Zack and Kai were identical twins. They had identically dark coloured skin that contrasted with their blond hair. They were the same height, had the same smile and the same cheeky habits that drove their parents insane.
Their one differentiating characteristic was their green and blue eyes. Something that was exaggerated when they took on their dragon form. Kai was a light blue dragon with lighter blue wings. Zack was green, with longer legs and larger wings, despite a skinnier figure.
And although they looked similar, in some aspects, they were very different.
When their mother went back to work, Kai cried and cried. He wanted to go with his mother and refused the idea of staying alone with his father. Zack was a lot more chill, content to sit on the sofa and listen to his father’s stories.
Kai was a lot stronger than Zack, lifting twice his own weight without breaking a sweat.
Zack was faster. Despite Kai being more excited for his mother to come back from work, Zack reached her first. She lifted him into the air and held him on her side. From this new position, he stuck his tongue out at his twin.
Soon, they were ready to learn to fly. Their father talked about flying as if it was the end all be all of life. Like a dragon was only born to fly. This got both kids excited. But when Kai saw the other bigger dragons flying so high, he became squeamish.
Their father instructed them to go one and a time and asked who would go first. Zack volunteered, and Kai wasn’t about to argue. Zack took a running start from atop the castle roof. He jumped, flapped his wings and fell. His father caught him with ease.
“Very good. Try again.”
Zack didn’t even hesitate. He went again. And again. And by the fourth time, he was starting to get it.
“Well done!” their father was brimming with pride. “Okay, let’s land and let your brother have a go.”
Kai looked at Zack.
“Don’t worry,” Zack reassured. “It’s fun.”
The reassurance got Kai to jump, but unlike his brother, he froze. His father caught him with ease and a chuckle. “Don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe. Try again.” And he did. Again and again and again and again… but unlike Zack, he just couldn’t get the hang of it.
“It’s okay. It’ll come to you soon,” his father reassured, carrying Kai back home while Zack ran by their side.
The reassuring words did little when their mother came home. Zack told her about his flying ability. She seemed so proud, “Well done, Baby. What about you Kai?”
And Kai burst out into tears, not wanting to admit his failure. His mother hastily picked him up and rocked him, “Hey, hey, it’s okay. I didn’t fly on my first day either.” She shushed and rocked him some more. “I took a good few months.” She was exaggerating, but wanted him to feel safe in his abilities.
It worked, but only until the next day, when the twins were alone in the park.
“I’m a better flyer than you,” Zack teased, taking on his dragon form and circling Kai.
Kai grunted. “I’m stronger than you.”
Zack continued to circle him, showing off his wings. “So? Flying is the base of this society, Daddy said so.” He stood up on two feet and pointed up at the sky with his snout, “Look, they’re all flying! Can’t see anybody lifting things, can you?”
Kai growled, transforming and raising his own wings. “You’re just jealous cause this is the only thing you’re better at.”
Zack grinned, “It’s the only things that matters.”
Kai snipped at Zack’s tale with his teeth, and Zack flinched and whimpered. “Leave me alone.” Kai began to wonder off.
Zack followed Kai up the small hill. “Watch me, Kai,” he jumped and flew a little off the hill before landing ungracefully and rolling down.
Kai stared down at the ground. The hill was small and unintimidating, unlike the high walls of the castle. He thought this was a far better starting point. He jumped and flapped his wings and fell.
And having never landed without his father catching him, he rolled down the hill. He bent his ankle under his own weight and crashed into his brother.
Zack started laughing, but stopped when Kai began to cry.
“Kai?” Zack’s ears lowered, and he nuzzled his brother.
Kai continued to cry. He curled up on himself.
“Kai?” Zack repeated now on four feet. “Are you okay?”
Kai’z crying lessened. “My foot hurts.”
Zack sniffed at the foot and nuzzled it, making Kai whimper and cry some more.
“This is your fault!” Kai accused. “I want to fly.”
Zack looked guilty as he lowered his head.
“I want mummy,” he stood up but putting weight on his foot hurt and he fell down again in even more tears. The pain would subside in a couple of minutes, but you know how kids are. Kai was but a scared child, and Zack didn’t want to go get an adult out of fear of getting in trouble for teasing his brother.
Zack lay down next to Kai, putting a wing over him. “I’m sorry.”
Kai looked at Zack. “Go get mommy.”
Zack shook his head. “I’ve got you.” He reassured, nuzzling his brother. “I’m sorry. I’ll help you learn to fly as soon as I’m a little better, okay?”
Kai lowered his wings and nodded. “Okay.”
They sat under the hill for a little while, Zack cuddling Kai until the pain faded into nothingness. Then they both got up and went to play in the trees.