Sorry this is a day late, but I was out of town, so I’m posting the Monday Writing Small challenge story on Tuesday. Better late than never, right? :-)
CHALLENGE: It was his/her first…
(I managed to use the challenge phrase twice in this story.)
It was his first thought, although it came as an urgent incentive rather than a word.
Move. Fight. Escape!
He threw his head to the side and kicked with his legs. They thrust out a short distance, then struck something solid.
His heart pounded in fear, and a cry built in his throat. He released it, then called out again.
“Hush,” a voice soothed from nearby, quiet but with a power that overcame his cries and stilled his thudding heart. “Do not fear.”
He relaxed, but nothing arose to release him. He cried out again, begging for help.
“I cannot. This is a task you must do on your own. Prove yourself your father’s son.”
He reached out to the hardness that surrounded him and pushed and scratched and pounded with claws and teeth and wings.
Finally, a small piece fell away. He concentrated all of his attention on it, working to make it larger. The substance gave way with a sharp crack, and he tumbled out onto sun-warmed rock.
He lay still for a long moment, recovering from his labors, the sun’s heat drying his damp scales, then he raised his head.
Beside him, the curved halves of his speckled gray egg rocked gently amidst scattered bits of shell. A second egg rested nearby. Unbroken, it twitched and rolled fitfully.
His mother lay close, her immense, dark-scaled body curled around the shallow depression in which he sprawled, her wings folded tight against her sides. Her mahogany eyes glittered as she watched him, then she switched her gaze to the shuddering egg. With a quick slice of one claw, she opened it.
A moment later, his sister emerged from the broken shards and began to cry out in hunger.
A shadow fell over them, and he looked up in time to see his sire glide low over the mountain ledge. Something dropped from his claws as he soared past, and the bloody carcass of some small creature flopped to the ground in front of his sister.
She pounced and swallowed it in two quick gulps.
His sire swooped by again, and a second object dropped. Not a carcass this time; something alive. It landed in front of him with an angry hiss, scrambled to its feet, and spun on him with bared teeth.
“You must kill to eat, my son.” His father’s voice held an unmistakable ring of challenge.
It was his first clue that it would take more than fighting his way into the world to prove himself to his sire.