A New Life by Louise Wilford

There was little room to move. The outside world barely seeped through the edge of his cell. The need to escape filled his mind.

Twisting his body, he hacked again at the enclosure. Then, feeling his strength failing, he hacked again. And again.

At last he scored a jagged line down the leathery wall – a thread of golden light! He kicked once more with the spur on his heel. A triangle of shell broke free.

Squinting in the syrupy light, he breathed in the hot desert air and shook his damp feathers. At last, after centuries, another basilisk had hatched.

Selected: March Drabble

Published in Issue #28

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