Chapter 15

"The dragon has escaped!" Panicked cries bounced off the houses. Mothers pushed their children inside and locked the doors. Men grabbed weapons and created search parties. Markus and I glanced at each other. He had been walking me home from the barn. Somehow the dragon had escaped in such little time.

Markus hurried me to my house before following the rest of the men. Whimpers of small children and shouted orders from men were all that could be heard.

"Come on and help me, Amani. It's our job to make sure that the wives and children are safe." I glanced at my mother and nodded. Grabbing a small kitchen knife just in case, I chased after my mother. We guided all of the villagers to the building set up in the center of town, set up for just this cause.

"Split into groups, make sure everyone is here," I shouted. Mother was busy checking for any loose boards. A shrill cry from the right caused us both to turn.

"My baby, My baby is gone. Where is my Jasmine?" I turned to the woman standing alone in a corner.

"Don't worry. I will find her. Is anyone else missing?" No one spoke up and I hurried outside. My mother tried to stop me, but I left before she could.

Jasmine was another child I sometimes took care of. She had straight brown hair and blue eyes. After checking in her house, and nearby areas, I stopped and tried to relax. It was Ladon that escaped, he wouldn't hurt her. She was just hiding.

I felt my feet move. Opening my eyes, I glanced towards the forest. That's where she was.

"Jasmine, where are you? We need to hurry back. Your mom is terrified." I heard a a twig snap and spun around, coming face-to-face with Jasmine.

"There you are! Come on, your mom is-" Jasmine held a finger to her lips. I finally took in her appearance, her eyes were wide and she was shaking.

"What is the matter," I whispered. She wrapped her tiny hand around my fingers and started to pull. I followed her until we made it to a cave. I could faintly hear heavy breathing.

"Who is in there Jasmine?"

"The dragon. 'Cept he isn't a dragon anymore. But he is hurt real bad. Will you please help him?" We walked into the cave I heard a growl from the side.

"Who is there? Show yourself!"

"Hard to do considering that there is no light." I could hear something moving around before collapsing on the ground again. Jasmine held my hand tighter. She led me in the direction of the sound.

More movement, this time I could tell he was trying to move away.

"Ladon, stop moving. You are just going to make it worse. Idiot." The rustling stopped.

"Amani? Is that you?" Jasmine tilted her head.

"You know him?"

"Yes." I took a step closer to Ladon. His breathing was becoming heavier. I paused and let my mind wander. He had to be healed, but who would do that?

"Jasmine, you said that you wanted me to help him right?"


"Then you need to keep this a secret from everyone. If they knew he was the dragon, he would be killed. We will say we found him in the forest." She agreed and I dragged Ladon out of the cave. Thankfully, we were close enough to the village that I could watch Jasmine walk all the way there. I had sent her to get someone to help. Close or not, there was no way I could get him to the healer's house all by myself.

While Jasmine was finding help, I slipped off my extra layer and pressed it against his neck. He winced at the pressure but I didn't let go. To distract myself, I started to sing my lullaby.

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray-" I continued the song, but my mind drifted off. The last time I had thought about this song was when I was sent to the dragons. I had learned a lot while I was there and, in a way, I am glad it happened. Otherwise I would have feared dragons until the day I died. Like everyone did at the village. Except for Jasmine.

"I wonder why Jasmine decided to help."

"Because she is like you, too motherly to let someone die, dragon or not." I glanced down at Ladon. He held a small smile.

"Don't talk, you will make the cuts worse." He rolled his eyes but stopped talking.

"She is right this way, not to far in." I looked up to see Jasmine scrambling over the rocks and roots. The healer was with her. His eyes met mine briefly before moving across Ladon.

"His scars seem to almost match the dragon."

I blinked, "yes, the dragon probably wanted payback. He decided to attack someone in the same areas." The healer nodded. With his help, I carried him through the forest and into the healer's house.

Jasmine and I were told to leave, he needed to heal him in private. I walked Jasmine to the building where everyone waited. Her mother rushed up and pulled her inside, chiding her. Jasmine and I explained what had happened. Both of our mothers sent us stern looks, but said we did a good job anyway. Jasmine beamed and paraded around bragging to the other children.

"We need someone to guard the outside, but all of the men are busy." The elder woman wee chatting in a corner.

"I could do it,"I chimed in. I wasn't supposed to be listening in the first place and I kept my eyes down.

"If you think you can do it. We will switch every hour or so." I nodded, hurrying outside. The sun had come up to its highest position, and still no dragon to be found. I chewed my lip, guilt setting in. I could be endangering my village with this secret. Did I really trust them this much? I sighed and slid to the ground. So many things to think about, none of them I had answers for.

"Amani, I need your help!" I glanced up to see Ladon. He looked panicked.

"What's the matter?"

"That man, the healer, he knows what I am. He is planning on telling the village. What should I do?"

I looked at his neck, the scars were almost gone. "I don't know. Does he know you left?" He shook his head no. "Give me a few minutes to think about it. Just stay here alright?" He nodded and sat down beside me. I turned to face the sky, closing my eyes. Any way I decided to help Ladon would get me killed. I shouldn't help him, but I knew either way I would.

Glancing at the building behind me, I stood up. Ladon followed me as I walked to the river. I followed it to the top of the hill with my eyes. Could the other dragons see us? Did they watch us before? I sighed and closed my eyes.

The End

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