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Spectrum, Book The First, Heartborn Chronicles – by Amy
Spectrum willed her heart to still as she peeked out of the sparse thicket. A small Tillke dragon was timidly creeping into the light, his green eyes darting around and changing shades rapidly. His six-winged body was changing color almost as quickly to match his surroundings, and sometimes Spectrum had to concentrate to see where the dragon started and the underbrush stopped. At the moment he was a dusty brown to match the forest floor.
The size of his wings and the length of his tail told her he was about three years old, and the shining green eyes signified that he was male. With his age he probably had a mate nearby.
The Tillke spotted the pile of bitterrum seeds she had laid out, and tentatively sidled up to the snack, using two of his sparkling eyes to keep watch, and the lower two to pay attention to the food.
His two tongues flickered out and brought one seed at a time to his scaly lips. His head was about the size of Spectrum’s, though he didn’t have her frenzied hair. If he stretched out he would be about her length, but on all fours he only came to her knees, she estimated.
Spectrum could never describe the feeling that came over her when she was with dragons. It was not a fantastic thrill, nor was it a awed fear. It was more or less a calm respect, and a confusing feeling of ultimate belonging.
The one time she had tried to describe the feeling to her mother she had been laughed out of the house. “Oh, Spec, you are so ridiculous! To think that you of all plain girls could tame or even ride a dragon is fantasy! You have no special talents, I’ll be the first to say!” Her mother had cackled. So Spectrum had pretended that the mockery hadn’t stung, and resolved to never tell anyone again. Except Brin.
The Tillke raised his snout in the air, sniffed deeply, then turned in her direction. His nostrils flared, and Spec knew she was spotted.
She quickly willed that hidden corner of her heart and mind to activate, and she straightened where she crouched. Calm, beautiful music flowed from her heart into the air around her, and immediately the Tillke started to purr. Spec also felt her heart purring and thrumming. The strange inspired feeling coursed through her, gently infiltrating her veins and her brain. Soon she could see the music, the sad notes a beautiful bleeding blue.
The joyous strings painted the air with bright yellows and oranges. The graceful, relaxing parts were shimmering greens. And lastly, the passionate and emotional-filled pieces were flaming reds and pinks.
The raw music surrounded the two, veiling the outside world. Now it was just Spectrum and the entranced dragon. Spec herself felt entranced.
She remembered Aunty Grace saying, “Of all the things that enchant dragons, music is the strongest. That is why all musical instruments were burned, for witches and warriors with evil hearts used them to control and influence the dragons. They were quelled by the few Taltnar warrior dragons, the lords of all dragons. The Taltnar themselves make music, and it cannot enchant them.”
Spec had been scared of her talent since them. But today is different. Today I turn fifteen, and it is well time I master my unnatural blessing…or curse.
The Tillke was still purring, eyes wide, scaly ears pricked forward.
Spec stood gradually, still crafting the beautiful notes. The Tillke’s trance flickered for barely a second, then refocused. Spec slowly lowered her hood, and then she knew she had the Tillke’s full loyalty. His green eyes flashed as they darted over her colorful hair.
Spec smiled as she watched the creature. It was so innocent, so enraptured and excited.
She could see her rainbow hair reflected in his eyes. Her silver eyes flashed back at her.
The passion was flowing through her, and she knew she was quaking from the emotions.
Overwhelmed, she stopped the music and yanked her hood back on.
In a flash the dragon was gone, and only the shrunken pile of bitterrum seeds evidenced his presence. Spec stood gasping, heart feeling shredded and raw. It always felt like closing a door on someone she loved and hated, when she stopped the music. I must practice more, or I will always feel like I’m drowning in my talent. I must learn to master it, lest it master me.
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