Berti Walker would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Hatchling

By Berti Walker All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy

The Hatchling

At the time, we had no way of knowing that a cold would turn our family of two to a family of three.

I knew how you were feeling just by looking at you. You looked like shit. But I asked anyway.

“How’re you feelin’, Edgar?”

“Like shit,” you confirmed.

“Would you like me to go to the apothecary and get you something?”

I snuggled up next to you on the dark red sofa that matched your blood-shot eyes and the flush in your cheeks.

“Yes please.”

Your nasally voice was pathetic. I kissed your face all over as if kisses really did have magical properties.

“You’re the best,” you said.

“No, you. Love you.”

It was either a short ride or a long walk to the apothecary. I opted for the ride to lessen the length of your suffering, although the sun was setting and the oncoming evening was cool with a nice breeze.

The carriage swayed beneath me and the lazy pace of our horse Betsy’s hooves set a melodic tune.

I purchased a cold remedy, cutting short the usual chitchat with the clerk because, as I relayed, “Edgar’s at home and he looks like shit.”

The ride home was peaceful and uneventful, as most rides home tend to be, until I reached the gate. A small creature darted across the path, causing Betsy to rear up and nearly trampled the thing. My heart sped up as I dismounted and ran to the bushes to search for it, not really expecting to find it.

An elderly couple appeared. So intent was I on locating the creature that they might as well have manifested from the twilight itself.

"Good evening, Mr. And Mrs. Benson," I said, not giving up the hunt.

“Hello, Shana,” Mrs. Benson said. “We saw it too, the poor thing. It shouldn’t be so near the road! Did you find it, dearie?”

“No… wait! There!”

I saw it, curled up in a ball, a flash of silver and grey. I thrust my hand into the bush, expecting it to run, but it froze in my grip. I held it up triumphantly, a hatchling no more than a day old and shouldn’t have been away from it’s mother.

“Aw, bless it’s heart, the wee darling,” Mrs. Benson said.

“Are you going to keep it?” Mr. Benson asked, putting an arm around his wife.

“Do you want it?” I offered it to them, secretly hoping they would say no. I thought maybe that's why they were hovering. Plus when Edgar pitches a fit I can say I tried to give it away.

“No, no. We’re much too old to be raising dragons,” he said.

"Great!" I said, a little too quickly. I brought it to my chest, still surprised it had not tried to escape. Its breath was shallow and rapid as it trembled. “You’re okay,” I cooed. “You’re mine now. I’ll take good care of you.”

I parked the carriage, put Betsy in her stable, and approached the front door, the hatchling curled up in hiding beneath my hair at the base of my neck.

I opened the front door and you had not moved from your spot.

“What took you so long?” you asked, sniffling.

“I’m sorry. I got your medicine. And this!” I said, overly cheerful. I pulled the hatchling free from my hair and it clawed feebly at the air, unhappy at being exposed.

“What the hell, Shana?"

That was pretty much the response I had expected. Actually, I expected worse, since I had been asking for one for a while and you were always quick to say no.

I hesitated, trying to gauge your thoughts, and then stated my case in one breath. “It ran across the road! Look how little it is! It would die out there on it’s own. I saved it’s life. Can we keep it? Please?”

“All I wanted medicine.This is what I get for not going myself.” You heaved a great miserable sigh that was part exasperation and part inability to breath. You grumbled something more, but it was inaudible.

I gave you my most charming smile.

“Don't be such a sour pickle. Pleeeaase?”

“Well, I guess so…”

Your tone suggested defeat rather than acceptance. I pretended not to notice.

“Oh thank you thank you thank you!”

I thrust the creature into your hands. “Now hold it so I can go get it supplies. A food bowl, a water bowl, a bed, some toys." I started rattling off a list as I ran out the door. When I closed it behind me, I saw you sitting there sick, bewildered, and looking just as lost as the little hatchling. I almost felt bad. Like I was taking advantage of your weakened state. Almost. “Love you!” I shouted over my shoulder.

I returned to the store, collected some supplies and food, and rushed home, afraid you were going to change your mind. All of our previous conversations came flooding back. “Our place is too small for a dragon. Dragons are expensive. Our house isn’t fire-proofed. We don’t have dragon insurance.”

But when I opened the door it was curled up on your chest and you were gently protecting it with your hands while looking down in admiration.

“What are we going to call it?” you asked.

“How about Pickle?”

I was only half-serious.

“Okay.”

“Okay?”

“Yeah, okay.”

Pickle lifted it’s head and blinked at me. It sneezed, a little puff of smoke rising from its nostrils, and then laid its head upon your chest, falling asleep.

“You’re right about the fire-proofing, though,” I agreed. “First thing tomorrow.”





Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Berti Walker
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Alani Foreigner: I absolutely loved how you created this story. It isn't like the other cliché stories I've ever read. I had just started reading it yesterday and just had to finish it. The main characters are grotesquely awesome and I fell in love with them. If you're into fantasy and stuff I can guarantee that ...

Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

NancyRichFoster: This second book of the Anmah Series was as awesome as the first story, I disagree with spare runner. The names were ordinary names with different spellings, which I for one loved. I am now going to read the third book in this amazingly awesome story!

Sara Grover: Being that this is your first story and I assume first draft, a lot of little mistakes are common, we all have made them; little things like your instead of you're, missed capitalization, missing punctuation, etc.As for the plot, I have a lot of questions and I did leave comments on certain secti...

Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...

littlebunnypoopoos: Omg this was so amazing! The ending was a little bad and predictable. But otherwise, I need a second book or I'll die :DThe character development was excellent and the whole romance, action, and suspense was superb

Lauren Sanby: This is an excellent story. Very gripping and keeps your attention throughout. Hoping the author is writing a sequel because I'd love to read more about Rhi and Andreas and find out what else Rhi is able to do with her powers.

makaylakay: I love love this story! It's written incredibly and well thought-out plot! I love how it's a different twist in fantasy fiction, other then the usual vampire or werewolves. Love the romantics and drawn to the two characters so much already! This book will draw you in within the first chapter and ...

More Recommendations

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...

Shweta Somwanshi: I just chose to read this out of nowhere and now I can't stop. Hats off to the author who made the reader swoon away with words so beautifully! I loved how I was able to imagine everything so explicitly because the writing was simple and easily comprehensive with a touch of complexity somewhere b...

ynez2005: I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!!!Though you really need to make another book,more Princesses!!! Whoooo!!!Girl Power!!!Mabey it could even be Devona's BFF???That would make it even better!!!Plus can you pleeease make Akki come back,together with Thea and Authur amd the whole family is back!Other th...

SPepper: I had a hard time putting this book down even to go to sleep. The story is compelling and beautifully character driven. I hope author will make this a series.

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.