There were Dragons in the Sky
It started out simple enough. A simple walk, down a simple road, in a simple town. I did not know who I was, in fact, I still don't know who I am most days, but that one day I had almost figured it out. The sky was cloudy.
Yes, this is how the great revelation occurred. On a cloudy evening, with the cool breeze teasing my hair and chilling my skin. I rubbed my arms to ward of the nib of early spring, when I looked up. Surprised, I took off my glasses and vigorously cleaned them and placing them back on the bridge of my nose looked up again. This time I blinked rapidly, thinking my eyes were full of dust or perhaps I had inhaled too much fresh air, both of which can be quite bad for the constitution if not measured carefully. Yet again I stared upward into the fading sky, sunset can be a deceiving time, so what I am about to write may well be a strange concoction of the fading light and my own imagination: I saw a dragon.
Now-a-days people do not see dragons. (Of course people also don't see dead people, but I believe the Sixth Sense disproved that little theory) My imagination must be working overtime, because in front of me was a magnificent, enormous and certainly terrifying reptile that ancient and modern man referred to as a dragon. With rough, grey-greenish scales, long, thick wings and two great horns on its head, I was astonished that no one else could see the damn thing. It is not every day a 20 foot dragon flies overhead! From my viewpoint I could make little else out of its features and being afraid to draw closer, decided to set myself up as a spy. The creature had yet to notice my noticing it so quietly I tried to hide behind a building, so as to avoid its attention and still keep watch.
This proved to be a very bad idea. Not only did I attract attention to myself, defeating the whole purpose of diving behind a random garage, but I also put myself in immediate danger. No sooner had I taken to throwing myself behind a shabby looking garage, then the dragon had started to bomb dive my direction. I squeaked with fright....Yes, I know. I squeaked, it was not well done of me.
Anyway, squeak or no squeak, I was in trouble. Crawling away as fast as I could only presented the dragon with an easier target and soon I was swept up into the talons of a large, ugly beast.
Now the story starts to get interesting. The dragon had no sooner grasped me in his talons (I later found out the dragon was in fact a he), than I began to experience the usual near-death syndrome. No...there is not a golden light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, I never did make it to that part of the process, but I sure as hell saw my entire life flash before my eyes. My birth, my infancy, the toddler stage, those damn pills I had ingested as a youth thinking they were candy, my first kiss, everything. The damn dragon was going to eat me. There was no way around it. I am not one to lie, even if its to myself and in this special circumstance I was definitely not going to pretend everything was alright. I only hoped the bloody dragon choked on one of my bones.
As I was being airlifted to the dinner table, the near-death syndrome faded away and soon I was enjoying, what I thought, was my last view of this earth. For something I hated most days, the view was beautiful. The setting sun provided the perfect back drop for the city and as the small houses and tiny people disappeared out of sight, the amazing brilliance of the forest passed before me. Of course, as time began to drag on, the chill from flying became almost unbearable and the need to complain rose up in my throat. Then I remembered that I was to be eaten, so to prolong the inevitable I remained silent. The interruption of the chill, brought attention to those other aches as well, the sharp talons digging into my sides, the rough scales rubbing my skin raw. Boy, do movies and books leave out the difficult side of flying with dragons! If I thought I was going to survive I would have thought to write my own novel about it; however, I was not going to survive. I was going to be eaten.
About this time, with my thoughts returning once more to my unhappy fate, did the dragon decide to land. As thankful as I was to be put once more to earth, I dreaded the next act. Who in there right mind would want to be eaten? A million thoughts began to race through my head: would I be cooked, boiled or roasted? Did dragons like barb-a-que sauce? Did he mean to eat me alive? I was a little worried about the last thought, I did not fancied being eaten alive, though I don't suppose many people would, at least none that I had met.
The dragon placed me none-to-gently on the ground and in the same moment as he folded up his wings and settled down in front of me. Oh God, this is the moment, I thought to myself. I almost squeezed my eyes shut, when I had a change of mind and decided to stare at the face of my murderer (if eating a person against their will can be called such). The dragon had a long, lean face, that almost made one feel sorry for him, except when he was about to eat you. The huge eyes, hungrily staring at me were a vivid yellow in color, almost an acid yellow and the nostrils flared with each inhale and exhale. I could not help noticing his gnormous mouth, of which two large, sharp teeth protruded from. I attempted not to looked frightened, but as God is my witness, I was scared shitless. Of course, no one in my family would want to be called a coward so I continued to stare in bleak fascination at the dragon.
He huffed at me. Not the common sigh huff, but the huff of annoyance. What the hell did he have to be annoyed about? I was the one about to be eaten not him! If anyone on this earth had anything to annoyingly huff about it was me! Very irritated by his lack of sympathy and obvious display of insensitivity, I stupidly decided to voice my opinion on the matter.
"Why did you huff at me, sir?" I asked. The dragon merely replied with another huff. Fully enraged now, I continued.
"If either of us has the right to huff, it should be me." Yellow eyes showed a flicker of interest.
"Why is that, human?" The rumbling voice of my captor inquired. I was a little startled to hear him speak, and so did not reply immediately. This only provoked him further though and he went on, "You have a tongue, human. So answer me why do you have the right to huff?"
Interested in staying alive a little longer, I decided to be wise and answer his question, "Well," I ventured. "I'm the one about to be eaten. I should think you would be happy with a meal, while I, on the other hand, deeply depressed and annoyed about the ending of my life."
The dragon's eyes widen and...twinkled? I'm not sure this is the appropriate word for describing a dragon's eyes, but it is the best I have to offer. The creature did not say anything for a full minute, just watched me with renewed curiosity. I was pleased to note; however, that the hungry look had taken a back seat to amused interest, I would live a little longer. The minute dragged on and I squirmed uncomfortably under his scrutiny.
Just then he spoke in a rough sounding way, "I too have a right to huff. Do not think you know everything, mortal." I shook my head. Mortal? I had a name. Annoyed I said, "Well, I don't suppose you feel the need to enlighten me on the issue of your huff, Sir Dragon?" If a smile could be produced on such a scaly and hard face it would have appeared just then, but as the dragon could not smile the word best to describe the curious bending and wrinkling of the dragon's face would be "grimaced" though it does not seem to fit in the context. To me the dragon seemed well pleased with his catch.
"I will inform you of why I huffed so annoyingly at you, though only because you are the first to ever speak to me in all my years of catching and devoring your kind. I huffed because you are so skinny."
Blinking I cocked my head to the side, staring at him. He huffed because he thinks I am to skinny? I suppose a human with more fat would be preferable to a weak, skinny one. I mean who wants to have to catch two meals in one day just to stay alive? I nodded in understanding. "That would make sense, Sir Dragon. I would huff too had I picked a unsuitable meal. Why then did you not pick up another, more plump dinner than my own unsatisfying self?"
The dragon gazed at me, he must have known my game, for he shook his enormous head and said, "Why I picked you is not the question, the question is how you came to see me?" How I came to see him? What did he take me for a blind man? He's a twenty foot dragon, of course I'm going to see him. Telling him just that I was surprised to see his face once more bend and wrinkle up in a smile/grimace like way. What was so amusing?
"Human," he rumbled, "No other mortal has been able to see me in over 300 years. The last of your kind to do so died in the same way you are about to die. So tell me, how did you come to see me?"
Afraid to answer, but knowing there was no way to avoid the inevitable any longer I simply said, "I don't know." The dragon once more huffed. I decided I despised his huffs. "I simply looked up and there you were, flying above me. I suppose this may sound absurd to you, but would you mind telling me how you are still alive? Did not dragons die out hundreds of years ago?" With this I began to tap my foot impatiently, this creature was a very unpleasant fellow, though I suspect most of it had to do with his intent to devour me.
The dragon sighed, a long drawn-out type of sigh, which forced a whole bunch of bad, decayed-smelling breath into my face, "Obviously, mortal, we did not. I am one of hundreds of my species and though, man may have stopped believing in our existence, we still fly, capture and devour humans and animals alike. It is only your kind who cannot see us in our true form." Curious as to why this was I proceed to ask him just that, "This would be because....?"
"Because," Sir Dragon continued, "the mortal world does not wish to see us." Wish to see? We could force things into invisibility, by simply wishing not to see them? Why the idea may sound absurd at first, in time the thought did have merit. Many a time had I pretended the dirty dishes in the sink were not there, even though in reality they truly were, I did not "see" them. The same for the clothes scattered on my bedroom floor and piles of reread novels in the corner. I would not "see" them until I wished to do so. This naturally lead to another thought, had I inadvertently wished to see dragons? Something must have switched in me to cause me to go from pleasantly, unknowing human to unhappy dinner? But what?
Thinking very hard on the matter, I failed to notice the return of hunger in my loving dragon's eyes. He reached for me with a clawed foot and startled, I dodged out of his way. He huffed once more at me, while again attempting to clamp on. "HOLD IT!" I cried out and for a moment Sir Dragon paused to hear me out. I took a deep breath in and exhaled, I was going to plea my uncertain case to the dragon and beg for a reprieve. I did not for an instance believe it would work.
"I need one more hour." The simple statement was meant to be a politely asked question. I was going to rephrase it when a rumble interjected, "Why? What is the point in living much longer, mortal? You can die here now or later, but either way you will die."
"I know. Believe me, I know what is about to take place, whether I want it or no, but I must find out how it is I can see you and how it is no one else can."
"Why? There is nothing of interest in such knowledge, especially for you who will die soon." The dragon reached for me again, diving this time to the right I rolled to a crouched position and for the last time made my case.
"Aren't you curious also? If you can learn how I came to see you, you will forever know how it comes to be that humans can or cannot view your form, would this not interest you?" This is the first and probably last time I heard a dragon laugh. It is not a pretty sound. The whole earth shook with the force of his laughter, which sounded eerily similar to that of thunder and storm winds. The smell of decay again was blown in my direction.
"Do you think I care whether a human can or cannot see me? This is amusing mortal, that you would try and include me into your ferocious curiosity." Ferocious? What a strange way to describe my curiosity, but I could not claim he lacked a generous vocabulary.
"Please," Yes. This time I tried the magic word. "One hour to figure this mystery out, it is my last request before death." At this Sir Dragon stopped his laughter and drawing back from me, gazed upon me with a look of terrifying seriousness. "Very well," he said, "One hour, but you may not leave my sight and you may not call out for help."
With one hour of life left, I did what any normal person would do in such situations. I tried to figure out how the hell I came to see this dragon? I pondered and meditated for five minutes before another thought occurred, how is it that dragons were able to snatch humans without being detected? Feeling very much the natural curiosity of my kind, I directed my question to the resting dragon on my right. "We are thought to be the wind or some other natural element. Our kind, being thought out of existence by your own, became a part of a different type of reality. A reality yours would understand and accept. When humans go missing it is because they are taken, most of the time after a gust of wind or storm has been in the area. These mortals are thought to have been taken by the elements and lost to them. What is amusing is the fact that even after they are captured, almost of them still cannot see me or my kind in our true form."
I sobered at this. So, mankind could not see them because they did not want to see them. In place of dragons we have created unexplainable wind and storms to prevent our minds from the truth. That dragons did exist. Another muse tapped my shoulder, did other "mythical" creatures exist then? Obviously they did, that did happen to explain the occasional giggle in my garden (fairies) and the strange white horse I had seen once on a hillside as a young child (unicorn). Perhaps the big foot investigators and Nessie researchers weren't crazy folk looking for a fiction based legend. Perhaps, just perhaps, they understood what common man did not: we are blind!
Having come to realization that my entire 20 years were a sham, I sat down heavily on a nearby boulder and in doing so returned to the original question: how the hell I had gone from blind to seeing in a matter of minutes. Now the truth is hard to swallow, sort of like really sweet, sour lemonade, but you swallow it anyway to be polite. I swallowed the truth, with nary a complaint, but still could not get over my rotten luck. To be able to see reality and only before death! Why?! I wanted to scream, but as I was choked up with emotions and felt great amount of pride eating at me, refused to release this burning question. I guess I could always ask God when I get to heaven. Supposing heaven existed, for all I knew that could be a sham too. Unwilling to believe this was the end, I mustered up the strength to plunge headlong into the scariest, most despairing place on earth...my own brain.
There are a lot of cobwebs in my brain, I tried not to notice them as I resolved to investigate the source of my new found sight and wisdom. What I discovered was a massive labyrinthine, which carried on for miles and with no end in sight or goal in mind, kept me busy for a great portion of the hour. Every dead end I met lead to a door, usually with a sign on it reading something to the effect of: Anger, Greed and Hatred, Boredom, Happy Dreams and Fantasies or Naughty Dreams and Fantasies. My only guess is that many of my emotions and dreams had to bunk together, for there is only so much room in the brain. I was losing hope in discovering what about me could have produced this affect when I was jolted from my internal investigation by the light bulb of eureka. Sofia be blessed! I understood, I understood everything! I had not woken up from the sleep of stupidity, it was not like that at all. I had come into reality by already being there. Perhaps it was not Enlightenment or the Holy Ghost which provided me with this sight, but myself. I had finally come to terms with my own existence and at that moment was ready to come to terms with the existence of others. I had finally come to reality, away from my dreams and fantasies of what could be to the present moment and in that moment woke up to the truth.
My own brilliance stunned me, though I had little time to be pleased with my realization, for Sir Dragon gave a rough cough, signaling the end of the hour and my life. So much for discovering reality, were I to survive this I would inform all who would listen how much reality sucked! I would not have this opportunity, for a clawed foot made it way to my spot on the boulder.
"Did you figure out your question, mortal?" he rumbled amusingly. "Yes," I replied abruptly, "Thank you for the time, I hope your hunger has not diminished because of the wait." This was said sarcastically, though I have now come to believe that sarcasm is completely and utterly lost dragons.
"Not at all, human, let us finish what we had started." Gripping me firmly in his claw, Sir Dragon had just opened his badly-in-need-of-cleaning mouth when a miracle took place. No. Angles did not rescue me nor did I happen to spy a man in armor rushing toward my rescue, though both would have been welcomed had that been the case. Instead, much to my delight and disgust, Sir Dragon sneezed. I did not realize that Dragons had allergies, but with the his blessed allergies came my long desired escape. As soon as he released snot, spittle and other unmentionable bodily fluids from his nose and mouth, he too, released me from his grip. With my person free and his eyes shut, I took off into the forest where I hid in the thick foliage until well after he was gone.
Several days later and I returned home to recount my adventure and near-death to my friends and family. All who are still blind to reality. The case being as such, all of them laughed at me brave story and patted me on the back for a novel tale well told. How I wish they knew the truth of it! I can only hope that when they do awaken to reality, it is not at the hands, or rather claws, of a very hungry dragon.
My own life went on in a normal fashion, minus the new sights and sounds and smells being introduced to me day in and out. Fairies and goblins and unicorns seem strangely normal to me, though a few weeks ago I would have laughed at such a notion.
I still keep an eye on the sky for that dragon and his friends. Not wanting to risk capture once more I have taken some precautions, such as carrying a bat with me outside and remaining under trees and behind buildings when one is spotted. Other than these new and rather odd actions, life is the same. I could only be thankful that I have come to reality and now work toward helping others understand their true selves and existence.
Just a funny little story I concocted late one night after my cable was turned off : P.