In the world of Muscuia, every child has a destiny with an animal. At the age of 14 every child is supposed to wake up to find a reptile beside their bed. That reptile would become the child's partner in life and would be there for the rest of his or her’s life. The reptile would eventually be laid to rest in the same grave as their human partner. If one child couldn't 'call' their reptile, they would be executed. One year a pair of twins did not ‘call’. They were supposed to be executed like the others, but they were very cunning. Andy and Clara escaped death and whenever they caught wind that another child was sentenced to exucution, they would come to rescue them, and take them for their own. They eventually placed spies and messengers to deliver news. They had formed a tribe that they dubbed “Alexio’s Survivors.” A legend lives among these people. An onimus tale that the tribes elder woman had delivered. “One child who will not call at once will call in the wake of death. A creature of great power.” No one really knew what this legend meant, only that it meant survival. And survival was everything to these people.
Riana spent her entire life waiting for this night. Well, since she found out. Father had bonded with a Komodo dragon, Mother had a gecko. And brother had a cobra as his partner in life. "Riana! Come over here! Mother needs to measure you for your dress tomorrow!" her brother beckoned to her as Riana realized she had been stroking Kai's back absentmindedly. She smiled, addressing the Komodo dragon. "Yes, I know you don't like petting, but thank you for not biting me this time." Riena glanced at the small scar printed on her palm, then looked at the Komodo dragon, before running over to Simon. "Mother, could you tell me again what happen's if I don't call a reptile?" Riana asked curiously,"I seem to remember that last time I asked you you avoided telling me." Mother shared a look with Simon before answering;" Let's hope you never know, ma belle." Riana shot a look at her brother, she knew that when Mother used French phases it was bad. "Mother, please tell me." Riana said in a small voice. Mother didn't answer. Instead, she finished the measurements and left the little living room. "Rie, come here." said Simon, patting the left of the bean bag he was sitting in. Riana came over and sat in his lap instead . "Rie, your special, I can feel it. I mean your hair!" Well, he was right about that. Only the people in her family knew that Riana was born with deep purple hair. When Riana turned 2 years old they dyed her hair brown, like Mother, Father and Brother. Riana frowned at her brother." Sie, will I ever be the same as Donna or Linka?" Simon looked at his little sister for a moment before answering. "Rie, you don't have to be like your friends to be special. You'll see, tomorrow, trust me. And for the record, Donna has horrible grades and acts really snotty and Linka still claims she got married in kindergarten and has a daughter who is secretly a princess." Simon ended the conversation by telling Riana to phone Father. Sshe’s hopeless. Moke slithered onto Simons shoulder, flicking his tongue at Riana's heels as she disappeared onto the landing. As a response, Simon flicked him lightly on the side of his head, as he usually did when he was angry or annoyed with him. “She’s fine. She’ll do it.” Simon reassured his reptile, although it sounded more like it was for himself...
Mother was scared. Simon didn’t know how he knew, but somehow, it had to do with Riana. That was certain. “Adam! Get over here! NOW!” Simon briefly saw his father as he ran to the end of the hall, disappearing into Riena’s room. Simon heart dropped like a stone into his stomach.“She didn’t call, did she Moke.” Simon spoke quietly to his cobra. If Moke could look scared, he would be probably mirroring Simon's facial expression. Sshe didn’t, i’m ssorry. Moke said in Simon's mind.
Riana blinked. Once. Twice. Then she burst into tears. "Rie, please, stop crying! Don't worry about anything, We'll help!" Father had a hand on her knee and was shaking uncontrollably. Riana looked at him again and dissolved into a new wave of tears. She looked at her mother, who was pale and trembling, her face so white, at a glance, you could mistake her for a brown haired ghost. "Elena, calm down, we'll just say that-" Father started.
"It's all my fault!" Mother wailed, interrupting. "I said that she wouldn't call and now I've sent our little girl to her, her-" Mother dropped to her knees and squeezed Riana tightly, before returning to her feet and pressing her silk handkerchief to her mouth than her fore head, than pressing hard on Father’ shoulder, and repeating. "Mother?" Riana said in a very soft voice, afraid to speak louder. "Now will you tell me what will happens when a child doesn't bond with a reptile?" Riana was usually very calm and composed, listening more than speaking, never shaking in fear or anger, almost never crying. But now, Riana felt like she had lost a limb, or a very close friend or family member. She felt alone, because she always thought she would have a reptile, everyone had one, she had been surrounded by all of them. They would always assure her that one day, she would have that same connection with an animal. so Riana was more scared to hear the answer to the question she had just asked, then asking it in the first place, because she thought that she would have a reptile by her side, and Riana thought that her parents would be smiling and afterwards they would all laugh and head to the village square to present her to the village. Here she was, her parents on either side of her, whispering that it would be alright, not to worry, that they would get through this. But Riana still wanted her answer. “Riana, I don’t want to burden you with this.” Riana’s Mother whispered. Riana stood up, knocking her father’s hand from her knee. “I’ll know anyway soon enough. I’d rather hear it from you Mother.” Riana stared hard into her shaking, pale, beautiful mother. “Riana, you are going to be, to be executed.” Mother choked out. She crumbled to the ground, putting a handkerchief to her mouth and rocking back and forth. Riana looked down at her mother, that was not something she was expecting, though she knew it was terrible. “My l-love, are you alright?” Father rose to his feet, Riana was only around a head shorter then him, so he hardly needed to look down at her. “Of course not Father, who would be? The girl rubbed her forearm, suddenly cold. “But I’m trying to stay strong for you and Mother.” Riana stared blankly through the window. Mother wept at how her daughter was reacting to the news. “She’s too young to be responding like this to something like this!” Mother cried to Father.
“Mother, Father, outside!” Riana turned sharply away from the window, her fear finally surfacing to show on her face. Father rushed to the window but before he could say anything, a loud rap on the front door reached the second floor. Simon skidded into Riana’s bedroom. “It’s too late. We can’t do anything.” Simon addressed his parents. “They are here for her.”