Shelly M.

Dragon

There once was a boy, who was known for his beauty. Not a strand of his midnight black hair was ever out of place. His pale skin, sickly on any other, contrasted magnificently with his locks. He was always dressed in finery, immaculate down to the very last button.

His most astonishing feature was his eyes. Dark lashes framed mesmerizing pools of molten silver. They were often icy, closing off the windows into his soul.

Alas, nothing is perfect, not even this boy. His heart was as dark as the darkest strand of his hair. He always looked upon those who he thought were lower than him with disdain, a sneer permanently marring his porcelain features. Despite his cruelty, he was still very much desirable to all women throughout the land.

It helped that he was the heir of a wealthy family, whose ancestry could be traced to the most noble of nobles of Charlemagne’s time.

When he was a small boy, he had a nasty encounter with a snake in the forest that bordered his family’s property. He was bedridden for a full lunar cycle. The snake that bit him had scales as silver as the boy’s eyes. Its fangs had dripped acid-green venom. His nanny had gasped with fear when he first recounted his story, for she had heard of a terrible legend surrounding the snake. When she informed him, he had laughed coldly at her, even when she described the horrendous fate that awaited him if he did not listen…

He was not as unaffected as he seemed. The bite mark always stared mockingly at him from his forearm. His nanny always looked at him with a pitying gaze and her admonitions echoed in his mind. This may have had a role in his decision to dismiss her…

Now nearing the age of eighteen, the boy was of marriage age. Many women vied for his attention, but he only looked upon them with the same scornful look. He always seemed to find a tiny flaw in any hopeful girl. “Her nose is off-center,” he sometimes said. “There is one too many hairs on her head.”

The day of his birthday celebration, the boy’s servants spent precious hours making sure he was as immaculate as ever. They dressed him in his best silk finery. His gold heirlooms were polished to a mirror-like shine, making him seem to emit a light of his own. When the clock struck eight, he donned a charcoal grey cloak and swept toward the back garden with his servants in tow.

The stars winked down at the partygoers from the night sky. Everyone stood up and turned toward the French doors when a servant announced the boy. They plastered fake smiles onto their faces and applauded, all-the-while thinking “Spoiled brat”. Everyone turned back to their conversations as the boy strutted around the tables to greet his guests and potential bride-to-be’s, who in turn congratulated him on another year. Everything progressed smoothly, and before they knew it, it was minutes before midnight.

Two minutes

Clouds moved over the stars and the moon, throwing the world into shadow. The wind picked up speed, rustling the leaves on the yew and cypress trees.

One minute

Leaves were ripped from their branches as the wind reached an astonishing speed. The guests had to clutch their belongings to them.

Thirty seconds

They watched with morbid fascination as the boy began to glow from his torso. His eyebrows scrunched in confusion.

Ten seconds

A second, poisonous green light emitted from the old wound on his forearm. Fear crept onto his face.

Five seconds

His whole body seemed to emit silver light. The wind kept gaining speed and ferocity.

Three seconds

The wind lifted him off the ground, carrying the yew and cypress leaves with it.

Two seconds

The boy’s eyes were wide with terror; no one could see his expression.

One second

The wind howled and the boy howled with it.

Midnight

The blinding light exploded as the bells began tolling. The wind slowed down, leaving behind debris. The clouds retreated. The moon and stars shone brightly again. As the last toll died down, so did the light surrounding the boy.

The party only saw his panting, huddled form for a second. When the moonlight struck him, he began to convulse and cry out. His dark hair turned a shocking silver, followed by the rest of his body.  His blood-curdling scream intensified as huge silver wings sprouted from his shoulder blades. A large tail tipped with deadly-looking spikes formed. Silver scales grew from his now silver skin. Sharp claws emerged from his hands and feet. His body elongated and changed structure. His neck became a long column of muscle and sinew. His head lengthened and his jaw enlarged. His scream displayed his sharp teeth.

The guests were frozen with astonishment and horror. One recovered his voice and managed to stutter, “A-a d-d-dragon!”

Women screamed and ran inside for safety. Men called for their guards, who immediately took up their rifles against the dragon.

The boy’s once-handsome, now-reptilian face showed fear and dismay. His silver eyes gazed at those who he thought had admired him. Men sneered at him with disgust. Women had their painted faces smothered against the windows, looking at him with the same hatred. He tried to speak, but it only came out as a low growl.

The men saw this as a threat and ordered their guards to open fire. The dragon let out an anguished wail as some of the bullets pierced his vulnerable wings. He swung his mighty tail at his attackers in defense. This only intensified the attack.

The silver beast let out one last strangled roar before taking flight, never looking back at those who he now knew loathed him.

There once was a boy, who agonizingly transformed into a magnificent silver dragon by the light of the moon. His roar of loneliness could be heard almost every night.





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