A story about the universe shifting phases. Change isn't always what one might expect.
|I love my little sister, Ellie, with all my heart. I’ve been told it was my job to guide her and be her friend, but how can I guide her when she is over two hundred years old and not even of my race? Ellie, my little sister, is going to be a Dragon and when she changes from her cute, human form, she is probably going to kill and eat every last one of us. THE Family, Ellie’s Dragon Family, is coming to visit to make sure we are honoring our end of the bargain. I am not sure what the bargain is, for sure, but I know that the sorcerers and the Dragons arrived at some sort of truce that allowed people like me to become Dragon food. Sadistically, I wonder what I will taste like.
If I had wings, I would fly up out of this huge crater that keeps us locked in without hope of escape. I find Ellie in the great hall by the hearth dancing a fierce dance that keeps her out of breath. The pebble flying from my hand and hitting her squarely on the shoulder breaks her concentration and causes her to stumble and cast about glaring until her beautiful, deep blue eyes land heavily upon me. What was she going to do, eat me? I pick up another pebble and prepare to throw another when a crashing sound came down about my ears and everything goes black. No, Mine. MINE
Back in the library, again, I busy myself with copying the dragon text. Few have my ability to translate it as I do and that’s probably the only thing that keeps me safe from Dragon-kind. My master, the librarian, is a golem created from the very rocks of this volcano and charged with keeping the ancient Draconian text, and, of course, taking care of me when I irritate the Dragons. So, I am in the Library a lot. My shoulders become tense at the sight of Ellie being carted in and set harshly in a chair across the table from me. It was strange that she wasn’t glaring at me. Her long, white hair gleamed with the light of the magical glow globes and her soft, pale skin seemed quite flushed as if she were blushing. I push a huge tome filled with the harsh Draconian text toward her and she takes it without looking at me.
“Someday you will change that will be the end of me.”
“Is that what this is? Are you trying to make it easier to end you? It won’t work, you know.”
I watched her cross her arms across her chest as if she had some sort of safety blanket to hold on to. Normally, she would be all on fire and throwing things at me but not this time. I couldn’t think what was different this time, but something was different. “Ya know, Ellie Bellie…there was this Deli…” I couldn’t help but notice her tightening muscles in her face bringing up an obviously false smile. “Bellie, me Deli. Get it? Usually, you do.”
Ellie softened her smile until I finally believed the smile to be real. Someday very soon I expect it will be difficult to tell whether she can smile or not because it will take at least a hundred years before she will be able to control her body well enough to change back into human form voluntarily. Problem is that a hundred years is too long to be out of control of her bodily functions. If Ellie is going to remain in this territory, she needs to change now and still beat her sister by changing back into the human form again. If she doesn’t do this, she will be banished. I pointed to the text again, drawing her attention again to the tome.
“Bonding ritual? What is this to accomplish?”
I look at her until the blush she wears turns into a much deeper blush. I know deep in my heart that Ellie is in love with me, but it is a love I can’t return in the way she needs. I love her like I would love myself, with all my heart. The tears pouring from her eyes acknowledge her agreement to perform the ritual; this was a ritual already begun whether she willed it or not. Of course, as we became one, we will never meet again except as we change flesh, as we shift into one being from another. I don’t feel pain, not much, but it is overwhelmed by the scent of fire and metals, wonderful metals. Somewhere in my mind, I feel Ellie calling out to me. After all, she found pleasure in being one with my mind. A ripple of skin runs down my arms and my change gives me the possibility of flight. A thrumming roar runs through my teeth as I fly out from the fire mountain with Ellie Bellie tucked deep within my own mind. I regret only for a moment that I can never be human again, but the years available to me now should wear away this feeling. When I change to human it will be Ellie who will appear and I will be but a thing tucked deep in her mind waiting for the time for me to appear once again. By then, she may not even remember me once she takes human form. Irritation grips me and I promise, though futilely, to remember for the both of us. Another scent upon the land is driving me crazy. Ellie has a sister and there my love will be complete. Male Dragons can only exist through sorcery, but even with sorcery, female Dragons will always fall to violence when they cross territories with each other. Already, I hate that too much of what we are defines who we become and fire rushes out from deep within me and paints the sky with light and from far away, an answering cry arises. No pretty stones are set in my armor but this will soon change as I actively rejuvenate a dying race. Perhaps once I expend my new violent tendencies, I will settle down and allow Ellie out to rejuvenate her own dying race should the humans be ready for her. I gave her protection from Dragons and Sorcery as only a Male-Dragon can give but she may choose to take matters into her own hands and hunt Dragons. Ellie might become angry and decide all Dragons are to blame for the thinning of her human race and this is a chance she and I have to take. During the change, I secretly left Dragon runes hidden upon her where only the most intimate might ever find them. Once she learns to read this she will know of my true love and I love myself to death just as do the stars…All fires must burn out, but some must be reborn to meet again. In the end, we will start over and who knows where Ellie Bellie might take me in the next life? It is all a jumble as the best-laid plans are tossed into existence and allowed to land where they will.
I remember, briefly, a Dragon eating its own tail and realize that in order to break a cycle, first, you need to use it to gather momentum. Then, once things start to hurt, you pull out your teeth and flop. That is how change goes. This little bit of wisdom is what I use to keep my sanity intact. Just knowing there are things more insane elsewhere helps me keep my own sanity. I wonder what Ellie will think of me. Ellie? Dragon scent drives me crazy. Especially star metals…