Cori was a good, good dragon. But Cori missed her rider very, very much.
Many, many moons ago a wicked, wicked scourgeling had knocked Debrah off Cori’s back while they were fighting.
Cori had flown fast, fast but hadn’t been in time to catch her rider. Blood everywhere. Card in her heart torn in two.
Remembering still hurt hurt.
No one else’s card smelled as good good as Debrah’s. No one looked at a purple like Cori twice. They all wanted young hatchlings.
They thought Cori was old, old.
So Cori did her chores. She fought and fought scourgelings during eruptions. Sometimes she showed other purples tricks like how to loop and loop in the air.
Over the last few months, her stomach had gotten big big. Cori was certain there were many many eggs in there.
No male stayed for long. They were all busy busy with their own riders.
Cori had eggs and eggs before, but this time felt strange. She felt heavier even than the time she had carried twin Uncommons. That had been when Debrah had been alive — the Uncommons had made her rider happy happy.
Cori thought if she clutched more than her usual lots and lots of Commons, someone would notice. She could be happy again.
A dawn sun rose. It was egg time.
Cori floundered into the sky. The air, which had always lifted her up and up didn’t feel right. She tried and tried but was just too heavy to fly fast.
All clutching dragons were to go to a special place — an arena.
But since Debrah died, Cori had gone to a secret secret spot. If she had lots and lots of Commons eggs, she could just leave an no one would care. But if she laid Uncommons again, she could roll them into the open and people would be happy happy with her.
She crawled into her secret cave. Cramps shivered her belly hard hard. Whining to herself, she wished Debrah was there.
Her heart beat and beat in her chest. Harder than it ever had before. Though her stomach was big big, she pushed and bushed.
One egg came out. With it, her big big stomach seemed to deflate.
The egg was tiny, even from a purple mother. It was dark and dark and dark and dark like all light had been sucked in from around it.
Not an Uncommon. Something better.
Cori touched it with the tip of her snout.
It was dark dark like the edges of her vision, all crawling inward.
Exhausted, Cori curled around her perfect single egg.
Debrah will be so happy happy, was her last thought.