As she dried my eyes, she gently unfolded one scarlet wing. Inside the opening, close to her body, I saw my fears, cowering like newborns.
I ran to her and picked them up protectively, knowing deep inside I was their mother, their charge. I held them tight as the dragon spoke to me, as she told me they had to die.
I cried then and my fears clung to me; they understood what she was saying.
The dragon smiled at me and with a gesture the size of a mountain, she unfurled her wings slowly. They opened into a spiral, like the fronds of ferns, and she swept them over my face, brushing the tears from my eyes.
The moonlight shone bright and harsh through her lacy wings and I realized that the fears were neither a part of me, nor a part of her. She had merely shown them to me, so I could see I had fashioned these creatures from the shadows that flitted and danced just past the limit of my vision, almost out of sight.
Removed from the edges of my mind, seen clearly face to face, I noticed my fears were laughing. Their faces as they clung to me were creased with mirth. Through my tears I had seen them grimace and sob, yet all along my fears were jesting, jokers and fools, playing with my mind.
The dragon saw my bemusement and laughed. In that moment I realized I was laughing too. I jumped and danced. The dragon rolled on her back like a kitten. I looked into her eyes and together we breathed fire. My fears were gone.
Dane Divine is an emerging writer from Plymouth, UK, who now lives in Wellington, Aotearoa. She completed her MA in Creative Writing at Plymouth University. Her fiction appears in Shoreline of Infinity and the Retreat West anthology, The Word for Freedom. danedivine.com; www.instagram.com/dane_divine, www.facebook.com/danedivinestories
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