'Someone very wise once said to me "Life's a bitch and then you die." They were right. Only the dying part seems much harder than I'd expected.
' "I am Ferrath." Those were the first words I uttered when I hatched. The words I shared with my chosen. "I love you," I said. The sad thing is, I still do. I truly believe I always will - I think that's how we dragons are meant to be. Possibly a design flaw.
'I hear word of her through clutch-mates sometimes. Dribbles of information, tid-bits and gossip. I crave anything I can get that has to do with her. I found a piece of clothing with her scent on it and kept it with me for so long that it grew dirty, torn and had to be thrown away. Part of me rejoices when I hear of her unhappiness in one aspect of her life or another, part of me wishes her all the best because of the love I still hold for her.
'We were not right for one another. I can see that. I chose badly. Perhaps I should not have chosen at all...
'Perhaps this new dragon will be better for her. Oh, yes, she's bonded another. Did I mention that? I hear she's very happy. I wish her all the best. And I hope she dies a slow, painful death.
'I take solace in the fact that it's easier to bear now than it was when it happened. Though honestly, I'm not sure if the pain is receding or I'm just growing used to it. In either case, the difference is almost negligible. I crave death. I yearn for it. I have seen this kind of thing happen before between two people. One decides that they don't love the other any more. (A sudden announcement is the worst. One can prepare oneself when it's expected.) They leave. The person left has lost the meaning to their life, the point to their existence. Why go on? They will never love again. Whether they actually will or not, they have made up their mind. They rarely live long after that.
'With us dragons, it's a slightly different matter.
'A long time ago, when the place I was born was young and dragons were not nearly as common as they are today, a particular herb was discovered to have properties that prevented riderless dragons from ending their lives. You see, in their natural state, dragons from my home-world commit suicide if their rider is killed - or dies of old age, as dragons have a longer lifespan than humans. Once there was no longer a need for dragons to partake of this particular herb, it was discovered that the properties has become embedded into the dragons' eggs, and all hatchlings that came thereafter were 'crippled' in this manner. I am no different.
'And so, as you can surely imagine, my home-world holds no interest for me any more. I cannot be with her, I cannot think of her without pain (and if nothing changes I will think of her every moment for the rest of my life), and all I receive from the dragons and riders around me is pity and false sympathy. They all want to be the friend of the poor riderless dragon. And I can't take it any more.
'I didn't choose this path. It chose me; as it has chosen before me, and will choose in times yet to come. But whether it was laid before me by Fate, or Faranth, or Death Himself; I must now walk it with head held high. I must now choose whether to live or die, for although my body will not perish, my mind is in danger of being buried under the grief and the hatred and the horrible, horrible love.
'And so I leave. I leave my world, my clutch-mates, and her. Leave them far, far behind. To a new place, called Alskyr, and Calyeni Caverns. A place where dragons often live alone, or in bonded pairs, or groups. A place where I will be accepted as a dragon. Not as "that poor beast who lost her rider".
'Who knows. Perhaps I will find the company or - Fate forbid - even the love of another dragon. For I doubt that I could ever look upon the face of a human and be able to smile without my face cracking open to reveal the soul within.'