Today the Dragon Wins

"Today the Dragon Wins" offers information from Fantasy Author and Professional Editor Sandy Lender. You'll also find dragons, wizards, sorcerers, and other fantasy elements necessary for a fabulous story, if you know where to look...

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Sandy Lender is the editor of an international trade publication and the author of the fantasy novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings, available from ArcheBooks Publishing, and the series-supporting chapbook, What Choices We Made.

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Scene for a Meeting
And here's the scene I reference in the post above...

Why is There Still Hate in the World?

How could a day start with so much promise and end with so much pain? Susan knew more joy Saturday morning than she’d known her entire life. It was as if the sun shone brighter, the birds sang more beautifully, the grass looked greener, and, yes, strangers smiled at her.

“That’s a beautiful gown, Dear,” an elderly woman said. “Congratulations.”

“Thank you,” Susan blushed, stuffing herself and her enormous white train into the back of a stretch limo.

On the short ride to the church, she wondered if the old lady thought it strange that this bride rode alone. Even so, she rode alone with a measure of happiness she’d never thought possible.

She stepped from the car in front of a fancy stone building in an honest-to-God bridal gown complete with veil and lace and beads and white patent-leather shoes. Patent-leather, people. Patent-leather! The dream was coming true. She wasn’t just in love. She was getting married to the most amazing person on the planet…the only person who could possibly save her.

After a confusing and complicated childhood wondering why Ken and Barbie liked each other so well when Barbie should have been attracted to the lovely and curvy Trixie, Susan finally got to high school and figured out that she was “different” from almost everyone else. That’s when things became not just confusing and complicated, but painful and joyless.

Enter Kayleigh Jancy, stage left. Oh, didn’t things turn around then? Kayleigh agreed on the whole Barbie and Trixie issue. Kayleigh held her hand in the dark at the movie theatre and let her have the last Junior Mint in the box. Kayleigh taught her how to drive a stick shift. When they got to college, Kayleigh kept the sorority chicks from harassing her about her obsession with the X-Files. Kayleigh actually laughed at Susan’s ridiculous elephant jokes. You know the ones: like why do elephants paint their toenails red? To hide in the strawberry patch!

Susan snickered to herself at this thought as she stared up at the church, wondering briefly what she’d ever done to deserve someone as wonderful, someone as kind, someone as thoughtful, someone as beautiful as Kayleigh Jancy. That’s when she realized Kayleigh was nearby. She glanced to her right and saw that familiar form. And she grinned.

Kayleigh stood in her own pretty gown, a much simpler one, about fifteen feet away, and whisked her bouquet up in front of her face, her eyes glittering with mischief. “Hey! It’s bad luck to see the bride before the wedding!”

Susan laughed, hearing firecrackers going off like gun shots somewhere above them. Had Kayleigh even arranged fireworks for their big day? Of course she would do that. It would be just like her to surprise her with something big and grand for their entrance to the church.

“God, I want to be deserving of this angel,” Susan thought.

And then she thought it strange that the beautiful, sunshiny day should produce rain. “Aww, man, is it raining?” she heard herself ask.

The look of horror that suddenly gripped Kayleigh made Susan frown. She lifted her hand to her face to wipe at the wetness she felt there as Kayleigh shrieked something unintelligible.

“What? I asked, is it raining?” Susan looked up at the cloudless sky of their perfect day, and when she looked back down, she saw that the rain on her hand wasn’t rain at all.

It was red.

Red as blood.

She looked at Kayleigh questioningly and felt herself falling into the woman’s arms.

“Oh, dear. Kayleigh, something’s wrong.”

Kayleigh spoke. Her lips moved. But Susan couldn’t hear her words. She looked up into the beautiful woman’s face, looked up into her eyes that were wide with terror. Kayleigh embraced her firmly, solidly, and appeared to be yelling out now, yelling up at someone else, anyone else, someone passing by, perhaps.

Oh, now why was Kayleigh crying? She shouldn’t be crying on their big day! She’d make her mascara run, and that would be a shame. And what was she doing kneeling on the ground in her dress? She’d ruin it on the concrete! Kayleigh, get up, she thought, trying to will the woman to get up off her knees.

That’s when Susan realized something wasn’t just wrong; something was very wrong. Other faces came into view, but the edges of her vision started to smear with darkness that funneled into a single cylinder frame of just Kayleigh before her. The woman wept uncontrollably, holding Susan’s head to her breast, rocking her back and forth like a child, still calling out for help from anyone who could do anything besides stare in shock at the scene.

“I must be hurt badly,” Susan said, but it seemed that Kayleigh couldn’t hear her. “Am I dying?” she asked.

Again, Kayleigh appeared to be speaking with the people around them, trying to get them to act. My, she’s so beautiful, Susan thought. What a shame that I’m dying and I won’t get to be with her now.

She rallied her nerves to be strong. She didn’t want to cry in front of Kayleigh if this was really what was happening; didn’t want to make this more difficult for her beautiful bride. It occurred to Susan how blessed she was at this moment: What a wonderful thing that she’s the last sight I’ll see.

And as her eyelids grew heavier with life’s subsiding, Susan tried to say, “Oh, Kayleigh, don’t get my blood on your pretty white dress.”

the end

While it’s a fact that HIV/AIDS affects all segments of the population at large today, the gay community still suffers tremendously from this affliction. You can assist in the search for better medications and better education, and that assistance starts with action. How have you used your voice today?

“Some days, you just want the dragon to win.”


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