Tag Archives: dragons

No. 27 Scientific Beauty (or, If You Don’t Like This, Blame My Computer)

Hello again! Long time no see. And by no see, I mean long time no writing, because apparently NanoWriMo dragged my motivation away with it when it when it left. But hey, I’m back, and I have a journal with a couple of salvageable stories that I want to type up, so perhaps we’re heading back on track.

Now, if you don’t like this story, blame my computer. It was better, full of thoughtfully considered words and wit. But alas, in my haste to write I had not saved the story, and my computer chose this time, when I was two hundred masterful words in, to give me the blue screen of death (Or the modern day equivalent) for the first time ever. The work was non-salvageable, and I had to retype it. I hate retyping things. Nevertheless, I’m glad to be able to share the somewhat less good version with all (fifteen) of you. Enjoy!

No. 27

I was woken up by a gentle kiss. I then reached for the dagger that I wear on my hip, and was shocked to discover that I was wearing a dress. Someone had put me in a dress. Dresses and I go together a lot like sodium and water. The same two outcomes are inevitable; there will be explosions, and someone is going to get hurt.

Since I had no dagger with which to respond to my erstwhile kisser, I decided that punching would probably work just as well, with less chance of ‘Oh, I’m sorry, are those your internal organs on the floor?’ becoming a problem. I was pretty sure that I would have the element of surprise on my side.

I whirled around and swung a punch at him. The intent was to hit his nose with a satisfying crunch, but my trajectory was off so I ended up getting in a good blow against his sternum that made him an unexpected acquaintance of the floor.

“You do not introduce yourself to a sleeping woman by kissing her!” I attempted to channel my old schoolteacher, who made one want to flee and hide under the nearest object when she turned the full measure of her fury upon you.

He looked dazedly at me from the floor. He was wearing highly opulent clothing, unnecessarily so, and his face had a few scratches from either cats or thorns that were in the process of oozing blood.  “What?”

I squinted at him and scrutinized him farther, taking in aspects of his appearance; highly jelled and slicked back hair, purely decorative sword in a sheath at his side, boots that were polished enough to be used at mirrors and little else, and the fact that he appeared to be wearing more jewelry than I owned. I spat the next word, in lieu of actually spitting. “Prince.”

The prince looked at me with a mixture of fear and confusion, “I’m sorry ma’am, the fairy said that you could only be woken by a kiss from your true love. I thought I might see if I was that person.”

I raised my eyebrow and took on a tone of panicked reassurance, “Really officer, I only kissed her because the crazy lady who was claiming she was a fairy told me that if I did I might get to marry her and who knows, I might be her true love. Yeah. That would hold up in court.”

He blinked at me and looked like his whole view of the justice system was crashing down, “So you’re not a princess?”

“Oh no, I’m a princess. I’m just a princess who thinks you should leave before I find my dagger and make you. Have a good day, spread the word that there was a dragon protecting nothing but ruins, warn people that this place is haunted, whatever would deter them. And how did you get through the thorn wall?”

“I put some strange concoction on them. It was from the stores of an alchemist who was burnt as a witch for knowledge of unnatural arts.”

“Oh lovely, was it sulfuric acid? I hadn’t thought of that. And you burn people at stakes now? I think that the world has managed to devolve. Right then. Off with you. Feel free to take a ‘dragon scale’ from the basket by the door on your way out. Be sure to warn all your friends.”

The prince just kind of stared at me again, “But aren’t you happy to be released from the curse?”

“This isn’t a curse. We traded knowledge with the faeries so that they would let all of us in the household sleep until the world was a bit more knowledgeable, and clearly that hasn’t happened yet. There’s just one faerie who’s decided that this is a foolish decision and keeps sending in moronic princes like you to get us to wake up. If I could send a crossbow bolt through her wings it would make my day. Now, leave for goodness sake.”

At this point he looked rather confused and a little worried, and simply wandered away in the general directions of the outside.

Once was gone I looked at the ceiling, “Can I tell you how to make objects hover with the proper frequencies of sound waves in exchange for a guard dragon? And we’ll have to make the hedge wall resistant to acids.”

I heard the musical noises of agreement, “Got it? Good. I’m going back to bed.”


Dredges No. 1

So, I am dredging through old story files, and they kind of are horrible. But I’m posting them anyway. Yeah. Don’t know why. But here you go anyway.

It’s been a thousand years since scientists created the first changing drug, it was much less advanced, and its effects could be, messy. It’s been a thousand years, and we have traveled so very far. Now, humans can fly like the birds we once so admired, or run like cheetahs. Or they can simply change, it’s so easy to decide how you look now, not just your clothes or your hair, but your whole body. I try to avoid it unless necessary, having to readjust to a new height or strength is hard. Funny how we can control everything now, except for the basic fundamentals of our bodies, not that people haven’t tried.
There are old books, little more than blocks of kindling to most, but a few know how to read. It’s almost a lost art now, no longer needed, you can simply download the information you want to your brain, and you can access it there. No want for books.
Except, it’s a little odd, reading them. So many meaningless words written by people who have been dead for a very long time. Most are probably dust now. And the stories they tell, amazing, wondrous stories, and how it seems that so many of them coveted the idea of being able to become the animals that surrounded them. It’s easy now, take a shot, or one of the new pills, and wish.
But you need to wish for something real, or at least something that used to be real. Trying to become something unknown can turn…problematic, some idiot tried to turn into a shark that could walk on land, he succeeded and turned into a land traveling shark, but his body wasn’t prepared to do that, to become something that was simply pure imagination, he turned back after a minute or so, with no bones. The cartilage from the land-shark refused to turn back into the nice little thing called a skeleton, and his body couldn’t accept the shark shaped cartilage, so no bones.
And you can’t stay a creature too long, it’s not a determined time, but most safety guides say a day, although a few people have survived as animals for weeks. It really all depends on your willpower, your mental strength
I’m sorry if I’m rambling dear reader, but I hope that the somewhat dull talk of things that everyone knows may help to shoo away any disinterested people, only in for giggles. Because you and everyone need to know that the scientists are lying to you. They say that you can only stay an animal for a day but you can stay for far longer than that, the people who stayed animals simply liked it better that way, no entrapment, no losing of their minds to the wild, they just became what they’d always dreamed and couldn’t fathom going back.
And you can become something of pure imagination.
They tell the stories of horrible things that happened to people who tried it, and they’re true. But they’ve created another drug, one unbeknownst to the public, and there are no limits, there are no things stopping you.
I’ve seen it done and I’ve done it myself, become something of pure wonder. I’ve seen people as unicorns of legend, and griffons, and even a chupacabra. I have been a dragon. But the truth is, it might be better that they keep it from us, it’s intoxicating to do. The feeling of being one of those things, it takes your reason, it truly turns all but the most determined and, honestly, headstrong people into the very creature that they change their form to.
It’s because of the magic. It is a thing of pure imagination, so when you think of all these myths and dreams, you see them with magic, so you gain that.
And it is so hard to control. The power, it changes you, so much. But if you have found this I hope that you are strong enough, and have enough reason to destroy the second drug. But you can not, must not, taste its power. I can’t bring myself to do it, to kill the thing that lets me become something from tales, and I have to go back to it, soon. I doubt that I’ll be able to change back again, but dear reader, feel no sorrow for me, or any of the others, we made our choice when we did it, when we took it and wished. But I am begging you to have the strength to do what we could not. And, if you know that you can’t, please leave this so that another may find it, this must not be allowed to reach the masses.
And if it is too late when you read this, if it has been released, I am so sorry. But the magic is calling again. One more thing dear reader, please, if you ever see a dragon from legend flying through some silent forest, please try to wake me up. If you cannot it is alright, for it is so amazing.

I walked through the silent woods, the occasional cricket’s chirp breaking the stillness. Suddenly a large flock of birds flew overhead, sounding the alarm, their cries taking the stillness and stomping on it. I did not have long to wonder what they were flying from, suddenly a great, scaly, beast, flew after them. My mind took a second to register what it was, dragon.
I couldn’t help wondering if it was the unknown writer of the letter, the person who had been the reason that we were not being trapped by a new changing drug. It had been a few hundred years ago, someone had found it and destroyed the second drug, but who they were was unknown as well.
The only way that people knew about it was the fact that the person who found the letter was also an accomplished hacker, they had hacked into every screen receiving data from anything and provided what the letter had said. With a note that this was to remember the unknown writer’s warning.
You did still hear reports of mythical creatures, unicorns, gryphons, someone had turned into a chupacabra even, but not dragons. I decided to try, hoping that the dragon liked sparrows more than people as snacks. I had no name to call to them with, there had been a list found of the group of scientists who had made the second drug, and it was speculated that whomever wrote it must have been one of them.
I had just been reading up on them (Er, thinking up on them), so I still had the names where I could remember them easily, I sucked in my breath, and gave a loud sharp whistle, getting the big lizard’s attention, it landed, and walked forward, inspecting me. Scrambling to remember the names I said them, “Corie, James, Seln, Lana, Christopher, Joy,” none of the names seemed to have an effect on the scaly beast. But then I remembered something, just a snippet that I had accessed, one of them had been nicknamed Nikky, so I gave it a try, “Nikky?” It had an immediate effect on the dragon, she, and clearly she was a her now after the whole female spelling of Nikky thing, turned back towards me. Inspecting me closely.
She looked at me, and shook her head. She most certainly shook her head, then flew back up to the darkness of the sky. I could make out her silhouette as she blotted out stars. I remembered a line that had always nagged at me from her letter,   One more thing dear reader, please, if you ever see a dragon from legend flying through some silent forest, please try to wake me up. If you cannot it is alright, for it is so amazing.
I said the final word of the letter, almost a goodbye to the person who had written it, “Godspeed.”

I really don’t know.

Here’s one more for now. This one was inspired by a dream I had. Hmm, I’m starting to sense a trend. To my most favorite-est nonexistent readers, Enjoy!

The fire burned hot, the crackling of flames awakening the sleeper. She sat upright quickly, coughing from the smoke, for a second her brain was still trying to register what was going on.
Once it was clear that there was a fire spreading, she ran, over the hot floor, to her sister’s room, yelling a warning the whole time.
She shook her sister awake, sweating from the heat of the flames. In a mad scramble, their bare feet hitting the crumbling floor, to wake up others of the family. As her sister ran to wake their brothers and parents, she ran to the baby.
The fire burned hotter and closer, close enough to touch without stretching. The room was smoke filled when she reached it, and the baby was wailing, the noise mingling with the roar of the flames.
She scooped the child up, shielding her from the heat with her body, running through the flames that were reaching her now, to the safety of the window, for the old steps were almost gone, and too covered in flames to do anything with.
She held to the sill with one arm, for a second, until fire brushed her fingertips and she felt her hair burning. Letting go she fell, and looked confusedly at the child cradled in her arms, searching for the wound that had caused the blood across the old blanket.
It took her a second to realize what it was, and another for it to register, like when awaking from a dream where you take a second to figure out that it was simply imagination. The blood was from her, an artery probably, because there was a lot of it.
Shrapnel, was the thought that she held on to, like a candy you suck on for a while, until you forget it’s there. There must have been shrapnel.
The wound doesn’t stop, and it feels as if she is falling asleep again, in the snow, starkly colored, paint on a paper. A bed of paper, cold sheeted.
I flew down, silent as a breath of wind, and landed next to the still warm body, holding a squalling baby to her chest. A corpse, forever doing the action she died in.
I could hear voices, accented to my mind, but all voices were accented to my mind, for if you speak a language unknown, everyone talks funny.
A girl, red faced and coughing, ran to the side of what once was an elaborately designed cottage, gasped, as quiet as a butterfly.
She reacted quickly and picked up the baby, checked her sister to see if what appeared was true, then looked at me.
I wondered what she saw, what her mind tried to rationalize, was I an angle or a devil, probably a dragon, about the size of a great dog, perhaps a bit bigger, and as red as the flames that licked the pile of rubble next to me.
I spoke, perhaps if it can be called that, to her mind, in a voice that sometimes sounded like it was accented with bells, or the noise of the rim of a crystal glass, but silent, an empty orchestra.
She knew what I spoke as soon as I said it, at needed only a second to consider. She nodded, tears like diamonds frozen on her cheeks.
I walked forward, and she turned away.
I bent down to the body in a sea of red, and ate its heart. The crunch of bone ended, and the last of its blood seeped across my face.
I could feel my body shifting, stretching, changing. I stood, with my eyes closed in the night air, two people. Memories joined, I saw through the consideration of both the girl splayed in the snow, and myself. Or perhaps simply myself now, for that was what I was, I had memories of two lives, now joined, like the knitting of two different strands of yarn together, like hemp and silk, forming something new.
I stretched, moonlight glistening off the ruby speckled snow, where for a second I summoned my reflection, hair curly, clothed, clean of blood and grit, my hair was red now. It was both new, and as it had always been.
I looked up at the moon, the glow of two things, the sun’s light, but the moon’s body, combining to be something else.
With two worlds, like that almost, within my mind, I smiled, at my sisters, at my home, both the flames and the glow, at it all.

No. 3

This one is a.More cheerful (at least to me) and b.In two parts so I combined them. Enjoy!
I have an agreement with the humans of the land that surround my solstice. They just don’t know it. I use a little magic to keep their crops growing, their rain falling, and their weevils nonexistent in the summer, and I keep their hearth fires warm in the winter. And as my due I only take the dying ones.
                It is the curse of dragons to have to eat humans, but it stopped bothering me a long time ago. I keep many more of them from dying than I take, and I always give them two days to insure that I made no mistake, if they don’t improve I eat them quickly, and try to not let them suffer. But if they do seem to be getting better I wipe their memories of me, or, for the more strong minded, turn myself into something else in their minds, a healing creature or something, as long as they don’t decide that the thing that they saw was a monster and bring attackers. I could slay a small group easily, but if they could manage to muster an army I might have a problem.
                I see no heartlessness to it, they do the same with the animals that they raise, although they treat them worse. There are others of my kind who take the plumpest ones, the most lean, or the true fools, most of which must have had their eggs dropped, a lot, who take only maidens or princesses. There are progressively fewer dragons.
                War is a good time for me; I can go to the abandoned battlefields and take the dying. We cannot eat those already dead, whoever cursed dragons, for it was a curse from long ago, either truly disliked us or truly disliked the villagers near us.
                Often living people on the side of those who lost that battle will ask for death, so I give it to them. I do not care if it interferes with human politics, for I have little interest in the matter. But I do know that they do not allow females into the ranks of warriors. So, now that I have told you my past, and what I am, I would like to know what you are doing in the army, little warrior. You interest me.
So dragons are more than simply fables and stories told to small children. I digress. I was born pottage poor, but fairly pretty. I was taught to hunt by my older brother, so that I could help provide once he left to seek his fortune.
                I simply helped our family survive and might have done little else with my life if some pig of a lord hadn’t seen me and decided that “a lady of such stunning beauty mustn’t live as some poor wench” my parents arranged my marriage to him, so I left to do anything else.
                I was quite good with a bow and knew how to not cut my head off with a sword so I decided to become a knight. I didn’t quite achieve that, but it’s probably better. War was declared while I was headed to the city, and by the time I got there they would sign just about anyone up as a soldier. So I did that, as a knight more people would have seen me over a progression of years for training, so the army was more safe. Just take the bunk in the corner and don’t make trouble.
                We had a bit of training and marched out, some dreaming of glory, and some simply hoping to stay alive. I’m not quite sure which I was. We lost half the company in the first battle. Good people simply trying to protect their homes, although I found their views on women a bit bothersome.
                I got through the next few battles with more luck than skill. Last one I was in my shield buckled, so I ended up taking one from one of the dead, or at least I think he was dead. I was actually managing to do pretty well until a man who I swear must have had wolf blood in his ancestry got a good hit in. I managed to kill him, but I was left for dead. Last thing I remember was trying to figure out what kind of bird that flying thing was because it was quite large and getting larger. At which point I suppose I blacked out. And woke up here.
                You’re not going to eat me are you? I probably taste all stringy. Although if you do plan to wipe my memory can I request that you don’t. I’m not going to go talking about the dragon that I saw, not that anyone would believe me anyway, and I want to be able to remember this. And laugh a little bit when I hear people telling tales of dragons.