Dragon, My Darling by Cat Cheatle
I was just an egg, a tiny speck in the universe waiting to sprout. I’ve spent weeks in this shell and the bigger I grow the tighter it gets and the more eager I am to escape into the Earth.
Just yesterday I blew out the window of a strange man’s car. I landed safely on a pile of new grass trimmings. The wind took me away, off of my soft landing and blew me to the front porch of an eight year old girl, who stood right in front of me. She must have felt me hit her because she bent down and picked me up off the hard ground. Her hands were warm and soft, like a young girl’s hands should be.
She seemed to take an interest in me. I explored with her, I saw what she saw. After a few days of acquiring me she planted me in a nearby field. Making sure not to dig to deep or too shallow. She came to water me every few days or so. I was inflating with water, growing more and more plump. I could see her growing older, she was eleven now, still watering me. I had just began to sprout. I will soon see the world through eyes of my own instead of through a shell.
She turned thirteen just as my head began to peak through the ground. In another year I could see, and communicate with my eyes. She brought her little brother out to see me. She explained to him what I was, a dragon, and to be sure to help take excellent care of me throughout our lives. During her teenage years she would come visit me often, telling me about her day and her worries. She expressed her worried thoughts about what would happen once I’m fully out of the ground and in the world, being a part of it.
My mouth is now in that field. It failed to talk but water and fire spewed out of it. I could start fires and end them. I could drown and burn. Two forms of destruction. I could feel a disturbance in my mind, almost like all of my innocence has disappeared. I wanted to kill, to destroy, to harm, but then- to love. There’s been a tree to my right growing along side me, not far away. I spat water at it. I enjoyed the effect it had. My mouth was a powerful force. I burned the tree down and watched it burn, watched it crumble. When the fire spread too close to me I just set my water weapon on it. I have arms now, I can crush, I can swat the flies that land on my long horned snout away.
The girl came to visit me in the field, it was her last day of her senior year. She saw burned tree, and the fire I had caused. She was quite furious with me, stating her disappointment and disapproval. She was speaking to me as if I was some sort of toddler. I wouldn’t say I was more sophisticated then her, but I am surely more powerful. She told me that I was forbidden to burn or drown anything in a destructive way. What’s the point of being a fire and water spewing dragon if I’m not allowed to use my talents?
I’m up to my waist now, I can twist and turn. I’ve needed to stretch my back for years. Oh, how good it feels. The girl came home for the summer- she just finished her second year of college. She brought me a treat, a family of rabbits she found in a nearby rabbit den. I enjoyed feeling those drops of rabbit blood running down my neck.
My kneecaps are in the world, they can finally breath. It is quite difficult to stay balanced, but as soon as I’m big enough to get out of the ground my muscles will quickly grow into strong tools for me to use. I miss the scent of the girl. It’s getting lonely here in the field. The birds and squirrels don’t know how to speak, they only squeak and tweet. I don’t understand what they say, if they’re saying anything at all. I often think of what other animals lives are like. How do they come to be? Are they grown, like me? I crave something to do, someone to talk to. I’ve burned up the majority of the things I can reach.
A middle aged man just emerged out of the nearby forest. I hope he can’t see me. If he can, I hope he is weaponless. I am still just a young dragon, I have not learned the ways of the world. I do know the main goal in the life of a dragon, reach them before they reach you. A dragon’s life is very Do or Die. How does one not end up tired of being chased or threatened? How does one not get tired of having the need to kill everything threatening in it’s path? The man has spotted me. Thankfully his hands are empty, his one threatening aspect is just being human. I tilt my head upwards, pointing my mouth towards the cloudy sky. I release a long flame from my mouth, watch it rise above me and watch it disappear. I hope the man was watching too, he needs to know I’m dangerous. He needs to see that I am a threat to his well being. He does, he notices the line of fire I brought into the world. He smiles at me. It looks half friendly, and half evil. Then again, I’m not an expert at deciphering the good humans from the bad. I have only met two in my life, both of which were friendly and soothing. This may be the first bad intentioned human I’ve encountered. He slowly walks towards me. He’s still smiling. I am still knee deep in the ground, I've tried getting out but my roots must still be connected. Maybe someone needs to come pull me out, like a carrot. The man is now a few feet away from me. I see him reach into his shoe, remove a knife while his grin keeps getting better, and more evil. I take a deep breath. I wait another few seconds, and when he’s right in front of me, a large flaming flame escapes me. It stops right on the man, I see his lips turn from a smile, to an open gaping hole. My fire reaches him, and his screams reach my ears. Our little gifts to one another. He stops screaming as he falls to the ground. He must have lost his life. If I was his life I would have wanted out too. I now spit water at the dead man, cooling him down. I have to eat the body before the girl, my friend, comes back. Who knows when she arrives. The body is cool now- I reach my arms out, and pull him closer. I lick the body. It is a very unappetizing taste. I will have to wait a few more days until the full amount of my limbs are outside of the dirt.
On this day, I step out of the earth. I am free. I am part of the world. I walk for a few minutes, getting used to my feet. All I can think about is that girl, and how proud she must be of me. Or has she forgotten about me? She must be in her thirties now. I stop worrying myself with her life, and drag the burnt, rotting body to the forest, where I end my body transportation journey. I strut out of the small amount of the forest I have gone into, feeling rather good about myself. What do I do with my time now that I have freedom? I quickly back away from the forest, and light it on fire.
It comes to my realisation that I am a dragon at the same time I pick up her scent. Following her trail I run to the girl’s house, excited to see her, anticipating her reaction. I ignore all the humans I pass, and their reactions to the sight of me. I burst into the girl’s house, telling her to come away with me, and we will fly to a better place. I see her father scream at me and his daughter, but it fails to phase me. My friend, my only friend, agrees. Her father, still screaming at her, tries to hold her back. The daughter ignores her father and hops onto my back. I see the father grab the house’s biggest kitchen knife, and throw it towards us. It hits his daughter who falls off of my back and bleeds too much to be salvaged. I cry, I run out of the house, and once outside, burn it down and fly away, alone.
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