I thought this week I’d share my response to the fantasy writing prompt I posted this morning. Enjoy!
She sat cross-legged in a cold room at the base of a retreat in Tibet. It was a stark environment for four hundred dollars per night. She cleared her mind and tried to think calming thoughts, as she should be meditating, but the heat of someone’s gaze stirred her out of her ruminations. She opened her eyes and looked around—as usual, she was alone. She requested it that way—she came here to get away from the hustle and bustle. She stretched her neck and turned to the painting the Lama told her to focus on. As she blinked, she caught a whiff of sandalwood and vanilla. A shimmer of light on the wall caught her attention. The light twinkled and shot to the right.
She followed it with her eyes over the painting. The glow was ethereal—the light hit a spot high on the wall. The entire wall illuminated with a blinding brilliance which heated the room. After a moment, the light faded and she opened her eyes. The lines of the drawing on the wall pulsated with energy. She glanced over her shoulder, but she was alone. She approached the painting.
It was a collage of scenes from a battle. Black on one side and reds on the other, she was drawn to the fierce jade dragon in the center of the battle.
As she looked at the dragon, the black paint on the wall started to reach off and come toward her. A song played in her head—it was one she was familiar with; they played it all over the retreat.
“Am I dead?” She asked.
“No, human,” the dragon spoke.
“How can a painting talk? If I’m not dead, am I going crazy?”
“No, you are not crazy,” the dragon chuckled. His voice was deep and had a somber tone. The green dragon swirled around and the black paint reached her fingertips. The dragon walked through the air and stopped just in front of her nose. She felt his breath on her skin—it was as large as she was.
“I am Soren. I have waited a long time for you, my human.”
“Are you nuts? Paintings can’t talk.”
The dragon chortled.
“Hey, none of that; if you’re a dragon you’re ancient and serious, right?”
“I have lived here for many generations, Chloe.” Soren said. She furrowed her brow.
“How do you know my name?”
“I know everything about you: you have a scar on your right knee from a fall from a bicycle when you were five and you were first kissed by Tomas Gregoras at the age of eleven behind your Aunt Maeve’s garden shed. Shall I go on?”
“No,” Chloe said. She gasped as the dragon shimmied. “How is this possible?”
“Anything is possible, and more things are probable than in your little imagination.” Soren said.
“Now you sound like an ancient pain in the…”
“Dragon.” He finished.
“That’s not what I was going to say.”
“I know,” Soren laughed. He stood nose-to-nose with her. “I have missed you, Chloe.”
“Missed me? We haven’t met before. I would remember that.”
“Are you sure?” He asked.
“Talking to a wall painting of a dragon? Yeah, I’d recall that.”
“Will you touch me?” Soren asked. She hesitated. “I don’t bite. Much.”
Chloe hesitated, but reached out a hand to the area just in front of her. She didn’t go the whole way. The dragon reached her hand. He was smooth and supple with scales.
“What do you want of me?” She gasped. Raw power rippled under her hand.
“Are you ready?” Soren asked. He didn’t wait for a response, but leapt at her.
Erica put up her hands to defend herself, but his paws met with hands. With the single contact, the world exploded. She was no longer staring at a painting of a dragon; instead, the dragon was now inside her. She looked out from her eyes, but his as well. When he spoke, it was from a place inside her. She closed her eyes. When she opened them they were soaring in clouds.
“What happened? Where are we?” The sound echoed.
“We are together, as we were always meant to be, Chloe; here and on the Earth.”
“Where are we, who are you, and what did you just do?”
“Your destiny,” Soren said. “We have been together before; you felt that. Now we are together as we should be in this lifetime.”
“What do you mean…before?”
“In another life, a long time ago, I was your human.”
Her mouth dropped. “You mean I was a dragon?”
“Yes, and I was your human. Each time the Earth needs a protector, we are summoned into being. And until that time we wait, and see what happens during the time of humans.”
“And we’re needed?”
“Yes.” Soren’s black eyes flickered with hints of silver. “A darkness is coming. We must protect this place. We must hurry; his forces are almost here.”
“Here?” Chloe asked. She looked around—it was cloudy and perfect.
“Here on the Earthly plane. We must wake and tell the others; they must evacuate the Monastery, or all will be lost.”
Chloe opened her eyes. She lay on the ground, looking up at concerned faces. Cole stood on one side and the Lama on the other. The Lama muttered something about Americans never following rules. Chloe saw others out of the corner of her eye. As she breathed, it felt strange as if she were warmer from the core out. She opened her mouth to speak, but words didn’t come; instead, a bolt of fire burst from her mouth, shooting up three feet in the air. Everyone jumped back. Chloe closed her mouth, slapped a hand over it.
“Sorry.” Soren chuckled. “Try it now.”
She opened her mouth and a puff of smoke came out. She coughed. Someone handed her a glass of water.
“That’s not going to stop it.” Soren chuckled.
“It’s a human habit, Dragon. Chill.”
“We must hurry.”
Chloe took a breath. When she looked up, the Lama stood above her. “You got to get everyone out of here—this place is in danger.”