers see my mark, as they would also start asking awkward questions. As for hiding my little dragon, well... Soon it would be too big to hide easily, and there weren't many places where other people didn't go, and hardly any would work later on.

The only place I could think of one that would work. It was the woods where I sometimes went on trail rides with Flicka, near the barn. I was the only one that went through there, because everyone else liked the other trail more, as it was more inviting, and wouldn't hurt one of their one thousand buck horses. Not even one of my best friends, Anne, who was pretty brave, would go there, as she went to competitions too often to afford to injure her Irish Sport Horse mare, Aquata. She did three-day eventing, and many times, went to competitions that were only one of the disciplines that she did, so it made them pretty often. I liked it because it was peaceful, gave me time to think, and also because I liked exploring the woods. I knew that Flicka wouldn't get hurt, because I'd been careful to clear the path I rode through, so that it would be safe, but I hadn't told anyone, because it was my special place. In short, it would be the perfect place for the hatchling to stay, because it wasn't that far from the stables, by horse, but far enough so that no one would see the young dragon by accident.

Speaking of it, I couldn't keep calling it hatchling, or dragon in my head. It needed a name. There was something about its looks, that made me think it was a female, so I started listing possible names.

"Nuanen?" I asked, remembering the word from the books, I think it meant beauty, or something like that.

"Istalrí?" Another word for fire.

She shook her head for both of those, but I felt I was getting close.

"Isdalrí?"

She thumped her tail in approval.

I liked the name, but I realized that I had to move her. I couldn't keep her in the house, or my family would discover her. I snuck out of my room, motioning for her to follow me quietly. I looked around, but the coast was clear. I ran to the living room, checked again, and when nobody was looking, ran out of the house.

"Climb on my shoulder, it'll be faster that way."

When she did, I sprinted towards the forest. The second I was out of sight, I slowed down, and started looking for a place where she would be safe. I found a small dirt cave, and after checking that no animal lived there, I began to build a small nest with pine needles and leaves.

When I finished, I tried to use the mental connection they described in the books. I envisioned stretching out my senses toward her, but I failed. Aloud I said

"Stay here, ok? I'll come back when I can bring you some food."

This time, she reached out to me, and sent a feeling of approval through our connection. With that, I left.

After lunch, I went sailing on my uncle's boat with my family. Even if I enjoyed it, I was kind of stressed, because I didn't want to take so long to go back to feed Isdalrí. I hurried back to the house when we got off, but not fast enough to give my parents any more reasons to suspect something was up with me. I grabbed a few pieces of meat from the refrigerator, and put them in a container in my backpack. I walked towards the forest, and when I was out of sight, ran to the cave where Isdalrí was staying.

I had barely spent a day without her, but I still missed her so much, even if I could still feel her presence in my mind. I fed her the meat, and she gulped it up immediately. I spent the rest of the afternoon just talking to her, even if she didn't answer with words, only feelings, and working on strengthening our bond. I knew that she wouldn't be able to talk until she was about a month old, but she got better at sending feelings and images to me. This was so life-changing, but I appreciated every moment of it, knowing that little, if no people got a chance to experience a bond like the one I had with Isaldrí.

Hi guys, I hope you liked this chapter. Remember to comment and vote if you feel like it deserves it, and to tell me how you like this new version.

Valerie.

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