Do you ever lie on your back under the sky and think about all those sunsets you missed and the beauty in the word ‘exhaustion’? It’s one of those rare words that sounds exactly like it should: like a sigh after a long day’s struggle through social etiquette and accidental sarcasm and you’re wondering if eyelashes are supposed to be heavy.
Thinking about heavy, you notice the ever-so-light clouds that seem to be absorbed in their frolic, soft pastel sketching as they form and reform. You watch their light-hearted caper evolve into profound shadow play and the princess rides a young dragon to battle against the reptile-headed tiger cub to rescue her childhood friend who turns into (literally) her lover who falls behind the veil and leaves her a patch of starlight with his final breath as she falls to her knees, watching her own self dissolve into a rearing unicorn.
The unicorn looks at the starlight with slight concern before she decides to take a look into the past. the crocodile pulls the fairytale woodcutter into the lake and leaves his axe for his daughter who cradles it as if it were a child, and so it was. And then it wasn’t…for the boy had been taken by the dragons. The wind echoed with the young mother’s sorrow.
Little boy and his best friend crawled out doors and followed the firefly in the dark and found themselves in the dragons’ lair. Thrill replaced the blood in their veins and little boy asked little girl to wait until he signalled. Tiptoeing wasn’t nearly enough. Terror washed over him as he stumbled into a baby dragon who barely reached his elbows and gazed up at him with a vaguely amusing blend of curiosity and amazement.
Little boy called out for little girl to run, run home and stay indoors, for the clouds were growing dark and the wind, fierce. Little girl ran back home only to find the town deserted. The dragons would strike again, they thought, and no one wanted to risk it. No one would take them back. The dragons offered to let them stay. Little boy graciously accepted while little girl quietly took to the forest instead.
Time always has the last word. When the great war between the dimensions began, not-so-little girl hears that not-so-little boy lives not so far away with his family of dragons and between tears and ecstasy, hurries over to meet him. Minutes grow into weeks and companionship grows into love.
Not-so-little boy urges not-so-little girl to try to stop the war. A spy has powers. Not-so-little girl reluctantly reveals that their entire town, among millions, had been wiped out by the other dimension.
A thunderclap finds her vulnerable.She had been discovered and she knew she was as good as dead. The reptile-headed tiger cub swipes straight for not-so-little boy and he cries out, again, for her to run, run home – this wasn’t her fight. They only wanted the dragons. But she charges into battle alone and not-so-young dragon joins her with equal ferocity with all her hopes tied to the slightly increased probability that she could save everyone.
Hopes and spirits soar high but fate decides otherwise. Not-so-young dragon blows enchanted fire right at reptile-headed tiger cub but the winds shift and it blows towards the edge of the Mist Lake instead; silvery and pretty though it was, the mist was deadly. As chance would have it, it was exactly where not-so-little boy had been trying to steer the youngest little dragons towards the safety of the forest. Not-so-little boy stumbles and falls into the misty veil, almost in slow motion, as he flings the little dragons away from the mist; they would survive the flame.
The reptile-headed tiger cub had fled. Not-so-little girl reaches out in vain, then,with a cry of deep anguish, falls to her knees.
The tears that flow, soothing, are a little too real. ‘Rain’, the little-too-real folks called it.
Exhaustion is a beautiful word.
T. E. Pyrus