Chapter Two:

2000 Words
Charlotte’s POV: “Wow dearie, you really have a way with the scissors.” The elderly lady remarks whilst smiling into the salon window. She comes in once a month for a trim and a blow wave, which I gladly offer her in exchange for her delightful chatter. Cynthia is a talker and never knows when to stop, but she is one of the only actual conversations I manage to get in during the week. I suppose you could call me a bit introverted, but it is only because I have been victim to some harsh words here in this human land. It isn’t easy being born of pure dragon blood and then cast away due to having a birth defect from my dragon home to live amongst humans. They have no idea that magical creatures even exist, but here I am. Apparently, I need to be here amongst my “own kind”. My chest dips a little in sadness at the abandonment from my birth kind and how alone I feel here amongst people who cannot even understand me. “I am glad you like it, Cynthia.” I reply, fluffing up the edges of her curls and adding spray onto them for a bounce. “I say, dearie, have you ever considered cutting your hair or trying a less bold color? You have beautiful curls and maybe a brunette will suit you better than that bright red?” Cynthia mentions, watching me with glimmering eyes through the reflective mirror. I chuckle out at her antics. She always goes through the same array of suggestions every time she comes for her snip and washes. I was waiting for her hint at changing my hair. “Cynthia, you know this is my natural hair. I don’t want to ruin it by dying it any other color.” I reply, rolling my eyes out and smiling. “You cannot fool me. I can see a false red when I see one. My mother was a red-haired woman, you know? A fine one she was too. Her hair was straight and thick like a horse’s mane and it always shone with a strawberry hue. Your hair, on the other hand, is shockingly red and cannot be natural.” Cynthia goes at me again, her eyes wandering around the salon as she stands up. She has always been brash in what she says, almost even annoyingly honest at times, but this quality of hers soothes me. Nobody has practiced truthfulness with me in a very long time and Cynthia feels like a breath of fresh air. “You are absolutely right, Cynthia. What a fine eye you have!” I respond, helping her walk to the pay desk. She only smiles and nods at me, before I turn and head to clean up my workspace in the salon. I look around the shop, noticing everyone busy with their hair-dye, clippers and make-up. Working here is the last thing on earth I actually wanted to do, but what choice do I have? I look at my reflection in the mirror and take in my whole frame. My fire-colored hair and yellow eyes are a tale-old sign of my dragon blood passed down from my mother. Even the dotted freckles on my skin and my thick lashes speak of the genetic trail from my father, but everything else is so unnatural to dragon kind. I sigh at the very petite frame looking back at me. This is so far from natural to the dragon-kind, who is tall, muscular, proud and daring in stance. I would just be weak according to them, hell, my own family, even my dearest sister, thinks I should rather spend my life in a foreign place, away from everything I know and love. “Coming, girl?” my colleague, Trish calls from her side of the salon. She is pointing at the clock on the wall, which means our shift at the salon has finally ended. I nod, smile and quickly pack away all my products and tools. Another day is done, just another who knows how many to go. “Char, would you like to come out with me and James to the club tonight? I heard it’s karaoke evening!” Trish exclaims dramatically making me giggle. She has been trying to get me to go to that damn club for weeks now. Apparently, I don’t go out enough and am her ultimate social task. “Trish…” I begin, but she rolls her eyes at me and stops me mid-sentence. “Oh, come on, Char! I know that tone of voice. How many times are you going to mope about in this town? You’re a uniquely gorgeous girl and I bet some lucky fella will be more than happy to have you on his arm!” Trish begins, almost pleading with me with her whole body. I may not be a dragon, but I can smell the desperation oozing from her skin. How do I explain to this human that I am not interested in dating a human man? In the dragon land, we are blessed with mates and I am somehow still holding onto a fraction of hope that I may have one. “Trish, I promise I will go out with you one day, but not tonight.” I say, adding as much clarity and finality in my tone. Trish seems upset and is huffing and puffing about as we walk on the streets. Even the town folk passing by are eyeing her weirdly as she swings her hands up in the air. She is mumbling something, but I have learned to zone out when she becomes like this. I appreciate Trish and all her attempts, hell she is the only person who has shown me kindness and time, but I just cannot get my head around making connections with the people here because they will never be allowed to see the true me or even know the true me. “Char, are you even listening to me? You always promise!” Trish moans again. I stop walking and face my friend. “Trish, please just stop. Please, just please.” I beg, closing my eyes and shaking my head. I wish she would sometimes just let it go. I open my eyes and look at her eyes that are full of pity. “Fine, but you owe me a milkshake tomorrow after work then.” Trish sighs, pulling me in for a quick hug. I pat her back and stiffly return the hug that is meant to make me feel better but only makes me feel awkward. I know I seem dramatic, but touch just really isn’t my thing considering everybody has just sent me away and paid me no attention. “Yes, I promise.” I giggle out, making Trish giggle too. She loves milkshakes and uses them as bartering tools almost daily. Hell, I think I buy her three milkshakes a week. We continue walking, eventually crossing the road and entering into the green-grassed park. We always take this route to the bus stop because it is so scenic. I love how the grass is always perfectly cut and blankets the whole surface around us. There are so many blossoms that are peeping through the leaves on the bushes and even the trees are drooping and greeting us as we walk past. My absolutely favorite part is the dam, where I always stop and feed the ducks bread. Trish doesn’t know, but I usually come here in my own time and just sit and read. She would be offended that I have time to do that but not go out with her, so I choose not to tell her. “Hey, look at that!” We hear a little boy say to his father by the bench. He is pointing his finger upwards and into the sky. Both Trish and I stop to look at what the young boy is pointing towards. I expect to look up and see the exhaust trails of an airplane, maybe even a bird, but what I see instead makes my eyes widen in realization. “Wow, well I will be damned. Girl, we haven’t seen one of those around here in about ten or more years!” Trish squeals at me. My eyes are still fixed on the sky and my body feels glued to the grass beneath my shoes. I watch the sky eagerly and take in the orange hue shining and dancing within the clouds. Similar to an airplane trail, the orange hue glimmers in a sort of sheen and bursts through the blue sky in swirling patterns. By this stage, everyone around me has stopped to take a look at how gorgeous the sky looks. All the humans gasp and cheer at what they believe to be a type of aurora light, but I stare at the sky knowing the truth. There is only one reason the sky could or would look like that. There is a dragon nearby and they have just flown over this area. But who and why? “I have to go now.” I whisper, my hands trembling with unanswered fear. I shouldn’t be so nervous, but why are there dragons here? I am the only dragon that lives in the human land, so are they here for me? I hope not! The only thing worse than being stuck with the humans is having to face my past life again. I don’t even wait for Trish to respond before I very quickly walk in the direction of my house. I need to get home right now! “Char?” I hear Trish calling from the distance, but I don’t stop to answer her. My feet hit against the pathway in frantic motions, each step becoming quicker and quicker as I make my way closer to my house. I can see the red door coming up closer and closer, but with each inch closer my heart fills with dread. The orange sky is still shining and beaming down at me, almost teasing my soul. I lower my fingers into my purse and shakily pull them out to open the door to my house. I hardly get the key to turn, but when I finally enter and close it behind me, I finally feel my heart rest. There is something about being inside your own home that can ease even the most worried souls. I fling my shoes off at the base of the staircase and hang my purse on the hook just in front of me. I flick the switch just next to the hook and take a deep breath in, allowing my body to fill with much-needed oxygen to cool the embers of my soul. “Hello, Charlotte.” I hear a voice from behind me. It is coming from the seating area and it is a voice I know all too well. Every part of my skin erupts into goosebumps and a cold shiver runs down my spine, as I slowly turn around and face the familiar yellow eyes waiting for me. I can sense warmth from her aura and I can see her tall frame slowly lifting from the seat and coming closer to me. She is everything I am not. She is proud, daring, tall, dominant and regal against my human-like features. She may have been involved in some of my best memories as a child, but she too abandoned me when I needed her most. She has never said a bad word to me, but her silence when I was sent away formed some of my worst nightmares. She was always the favorite child because she had a dragon when I didn’t. She had every feature needed when I didn't. She was what they dreamed their child to be, while I wasn't anything they wished for. “Hello sister” I hardly breathe out.
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