They stared at each other, heads tilting in synch. His silver scales almost blinded Elida and his eyes reflected a warped image of her face. She turned her head when he turned his, or was he tracing her movements?
The difference was underwhelming. Plenty of Carers bustled about, moving swiftly to their charges. Older Hatcher Assistants strolled slowly, with more caution and confidence. As always, there were few Hatchers in the main room, and what few were there moved sporadically along their path, heads tilting back and forth each time they paused.
During her eleventh year, Elida became one of the youngest girls invited to the Hatchery in recent decades. Sure, she’d been assigned there several times, as all children were, but an invitation was something different. That whole morning, she couldn’t stop smiling. As she waited outside the Hatchery for a patrol to pass, she watched the tendrils of smoke drift and curl into the sky. Finally, she was able to step into the heavy heat, almost dancing out of her boots as she did so.
The sky burned a pleasant violet as the sun delved beneath the horizon. The waves slapped soft and crisp along the small stretch of beach sand. They popped loudly against the weeds and rocks that stretched out of sight beyond the little beach. The air turned cold faster than she would have liked, but it always did this time of year. Elida inhaled deeply and felt the fresh burn from the autumn air.
[Author’s note: a short post with just a little change of pace. Bordelon Detective Agency will be seen in future posts]
The sun burned down upon her linen covered head, seeking flesh to dry and crack. She started to wet her lips but stopped, not wanting to waste any moisture. Her golden-toed steed trudged steadily towards the looming table hill. The woman laid down across the Simerlage’s back, allowing her light cloak to settle over her and offer her some much desired shade. For all the speed a Simerlage could attain, it wasted so quickly and required so much recovery time as to be nearly pointless. Their great desirability as a mount came from their almost endless longevity at their own slow pace. Or so the merchant had told her before he took nearly one whole purse from her, and almost another for supplies.