Attempting to fight, and losing, at the cost of protecting something she held dear. Crushed, she is left to pick up the pieces. Age 10. WANRING: DEPRESSING THEMES. ACTS OF VIOLENCE

There wasn’t a time she could remember being in so much pain. Her stomach was screaming, along with all the muscles and bones in her body, the parts of her she didn’t know could hurt.

“S’mine! I found it!” Her little voice quakes as a shudder overwhelms her. She is so tiny, feels so tiny.

The group of older children sneer at her, and the eldest of them laughs in her face. She resists the urge to vomit while tears stain her cheeks, stinging the open wounds there. Deitra is tiny, defeated.

“If you want it,” she hears him say, and grey eyes are wide with fright, watching him and fright turns to horror, “go get it.”

The small object is thrown, and bruised little legs take off running, breaking into a sprint at a speed she did not think she could muster. It is, adrenaline, coursing through her. But, she won’t make it. She’s not fast enough. Not strong enough. It hits the ground, the object, there is only a feeble cry that signifies it’s landing. She falls into her knees before it, the small, broken body. She tells herself that it wouldn’t have made it through the night, anyway. That she wouldn’t have been able to help it, anyway. She wasn’t a beastcrafter apprentice, or anyone with that sort of knowledge. But, it was small and fragile and she had wanted to try.

A defeated sob comes from the girl’s lips, she hunches over it and holds in the wail. But the tears? They fall freely.

The group is on her again in moments, she feels a foot press to her back, digging into the sore and bruised muscles. She’s shoved, but she is stubborn in the fact that she does not fall. She is stubborn in the fact that she’s launching herself at the closest one, her tiny fists clenched and swinging. She hits once in the jaw. He cries out. There’s blood.

She doesn’t remember anything beyond that, aside from the pain.

She wakes up in the Infirmary. Fostermother is crying. Fosterfather is pale and sickly looking, but angry. She doesn’t tell them what happened. The scene they found likely explained enough. Or, left more questions. She never answers what happened.

She was determined, in that moment, to never feel this way again.

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.