He glanced down at the shimmering egg, eyeing his brothers in the process. Looking up, he noticed a hint of a smile on Spencer’s lips. He hissed, “Stop it. It shouldn't even be our responsibility. Hand it off to mother and father, for all I care!” Benjamin rolled his eyes, cradling the large egg in his wing.
“No. We can’t just do that to Sky’s baby. It’s still a part of her, no matter how much you hate it,” Spencer sighed.
Elijah stomped away, leaving imprints of his feet in the dust on the floor on the main room. He sighed, laying down on the dusty ground he called his bedroom, curling into a ball as he thought. He thought about his older sister, how she always protected him when older dragons picked on him. He wondered if she was still alive if she were to be with her boyfriend. This angered him, his body shook as he held in a scream of both sorrow and rage, tears of frustration slipping down his scaled cheeks.
Spencer shuffled over to where Benjamin was sitting, a lopsided grin plastered on his face as he stared down at the multi-coloured egg. Benjamin chuckled, “Look at how it shakes! You think it's close to hatching?”
Spencer nodded, observing the map laid out in front of him. The brothers had ventured to every empty cave in the Green Kingdom, asking everyone they knew if they'd seen or heard from Sky, but they found no leads. Spencer suggested exploring some empty caverns near the border between the Red and Green kingdoms, but Elijah forbade it, claiming it was too dangerous and he didn't want a conflict to break out. It was understandable, but sometimes, he wished that his older brothers weren’t so overprotective.
The egg twitched again, causing Benjamin to flinch. Again. He kind of assumed the egg would hatch every time it moved, but nothing except twitching had been happening for over an hour. Spencer told him the egg was cold, and still, the twitching continued. It didn’t bother Benji, but he did wish it would stop. He wished his mother and sister were there to help him and make the egg comfortable once more. He rotated it in his lap, watching the shimmering gold in its scales in the dark cave. A crack echoed throughout the main room, then another. The tiny dragon’s beak poked at the shell, soon pushing its head through and staring directly at Benjamin. The older dragon gasped in surprise, setting the half egg-half dragon onto the ground to allow it to fully hatch. He watched as the little one crawled out of it, glancing around curiously. Its wings were a beautiful mix of green, red and blue, glimmering just like its shell had.
Benjamin screamed, loudly, “SPENCER! ELIJAH! Get in here!”
Elijah groaned at the annoying sound of his brother screeching, only to hear shuffling from down the narrow hall. He saw a glimpse of Spencer’s green tail he walked, hearing another loud gasp and some squealing. He soon got into the main room, seeing Spencer and Benjamin baby dragon, along with an empty egg. He hurried over to where the whelp (baby dragon) was laying, watching it intensely. It looked so much like his mother and sister, it was insane.
Automatically assuming it was a girl, he mumbled, “Sky’s daughter. That’s our niece.” Benjamin's smile soon turned to a frown, not of distaste, but of confusion.
“How are we, three males, supposed to take care of a little girl?” He inquired, causing the other boys to frown also. They shrugged nonchalantly, almost in unison, continuing to stare at the glimmering dragon in front of them.
He stared at the tiny whelp a tad longer before looking away, not wanting to get attached to the being that would soon raise heck in the cave. Benjamin piped up, disturbing the silence. “What shall we name her? I quite like Brinn-lee.” Elijah rolled his emerald eyes, glaring at the dust-covered ground.
“No. It doesn't fit her. We shall go to Mother and Father's cave this evening to find the list of names Skylar chose for her daughter.”
Spencer nodded, obviously agreeing with his brother's statement. The young whelp screeched, loudly and more high pitched than any screech the boys had ever heard. They winced in unison, holding their heads, trying to escape the ear-piercing noise. He felt guilty. Mainly because the dragon was hungry and he knew what they eat, but also because he had ignored Skylar for the entire month she had the baby with her.
He smiled slightly at the dragon, watching as she ran in circles, chasing her short, stubby tail. No matter how much he hates younger dragons, he decided he would take care of this one whenever he had to. She was Skylar’s daughter, after all. Elijah stared at Spencer for a moment, trying to determine his emotions.
“Spence... What are we gonna do? How are we going to pull this off?” Worry laced his words, causing Spencer to worry.
“I don’t know. I honestly don’t know, Elijah,” he sighed.
His seemingly always confident expression faltered for a split second, exposing his fear, worry, and pain. He smiled slightly, shaking his tail, only to feel little teeth bite into again. This only made him burst out laughing, playing more and more with the small one. This amused Elijah, and he laughed every time Spencer winced from the pain that never seemed to draw blood.
Benjamin was silent, thinking to himself as he sat in front of his brothers. She seemed to be different, maybe mute. A mute hybrid, how could this little dragon get through life with all these struggles handed to her without her knowing? She would surely struggle, there’s no way a mute would pass off as normal. Her laugh was like a whisper, even her scream was horribly pitiful. His head dropped, keeping his eyes up as he choked back an emotional sob. His brothers know him much better than he’d like to think, and they figured he was thinking about either Skylar or her daughter. The small dragon running back and forth seemed to brighten him, watching as she chased his brothers tail. He knew, that within a day she should be talking. It didn’t take dragons very long at all to grow, let alone learn to talk. They don’t need teaching either, it just comes naturally, no skills needed.
She smiled at her uncle, laughing weakly at his stupid dad joke. She just happened to be mute, just like her uncles had assumed. Dragons can’t use sign language, as they have no opposable thumbs, but they can at least mouth words and write. After two months, she finally exposed her name, Braelyn. It was beautiful, just like her. Her sky blue eyes danced around, her orange mixed with green and blue scales shined brightly in the dimly lit room. Roughly fifteen in human years, she was growing quickly. Quicker than normal.
She walked away from Elijah, only to see her uncles Benjamin and Spencer by the entrance, seeming to have a deep conversation. She grabbed her parchment and quill, writing,
‘What are you talking about?’ Before sticking it in Spencer’s face. He laughed lightly, smiling at her ever so childish ways. “You, my darling. We’re always talking about you. Your mother still hasn’t been found yet, and people have started to lose hope. We won’t stop looking until we find her, Braelyn.”
He watched as she sighed, not in a disappointed manner but of boredom. To him, she never seemed interested in finding her mother. She seemed perfectly content with living with her three, fairly inexperienced, uncles. Nothing ever seemed to bother her, not even her speech impairment, or that she might never find her mother. She hugged her uncle tightly before scampering to the outside and beginning writing a letter to someone.
She thought to herself as she wrote, ‘I wish they would stop. Mom’s gone and even I know that. They need to stop wasting their time on someone they'll never find. Someone who'll never show up.’
“How pessimistic, little one. You never believed your dear old mother would make it back?” Braelyn jumped, making an exaggerated rasping noise as she attempted to scream. She swiveled her head around to see an older dragon, the red and green swirling beautifully on her scales. Looking farther down, Braelyn noticed the dragon’s ribs poking at her skin, just itching to break free. This female dragon was severely malnourished and even she could see that
‘Who are you and how did you know that!?’ She wrote fiercely, almost tearing the parchment.
“Skylar Viper, at your service,” she flourished, “I admire your accommodations to your disability, my dear daughter.” They engulfed each other in a teary hug, holding one another as close as possible as they finally reconnected.
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