It had been a long time since Morgaine had felt this type of itch. She had experienced it only once in her life and the resulting mayhem had been devastating. Morgaine had noticed her itch a short time ago and knowing the consequences was trying her best to stay calm and not allow the fever to take control.

It was an itch that once noticed, slowly spread, increasing in pressure until it overtook every aspect of a dragon’s daily life. And for the duration of that possession it ran like a raging fever until it reached a crescendo and passed. Just like the build-up of air pressure with a threatening thunderstorm that builds and builds until the storm breaks leaving that eerie deathly quiet once it has passed.

Preventing the itch from spreading to the rest of the clan whilst trying to keep the humans unaware was taxing Morgaine’s resolve. She had instigated quarrels between herself and the other dragons to allow herself space to not be examined closely. She had even quarrelled and with her own human, Jase.

Yesterday’s change of colour on her front legs, had heralded the next stage of the itch. It required immediate action as her overall colour was getting dimmer and duller. Jase had broken their silence to ask her again and again if she was well. The colour change usually started around the head and hands. Masking the changes as best she could, she started a last round of quarrels to make the fly out to the uninhabited island much easier to stage. On the island Morgaine could roost and wait out the itch’s fever storm and let it rage and then pass without affecting the rest of the clan or their humans.

Morgaine now sat crouched on all four legs, wings furled, huddled in on herself. Her thoughts whirled, as she tested different outcomes in her mind. Thoughts that she would hopefully never have to share with her clan and human. The current situation for the dragons was still tenuous with so many of the partnerships between dragons and humans at the new and fragile stage. Could the relationships withstand this new knowledge about the dragons? Would this new home and new life be snatched from them once the dragon’s physiology was made public?

Morgaine’s bond with Jase was strong but it was untested. Their bond was the most advanced. Not everyone in the clan was settled. Some partnerships were struggling. Some of the human half’s were not coping and it was taking the whole clan to assist in strengthening the bonds for those partnerships.

And everything in this world was all so new, all of it at such a critical phase of the clan’s plan to assimilate that she was baffled why she had started to itch. With the plans being made, reviewed and broken every day, not all the elements for a world revelation were aligned. All of these elements needed to be in place and secured before a dragon could have a successful shedding of skin.

The shed and renewal of a dragon’s skin left the dragon exposed and vulnerable even if only for a short period of time. This was a time when a partnership’s bonds were tested on a physical level. The itch started under the skin and spread out. It was not entirely an unpleasant sensation. The colour change and patches appeared first in the head, and then the back and arms, and finally the tail, as the different areas got closer to actually shedding. Typically, dragon’s started shedding at their heads, with the progression going down the body, limbs, and finally tail. Everything came off, including the skin, over their ears, and the spikes along the back.

A good shed left an almost intact shell of a dragon. To a dragon it was a natural process, to other species the dragons had encountered that shell once dried was impenetrable and much valued as the armour of kings.

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