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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Monday, October 27, 2008

Today's Dragon Story
Or...The Dragon welcomes Jamieson Wolf with this week's installment in the "There Once Was a Dragon" story-telling series

Dragons Don’t Dream

By Jamieson Wolf

There once was a Dragon who could not dream.

Because she could not dream, she was unable to fly. She would stare at her wings with discontent. She would stretch them out so that the sun could shine through the thick membrane. She wished that she could feel the wind rushing past them, whistling past her as she flew.

Discontent, she would lie by a small pond and watch the reflections of the trees sway when the pond rippled.

One day, as she lay by the pool of water, she watched a Phoenix land in the tree. It eyed the dragon through the branches. “Dragon, why are you sad?” it asked.

“I am sad because I can’t fly,” the dragon replied.

The Phoenix laughed. “Don’t be silly, all Dragons can fly.”

The Dragon sighed. “I can’t. Dragons must dream when they sleep in order to fly.” The Dragon sighed again and looked at the Phoenix in the trees. The Phoenix looked old and foreworn, as if it had seen better days.

The Phoenix shook its head. “I did not realize this,” she said. “I think I can help you with your plight, Dragon, if you help me with mine.”

The Dragon eyed the Phoenix warily. “What would you have me do?”

“I am at the end of my years,” the Phoenix said. “Normally, I would burst into fire and rise again from the ashes. But I am unable to do this.”

“But all Phoenix can,” the Dragon said. “It is the way.”

The Phoenix sighed. “Not all Phoenix can do this,” she said. “I can’t. I was born without fire inside me so I grow old beyond my years when I should be young and beautiful many times over.”

The Dragon thought how they were much alike, she and this Phoenix. “If I give you some of my fire, will that help you be reborn?”

The Phoenix nodded. “In return, I will give you this.” She reached behind her and plucked a tail feather out with one of her clawed feet. “My feathers have a special magic in them, a special resin. Let the feather burn in the fire that I will rise from and inhale the smoke. You will be able to fly then.”

The Dragon nodded, wanting to try anything at this point to achieve her desire of flying. She blew out a plume of fire, softly, so as not to catch the Phoenix unaware. As the Phoenix began to burn, the Dragon clutched the feather in her tail and reached out toward the fire.

The feather and the Phoenix began to burn with a bright, gold light, brighter than any flame the Dragon could ever produce. She pulled the feather away from the flame and was astounded when it started to hum.

The sound grew in intensity and the Dragon leaned her head forward and breathed in the smoke. As she did, she watched as the fire consumed the Phoenix. Soon, the sound was all the Dragon could hear. What she felt, though, was a different matter entirely.

She felt liquid fire enter her blood, a kind of Magic unknown to her. Surely Dragons are the most Magical of beasts? But she had not felt this Magic before, had not felt anything like it.

The Dragon felt as if she were burning from the inside out. Before she had a chance to contemplate this, there was an incredible, loud bang in the air. The tree that the Phoenix perched upon burst into flame and the Dragon lost sight of her.

Dizzy, she let the darkness take her, thankful to at least have made a friend.

* * *

In the darkness, the Dragon dreamt for the first time.

She dreamt that she was a young Dragon, barely over her hatchling stage. Her mother, still alive, was humming a tune.

“Why can’t I fly yet?” the young Dragon asked. Her young voice sounded high pitched to her, funny.

Her mother looked at her kindly. “Because you have not started your Dreaming Cycle yet. I have yet to take you through it. It is something that should be shared through mother and daughter.”

“Can we do it soon?” the young Dragon asked.

Her mother had smiled down at her, eyes glowing in the darkness of the cave. “Of course, my darling.”

The dream switched, moved, jerked. Now she wasn’t with her mother in the cave. She knew it was later that day, later that evening and she watched her mother die. The men had come upon them after dusk, had tied her mother down and had thrown the young Dragon into a net.

She huddled at the mouth of the cave, watching the men massacre her mother in the darkness. The young Dragon watched as the men withdrew her mother's heart, the nine chambers gleaming red in the darkness.

The young Dragon heard their laughter, heard their joking, and knew they were only hunting her mother for sport.

She knew that her mother's death was worthless.

The young Dragon felt tears slide from her eyes. The tears, ones of ultimate sadness, would never leave her. They would mark her scales with a whiteness that would shine in the darkest of shadows.

In the dream, the young Dragon saw darkness and then nothing more.

* * *

Awake again, the Dragon felt tears slide down her scales.

She had not dreamed before. But her first dream was of her most painful memory. She contemplated this; will her dreams get better as they went along, or would the subject matter always be left to chance?

Looking around her, she saw that the tree was burnt to cinders. But her friend had returned. Gone was the old, aged Phoenix. Instead, in her place was a large resplendent Phoenix with gleaming feathers and large tail feathers.

The Dragon looked down at her. “You’re beautiful now.” She said. “Thank you for the gift.”

The Phoenix nodded. “You have dreamt, I can see it in your eyes. I thank you for your gift to me. Without it, I would have been old forever.” The Phoenix regarded her through large black eyes. “You will fly with me now, yes?”

The Dragon nodded, happy to know that she could.

"Some days, I just want the dragon to win."
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Blogger Laura M. Crawford said...

Great story, Jamieson!

Laura :)

1:09 AM  

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