The great oilslick dragon who lights lanterns, doesn’t burn your village down

At my wits end I felt like falling apart and begging with my unhinged jaw not t0 be put back together. It was all too much. The eternal inward pressure on my failing organs was beginning to feel like the ocean’s weight was crushing me. The slow breaking of bones that shrank me down little by little was agonising and all the loose bits dragged on the ground when I walked leaving grazes on my grazes, finding broken glass and safety pins all the time. My joints constantly seized and I was running out of oil to coax them back into motion.

I was dreaming of some dragon flying in low overhead. Could hear his wooshing wings and crackling fiery pigeon chest. He was majestic and terrible, oilslick scales and blood red eyes. He bellowed a fantastic scream and insisted on perching his enormous form on the precipice beside me even after I’d kvetched with him not to. But of course, he was a dragon and didn’t care to listen for I am no saint.

“Silly, little girl. Don’t you know I could crush you with my littlest talon if I so cared? I only wished to sit beside you to say I saw your brilliant light. It shone like molten gold above all the dull earth light. It’s beautiful and moving and I needed to see who it came from….

And now I see how your light beams brighter than the rest. I see how you are a beacon of love and laughter but I see you are crying and do not understand why. For all your sophistication and splendour you should be smiling. You are a jewel amidst a sea of stones, glowing sunshine seeps from your fingertips to stain the woods and sands and the oceans live in your eyes. Please don’t be sad, you are perfectly broken and elegant. Will you, won’t you trust me?”

I peered deep into the dragon’s right eye, I could see rivulets of ruby glass flowing in his iris’ and I brought my knees to my chest, sighing. Blonde hair billowed in the breeze of his whistle as he sang me a tune he said was written by the stars for me. I wept all the while and watched as the world turned, the tune felt like desolation, misery and gloom but it was more sensational than any music of this earth.

“Dragon”, I eventually whispered, “I feel too much!

For every sorrow I feel death. For every happiness I feel the birth of new life.

For my first love I feel more emotions than I know numbers! How is it so? How can I keep on living when I know nothing will cure me? I am hopeless in love….”

Well, the dragon, he shook his head and smiled a sharptoothy smile. I think I even heard him laugh. He pondered my exclamation for quite some time and wrapped his tail about me in onyx coils. A stiff blanket of hematite scales.

“You have a tiny frame and an infinite heart. Your soul soars to higher heights than I have ever known!

Poor, tiny girl. You’ve a gift to give, greater than any before you. So, wrap it with delicate touch in butchers paper and twine. Carry it with you until you’re sure that whomever it is you gift it to will know your greatness and cherish it above all else. Until you know that he will love you almost as much as you love him.”

I remember smiling up at the dragon with fire in my heart and I didn’t speak anymore, we just sat and watched shooting stars and space junk burn up in the atmosphere. The dream was vivid and syrupy, somewhat sticky and oozey. I woke up feeling gelatinous, sort of lost and found. Sort of with more confidence but sort of psychotic, it was jarring.

I wanted to heed the advice of my dragon friend so I wrapped a matchbox in paper and tied it lovingly. I took it with me everywhere I went, it visited all the corners I had crammed myself into and been soaked in storms only to dry out a little worse for wear. It got damaged and you could see all it’s struggle. It was my heart in physical form. The dragon was right; it is the greatest gift to ever have been given so I’ll be cautious and quiet and certain in my donation.

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