My mother and I stood outside our cottage gazing at the sky. Wait. I suppose before I begin I ought to introduce myself. I am Rowen Fire-sky. I have brown, shoulder length hair, bright blue eyes and I am 4'9" (I know, I’m short). Oh and I am 13 years old. That's me. Well, now on with the story. High above, 16 griffins flew, soaring on the wind currents.
"Mother, is it a Choosing?" I asked. A Choosing was when the griffin riders took 2-8 young griffins to choose riders. I had always wanted to be a griffin rider but only boys and noble girls or girls who paid a large sum were allowed a chance.
"I can't tell," my mother, Amaryllis said. "Go fetch your father's telescope." I darted inside and grabbed the telescope, then, ran back outside and handed the telescope to her mother, praying it was a Choosing.
After peering through the telescope for a moment, my mother said, "Yes. It’s a Choosing. Go get your brothers from the field. If you hurry you can go watch the Choosing."
I sprinted off to our family’s fields, cursing the dress I had to wear when I nearly tripped over it. When I reached my brothers, I yelled, “Nathan, Jack, did you see the griffins? Mom says it’s a Choosing! Come on, hurry!” Nathan looked amused.
“Are you sure, sis?”
“Yes,” I said, practically shouting. I didn’t want to miss the griffins!
“Okay, okay,” Nathan said. “Go get the horses. Come on, Jack,” he added to my brother. “Help me put the tools away. I turned and darted off yet again, this time towards our barn. We only has 2 riding horses, so I would have to share with one of my brothers. I got the two horses out of their stalls and quickly saddled and bridled them, making sure to put the larger of the saddles on Nathan’s horse. Last time I had put the wrong saddle on the wrong horse, I had to re-do it and that would take too long today. Mounting Nathan’s horse with the other horse’s reins held securely in my hand, I trotted off towards the house. When I go to the front walkway, I pulled the horses back into a walk and gestured for Nathan and Jack to get on.
“Come on!” I shouted impatiently. Nathan and Jack just grinned in amusement, but my mom said, “Patience, Rowan."
“It’s alright, Mom,” Jack said. “She’s just excited.” Nathan then walked over and swung himself up behind me, reaching around me to grab the reins. Jack also took the other horse’s reins from me and mounted. As soon as Jack was seated, my brothers kicked their horses and we took off at a fast canter.
We stopped our horses just outside the town square.
"Hey sis," Nathan said. "Go sign us in."
"Ok." I said. I walked over to a tall griffin rider who was standing behind a large wooden table.
"I'm here to sign in my brothers for the Choosing," I said. “Is this the right place?”
"Yep. Here's the sign-in sheet," said the man. I signed my brothers up and was about to walk away when the man said, "You know, you should sign yourself up. You have an air about you the griffins would like.” I sighed. "Unfortunately, I’m not a noble and I don’t have any money." I said.
“That’s too bad,” the man said. “You'd make a good Rider.” I could feel his eyes on my back as I walked away to join the crowd gathered around the raised wooden platform that doubled as a stage.
On the platform stood 8 griffins: 1 grey, 2 grey-gold, 4 bronze and 1 rare gold. Then,to the cheers of the crowd, 30 young men, ages ranging from 12 to 18 filed onto the stage. They stood in front of the griffins. I knew what was supposed to happen next: a griffin would step forward and begin the ceremony by Choosing a Rider. But that didn't happen. For a moment, the griffins just stood there. Confused murmurs began to circulate through the crowd. Suddenly, the gold griffin lunged forward, pushing through the line of men and boys. It landed in front of me. The crowd backed away, forming a semi-circle around me. The griffin bowed deeply to me.
Wait, what? That was the beginning of the Choosing ceremony. I was shocked into holding still for a moment, but I somehow managed to bow back. The griffin held out its right wing tip and I took it with my left hand, too shocked to do anything except respond as everyone who was Chosen by a griffin did. A griffin Choosing anyone who wasn’t on the stage had never happened before. The griffin then held out its left wing tip. The left wing tip signified pure trust. I shakily took it with my right hand and we bowed together, completing the ritual. We were then beckoned onto the stage and I walked up dizzily, leaning on the griffin. My griffin. I was still in shock. Then, as if our stepping onto the stage was a cue, all the other griffins leaped off the stage and Chose girls from the crowd.
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Call me Dawn!
~Queen of Books~
"Be a voice, not an echo." - Unknown