Bill was the Rune genius of the family, Charlie was the one crazy enough to love monsters.
That doesn’t mean I’m not good with runes, he huffed softly as he traced a pentagon of runes into the thick metal of the enclosure. It was a set of runes he was familiar with that expanded and reinforced hastily constructed pens into wide, study enclosures that suited adolescent dragons just fine until they were old enough to claim their own territories.
A snort had Charlie glancing up to meet the amber eyes staring at him, the raptor was shrieking at him or threatening him but she was watching as he worked and making it clear his presence wasn’t appreciated. You’re annoying. Go away, the look told him and it was one he was familiar with from many dragons he’d helped raised as they started building nests for future hatchlings.
At the reserve, the handlers jokingly dubbed it the ‘just leave me alone’ look a teenager gives their parent.
“Alright, lovely Blue,” Charlie bit back a smile when his speaking garnered an irritated hiss, the raptor reminded him of an adolescent Horntail - deadly, irritable, easily offended and utterly beautiful. “I’m leaving.”
The runes wouldn’t last more then a year, and should be renewed every seven months (if only for the animal’s sake of keeping their enlarged enclosure from steadily shrinking) but…
Charlie thought back to the raptors’ handler, the man who he’d met by chance at one of the park’s snack bars. Recalled about how easy and fun the conversation was, how all the conversations that followed were the same. How the man never once shot him odd looks when he enthused about what others would consider 'monsters’ during their impromptu tour of the park, how Owen was perfectly fine with claiming a corner of the petting zoo so Charlie could croon at the babies - waving off laughter of his co-workers.
Mostly, though, Charlie remembered about how Owen spoke of the raptors, how the man had called them his girls in a way that was achingly familiar yet so foreign from anyone besides the other handlers at the reserve.
And he thought that he wouldn’t mind coming back every seven months.