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The hatchery was quiet,  I  couldn’t think of how  any  dragon had gotten into  my   royal  hatchery; it made no sense  I  had guards posted all around the hatchery. The only way past the guards would be to fight them or to drug them like that  insufferable Webs did. At least he was gone, and his family was punished accordingly.  

I curled around the egg I’d watched for almost a whole year now. Tonight, should be the night she hatched. “ L i ttle one, I’ll keep you safe as long as I live,”  I flashed, watching the light pulse form her egg.  

I looked around the hatchery,  there must be a secret way in, how else could anyone get in?  I thought getting up, clutching my daughter's egg close to my chest. I looked at the eggs of my sons, why did I have to have so many useless sons, they were just going to be generals like my brother.   

I swam over to the statue of Orca that stood in the center of the hatchery. I still remember the day she asked to have it be placed in the hatchery. She was so excited;  it was quite odd.  

I wiped away the algae that clung to her name on the pedestal of the statue. Her statues were gorgeous they were all over the kingdom admired by all. It was a shame Orca died so young, at my claws. “ I’m sorry, ” I flashed to Orca’s statue, I know it wasn’t alive, but it was as close to talking to her as possible.  

She was my only heir, but later tonight that would change, I looked at Anemone’s egg and smiled. I sat down looking at the orca statue.  “I did this all wrong. You're going to rule forever, aren't you, Mother? You should thank one can stop you now.”  

What do you mean by that?  I thought. Did she know that all my heirs would be killed  off ?  I wondered gazing at her statue.  

“I’m not going to rule forever, I’ll have a living daughter one day , today ,” I flashed at Orca’s statue.   

The flashing of Anemone’s egg pulsed faster and faster. A small crack appeared on the top of the egg.  It's happening!  I thought excitedly watching more cracks appear on the surface of the egg.  Slowly a small  pale  dragon poked out of the egg and turned her beautiful gaze to me.   

But the dragonet didn’t look right, she was unusually  pale ,  and  her wings were pink.   

 I scrambled  to curl my claws around  daughter as she pushed away the last of the egg shell , and  I held the little pink dragonet into my talons. I couldn’t help but think the last heir of mine whom I had touched with my talons also died by them.   

I was sure tears sparked in my eyes but the water flowing through the hatchery carried them away. I let out a muffled choked sob and  cradled  the little dragonet closer to my chest.  

I will protect you with every breath in my body, if you want to be queen I'll step down and I if can’t... ” I thought for a while, what did come after we died? “ I’ll let you kill me, ” I flashed, the little dragonet-  Anemone.  

Anemone l ooked up at me and seemed to mimic my scales by flashing a distorted version of what I said. I laughed slightly, my normally empty and hollow chest now filled with  happiness , I was ready to protect this dragonet with everything I had in me.   

I’ll keep you safe dear, I won’t make the same mistake as I did with your older sister, ” I flashed and started to laugh when the little dragonet  mimicked  me until she was done.  

She had almost flashed every word right but didn’t the only word she got right was the word mistake.   

Mistake, Orca’s voice roared at me.  

Mistake, Gill’s voice said  disapprovingly .  

Mistake, Web’s voice hissed.  

Mistake, the voice of my mother  before  she died.  

One aging Anemone flash ed so m ething. “ M istake.