I'm Done With Being Calm!

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Here's the moment we've all been waiting for *plays dramatic music in the background* Norah finally meets her family for the first time after her Choosing Day.

    Clarika screams into my ear, squeezing against my aching ribs for dear life. I grind my teeth together, holding onto the lip of the saddle in attempts to not twist around and backhand my sister for killing my ears. It feels unusual for me to feel so aggressive, especially towards my family. I spoke to Mother in such a rude and disrespectful tone, one I had never spoken to her in before. She must be just as shocked as I am.

Rima pants heavily, huffing with each beat of her wings as we twist and turn out of the way of oncoming meteors, each one either the size of Rima or bigger and engulfed in flames that burn my skin when we get too close. Part of her is getting as much amusement and revenge out of this as I am. But her hatred towards my family is stronger because she doesn't know them like I do, she only knows the pain in my heart. She doesn't know the lullabies and stories my parents used to sing to me as a child when I had nightmares. Or the picnics in the park on a sunny day, the ones where Clarika and Father would have competitions on who could build the largest ice sculpture.

"Lean right!" I say it for my sister who has never been anywhere near a dragon, much less ride one.

Rima folds her wings to her chest, looping around another falling rock that flies over us. And instead of Clarika leaning with Rima, she does the opposite while her death grip somehow tightens. But at least since our very abrupt and vertical take off a few seconds ago, my sister has stopped screaming and now yelps at our turns.

We soar into the clouds, my heart ready to leap out of my chest. I've flown through clouds before, many of them since bonding with my dragon, but these set me on edge. Every movement, every dragon we pass has my eyes snapping to them in a heartbeat.

Suddenly, the clouds break, revealing the cotton candy sky raining with fiery stars. Frantically, like my racing heart, my eyes dart side to side, trying to find the meteor that has made mages and dragons riders work together. It doesn't take long.

Rima sees it too and switches from a vertical flight to diagonal one. Her wings beat harder, pushing against the wind with adrenaline. She focuses on the meteor three times her size, the city destroyer, instead of the mage on her back.

Through the beating wind, my sister gasps as we near the falling rock lit up in flames. It's heat pulses against my red and white armor, now smudged in ash, dirt, and blood. I may have been trained to be a warrior, a leader for armies, but having blood that isn't my own splotched on me twists my stomach, causing my throat to clench. I'm just a kid.

Rima levels, angling her wings to keep a steady decline with the meteor, as we circle the giant rock. Cedric is already there on his silver dragon, Blade, and Father sitting behind him. Frosty white ice shoots out from Father's hand like a dragon's flame while the other hand stays looped around the Headmaster's waist to stay balanced. Other riders are already on the scene as well, probably the ones who initially discovered the meteor.

We circle around Cedric who gives us a long glance before motioning with his hands for us to group with the others. I nod, leaning with Rima in a sharp bank.

Quickly, Rima falls behind the line of frost dragons, varying in all sorts of colors from a deep blue to a pinkish red. Other dragons are still wary of Rima and happily adjust to the formation to give her more than enough room to fly.

The largest of the dragons fly in front, letting their ice take the brunt of the heat while the others have better chances of their ice to touch the charred rock. My sister and the rest of the mages work quickly with their ice abilities, spraying out flames of frost from their hands.

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