In the Aerie

I have spent my whole life in the company of my mother’s kindred. Of all the life in the aerie, only the plants do not share her lineage. They are, instead, kindred of her brother Krrgotst, for base plants would not survive up here, pressed against the ceiling and eternally tousled by the winds that flow through the aerie all day and night, stirred by the presence of Mother’s children.

Mother spends little time amongst us herself. I know she would prefer it, but most of her time is spent on the floor, spreading her gift to the base creatures. It is her father’s directive, and she obeys with fervor. I feel blessed to have received Mother’s strength — blessed that she chose my father, and that she bore me into this world. WIthout her, I would have been born a weak, pathetic human. No — I suppose I would never have been born at all. My father would have sired some other child. A weak, human child. It is he who should feel blessed.

They tell us, at school, that the opposite is true. The humans hate us. They hate mother and her siblings, forcing them to hide their true selves and use deception to grant the humans their boon. I don’t understand them. Why would they not desire the power of the dragons? Mother’s children are clearly superior to those a human, or any creature, would birth on its own.

Yet the humans fear us. If not for the Dragon Laws, which protect dragon kindred when we are young, the humans would kill innocent youths before they even had a chance to prosper. They would kill their own children to defy the dragons. They have groups among them which seek out dragon kindred, born to humans and to beasts, and eliminate them, all in an attempt to erase the good Mother and her siblings do for the world.

The humans are evil. There is no other word for it. THey do not tell us that in school, not directly, but I’ve come to see the truth of it nonetheless. If they had their way, I would not exist. My world, the aerie, would not exist. They would rather wallow upon the ground than give up their pride and allow Mother to grant her strength to their children. Were they capable, they would rise up and erase Mother herself from the world. But they are not, and they will never be.

Still. Still, I must admit, I wish that I understood the humans. I wish I could see why they resist, so vehemently, that which could make them greater than they are. Perhaps this is a weakness of mine. It feels like one, certainly. If feels like a dangerous path, to want to understand evil. Does that desire mean that I, too, have evil hidden away inside me? After all, a part of me is human. Somewhere down below, on the floor that expands from the base of the pillar, they man I might call Father walks among those who despise my existence.

I wonder, sometimes, what he looks like. I’ve never seen him, of course. I’ve never seen a full human. I know that they are covered in soft pink flesh, and that they have neither scales nor feathers, but fur, which grows upon their heads and in other odd places. Otherwise, they are not so different from me. Four limbs. Two eyes. A head. Blood that runs red, like that in my own veins.

I wonder if he thinks of me, or if he even knows of me. He may not even have known Mother’s true nature. It’s doubtful that he did. Mother, like her siblings, must find a way to lie, to lie with a human. I understand that much, but it doesn’t keep my curiosity in check. I don’t know how she met him, or how she chose him. I don’t know whether he might have loved her, in her human form. Mother has no time to tell such stories. I am lucky she brought me to live in the aerie at all. I could not expect to be so blessed as to hear from her the story of my birth.

If I could meet my father, perhaps I could explain to him how wonderful my life has been, thanks to Mother. I could show him how much better dragon kindred are than base humanity. I could try to understand why he hates us, so that I could show him that his hate is wrong and ill-founded. Then, once I convinced him, we could travel the world together, showing the humans the wrongness of their beliefs and convincing them to give in to the dragons. Mother would be proud of me. Grandfather, too, I think, for furthering his directive.

If I could do all of that, well, someone might notice me. That would be nice. I am blessed, that much is true. My mother is Volphyret. I am dragon kindred. I am better than a human will ever be, and unlike others among my siblings, my mother chose me to come live in her aerie. Here, I can live a life unmolested by the hate of humanity, surrounded by others like me. It is more than many could ask for.

And yet… When I think of my father, and I wonder whether he thinks of me, I feel something like regret. I have Mother, in a way, but she is never here. She does not hold me or tell me she cares about me. I only know that she does, through her actions. There are those in the aerie, dragon kindred born to dragon kindred, who have true parents of their own. They have a mother and a father who hold them and love them.

I suppose it is jealousy, not regret, which fills me at times like this. I have so much, but something in my nature forces me to want more. I don’t know if that’s the human or the dragon in me. I’d like to think it’s the human. It’s easy to blame all my weaknesses on the weaker half of my lineage.

But maybe it’s not either half. Maybe it’s not that which came to me by my parents, but just… me. Maybe I’m the weak one. I’m the one who lies on the edge of the aerie, looking down at the world below and wondering what it would be like to be down among the humans. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I jumped. My arms are something like Mother’s front legs. They are feathered, like the wings of a bird. I can use them to glide, if not to truly fly, like mother.

If I leaped from the edge of the aerie, could I slow my fall enough for it to matter? Or would I plummet down to my death, smashed into a smear upon the floor? I don’t know the answer. I am afraid to ask one of the older kindred, who might know. Then again, they might not. I don’t know that any of them have left the aerie since Mother brought them here.

Perhaps someday, when I’m feeling braver, or more foolish, or both, I will simply take the leap. There might be no other way to know: to know whether I could survive the fall, yes, but also to know more of humanity, and what drives their fear and hate. If I could understand it, maybe, just maybe, I could abolish it.

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