Fiammetta aimed her snout at her sleeping twin brother, Fintan. Slowly opening her strong jaws she revealed astoundingly delicate teeth. She fought the impulse to laugh as she summoned up the heat from deep within her, a heat that originated somewhere just above her stomach. It rose through her warming her scarlet body like the gentle sunshine of an early summer’s day. The heat entered her throat and ignited into an inferno that tickled her tongue, an inferno that could cause a tree to catch alight immediately, or roast most soon-to-be-meals within seconds. Fiammetta expelled her burning breath in a great gust, causing it to land squarely on Fintan’s crimson and deeply unconscious face.
He murmured in his sleep, one leg twitching as the result of a dream, completely unaware of anything other than the slightest increase in temperature.
Fiammetta breathed in deeply, thinking. What I need is some ice to put behind his horns. That would get his attention. Then we could go hunting. Her stomach growled at this thought. Unfortunately, ice was not an option. The closest ice to be found on midsummer’s day lay far to the north, a distance that was too far for even a dragon to fly without a good meal or twenty before hand.
She blew fire into his face again. This time, however, it came out as thick black smoke, enveloping Fintan in a cloud of noxious gas. Oh brimstone, she cursed, unsurprised. A dragon’s fiery breath would not come into full effect until its sixteenth year, at which time the young dragon would venture out on its own, no longer needing its parent’s protection. This meant that although the twins did have fire, it did not last for more than one or two tries at a time. However, the smoke did the trick. Fintan woke up startled and blinked furiously in order to see through the pungent smog. Fiammetta promptly feigned sleep.
Fintan was far from fooled. Silently, with all the grace of a natural four metre long and uncoordinated predator, he shifted his body into a crouch, ready to spring. A moment later, when Fiammetta opened her eyes to see whether he was really awake, all she saw was a crimson blur. It was heading towards her, mouth open and teeth first.
She yelped and shut all three sets of her eyelids tightly. Milliseconds before she did so though, when she was still looking at her provoked brother, she mentally yelled STOP! She waited for the impact of her one hundred kilogram brother, ready to roll him off her and out the den’s entrance.
She opened her eyes, one eyelid at a time, to see what had stopped him. She half expected to see him to one side of her, having managed to miss a sitting target at close range. This was a possibility, as he had done it before. But she had heard no crash down.
She opened her eyes, looked straight ahead, and gawked.
Fintan had shock scored all over his face. Fiammetta did not blame him. She herself was very surprised at what she saw.
Fintan had not had a crash down. He had never actually landed.
He was hovering less than twenty centimetres away from her, still in his I’m-going-to-kill-you position.
Down, Fiammetta thought experimentally, remembering the last thought she had had before closing her eyes. She did not really expect anything to happen. In some ways, she hoped nothing would happen.
It did. Fintan fell to the floor with a thump. There’s his crash down, thought Fiammetta with a startled laugh.
“Fia, what in the name of Fire did you do?” Fintan asked, dumbstruck.
Fiammetta explained as well as she could. She was, after all, as astonished as Fintan was. After she had finished, both stared at each other incredulously. Then Fintan, refusing to be outdone by his annoying little (by ten minutes) sister, tried it for himself, inquisitively telling a bird flying just outside the den’s entrance to come to him. The bird found itself suddenly being dragged backwards, by nothing that it could see, towards the entrance of the home of two fledgling dragons, one of whom was hungry.
As Fiammetta watched her brother clean his jaws after his snack, she stated, rather nervously, “So...we’re telekinetic!”
“Yup.” replied her brother, still recovering from his ‘hovering’ incident.
They sat in silence, whilst outside the sun started its journey across the sky down from its highest 12 o’clock position.
It marked the beginning of the two dragons’ thirteenth year.