Hi everyone! This is the first time I've actually decided to publish anything I've written, so bear with me as my writing hopefully improves moving forwards. As for the first chapter, it does contain a scene involving torture, so be aware of that going into it.


Yuki didn’t remember much about her childhood. There wasn’t much to remember anyways. She’d lived most of her life trapped within a prison of glass, forced to act cute and docile for the groups of yammering younglings that admired her from afar. Not that their admiration bothered her. She was quite amazing, after all. No, it was not the young ones’ fault that she was stuck here. Despite what her so-called “handlers” seemed to believe, she would never allow any kind of harm to come to little ones, no matter their species.

That only applied to sapient beings, of course. In Yuki’s opinion, it was an honor for the less intelligent to become her sustenance. She smiled with contentment, though the smile never quite reached her slitted golden eyes.

Her peace was interrupted by the sound of a sharp whistle. Yuki despised that sound. It could mean any number of things, yet the humans always expected her to know exactly what they wanted. Utterly foolish, the lot of them.

Despite her annoyance at the shrill sound, Yuki knew what would happen if she didn’t leave her cave in time. She instinctively scratched at the collar around her neck as she stood, switching back to her “viewer-allowed” form. It was absurd. It wasn’t that she disliked this form, but Yuki knew perfectly well that the only reason they made her use it was so that she appeared to be less intelligent, less worthy of freedom and agency. That, and because it made her look like a “cute little lovable dragon”. She scoffed inwardly.

A huge crowd of humans greeted Yuki as she stepped out of the entrance to her sanctuary. Their expressions ranged from curiosity and awe to boredom and annoyance. One man even had a look of disgust. Yuki did her best to memorize his face. She would need to remember it when she inevitably destroyed her enemies, of course.

Yuki turned to face her handler, who stood atop a raised platform in the middle of her enclosure. The woman, whom Yuki refused to refer to as any name other than “Whiny”, looked back towards the gathered observers and began her usual spiel about how the zoo had apparently “saved” Yuki from starvation in the wild and nursed her back to health before revealing their groundbreaking discovery to the world. Yuki just plopped her butt down on the ground after approaching the platform and began to swish her tail back and forth, patiently awaiting her next command. She knew that if she failed to keep up the obedient and docile pet act, she would come to regret it later on. As much as she wanted to yell to the crowd that the story was a bunch of bullshit, and that she was being held captive, she couldn’t. No matter what form she was in, the humans’ strange language was too far separated from her own for her to be able to competently speak it.

Yet another blow of the shrill whistle came from Whiny, and Yuki quickly looked back up towards the woman. She was signaling for the young dragon to follow her to the petting area. A collective sigh of disappointment came from the crowd at Yuki’s departure. The petting area was exclusive to “Vee Eye Pees” as the humans called them.

As soon as Yuki was away from the view of the crowd, another of her handlers appeared carrying a strong rubber muzzle. The door behind Yuki closed, and the room became drenched in silence. She hated this part. She hated every part, really, but this part was a level beyond the others. Staying silent and unthreatening as she allowed the filthy human hands to roam all over her body went against every instinct she had. Yuki shivered just thinking about it. Nevertheless, she didn’t have any other option. So, she allowed the handler, this one a lanky, balding man she called “Slimy”, to place the muzzle over her jaws and tighten it around her neck. He finished with practiced ease before testing to make sure her collar was still working. A small jolt of electricity coursed through her for a moment, leaving Yuki feeling a bit shaky and numb. Why they felt the need to test it every time was beyond her.

Finally, the door opposite Yuki’s cage opened, allowing her to cross over into the small room with a pen in the middle of it. She was ushered into the pen before Slimy closed the gate behind her. Yuki couldn’t help but wonder who it would be this time. She had done this often enough that she remembered quite a few of the frequent patrons, but every once in a while there would be a new face.

This was apparently one of those times. Four people entered the room. That was unusual. Normally there would at least be around ten or fifteen humans taking part in the exclusive event, not just four. They seemed to be a family, based on the similarities in their various scents and appearances. Though this was surprising, Yuki was actually quite glad to have a small break from the larger groups. Not only that, but a few moments later, the parents and one of the children said something to the smallest human before turning and walking back out of the room. This made Yuki pause; she had never, not even once, seen this happen. What happened next made her shrink away in fear.

The handler, Slimy, walked over to the younger boy and handed him the remote for her collar before leaving the room.

Yuki quickly moved to the back of the pen, desperate to escape. She could find no way out. Her wings were regularly clipped to prevent her from flying, and the walls of the pen were too tall for her to jump over them. The boy eagerly walked into the pen and quickly closed the gate behind him. The smile he gave Yuki sent a shiver down her spine. As he approached her, he began to speak, his voice arrogant and cold.

“They told me you were smarter than the other animals in here. Let’s hope they were right. The dumb ones are sooo boring to play with. I could get them to fear me, but it was no fun when they couldn’t really understand what was happening.” He lifted the remote with a flourish, and pressed down on the button in the middle.

Pain. Pain like Yuki had never once felt, coursed through her. The boy must have turned the strength of the collar up, because this was nothing like when the handlers shocked her. Then, after what seemed like eternity, the searing jolts ceased, and Yuki collapsed. She couldn’t control the convulsions that still wracked her body. The boy walked right up to her, leaning down to stare into her eyes. He had a look of sadistic glee on his slightly rounded face.

“You understand though, right? I can see it in your eyes. The other ones didn’t hate me, but you do. That’s why you’re so much better than they were,” the boy exclaimed as he reached a hand out and brushed away a tear that had rolled down Yuki’s cheek. “They made me promise to only do this a few times, but I promise we’ll be able to spend more time together soon. You won’t have to worry about anyone else in just a few weeks. It’ll just be you and me.”

He pressed down on the remote once more, and everything went dark.



That night, Yuki lay outside of her cave, curled up in a ball. The cave, which normally provided her with a much needed sanctuary, now brought with it the fear of being trapped. Yuki knew that she wouldn’t be able to sleep no matter where she was anyway. She didn’t want to let her guard down for even a second. She was in her humanoid form; the handlers allowed her to choose any form she wanted once the zoo was closed for the night, and Yuki didn’t want to be in her other form for a while.

The area around her collar was burnt and inflamed, and there were bloody scratch marks all over it from where she had desperately tried to claw it off of her neck. It hadn’t worked, and she eventually gave up. Now, she just lay against the pillar of rock which held the raised platform for Whiny to give her stupid speeches. She felt utterly defeated.

Yuki stayed in that spot for the next several hours. She knew there would be no visitors the next day; they never showed her when she had injuries. So she simply stayed curled up, and vigilantly watched for any movements around her, using her tail to protect herself from the rest of the evil, terrible world.

At some point Yuki must have fallen asleep, because she awoke to the sound of quiet footsteps and hushed voices. She looked around, searching for the source of the noises. There was a small clang from behind the glass of her enclosure, and her bright, golden eyes quickly pinpointed the cause. A group of three teenagers appeared, and they seemed to be attempting to sneak over towards the entrance to her cage. Yuki froze. A moment of indecision was all it took for the teens to notice her.



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