Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2250818-The-Ancient-Wooden-Box
by fyn
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Folklore · #2250818
A history of sorts
The Ancient Wooden Box

Back, back in the mists of time, the land of the world we know as China was once called Shia. Back and back many millennia, it was called Huaxia. During these times, dragons roamed the skies and flew free. They soared high over the mountains and glided for hours on the hot winds that blew from the deserts. They ruled the skies, staying far from the tribes that roamed beneath them, for the tribes were often unruly and would fight between themselves over water and dust.

Among the hoards of dragons that peacefully skimmed the clouds, was a dragon who was a bit different from all of the others. This one, called Mythrica, had an overly elongated purple body and thick crystal spines that caught and captured the sun. While she was very different from the other dragons and was prone to being something of a solitary creature, she was accepted by them because all dragons appreciate those who are odd or strange.

Her cave, high in the Purple Mountains, was not all that dissimilar from other dragons' cave except that hers was off and away from the others. She was a solitary soul and would retreat from all the noise and commotion that typically surrounded the flights of dragon-kind. She liked them, in small doses, but, privately, she thought they were just too dragony. Her cave, with her treasures of scrolls piled about, was warm and dry. Of course, she had piles of coins and rare jewels because she was a self-respecting dragon, after all, but her first love was the scrolls. She loved reading the words of the learned ones far below; their stories and tales entranced her and she wished she could write and fashion tales to be preserved as the human ones did.

Still, it was she, the dragons came to, begging her to tell her stories to them. And she did, fashioning them in her mind, repeating them often until they became the myths and legends that filtered down the mountain.

After one stormy night where the clouds billowed black and the winds roared, twisting and turning in the night sky until even the brightest star was blacked out, Mythrica mounted to the skies, flying higher and higher until she was above the roiling clouds below. At that point, she didn't know why she was compelled to fly higher and further than she ever had before, but she felt strong, even ferocious in her urge to climb and climb and climb.

Then, she saw him. He was immense, the largest and most rare of dragon-kind: the Shining Silver Dragon. She hadn't been sure that such as he actually existed, for no dragon she knew had ever seen one. He was long and sinuous, his scales reflecting the moonlight. His wings blanked out the stars. Suddenly she knew exactly why she'd felt this urging to fly. He called to her in the ancient language and, even not knowing she knew ancient dragon speak, responded in kind. They flew higher still in a magical dance of wing and claw. Their necks entwined around each other and their tails braided together. She felt her heart start to burn hot and her mind was filled with such a swirling of colors that it felt as if she would simply explode. Then, they were diving, falling limp from the sky. Closer and closer to the mountain tops they fell. Through the blackened clouds that had hidden their flight, they dropped until, at the last moment, the Dragon King spread his wings and gently lowered her to the ground and then, tenderly, carried her into her cave.

He stayed with her but for a month before returning to his eirie in the stars. But he left her cradling a large silver egg tinged with purple.
"She will be a magical one and the embodiment of all your dreams," he told her. "She and all who follow her will be the protector of words and legends." With those words and a final caress, he flew off into the sky.

A thousand years passed and Mythrica guarded her egg. She never forgot the Dragon King and longed to see him once again. And then, one day, she did. Without warning, with no fanfare, he simply glided to the entrance of her cave. "It is time, beloved," Just then, the egg twitched in its nest. Together, they watched as the egg began to rock back and forth. At first, it was gentle, but as the tiny dragon within became more determined to break free from her egg, the rocking became almost violent. A piece of the shell cracked and a tiny pale violet claw poked through the shell, pulling and pushing bits until the egg cracked in two. A tiny silver dragon, with crystal wings and lilac claws, emerged. Her eyes swirled with greens and purples. Her body matched that of her sire, a most regal and royal dragon princess.

"I name thee Lexiconya for she shall be the holder of all of the Words." A long, gleaming silver claw lifted the head of the small one. "It is good." With a last look at his mate, once more, the massive dragon took to the skies.


Millenia passed. Lexiconya grew into a fine dragon. Passionate about collecting a lexicon of all the words in the world, she flew far beyond the borders of the mountain home. Her cave, near that of her mother, was filled with scrolls and then books, all carefully written as she collected reams of words. She, unlike her mother, and yet, the embodiment of all her mother's wishes and dreams did have the skills necessary for her long clawed paw to hold a quill and to impart words to page.

Returning after a long journey to the very ends of her world, she went to see her mother, for she had heard, in the dragon-way, her mother calling. Her mother lay curled in her nest. Her great head lay on her forefeet and her scales were dim.

"I am dying, my beloved Lexiconya. You need me no longer for your learning and knowledge has far surpassed mine. Soon your father will come and bring me back to the stars." As her daughter began to speak, she raised her paw. "No, my darling. Do not speak. I have little time and wish to tell you that you are all a mother could ever wish for. I have one last gift for you." Touching her claw to her own heart until a drop of purple blood hung from its tip, she then pushed it into Lexiconya's heart.

"This is Impetus, It gives you the ability to enter the minds of like-minded humans who wish to write, but may not have the words flowing freely. It will allow you to encourage them from behind the back of their minds. It will give you the ability to (metaphorically, of course) use your tail to whip them into shape and get them going. Occasionally, you will come across a special writer who has a way about their writing to pull people in and make their characters come to life. These are rare and special.

"Look child, look in that book over there."

Lexiconya went to open the wooden book and realized it was a box. A handle, a tiny replica of herself adorned the lid. "It is beautiful, my mother."

"This you shall save and then pass it down through the ages. It will appear and disappear only to be reborn when the time is right. Long after I and you and your egg's egg's egg's egg have come and returned to the stars, this will be gifted from one writer of words and tales to another. The silver replica of you is full of magic and it will both help this writer to come to find or rediscover her muse. The box, itself, is also a repository for dreams and wishes. She will know and understand in the way of the ancient magics to write down her wishes and dreams, fold them small and keep them within. She will have the wisdom to know true dreams and wishes from the lesser ones. She will also know that not all our wishes are possible or even good for us, but this will help her achieve her writing dreams if she believes and works hard enough."

"Mother, this is indeed a rare and special gift. And you know this will, one day reach that special person?"

"I do, my daughter. I am tired now, and must rest." Her mother's head fell to her crossed paws and her eyes closed.

The entrance to the cave darkened and suddenly. There in the entrance was an immense silver dragon. Lexiconya, instinctively knowing who this was, bowed her head to her father, the dragon king.

"No, my daughter," his voice low, but so strong, the very rocks trembled. "You need not bow to me. You are all that we could have wished for. One day, you. YOU will be the Dragon Queen. Be a wise one. Now," he said, gathering Lexiconya's mother into his arms, "I must return your mother to the stars. Grieve not, for she would not want you to. Instead, remember all she has taught you and continue to make her as proud of you as you have done all along."

With these final words, the Dragon King flexed his wings and took to the sky, leaving Lexiconya staring until she could see them no longer.

A lone purple tear dripped from her eye and splashed onto the lid of the small wooden box. For the briefest of moments, the box shimmered and then returned to looking like a small, unassuming box. Lexiconia smiled, for she knew better. "I wonder," she mused to herself, "I wonder who will one day hold this box."

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