I make no promises and no guarantees. A month in with this blog and I have yet to gain any readers, followers, or views (outside of my own). Well, I’m not spending much effort advertising and promoting, so it’s no real surprise. Anyway, on with the story…
Spring Planting, Hunter’s Day 20, year of the Lion number 427
Today is the 16th anniversary of my birth. I am alone. I don’t know if I’ve officially crossed the border into the land known as Swardia yet, but the trees are beginning to thin, the land is less hilly, and the air is noticeably more arid.
If my family sent hunters to find me, they haven’t so far. I left Daggerclaw on the southbound road, but after a couple miles, left the road and circled around the east and eventually headed north. While not intentionally hiding my tracks, I move swiftly and spend as little time on the ground as possible – jumping from limb to limb through the tall trees, not unlike the primates who live further southwest in the forest.
But this evening, as I watch the sun set through the trees, I think about what my life would have been. I suppose, if I returned home now, all would be the same, but my heart wouldn’t be in it. I could never be happy.
This very evening, after a feast in my mother’s honor, me and my litter-mates would dress up in our finest and stroll through the village, greeting all the others who are of similar age. Just as they had done the weeks prior to my departure. And will continue to do. Should one of the boys catch my fancy, I would let my sire know, and things would be arranged. Things. He and I would bond. I would bear his kittens, and the cycle would go on.
One might say that I’m not the most attractive Tabaxi in the village. Perhaps a little better than average, but no show-stopper or eye-catcher. Thus, the boy I’d end up with would be just as average as me. Our kittens would be average. Our lives would be average. Our deaths would be average.
No. Not for me. I take out the plaque and study it. Its chill runs through me, tingling me all the way to my tail. I study the image. It seems so perfect in its detail. Better than any artist I’ve ever known or heard of could render. The dragon is lifelike in its frozen stillness. Just for fun, I pull out one of my empty books. In it, on the first page, I draw the plaque and do my best to duplicate the dragon image on it. I add a couple notes at the bottom of the page: “Feels cold, things I touch feel the cold, too.” I chuckle at the poor reproduction. I’d say it was childlike. With a smile, I close the book and tuck it away in my pack.
Nightfall is only a few minutes away. Though the darkness doesn’t bother me, it is the best time to catch a small animal for food. I brought along plenty of supplies, but since I have no idea where the nearest settlement is, other than my home, I don’t know how long they’ll need to last.
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