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this is not your destiny
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Loholt plucked idly at the grass, letting Pallas' words wash over him. Arched brows contracted in frown. He hadn't liked Uncle Murphy's rooms. They were dark, lit only by a couple of old oil lamps and the fire crackling in the grate. The walls were hidden by stacks of books, so they seemed to press in around you, and the jars... They'd sent a shudder down his spine. He wasn't sure what was in them, but he knew, with the certainty of a child, that he never wanted to find out.

And yet, Papa had told him he must learn whatever Uncle Murphy wanted to teach him, and he had to learn it well. Oh, and, he wasn't to tell Mama about any of it. It was men's business, Papa said, of kings and princes. And if he wanted to grow up strong...

"I don't see what all this talking has to do with flying anyway!"he snapped at his mother's dragon, folding his arms across his narrow chest.

He turned on his mother, his eyes transforming to electric dragon-blue.

"And I can focus just fine when there's something worth focusing on!"

Shaking his head, Loholt climbed to his feet, glancing between the two of them, his hands forming little fists. The pounding of his heart thundered in his chest, echoing in his ears.

"And maybe if you don't let me fly with you..." he pushed, rounding on Pallas again, "then I'll just have to go and fly on my own. How's that for a hatchling?"

He thrust out his chin defiantly, planting his feet firmly in the grass.

"Not like you can stop me. What are you going to do? Pull my wings off?"

Tears prickled at the back of his eyes, and when they crept forwards, he batted them away with the backs of his hands, a noise of frustration bubbling up from somewhere deep in his chest. He threw himself back down on the floor, drawing his knees up to his chest. He lowered his head, pressing his eyes against his knees.

"Nothing's stolen anything!" he shot back, his voice muffled by the fabric of his breeches. "I'm just tired of being stuck in stupid pointless lessons all the time!"
Jyrki Salmi






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