Anji was blessed never to know darkness—I thought.
“Did it hurt?” I look behind me, at the bare spot on the white stone of the road. In the palace, my shadow might even now be slipping under a door, stealing a life. “No,” I tell my daughter. It will hurt later, when my shadow comes home. Featured image by TheAndrasBarta from Pixabay
The dragon was old and weary. My brothers bought our father's approval with her gems. “Let me try,” I begged. Seven times I asked; the eighth time, he agreed. Leaving home, though, was the dragon’s idea. A girl can live years on a ruby or two, after all. Featured image by Peter Lomas from Pixabay
They lit the signal fire in the night.
We had come so close. We rationed proteins, we doled out water in scant mouthfuls. If we were careful, there would be just enough. Then we ran out of fuel. Outside, a blue-green world rotates tantalizingly out of reach. I lick my dry lips and send another mayday.