Glowing yellow eyes.
Glistening teeth set to snarl, to snap.
Fur bristling, angry to the touch. Pointed, directed. Speaking clearly.
It bunches up its shoulders, the massive beast. I see more pink flesh as its lips pull further back, pearly in the moonlight. It’s jaw is slightly ajar, drool beginning to pool at the sides of its mouth.
Against its tongue.
Dripping from its massive, sharp teeth.
It snarls again, the sound jagged as it rips through the air. Warning me once more.
The beast’s claws snap a branch, reminding me that there’s more to him than fang and fur. More damage he can do. More ways than one to skin a cat, so to speak.
But I see what lies under the snarls, too.
Under the bristling fur, there’s a softer coat.
Those eyes that rove the landscape behind me, that sift through the trees, they’re not just suspicious, not just threatening.
They’re scared. Continue reading “Chimaera”
It was a leaf.
One singular leaf.
And it fell.
Speaking only in a whisper as it went. Its last cry carried on the wind that took it from its place, its home. It was just the one leaf, falling through the breeze. Calling to me, warning me, as it did.
He is not the same.
That’s what the leaf said.
He is not who you think him to be.
Was the echo the wind gave. Words that spoke of fall, of seasons changing. Words that carried truth to them. A resounding, hollow ring.
I will tell you something that few know:
A forest on the verge of death can only speak truth. It has been that way since always. Since forever. An ancient law, as old and bright as the sun. Which is how I knew:
He was not who I thought he was. Continue reading “Cold Comes the Lie”
“How can you be sure that that’s the right path?”
When she asks, her eyes are focused far off. Lingering in the dark. Clinging to the blank spots in space that neither of us can see into. That neither of us—her, with her newfound knowledge, and me, with my vast experiences—can see into.
We are blind out there in those places.
Tucked between the stars.
The darkness that those places are purveying.
But not winning.
Not if you don’t want it to.
That’s what I can see in her eyes as she looks. Not curiosity. Not wonder.
I shake my head at her. Already, she has made a critical error.
You don’t look between the stars for knowledge.
You look there for guidance. Continue reading “The Stellar Path”
“That’s not my name.”
Those were the first words you said to me.
The Mighty Gryphon. A beast like no other. Lord of Magic, Watcher of the Mountains. Harbinger of Fall and Beast of the Rising Tide. Timeless Warrior. Champion of Valken. Raiser of Scourge.
I gave you a name.
And you—a tiny, puny human without a single light in your sky— you tell me:
“That’s not my name.”
Forgive me for laughing, but, I know.
This is going to be one long, hard task. Continue reading “Gryphon’s Disciple”
I’m not sure how to handle this. What I ought to do. Where I can go from here. How to recover.
What do you do when everything you built was a lie? When the house turns out to be made of glass and then—surprise, surprise—it shatters? What foundation can survive on sand? Who builds a house that washes away with the shore?
What do you do when you live like that?
What can you do to save yourself? To save what you’ve stored away? What you’ve built?
Could there ever be reckoning from a betrayal that runs foundation-deep?
I don’t know.
I don’t think so.
How could you ever trust that broken ground again? What could you ever build there? What kind of dangerous contraption could stand on something like that?
What can I recover?
Continue reading “Spirit Unrested”
I was not interested in the humans at first. Not at all.
Thousands of years—or, perhaps, it was the blink of an eye, I can’t be sure—passed before I finally found out why my kind were so enamored by them. Why they found them amusing. Entertaining. Why they risked their lives, and our secrets, in order to interact with them.
After a good long while, I figured it out.
Such small, delicate creatures. So powerless. And yet:
The beauty of humanity was locked into that fact. Showcased in their faces as the sky lit with stars in the chasm of the night. How enamored they were with the world. How wondrous they found life, even in the darkest of nights.
Such helpless creatures. Unable to grasp their circumstances, unable to withhold the hand of death, and yet:
The strong ones were, anyway.
Continue reading “Hopeful Lights”
Magic is, inherently, selfish.
Taking the world and twisting it to make something of your own—twisting reality to make a thing you find more appealing—that is the nature of magic. The nature of fiends.
The nature of faeries.
And what an overwhelming, overpowering, magic it is.
That was what he’d told me. How he’d explained himself. And I told him something else. Something different.
Faeries are not the only ones with magic.
Continue reading “Kindly Magic: Part II”
The first night I saw him, I thought he was a possum, staring through my window. With his shiny eyes, and his malicious grin, I thought he was a possum under the porch. Staring through my basement window because he was curious.
I was not entirely wrong.
He was no possum. On that account, I was definitely wrong.
He is infinitely curious. Continue reading “Kindly Magic”
The world moves onward.
That’s what we know. If nothing else is certain, there is that one, tiny, constant.
The world moves onward.
There was a time when we ravaged the land. When we raided from the sky. When humans fought us with all their might, because of our inner fire. Because we…
We were other.
Not part of them.
There was a time when we soared. When we fought alongside the people. When we weighed mountains in hand and cast them aside, simply for the sake of making bridges. To give peace, or to bring prosperity. Humans praised us. Thanked us. Loved us dearly.
Both places exist in time.
As old as they are, they exist.
Both times exist.
Though not in this place.
Because this time is a different time. Separated from the previous. This time is the time that is in the future. The time that is forward.
This is the time in which the world has moved onward.
We have not forgotten.
We move forward.
Continue reading “Lost Passion”
When I was young, so young that I had to sit on my dad’s shoulders, that was the first time I saw them.
They were majestic. Beautiful. Terrifying. Everything I’d ever thought a dragon should be. They didn’t fall short, nor did they blow my expectations out of the water.
They were exactly as I thought they’d be.
That said, they weren’t what surprised me.
What surprised me was their riders.
People who tamed dragons. Who didn’t fear them. Who stood next to, on the backs of, and beside these giant beasts. These creatures that shrieked, or roared, or howled. That spat fire or ice or wind. That broke through sound barriers, and dove into the deepest parts of the ocean, scraped the highest clouds in the sky.
They were riders who weren’t afraid to live.
Who weren’t afraid to die.
Or, at least, that’s how it seemed to me. And that was the moment—the moment I laid eyes on the riders—that I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I wanted to be a dragon rider. Continue reading “Dragon’s Faith”