From above, the ground shook.
From above, I could hear its roar.
And then nothing could happen from above.
Because the ceiling collapsed and the monster was upon us.
I was breathing raggedly. My hands were shaking. It was a good thing I had the knife to stop them. Lily and Tom were still screaming until they realised it was gone. Dead. "Winter!" Lily was the only one able to speak. Tom always had been a softy, and I had just killed a...
Truth be told, I didn't know what it was. It was oozing thick black blood. It looked shiny, I thought, shiny like the gleam of hope that you may be sent to heaven when you die. But this monster was pure hell. It's face was screwed up in a glare, the same glare he had stared at me with when I plunged my dads hunting knife into his gut. Dad loved to hunt, and this was the tenth year since we had lost him on this same island, when he went to get firewood for the same lodge that was now nothing more than a pile of splinters and charcoal. I was nine when I lost him.
Breathing into the night air, I wiped a strand of hazel brown hair from my face, realising with disgust that it was covered in blood. My blood. The near fatal cut was now barely a scratch on my forehead. We had to retreat into the forest for a few days where I let it recover.
Killing the monster was a great relief, and it helped me take my anger out on it. I had to watch from the forests shadows as it killed my friends and loved ones, and as Lily nearly died running away from a giant pole of wood that it had flung over its shoulder. We were the only ones left in a troupe of almost sixty at least near adults.
"Winter! Hello! Earth to Winter!" Lily had been calling my name for a long time now. "You okay?"
"Yeah. I just... lets take a walk."
Tom had regained his voice now. "Okay, Winter. We all need it." His voice was choked with tears and I realised that he had just lost all of his eleven brothers and sisters. His parents were long gone by now, but his two elder siblings were taking care of them, like a mum and dad. "Right through the island." Lily was talking about the track we had always wanted to take, but never could thanks to everyone else out voting us.
Pulling my knife out of the monsters stomach, I saw a small glimpse of a heart. A small glimpse, but still enough. The monster used to be living and breathing, just like us. But I had killed him. I backed away slowly as a wave of shock, guilt and dread hit me. "Okay... lets get out of here."
We all shot down the track, as fast as we could run.
That small glimpse had been enough for all of us.
The night was so calm that I could almost hear my heart beating. Then even that went silent as my ears subconsciously strained to hear something a long way off. This was not calm anymore. It was eerie... eerily calm. Yes. That is the perfect way to describe it. Something roared, a long way off. Instinctively, all three of us ran for shelter and hid in the undergrowth that surrounded the track.
Fire. That was my next thought. We watched the bobbing red light fly on. Fire. I saw it turn towards us. Lily tensed beside me as Tom let out a small whimper. It flew towards us. This is what staring up the face of death is, I thought. As it landed, I nearly cried in fear, I swear. It was a dragon, but too big and too red to be a common fire dragon, or any species for that matter. A boy jumped off of its back. He was wearing a mask, but judging by his height, he was about thirteen. He came over to the bush we were hiding behind and sighed. "Okay. Come on out." He couldn't have been less dismissive of my knife as we climbed out of the underbrush. Seeing as we were twice his height, and one of us was armed he ought to have been alarmed, but he raised an eyebrow at us as his dragon went to his shoulder. I put the knife away. "No. Drop it." He seemed intent on either taking my knife or my life. He wasn't getting the knife.
"Not a chance. My dad disappeared years ago and this is all I have of him. Please. Just... stop."
"Okay, get on and we'll let you have it." He gestured to his dragon. I almost laughed. When I had ridden Dina, mums dragon, she nearly burned me alive.
With that his dragon roared and nearly burned my hair off with a jet of flame.
"Okay. Jeez. Who are we talking to, by the way?"
The boy seemed happy that we obliged. "I'm Ash, and this Lumiose, king of fire. You're going to love the fort. Oh, and you can't wait to meet Rosie. And Thorn. And Ocean and Atlanta too! Trust me, you'll be amazed."
And oh boy, he did not disappoint.