Fight or Flight

That person is planning to kill my grandfather

Fight or flight. Which option would you go for with extra skills?

I shifted, testing the gravel’s solidity. Disrupted by the rains, but still stable enough for running. No one had spoken since the accusation cut through the crowded square. Instead eyes narrowed, mothers clutched children, and men gripped their weapons. I was instantly aware of the extent of those. This is not what my day needed. I’d almost reached her.

I bowed low, spreading my arms. “Honorable sir, there must be some mistake. I know not your grandfather.”

A hand snatched the hood from my head. I cringed as it was yanked back. Sunlight warming my face’s scales beyond the normal heat from my core. Straightening, I kept my arms extended. Not that they’d believe I was harmless even unarmed.

“See,” the first man cried. “See!” The silence broke, and the crowd began to hum.

My ears twitched as I stepped backward. The man behind me didn’t budge and I bumped against him. Instinct made me breathe in. Air slid over my tongue and filled my pouch. The desire to burn was intense. Fight or flight isn’t a human reaction alone.

I trembled until the first sword was drawn. The scrape of leather and metal was unmistakable. Flexing my pouch’s veil, the air and heat mixed turning to flame. A blaze erupted from my mouth fire dancers would envy, and I ran.

Glancing back, I saw her at the square’s edge. Female scales were less notable. “Tonight,” I mouthed. She nodded stepping back into the shadows.

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