Chapter 3

In a land of swirls and dreams, I see a dragon, its blue fire burns a youth. When the fire stops, a bright light shines out from his chest. The dragon shifts into a human form where he is muscular and naked. He stands and green energy seeps out from him, clothing him. He walks over to the youth and green energy seeps out from his hands as he touches him on the forehead.

Everything swirls and moves around. The youth is in the town, listening to a duo of branded ones. The man who branded him and a woman with a brand on her left cheek that has garishly spread to the rest of her body. They point the youth out and bring him with them.

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I wake up in the cave alone. "That was some crazy dream." I think to myself as I stand up. I walk back the way I came in and leave the cave. I look around and see no sandstorm, or Zane. I wonder what the family's thinking about right now.

Curious about something I saw in my dream I take off my shirt only to see a dragon brand tattooed onto my chest. Years of legends come to mind. The dragon brands were signs that a dragon had marked one for a certain mission. The dragon brand gave those it cursed increased agility, strength, intelligence, and magical abilities. And if he completed his mission he became immortal and stopped aging. But there was a catch; if the branded one didn't fulfill his mission in the allotted time then he turned into a chimera. A beast that was completely wild and quite powerful. Kingdoms even, fell by their might.

Putting my shirt back on, I continue walking toward my home, pressed firmly with a burden I did not want. Perhaps if I go to town I will find answers to my many questions. But, until then, what do I tell my family?

I think about all these things as I make my way back to the house. When I'm in eyesight, my dad runs out of the house running quickly to me. He has twin emotions of fear and worry mixed in his expressive eyes. When he gets to me, he holds me in his arms as he begins to cry. I was shocked because I've never seen my dad cry.

"I thought you were dead! Zane said you got attacked by a dragon, what happened?" He said this as he let me go.

"Well, don't tell anyone but," I pause, nervous about what he'll think. "I got branded."

When I say this, I lift up my shirt, showing him the dragon brand on my chest.

He gasps, and frowns. "So, what do we do then?"

"I had a dream of sorts; I think I need to go to town."

His lip quivers as if he's trying to hold back tears. "Okay, I understand. Tomorrow, I'll take you tomorrow."

"Thanks Dad."

Then he leads me back to the house. When we get in everyone crowds me to hug me or ask me what happened. I tell everyone that I don't quite want to talk about it. They understand and leave me alone except Zane. He looks at me with a horrified look on his face.

"I saw you die, the dragon spat out this blue fire! And you fell down, you were dead!"

"No, I'm still alive."

Then his jaw drops as the cogs go together and he understands. "You've been br-"

My dad is there before I am with his hand over his mouth.

"Tell no one." He says quietly.

Zane simply nods as my dad let's him go. He leaves the room and it's just my dad and I.

"Thanks Dad."

"Don't mention it. There are leftovers in the fridge if you're hungry." He says, as he walks away.

I sigh, not hungry, and walk out the back door and sit on the rocking chair watching the sun as it sets. As I stew in my thoughts, my grandpa comes out and stands leaning against the rail looking out to the same sunset.

"I know you've been branded."

I look up at him, curious as to how he concluded this, but not curious enough to ask. It's probably plain to see, a dragon attacked me, yet I'm still alive. I'd think the same thing if someone came in with that story.

"You know, my brother was branded."

I didn't know this tidbit of family history. "What happened to him?"

"He was out wandering in the plains around here, got branded. Maybe it was the same one as you. Anyway, he went off to find out his quest. He completed it too. Now, he's working for the Army of the King."

"I never knew."

"No, you wouldn't have. There's no reason why. I never talked about him around the kids. The point is… I know you're going to find out your mission. And you're going to complete it. You'll win. I believe in you."

"Thanks, Grandpa."

I stare into the blazing horizon as my grandpa leaves to go inside. I don't, I sit on the rocking chair and hope that somehow, somewhere, someone might free me.

The End

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