Akazha had been slipping through the mud and the muck of swamps and the stench of dead towns. She had wrapped herself in dun and denim, old rags of clothing and layers of dusty, bland cloth. It was the sort of thing that many people were wearing, people that wanted to survive and get by and didn’t really have time to worry, right now, about fashion.
She’d covered herself up from head to toe – it was coming on winter, and she was in the North, so it raised no eyebrows and brought no questions, save one particularly handsy would-be mayor who ripped her veil of and stared at her ears, as if expecting them to be pointed. She ducked her head and didn’t look at people in the face when she met them, just mumbled that she could work if there was food.
There was sometimes work. More rarely was there food. Everyone was hurting, and everyone was scared. She did what she could, and didn’t stay too long. “I don’t like to be around people,” she’d say. “I don’t want to be any trouble.” Any place that could spare a little food for her, well, they could only spare a little, and she didn’t want them to start asking questions.
She wrapped the old clothes around herself like a mask, kept her head down and made no trouble. She was just trying to get by. They were all trying to get by.
She hadn’t meant to fight the monster, but she’d been in Fairview for less than a day, and she could already tell he was bad news. He was hurting the people. He was hurting the kids.
She stood up to her full height and let her colors show. Green and red, blue and yellow; her scales and her skin were all the shades of the rainbow and some never seen in nature.
They’d kill her, the villagers would, or drive her off. She hadn’t had a proper meal in months, and she’d been hoping this would be different.
Akazha stretched, feeling the rags around her tear off, and let her true colors show.
Written to today’s Thimbleful Thursday prompt, “Show One’s True Colors.”
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