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A Story by Kittyluvver. Special thanks to Luster RainWing for the use of Picket.

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He will come for you, Juliet,

and in his wings soft storms will ride

and wither summer in his pride

for stories twist and stories bend

but you’ll soon know how yours will end.

.

There she was, tragically beautiful in every sense, for beauty shone from beneath her scales and tragedy stalked in her wingbeats. She was not just beautiful, but too beautiful, in that terrible way that lets you know for certain that bad things must happen to her, if only to restore order to the world. She was lovely, dewy-eyed and gentle-winged, but lovely not in a good way at all; not in a way that draws admiration, but rather in the way that invites bitterness and hate. For she was beautiful, and she was innocent, and we all know that such a dragoness cannot live. She must be torn down, she must be destroyed.

So perhaps it was to be expected that Juliet the RainWing had no friends. Perhaps it was to be expected that this misty spring evening found her walking home alone, her lilac wings furled tight as flowerbuds, in unspoken harmony with the tender, sprouting green of new life all around her. Sunset’s colors blossomed across the sky and across her muted scales, dusky pink fading into the cloud-kissed sorrow of twilit mauve, palest lavender ghosting across the mournful droop of slender tail and regal neck. She walked alone, with no need to hold her emotions off her hide, and so it was that Juliet’s scales were stained with loneliness.

Loneliness; the most indelible pain. For there are certain dragons in the world who are never destined to have their own voice, who instead become dustbins for all the collective hate, anguish, and emotional refuse of others. And so it was that our little RainWing heroine, through some peculiar accident of fate, had become one of those dragons. So it was that her loneliness strengthened those around her, made them feel accepted. Her pain purified them, lent truth to their illusions of strength. Her awkwardness made them charismatic. Her invisibility granted them color. No matter who you were, you could take comfort in that you were always, somehow, a little happier than Juliet. For Juliet was beautiful, too beautiful. Juliet had to be cast away, ignored, silenced until even she forgot her own beauty.

Quiet as fear the sun winked out between the trees. One by one, as if on cue, a host of glowing orange streetlamps flickered on all along the edges of the street. The slender RainWing’s soft tread made no sound against the manicured lawn, even as her lamplit shadow flared out and quavered across the green expanse of University Commons. She walked on tiptoe, balancing easily on the balls of her feet with a dancer’s effortless grace - not because she was afraid of being heard, but by the sheer force of habit. Step, step, heel-toe, heel-toe, again. Juliet had made this solitary walk dozens of times, in autumn, winter, now in spring, and she knew every step by heart as if it were only another dance routine.

Lush grass transitioned into soft gravel, then to concrete pavement underfoot, and yet through it all Juliet’s tread remained as light as a cat’s. She walked swiftly and silently, as if making a conscious effort to leave the peace of the gathering dusk unbroken. It had become a habit for her; being quiet, being invisible. Unseen by all but the night-birds, she walked past pool by golden pool of flickering lamplight, heading up towards the undergraduate dormitories on the nearest hill. Now a night wind was picking up, the lingering bite of March seemingly unaware of the calendar arrival of spring. A wintry breeze pinned Juliet’s limp ruff flat against the scales of her neck. For any regular denizen of Mountia this cold would have been nothing remarkable, but Juliet was not yet accustomed to the subalpine climate as opposed to the heady wetness of the forests she called home. She shivered a little and wished that she had a jacket, the cold putting an extra sense of urgency in her stride as she made for towards the sliding-glass doors of the dormitory and the promise of light and warmth beyond.

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