Chapter 16: The Lizard

With bare feet, she scaled the trees in a hurry. The trees - the forest was her home now. She no longer slept in the comfort of the cabin near the river to the west, she no longer played with the old man's grandchildren, she no longer ate their strange food and hid her distaste for their sweet meals, and she was no longer welcome among them. Ever since that old man passed away ten years ago and the children grew into adults, and her appearance became more and more of a problem to bear with.

With scales covering a good percentage of her body, she did her best to hide it - even when the old man was still alive. The old man had soft and comforting eyes and a wrinkled face too...and he welcomed the girl, but when he was no longer there, his children and grandchildren's attitude towards her changed to something that she expected, but was still surprised by. Hate and abhorrence.  

It was after that when they finally made their move. In their hands were stones and sticks, but she ran before they saw her. And the girl kept running until her feet and legs finally gave in and the adrenaline rushes that burned through her body furiously came to stop. She was in the forest after that. The same strange, thick, and standoffish forest, filled with things that frightened her in the dead of night. On those nights, she cradled into her makeshift bed of leaves and twigs and turned her back to the world to hide. At night, she was afraid of humans, monsters, and even others like herself. Maybe they wouldn't hurt you, but maybe they would. Her mind had taunted her with those words so many times too...

But on one strange day, when her mouth craved the taste of smoked pork and fresh fruit, she unknowingly carried her feet and body to a town nearby. When the smell of something very much edible and likely tasty too drifted in the air for her nose to inhale, her hunger took over.

Without an eye witness to stress that they had seen a lizard walk on two legs, she stole a grey cloak from some house and wore it for the warmth and the protection of prying eyes. She drifted into the market with her new cloak and hid in the shadows as best she could.

Her starving stomach and silver eyes took in the almost mouthwatering sight of meat. Oh glorious meat, she inwardly screamed in delight, how I've missed you! Without thinking anything through, she stole some scarps of beef (or what she could guess was beef) and just before she could run away, she heard a conversation about a haven.

"For girls of different races too," the butcher she had stolen from laughed along with the chubby woman he was talking to. Of course they believed it was hogwash. So did she...well, some part of her did. The other part of her was more than convinced of existence of this "haven".  

The thing was is that she listened to the part of her that continuously told her that ghosts weren't real. And, not very surprisingly, that was the part of her that was convinced. And that's why she was there, sitting on a branch of a tree she only seconds ago climbed, staring with disbelief at that...that house!

I'm dreaming aren't I? She pinched her fleshly legs one too many times until she realized she was in fact not dreaming. The girl almost fell of the branch too, when coming upon that fact. Fortunately, she leaped from the branch and to the ground before actually falling.   

The girl cautiously took her steps to the door. When she was in front of her opening to doom, disappointment, or happily ever after, she pressed her cloak against her and groomed her bush of red hair. If there was someone to accept her, she might as well look presentable in some way. Now her hand stretched out, slowly, and spoke to herself before doing the intended action, "Come on, Alkyra. Be brave..."

Alkyra knocked and instead of making contact with wood, a face was there instead.

Oh, cow poop...

The End

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