The Dragon's Abode

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Part 1: Chapter 4

It was noon, on the day the earth rested under an eclipse. The sun seemed to weaken. The river calm and cold, the leaves glowed a subtle golden and the lines of shadows seemed ever gliding on walls and on the village's dusty road. The girl watched the phenomenon from within the cave. The dragon crawled towards her and she broke the silence.

"I have a question for you but I forgot what it was. Oh...Have you heard of the story about the queen of toads that went to the heavens?" She asked the dragon as she stared at the peaceful blackness outside. The sun was completely engulfed.

"Is that the question?" The dragon asked.

"No... This is another." She replied and continued.

"My mother told me, she went up by standing on a tree and using a chant, she went because she was angry at the sun for burning her coat."

The dragon bowed his head seemingly showing interest in the little girl's story. He had never before had a companion in this world and the little girl can make his bleakest moments intriguing.

"And then what happened to the sun?"He asked.

"The moon got eaten by the toad... I think. I think she ate the sun too." She frowned.

The story she told the dragon seemed to trouble her. To her, the outside world and the stories that were told to her were confusing and rather disturbing. She didn't like it that the little toad and the sun were at enmity with each other. She didn't know what happened to the toad, the sun and the moon towards the end. She didn't know if they were all safe. The dragon seemed to have read her thoughts.

"The toad came back to Earth and the sun and moon are safe which is why they are still here today." He told her.

"What about the toad? Is she safe too?" She asked.

"Yes of course she is. You do see toads sometimes. Don't you?"

The little girl nodded relieved to learn that the story she had heard from her departed mother did not have a tragic end.

"Me and my mother used to watch a toad and her children hopping in a funny line whenever it rains. She lived in a pond near my mother's place. They were all very cute." The little girl told the dragon.

She stood up suddenly remembering what she was going to ask the dragon. Her little face lit up.

"I finally remember!!" She exclaimed.

"How was Earth when you were born and have you ever been able to fly on Earth?"

"So those were the questions..."

The dragon sighed.

The little girl was worried lest she has hurt the dragon by asking questions pertaining to his past.

She frowned and looked down at her feet, ashamed.

"Now there's no need to frown. Look up child." He said.

The girl looked up and the dragon spoke.

"I wasn't born here...but the Earth wasn't so different from how it is now. We dragons live in another realm only few can reach. I came here a long time ago when the Earth was in need of balance. I was a young dragon then. And I did soar the skies. Worries were a distant memory and I thought the world will be as beautiful as the Earth. But it wasn't. Before I knew it ... The Earth wasn't a safe place for my kind to be in anymore. It is until the people have made sure that there isn't anything of me left anymore that I was able to return to this place."

Light had slowly returned to the earth as they spoke. She had always loved stories and the ones her grandmother told her in particular made her feel like the world isn't such a bad place to be in. She thought of the stories her grandmother told her of dragons and how they went into hiding because they were feared and that fear arouses hatred in people. Hence those that people fear are harmed even if they were innocent and defense less beings. She thought of the days that the dragon might have enjoyed in his past. She thought of him flying across the skies freely without a care and her heart hung heavy with sorrow for the dragon.

She turned to the dragon and spoke with a serious face which seemed hilarious to the dragon.

"If I could have one wish. I wish that you'll be able to fly freely again."

The dragon laughed.

"You should wish for yourself, little one." He said as he rested his head lightly upon the girl's shoulder.

The earth bathe in the light of the sun that shone in freedom as the eclipse came to an end.

"Like an eclipse this too shall pass..." He thought.

The dragon thought about how happy it made him to have met a human who truly cared for him in this world.

Not long ago, the world for him was colourless and bleak. The other dragons had left for the Other Realm yet he chose to stay and on that fateful day, the dragons returned all prepared to wage a war.

That day, when the last wick of hope for mankind had almost been severed.

_________________________________

"If that was what he wished for then we shall give the humans a chance..." The elder dragon said as they watched the remains of the serpentine dragon being carried away by the murderers.

The chaos dragon along with a swarm of dragons under him had gathered above the clouds all prepared to destroy the human race.

"Leave them be..." The dragon below pleaded as he took his last breath.

The humans had cut off pieces and collected his flesh before he'd even drawn his last breath. The dragons from above averted their eyes from the gory visage.

The rain poured that day cleansing the earth of the dragon's blood. Not even a piece of the dragon was left.

"It is due time to plunge the world into chaos for recreation. He's asking us to give them a chance. Why would he plead for us to leave them be?" One of the dragons asked.

The chaos dragon spoke.

"His soul was always searching for kindness. And he has found it at last. As he was drawing his last breath. I could hear it... the hope in his soul. I don't quite understand it but his spirit still lives."

"The curse for murdering a dragon shall befall upon the murderer and his offsprings for generations unending. The demon that served him shall be the demon he shall serve. Let those that invoke the demon be bound by the Leviathan contract. Our judgement is absolute." The elder roared.

All the dragons joined in his roar,

"The judgement of Dragons!"

The heavens thundered with roars of the many dragons that day, the day the dragons left the Earth, the day when the clouds hung heavy like a thousand mourning souls; a storm brewed and the Earth mourned for days.

_______________________________

Streaks of light pierced through the canopy of trees. Below, the glades rested. The meadows calm, like tresses of a lady only dancing as a soft wind pass by.

"Would you play with me in the meadows sometimes?" The little girl asked the dragon.

"I am accustomed to the dark. It's been a long time since I've seen the meadows during the day. I had only been outside during the night." The dragon replied.

"What does the forest look like during the night?" She asked.

The dragon thought of nights when moonlight coats the waters in silver and how the grasses danced to the song of the river in tranquil. His silver eyes distant as he replied.

"It is beautiful. The restless fireflies, the owl that never cease to tell her stories every night. The slowly growing mushrooms and the river faeries. They all have their little lives bustling during the night."

"I bet your silver eyes shine like the moon at night."

The dragon chuckled nodding his head that shook his giant mustache.

"They do... They do..."

"Do all dragons have silver eyes?" She asked.

"I am the only one... The silver shine is a birthmark for my reincarnation here. I died by brimstone, you see."

The little girl frowned realising she had touched another sensitive topic. The dragon saw this and blew a whiff of air from his nose in the little girl's ear startling her.

"What did I say... No frowning or I'll tickle you with my mustache." The dragon lifted his head, his long mustache wiggled in the air as if having a life of its own.

The little girl's laughter rung through the cave as she ran behind the dragon to escape his mustache's reach. She reached out and pulled herself up by the dragon's mane that ran along his back. The dragon was taken by surprise but he refrained himself from moving worried he might cause the little girl to fall or lest he squish her onto the cave's ceiling. He stretched his mustache as far as he could so he could grab hold of the little girl and bring her back to the ground but he couldn't. The little girl laughed at his attempt.

"If I fly on your back I can hold your mustache." She said.

"No you may not. You're too small to ride a dragon." The dragon asserted.

The little girl pouted.

"Then when I'm big enough I will."

"If you're big enough and still be kind I will give you a ride to the heavens." The dragon said.

The dragon's back was warm and the little girl tired and drowsy from the eclipse stretched her little arms and yawned.

"Are you tired?" The dragon asked as he turned to look back.

The little girl did not reply. She was sound asleep on the the dragon's back. The dragon smiled and bent his head. Closing his eyes, he fell asleep and dreamt of a world where he flew freely above the meadows with the little girl on his back. Gliding through clouds under a moonlit night.

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