We had been walking for most of the day and everyone was in a bad mood. Thundertail, Lightningwing’s best friend was walking beside her in front of everyone. They were talking but I couldn’t hear what they were saying. A few hours more we had stopped.
“Why are we stopping?! You’ll only delay us more!” Stormscale said. Lightningwing turned around.
“Because we’re here dimwit.” She turned back around and flew up to a giant rock spiral that was flat at the top, and landed on it. It looked beautiful almost, as the sun was just barely able to make it through the fog. It looked like the day after a giant rainstorm. There were vegetation scattered about that we could move closer to the medic den once it was built. Stormscale had a look of awe on his face but then it quickly faded before anyone else could see. There was a river that ran through.
“This river is connected to all the other camps, so don’t do anything to it to pollute it. We all agreed to leave it alone.” Lightnignwing said, gliding down from the spiral to the river. We all walked over to it and the bottom was just dirt. No rocks or boulders. I could imagine other claws sending messages in bottles and letting it flow down the river. I smiled at the idea and thought I’d try it one day. We all took sips from the river, it was clean and cool. Everyone looked a little bit more at ease. We all gathered around the rock spiral as Saberheart flew up to join Lightningwing. They talked for a little and Saberheart finally spoke.
“I know we are all in a bad mood, but this place my daughter has chosen is perfect and has many advantages to us. We need to respect her choice and adapt. We’re Lightning dragons! We bend with every need and must. Now let’s get started with making this place our home!” He said. He turned back to his daughter and then flew down to separate us into groups. I saw Thundertail fly up to Lightningwing. They spoke a few short words and then he flew down to help everyone else. I then felt a presence and saw it was Saberheart.
“She could probably use a friend right now.” He said looking at her, and then glanced at me.
“Wait me? But I’m-”
“Even if you are just a claw you seem to make her a little bit more happy these days.” He said. I stared at him and saw what he really looked like for the first time. He had darker than normal blue circles under his eyes and his yellow stripes seemed faded a little. I put my claw on his shoulder and he seemed less exhausted for a moment. I think he missed his mate and his daughter being distant was hurting him even more. I hugged him and flew up to Lightningwing. She was sitting, her back to everyone, with her wings wrapped around her. I put my claw on her back and she jumped and turned around. She almost struck me but then stopped.
“Oh...Cloudclaw, what are you doing here?” She said eyes wide.
“I thought I’d come and check on you.” I said sitting down, facing her.
“Well that’s very nice of you.” She paused for a moment. “I’m sorry for making you live in a swamp at such a young age, I mean I know you didn’t really live in the valley for that long...but still.” She said. She had that sad look on her face again, and I didn’t like it one bit.
“Well I for one like it. Unlike some of the others I can see why you chose it. There's great camouflage, many herbs we can study and use for healing. We probably have more herbs than the Earth dragons do!” I said smiling at her. For a moment she smiled and I could swear I saw tears in the corners of her eyes.
“Thank you Cloudclaw. It’s nice to know another dragon besides Thundertail and my father understand my choice.” She said. We sat there in silence for a moment just looking at the horizon, or what little of it we could see. Lightningwing stood up.
“I should probably go help the others.” When she stood up she almost fell back down again. I looked at her again and she looked paler. She wasn’t this pale was she?!
“No no no no, you’ve done enough for us already.” I said getting up by her side. She looked even paler than before now. What’s wrong with her?! Why does she look so sick?! What’s happening to her!
“Saberheart! Come quickly please!” I shouted over the edge. She was staring at the ground unmoving. She went from a dark almost black grey color to almost being just grey. She tilted her head like she was listening to someone. She then had an angry look on her face, the same look she had when she fought Stormscale.
“Shut up!” She shouted and pulled off her crystal necklace, breaking the leather string and threw it off the spiral. I backed up not knowing what to do. Then Saberheart came flying up with Thundertail. When he finally got to her side she collapsed and Sbarheart had to catch her other side to help Thundertail hold her up. She stopped paling as soon as the necklace was off her neck and on the grass below us, but she wasn’t getting any better. Everyone had stopped what they were doing and were staring at us. I was at the far end of the spiral away from them. I saw Thunderstruck, the healer, fly up. She shooed them both away and Saberheart walked over to me. He looked at his daughter one last time with a worried look and picked me up and launched into the air. We weren’t flying down towards the others but he just kept going straight.
“I can fly on my own you know.” I said, with him still holding me. Thundertail came up on Saberheart’s right.
“Sorry, I guess I’m still thinking of when Lightningwing was still a claw.” He said looking distantly at nothing. He positioned me straight forward and I flapped and was gliding right in between them both.
“What do you mean? She couldn’t-?” I started to say but Thundertail cut in.
“Yeah, back when we were claws still she couldn’t fly yet. She was the only Lightning dragon that couldn’t fly straight from hatching and the only one afraid of heights.” He said smiling. I guess he was reminiscent of the days when it was just him and Lightningwing, messing around being claws.
“What happened to her? She got so pale so fast. And then she just yelled...She wasn’t talking to me was she?” I said looking from Saberheart to Thundertail.
“No of course not! She would never do that, especially to a claw...She just...wasn’t feeling well.” He said. I knew there was something else they weren’t telling me. I was looking at Thundertail waiting for him to say something else when I noticed a necklace that was identical to Lightningwing’s.
“Isn’t that Lightningwing’s necklace?” I said pointing to it. He looked down and a sad expression crossed his face.
“No, but she gave it to me a long time ago.” He said. He looked at it lovingly. “It was the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for me. Literally since she hatched a day before me. I didn’t hatch with parents in front of me but I was there to watch her hatch.” There was a long pause. The sun was setting and the sky turned a light purple and orange.
“We should probably go back.” Saberheart said turning around. Thundertail and I stayed behind a little ways.
“So do you know what happened to your parents?” I blurted. I covered my mouth, not expecting an answer.
“Others said they were captured by humans and killed. Some say they left because I was the only egg. I don’t really know what to believe.” He said. He then turned to me and smiled. “I shouldn’t be dumping all this on you though, sorry Cloudclaw.” We all flew in silence until we reached the camp. Some dens were already built. Lightningwing was still on the spiral but was laying on top of leaves and moss with a leather blanket on top of her. I landed and didn’t see the claw den built yet. But there were other Defender dens built so I went looking for my parents. When I found them I was greeted by my little brother and sister. My brother was grey with yellow stripes and my sister was yellow with grey stripes. They were twins but just offset coloring. My mom and dad were laying next to each other still awake. I guess they were waiting for me to come back. I walked up to them with my siblings in tow behind me. I layed in between my parents and my brother was on the right of me and my sister was on my left under my wing. It took me awhile because of today's events but I finally fell asleep with the moon shining into the cave.