Eryka winced as Healer Tresten
applied the hot bandages on her skin. The wound still hadn't healed. She might
loose and arm if it stayed open. The healers tried to keep infections away, but Eryka didn't think they were helping at all. Each night she grew more afraid to
go to sleep, afraid she wouldn't wake up, afraid she would dream.
"Keep this on for 2 hours and say a few prayers in the chapel."
Tresten said when he was done. Eryka spit him in the face and turned away to the
fire. Behind her back Tresten stood still, staring angrily at her. She could
feel it. All her senses had grown more sensitive since the dreams had started.
She knew she shouldn't take her anger out on him, but then he was only there
because he was the best and she was the princess. She was the heir to the throne
and she needed to wed in 7 days.
~How I love my life.~ She thought bitterly and threw some
herbs in the fire to replace the smell of her wound.
She sat down on her bed and knew the fight was lost. She hadn't slept for 3 days
and now she was too tired to fight back the luring call of night.
She was flying...free, and not
alone, others were around her, trying to catch her. She looked back
and saw them. Men and Women all around her, flying without wings. Not many flew
together, like they were somhow bigger than they actually were in her dream. It
was all very confusing, but she knew she shouldn't get caught...not any time
Eryka woke up,
breathing heavily. She had had another dream. Why were they all so fuzzy when
she woke? She curled up beneath the bedsheets and held herself tightly.
Why did the dreams always make her feel so alive? She felt worse every time she
woke, yet she couldn't deny the dreams were wonderful. She hadn't even thought
they might be dangerous, but once she had fallen and hurt her arm. When she had
woken, her skin was badly burnt, with blisters oozing pus. After that she had
gotten a bit more careful.
She knew the dreams were somehow real, and life for her there was better than
any life she had here.
Soft knocks on the door asked for her attention.
"What?" she yelled.
"Your father asks your presence at breakfast in half an hour My Lady." The
servant said, bowing deeper than she held possible. He was ugly and fat, almost
bursting out of his serving clothes.
"I shall attend." she said sweetly.
The servant closed the door before the glass of sleeping wine she flung at him
could hit him. She yelled out in frustration when she saw it miss.
through the hallway, running and jumping at every pace. She was happy, young,
vibrant and very alive. Candles burned every 5 feet and mirrors reflected their
light making the hallway almost etherical.
She looked right and saw a hundred more of her walking and jumping and racing
by. SOme looked like her, others were taller, smaller, uglier, prettier. Some
were human, some were not, yet she was all of them...
father said and pinched her bad arm. She nearly screamed out in agony as the
flesh twitched and cracked. She looked up at him, tears in her eyes.
"It isn't fitting for a princess to daydream at breakfast with her husband to
be." He said, "nor should she cry, I made you a very good arrangement, sure
Sernel is a bit older than you and he isn't the handsomest man alive, but he's a
She nearly cried out all her thoughts at that moment, but somehow she could
refrain herself. Sernel was an old lord of 55, while she was 18, hardly a small
difference, he was old and grey, likely to die soon anyway. And as for decent,
he was said to kill a newborn every month for some witch that kept him alive.
Maybe that rumor wasn't through, but still...
She listened, staring at her plate how her fiancÚ was talking about supply runs
and how every youth was out to decieve him.
was at a lake. It was full summer. The temperature was high, the lake pleasantly
cool. She slipped in and dove under, feeling the water close above her wings...
She didn't have
wings. Carefully she looked back and felt her shoulders. No wings there. Then
why had she felt them?
"My Lady, what are you doing?" Old Sernel asked.
"Nothing My Lord, "she had the wits to answer, "My braid was coming loose."
That explanation sufficed and she was left to her pondering again.
She rose out
of the water, it was cold now, with snow and ice. She looked back. The wings
were there. Soft transparent green-glowing wings. Awed she looked at her
reflection in the water. She was taller and whiter than she recalled, with
better looks and a slimmer body.
A dark blue
creature whirled before her, darting and tumbling in the air. She laughed and
followed it. Her legs felt powerful enough to run around the entire world, her
musceles stretched and bowed as never before. She was in harmony then.
She didn't want to leave at all. She giggled, then why not stay here? Why would
she ever go back to her old life? Where she would be forced to marry and bare
children, where she would most likely loose an arm and her freedom?
father shouted in utter fear as he saw his daughter collapse from her chair. But
Eryka wasn't there anymore. She still breathed, she still looked out into the
critter! Wait up!" Eryka shouted.
The little blue animal had flown higher then she could go, farther then she
could see. How would she find it again? Suddenly it flitted back at the edge of
the horizon. It seemed to wink for her.
She tried her best to get there, but her legs were too slow. Finally the critter
flew back and tugged her wings.
~Could I?~ She thought.
She tried to feel her wings, to move them...and yes, they started taking her
into the sky. The moment of euphoria was so intense she nearly fell, forgetting
to stay thinking of her wings...
sleep, My lord." Tresten said.
"Just like her mother...I've lost all now." he said, weeping over the body of
his child. His child and a shapeshifter. His wife had been one...she had escaped
him eventually too, but he had always hoped his daughter might not find her
hidden heritage. Once they had left their bodies for good, they wouldn't come
back though. He knew that.
Softly he made his way down the steps to the cellar, carrying his child. How
light she was without a soul...
"Eryka, meet your mother." he whispered and sat her beside an elder woman, much
in the same state as herself.
"Goodbye my sweet..."
He turned back and looked upon the men he had brought.
"It is time, burn it."
horribly wrong. She smelled burning flesh and felt it creeping on her body. How
could she be on fire? What had they done to her? Somehow she knew her father was
~He never loved me anyway~ She wept and fell, ever deeper...
"Where am I?" Eryka asked.
"She stumbeled out of the bed and looked out the window, seeing a site she had
never seen before...flying dragons."
She felt her shoulders...her wings were gone. She looked in a mirror, she was
plain old Eryka again. But one day she might fly again.
"Can I have a dragon?" she asked.
"Only if they choose you I'm afraid, but you can try, there are lots of eggs."
Eryka stood on the sands, the long white
robe making it painfully clear she didn't have wings anymore. She looked at the
eggs, hoping one of them would be hers. A bright green dragon tumbled out
of her egg. She made a funny noise as she hit the ground and
a big cloud of red dust covered her colours. It itched on her wings. Eryka knew
she had to clean them off, but she didn't have wings anymore. Sad and confused
she looked around until she saw the little dusty red dragon that was coming
Eryka crouched, wiping off the dust. The colours beneath were green and white.
Eryka. I am Kyrenath."
The dragon said.
Her heart had wings again...
WHITE - GREEN KYRENATH
and became months. Kyrenath grew fast and She and Eryka were often seen flying
around the Weyr.
"Try North Kyrenath, that lake has got to be around here somewhere." Eryka said.
"Ok, but no other dragon has ever seen a lake around
"There has to be, I think I flew in from the South."
"Maybe it was there long agao, or it will be there in
That concluded another one of their searches for the lake. Kyrenath landed
flawlessly in the weyrbowl and Eryka climbed down. Jumping would be faster, but
she didn't want to risk breaking a leg. Kyrenath wasn't big for a dragon. One
could only assume that white in her made her stay relatively small. Kyrenath
crouched down, looking at her rider.
"What are you doing?"
"Wishing you'd scratch my horns."
"You can just ask."
"Yeah, but that takes the fun out of it."
Eryka shrugged, whoever could fully understand a dragon had her admiration.
Scratching Kyrenaths horns and oiling her skin she felt at home, a sensation she
hadn't had since she was little.
"You are my home." she told Kyrenath.
"I don't have a roof, how can I be your home?"
"You're smarter than that, you are what makes me happy."
Kyrenath laughed. "I knew that, but I wanted to hear
you say it."
Eryka felt it,
something was brushing against her, something long and pointy. It felt soft and
warm, but it wasn't part of her sheets, nor her body, unless she had grown claws
in the night, but she was pretty sure her shifting days were over. At least they
had gotten her Kyrenath...
The long pointy things came closer and Eryka slowly awoke, adding some basic
"Kyrenath, get your horns away, it's still night." she mumbled and turned
herself deeper under her covers.
"It's day." her dragon told her.
"I don't see light."
Suddenly the cover was pulled up and two big eyes looked under it. Light poured
in, but that wasn't what Eryka had her eyes on.
"You're going to poke my eyes out with those horns someday."
"I won't, I know exactly how far I can go, you know
where your fingers are." Kyrenath replied.
"Yes, but I still hurt them on these walls, because I don't know where they
"That's why dragons are better."
Eryka grinned. "No, that's because they have wings and don't talk."
"I talk!" her dragon sounded hurt.
"I didn't mean it that way, you just don't make much noise."
"I can roar!" Kyrenath said and woke up the
"Shhh, I believe you!" Eryka said and hoped no-one would know who had woken them
"It's almost noon, no-one is sleeping."
Kyrenath lay her head on the bed, slightly squishing it down. Eryka sat up and
let her eyes adjust to the light.
"What are we going to do today?"
"Aren't riders supposed to know?"
"If you think you are better, why don't you tell me?"
"Can I?" the face Kyrenath made was to die
for. Her head tilted slightly back and her eyes swirled blue and green with
pleasure, but a light tinge of disbelieve remained in her thoughts.
"I want to Rise."
"ok, not what I had expected... where?"
"I know of a place."
Eryka impressed at the Ryslen Flurry 2002