“It’s a great community,” Don G. was saying. “We all look out for each other. But not everybody fits in.”
In the world he came from, you had to be wealthy to be able to live in an Up City; he and his dad had never fit in there, either. People who lived in Up Cities had access to vaccines and cleaner air and water. Somebody always got to decide who belonged or didn’t belong. Somebody got to choose who to cut out. Zert glared at Don G. And it was never the Somebody who got cut.
Although this is the part of the story that the bards tend to focus on as the bit where Hiccup was particularly Heroic, I do not agree. It is a lot easier to be brave when you know you have no alternative. Hiccup knew in his heart of hearts that the Monster intended to kill them all anyway. So he didn’t have a lot to lose.
“Destiny” sounded like an obligation, and if I was to be thrust into battle against a legion of nightmare creatures, that had to be my choice. Though in a sense the choice had been made already, when I agreed to sail into the unknown with these peculiar children. And it wasn’t true, if I really searched the dusty corners of myself, that I hadn’t asked for this. Really, I’d been dreaming of such adventures since I was small. Back then I’d believed in destiny, and believed in it absolutely, with every strand and fiber of my little kid heart. I’d felt it like an itch in my chest while listening to my grandfather’s extraordinary stories. One day that will be me. What felt like obligation now had been a promise back then—that one day I would escape my little town and live an extraordinary life, as he had done; and that one day, like Grandpa Portman, I would do something that mattered.
Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
“Now she stared numbly down the hall of closed and opened doors. Choices, some she might make and others closed forever to her. How did one ever know how one small choice might forever change the course of one’s life?“
–Blood of Dragons (Rain Wilds Chronicles Book 4) by Robin Hobb