Okay, after missing out on last week because of what I have chosen to call brain freeze… I’m back this week, with a vengeance. And I warn you- it’s a long one. I tell you, JJ adds some spice to my weekend and makes me think a little, and like I said to him- it’s almost pathetic how much I look forward to his posting the new starter every Friday!!
It was either a pill or a piece of candy…
…and naturally she was WAY too curious to just decline the offer. She picked it up off the proffered platter and put it in her mouth. Rolling it around on her tongue she tried to decide whether to chew it or just swallow it whole. It didn’t seem to taste like anything in particular, but its texture did change a little, getting slightly slicker- not quite slimy- but not wholly unpleasant either. She decided to swallow it whole, just in case there was something nasty in the middle… and she didn’t want to offend her hostess by spitting it out.
About three minutes later, she noticed something strange. Everything in the room seemed to be developing coloured tints and outlines, in shades of blue and green mostly. It was getting more intense every second, the proper colours fading away. Her hostess had left, leaving her alone in this beautiful room. She was having trouble remembering why she was here. Then she recalled the anonymous and old fashioned gilt-edged invitation she’d found stuffed in her gym locker. It had been too intriguing to ignore! Now she was here, and the woman who answered the door had been exceedingly polite but not particularly forthcoming. After dining extravagantly and very quietly with the woman- who simply said her name was Ess- they had retired (to use Ess’ word) to the library. Where Zoë now sat, or rather, lay on a huge green silk sofa, wondering why everything looked so strange. She was feeling a little dizzy so she lay back on the sofa and looked straight up at the ceiling- some three floors above her head. The chandelier she had glanced at admiringly on entering the room had taken on shades of pink, orange, yellow and red. Frowning in concentration, Zoë thought “…that looks like infra-red or something… I wonder how they did that…” and then suddenly the chandelier was dropping straight towards her… as she tried to push herself out of the way, she realised she was no longer on the sofa and the chandelier wasn’t really falling- she was rising towards it!
“Don’t be afraid Zoë,” She heard Ess’ voice from somewhere below her. “If you panic you may fall, just try to enjoy it. Learn how to use them.”
“Them…?” asked Zoë.
“Your wings,” replied Ess “you’re using them instinctively already, just learn what it feels like.” And then Ess was right next to her in the air, and Zoë was looking at the most exquisite creature she’d ever seen. Ess was no longer a woman. Granted, she had the same eyes she’d had when they’d met, but now she had wings and scales. “You’re… you’re a… are you a dragon?” spluttered Zoë “…but I thought… they were just a myth! Aren’t they…?”
“That’s right I suppose,” said Ess “And almost all myths and legends have a little bit of truth to them.”
Zoë couldn’t take her eyes off the colours radiating off Ess’ body like electric rainbows. Even though her vision was now mostly infra-red, it still looked as if Ess’ scales had a translucent, mother of pearl sheen. Zoë was mesmerised.
“How? I mean, what happened… am I a dragon too?” Zoë asked.
“We’re family you and I,” answered Ess “in a way. It’s taken me years to trace my lineage to you. You see, you carry the same genes I do, the same blood essentially. You just needed a, lets call it a ‘trigger’, to wake up the part of you that you didn’t even know was there. Now you can transform from dragon to human and back again at will.”
“I don’t understand.” Said Zoë.
“Let me try to explain,” said Ess “the dragon gene is passed on in the females of our species. For centuries it was tradition for us to marry suitable men in order to keep our bloodline strong. We were always secretive about our draconic personalities, because we were hunted if we were seen in our true forms. And as the world got smaller we had to hide our true selves more and more, and our traditions fell by the wayside. We lost touch with each other as we spread out over the globe. The younger generations became more and more adamant about being true to themselves rather than to their heritage. And over time our history was lost. Our bloodline was depleted.” Ess looked sad as she spoke; she sank slowly and lay on the floor in front of the empty fireplace. Or rather, her head was in front of the fireplace, the rest of her almost filled the room.
Zoë was too afraid to look down at herself.
“Now there are not very many of us left,” she continued “fewer and fewer of the women in our lineage are having children- it seems our species’ longevity makes us afraid of forming relationships of any kind because we outlive everybody. It’s almost funny.” She made a soft sound that was more a sigh than a laugh. “I am three hundred and seventeen years old; I discovered my true identity more than two hundred and eighty years ago. I have been almost completely alone ever since. And then I found you- almost by accident. I can help you through this, if you’ll let me.”
Zoë tried to will herself gently to the floor as Ess had done. She didn’t quite get it right but she didn’t break anything either. She finally plucked up the courage to look down at herself, and was very pleasantly surprised to see that she was not identical to Ess. Her scales and wings bore more of a metallic sheen and her colouring was closer to a bronze and gold compared to Ess’ pinks and silvers. She was considerably smaller than Ess, and surmised it was due to their age difference of a couple of hundred years. She was discovering things in her mind that she didn’t know she knew. Like math, chemistry, trajectories, and geography. And she was surprised at how easy it was to make herself fit in the room alongside Ess given their size. Her own mind was already explaining to her subconscious how it was that this huge draconic persona and body could fit into her relatively small, five foot three inch, human frame. “Wow…” whispered Zoë as she felt her own power surging through her “…so what can I do, what am I capable of? Do I have magical powers or something?”
“Not really, not magic as such. You can breathe fire, and you can fly. And you can read minds if you concentrate hard enough- humans are tricky because they think of so much at once. And you can turn invisible when you’re in your draconic form. You just need to learn how and practice it all, I can give you hints, but you have to learn and teach yourself what each action feels like.” replied Ess.
“And then what?” asked Zoë “I mean, after I’ve learnt how to do everything you think I’m capable of, what do I do with it?”
“We begin by finding more of our own kind…” murmured Ess “…AND THEN WE CAN TAKE OVER THIS PUNY WORLD!!!!”
There Is Never An Excuse
One in three is not a statistic - one in three is a crying shame.