The wind whips through my hair as I race through the forest. The trees pass by in a flash, my feet barely touching the floor as I race through the woodland. A huge roar sounds behind me and the sound of branches breaking and snapping echoes through the silence. I pick up speed after hearing the thuds, feeling the ground shake as the creature gets ever closer. If the creature were to catch me, it would try to kill me. Even knowing this, I don’t feel scared, my heart does not race. This creature thinks that it’s the most dangerous thing in the forest, but it is not.
The tress break in the distance as a huge canyon cuts through the forest. Getting closer, I do not slow down. Instead, I speed up then leap. For seconds, it feels like I’m flying. I’ve missed that feeling. The world travels in slow motion as I float in mid air. Far bellow, a big, violent river crashes against sharp rocks. My feet touch the other side and I role on the ground, twisting so I am kneeling and facing forest beyond the canyon which I have just jumped over. There are a few tense seconds. Crashing and breaking fills the silence as the huge creature breaks out of the tree line, an all mighty roar sounding from it’s mouth. Trees smash and sharp bark shrapnel flies and giant trees tumble with a deep crashing rumble. Running on four huge clawed feet with thick muscular arms, the giant monster jumps over the canyon. It’s multiple red eyes all targeted on me, it’s circles of sharp teeth aiming strait for my small body. Its fur is black, thick and matted with blood. An evil creature. I step back as the creature lands in front of me. Snarling, it towers high and I can see my reflection in all of it’s little red eyes. It lets out a roar. I feel my eyes change and my canines sharpen as I let out a hiss. Sinking low, it circles me, a deep rumbling in it’s throat. In a sudden movement, the beast attacks. I jump toward it, my body barrelling into its. I can hear the sound of it’s bones breaking at the incredible strength in which I attack with. The creature lets out a scream and I jump away from it gracefully. Pulling my knives from my clothing, I spin them around in my hands. Weakly, the creature stands, it’s legs shaking slightly. Its loud roar fills the whole forest, letting all the creatures hear it’s deadly war cry. A loud growl comes from my mouth my fangs bared. It charges toward me and I stand my ground. At the last second I jump. My body rises over his head and in mid air I twist, burying my knives into it’s back as I fall, pulling the knives down with me. The beasts back legs buckle and it falls to the floor breathing heavy. I face it again. It lies on the ground, angry eyes looking up at me.
“I’m sorry,” I say “but you don’t mess with a dragon.” It lets out a sad moan as my blade plunges into it’s head then its body relaxes and goes limp. I wipe the blood off on my animal skin skirt and tuck the blades back away.
My sensitive ears pick up a soft sound in the woods behind me. I look around to see my siblings run into the small clearing.
“We aren’t going hungry tonight,” I smile at them. My younger twin brother, Toryn walks toward the dead beast with Tanya, my little sister. Her twin, Serenity looks sad and sighs. Slowly, she walks to the beast and gently strokes its fur.
“I’m sorry, Serenity,” I say. She softly smiles back at me.
“I understand,” she says.
“Would the two of you take it back to the cave?” I ask Tanya and Serenity. They nod and their features begin to change. Instead of rounded pupils, are black slits. Scales the same colour as their hair begins to form around their faces and over their skin. Their bodies change shape and before me stand two dragons. They are large, bigger than the beast but they aren’t huge. They both walk over the the body and take it’s limbs in the sharp clawed feet. Together, they lift the beast into the sky. Toryn and I watch as they fly toward the cave. I look at my brother.
“Race you back,” I smile then run into the forest. It passes by quickly as I run and I hear my brother behind me getting closer until he is level with me. I jump over large tree roots and slide under low branches. We weave our way through the tight forest, laughing as we do so. There is no break in the tress as we come to a large grey stone cliff, rising high into the sky. Near the top of the giant cliff, I see my sisters in their dragon forms landing with the beast. I look at my brother then roughly barge into his side. I laugh as he goes flying and then roles along the muddy ground. As I near the cliff, I jump and extend my claws. I land on the vertical rock quite high up, my claws cutting deep into it. I continue to climb up the rock, higher and higher. A large overhang swings high above the land. With no fear of the ground far bellow, I sink my claws into the rocks and let my feet go off the vertical rock, hanging from my hands. I continue to swing along the overhang, suspended above the ground until I am at the edge of it. It is there I pull my self up and onto the ledge where my sisters are human again. Toryn appears a few seconds after me.
“I win,” I say and laugh.
“You cheated,” he says. I just smile and stand up. A large black hole sits in the cliff, a cave. It is in there we live. Toryn and I drag the beast into the darkness. We walk along the long passage. Our sensitive eyes allow us to see better in the darkness, but not by much as it gets further into the cave and the small amount of light disappears, not giving us any light for our eyes to adapt to. The passage opens up into a large area where my sisters already sit. A large circle dip sits in the centre of the cave, full of sticks.
“Toryn,” I say. He takes a breath then breaths out, fire gushing from his mouth and igniting the sticks in the centre. Immediately our cave is illuminated and we can see. Though we couldn’t see before, we have lived here so long we know where everything is without needing to see. We also use our other senses.
Using my knife, I gut the beast, burning all the yucky bits. When I have the best bits, I place them over the fire to cook. The bones I keep. Finally, I have huge chunks of meat which I set to cook over the fire. The four of us sit around the fire. Tanya, my youngest sister, looks over at me.
“Can I hunt tomorrow?” she asks.
“Sure,” I reply with a smile. She smiles softly back, her fierce beauty highlighted by the glow of the fire. Her silky dark purple hair cascades perfectly strait down her back and her eyes are like shining liquid gold. Her face is oval in shape, her cheekbones sharp and her gold eyes large, surrounded by thick lashes. Her pink lips are full. She is also tall.
“I hate killing,” Serenity sighs.
“I know, but we need to eat meat,” I tell her.
“Yeah,” she says with a sigh. Serenity is Tanya’s older twin. She is just as beautiful as Tanya, but in a different way. Her features are softer. Her emerald hair falls half way down her back in knotted waves. Her eyes are a lighter green, but still bright. Her circular face has soft lips which are full and pink. She is almost as tall and Tanya. I smile at both of my little sisters, before standing up an walking out of the cave.
I sit at the edge of the cliff, my feet dangling over the edge. The night skies are clear and the stars sparkle. I wish that I could fly again, I wish I could remember. The four of us are dragon shifters each with the ability to control one of the elements. Tanya can control the winds, Serenity the Earth, Toryn can control fire and I water. For years, we have lived in this cave with barely a memory of how we got here or our lives before. It’s not like we don’t remember everything. We know what things are, we know the language we speak. All we’ve forgotten are our lives before this cave and how we got here. We just woke in the forest with no recollection of our lives. We know roughly how old we are, Toryn and I are about Seventeen and Tanya and Serenity Sixteen. That’s all we know about us, well apart from our names and what we are and can do. I close my eyes and take a deep breath as the breeze brushes against my skin.
“Isla,” my brother says and comes and sits next to me. His hair is golden blonde, cropped messily around his shoulders. My sisters are both tall, but my brother is taller so and built like a mountain. His skin is the same pale cream as ours and his features are sharp. His eyes are orange blending with red.
“Are you okay?” he asks. I sigh and look back up at the sky.
“No. I just want to remember.”
“I know,” he sighs. I lean on his shoulder.
“Who were we before? How did we get here?” I ask.
“I don’t know,” he sighs.
“What happened to us? It must have been bad if we can’t remember our lives.”
“It is strange. You’d think we would forget everything, not know who we are, how old we are, how we are related to each other. But we do.”
“It must have been something bad,” I sigh. “Perhaps the dragon instinct saved us from being completely clueless,” I reason.
“Perhaps.” We stay silent, looking to the infinite stars.
“Perhaps we should shift and leave the cave, just keep flying in one direction until we find something,” Toryn suggest.
“No, we have no idea where we even are, we could fly into more danger,” I say. “We aren’t ready, we need to train more.” Toryn nods. We all knew that I am the eldest and we all know that I am in charge.
We both turn around to see the girls walking out of the cave. Their bare feet pressing softly on the stone. They sit next to us, the four of us looking over the endless forest, full of evil creatures. This cave is what is safest for us.
“One day, when we are strong enough, we will fly away from here, we will leave this place and find ourselves,” I tell them. They all nod.
“You all go into the cave, get ready to sleep. I’m going to run around the woods quick,” I tell them.
“Why?” Tanya asks. I frown.
“I don’t know, I just have an uneasy feeling,” I tell them. “I just need to release some more energy.” They nod their heads and stand up.
“We’ll see you soon,” Tanya whispers and places her hand on my shoulder, squeezing it slightly. I nod my head as they disappear into the darkness of our cave. I look down at the trees far bellow and slide of the ledge. My hair whips around me. My fall is smooth and graceful and I see it all in slow motion as the canopy of the trees slowly get larger and larger as I fall toward them. With ease, I brush through the leaves and branches and land silently on the forest floor. It is dark and the sounds of animals rustling through the foliage fills the silence. I am not scared however. I take off running. Not fast, more like a slow jog. I stop when I come to a large lake. The huge moon glows in the sky and the water is still. I look down at my own reflection, but all I can see is a pale distorted face. I know I have white hair which falls down my back in knotted waves. It being white, it is easy to see the mud and blood staining the long locks. I sit down by the edge of the lake and close my eyes. Although our sight is good, we can’t see well if it is pitch black. Luckily, the moon is bright in the sky and that allows my eyes adjust enough to be able to see things slightly clearly. Other nights, when there is no moon in the sky, then we have to rely on another thing in order to see. We can switch our vision to night vision. Everything turns black and white, but we can see everything clearly. We rarely use it though, preferring to train our other senses. It also brings my dragon close to the surface and we don’t want that.
I allow my hearing and smell to take over. I can hear everything. The small rustles of animals in the woodland and the wind swaying the trees. I hear the sound of heartbeats of animals, some like small flutters, some louder. Some animals snore softly whilst others hunt. The water splashes as fish move around near the surface and little bugs crawl along the skin of the water. I can smell the scent of animals, the plants and the water. Everything is so clear. Happy, there is nothing out there that shouldn’t be, I open my eyes. The feeling that something has changed, something dangerous, lingers in the pit of my stomach.
Looking back at the water, I smile. I bring up my hand and water bounces off the lake and hovers in my palm. The water bends to my command, dancing gracefully and intricately around my fingers. It drops suddenly as I hear a distant snapping sound. One that hasn’t come from any of the wildlife or the forest. This sound is unnatural. The sound had come from miles and miles away, further than we had ever been. Normally, I could hear that far, but not focus on one sound. But that snap had been different, like it wasn’t a natural sound of the forest. I take off, racing through the woods as fast as I could. I jump over the canyon and through the broken trees where the beast had torn through earlier. I come to a stop as I reach the edge of our boarders, we don’t come further than here. My eyes narrow as I look into the dark unknown. Of course, I can see lots, but there are shadows still.
The sound had been from even further away still, but I dare not get any closer. Sighing, I jump up and hang from a branch. I swing myself up onto it, then jump higher and higher up into the tree until I reach the top. I see the top of the trees, stretching on endlessly. I look back and see the huge cliff where our cave is, far in the distance. It is just a long grey line, cutting off the horizon with it’s sheer rocky face. It rises so high, that heavy grey clouds cut off the top. Only rarely is the top clear. We went up there once. It was just flat rock, stretching for as far as the eye could see, miles and miles in each direction. There was no life up there, just silence and emptiness. I look back at where the sound had come from and frown again. The thick trees give nothing away, but something is wrong. I can feel it. A darkness hiding in the trees.
Sighing, I drop back into the thick branches and darkness. I look back once again at the unknown lands before turning around and racing back. It doesn’t take me long, running at full speed to reach our cliff. I stand beneath it and look left and right. The stretch of rock carries on in both directions. We hadn’t been to the end of the cliff face, but we assume it carries on to the end of the land, wherever that is. I jump up in latch onto the cliff with my fingers. I don’t use my claws this time. Instead, I climb slower, placing my hands in gaps my claws have made on multiple occasions. I swing under the overhang, then back onto the ledge. I look back over the forest one last time before walking into the warmth of our cave.
“Anything?” Toryn asks as his skin glowing from the fire which warms our cave.
“There’s something, but it is very far from our boarders. Possibly hundreds of miles away,” I tell him.
“Then how did you sense it?” he asks. I look at him.
“Because what ever it is, it is dangerous and the dragon side of me picked it up.” Toryn nods his head and there is silence between the four of us.
“Come on, lets not worry about it yet and sleep.” They all mumble agreements and hug up to each other on the cold floor. I smile and walk over to the fire. I take a breath and blow over the roaring flames. Ice rushes out of my mouth, putting out the fire and leaving behind black. I see my siblings and huddle with them. Although we don’t get cold, we like to feel the warmth and safety of each others presence. In peace, we all drift off to sleep.