The last thing I felt from reality was cold rain, strong wind and an echo through my soul. Aspen had control while we flew, there was nothing for me to do but let go and allow her and the others to take us wherever we were going. My mind drifted in and out of hers till I fell completely into darkness. I feared sleep, feared it due to the abuse from Amy, but my mind was tired, my body in pain and they all fell together.
My eyes opened to a bright morning sun, cool air and waves crashing on a nearby beach. No one was around me, I saw a bird flying above my head, but no mother, dragons or anything I could make sense of. I climbed to my feet, felt the smooth rocks, form the beach, below them and rose to stretch. This was like no place I had ever seen or been. I could not imagine why the others would leave me here alone, but I needed food, drink and maybe some idea of where I was. Turning back to the ocean, there was no ship in sight, and though I felt like this was the same sea we had been traveling on, this water looked different then the water of last night. It was cleaner, calm, and something else I could not put my finger on. I felt within for Aspen, but even she was being silent. If she had gone cold I had only my own wits to lead me forward.
The beach went on as far as the eyes could see. It was lined with tropical plants and trees. Behind them rose mountains I knew could not be on this side of the world. They were steep, high and had jagged lines. Not at all like the mountains always found in the north waters of Scotland. I could not imagine we had already crossed the north sea and were headed further out. Again, something about the trees and mountains behind me, gave me the feeling I was somewhere I simply could not be. I thought about all that had happened since the night we left the house, and reconsidered what I would say is possible.
I turned my attention back to the water, away from the trees behind me and knelt down to touch it. If this was the north sea, where I should be, then it would feel much like ice and nothing more. As I put a single finger into the water, I found anything but a chilly surface. The rest of my hand sank in, then my other hand and my mind could not longer make sense of my surroundings. The water was like a warm bath, not that of the north sea. This could not be real! As I leaned in closer, I saw a reflection in the water, but I did not see my face. The reflection of my arms, were also not my own. A sound from behind me made me turn back to the trees right in time for a young girl to come running through the underbrush. Her skin was darker then my own, she was in her early teens, and she wore a smile as if she knew me. Her voice, though loud and clear, was not framing words in English. As she drew closer I realized she was running to me and I still could not understand her. She came to a stop right in front of me, and in that moment, the sky blurred, there was a sharp ringing in my ear and then it went back to normal.
“Amy, are you not listening to me, we have to go. You are going to be late for your on festival, and you know father will be angry! Please, what has gotten into you?”
I blinked when I realized I was able to understand her. I also realized she called me Amy. Everything from last night came flashing through my eyes and I had to wonder who, or what was responsible for all this. I looked down at the girl, put my hand out to her and spoke, hoping she too would be able to understand me.
“I feel like I should know you, but I have not the clue how. Will you tell me your name?”
“My name! Amy what is this all about? Father is going to kill you if you play your games this day.
She continued to look up at me, but made no further movement to leave the beach. If the were some kind of dream, or memory, then I should have known who the people in it were, or so I thought. I was about to say something more, but then she replied;
“Alright silly, my name is Simile, you are Amy and we are both going to be late. Can we go now?
“And what is this festival you speak of, and why is it so important for me to be there? Can you tell me that as well?”
“This is no longer funny, but yes. This is the festival of dragons. You were chosen eight moons ago, by father and the council, to blend with Zorgonus. It will complete his desires to blend with a woman, and it will cure fathers need to marry you off. You have been excited about all of this for many days, now come on!”
With the last outburst, she dropped my hand, and walked off in the direction she had come. Without any further protest, I followed her. If this were some kind of dream, or message, I did not want to be getting lost in it. I took my first step in her direction, and the moment I did so the ground changed. The sky changed and my surroundings changed as well. From one step to the next I went from a rocky beach, to a beach covered in smooth black sand. The trees and mountains all remained the same, but the process did not stop there. I took another step, and then two and with every new step, something in my vision changed. By the time I had caught up with Simile, the ground was shaking, the sky had turned violent, and tongues of purple lightening cracked across an angry sky. I retook her and, which she had held out to me. Nothing about this child changed, but when we started moving again, more and more changes took place to the rest of the world. She did not seem to notice what was changing, but within minutes, she was leading me to a small village. Fires burned in all directions, but no form of houses could be seen. Simile, let my hand go when she saw the remainder of her village. turning back to me, I was now fully aware of my own changes.
The hand I still held out for her, had changed to a deep black, crust. Scales covers my arm, my fingers and moved into my body. I tried to look behind me, but was unable to turn. I too had become a massive black dragon. Fire flew from my snout, my tail crashed into the trees and though I had no idea or memory of this event, I stepped forward and killed Simile as I did so. Internal anger turned to rage and deep sense of loss. That rage turned inward, my mind spun in pain but before I blacked out one more event rocked through my mind. I was flying now, the island far below me. More purple lightening scratched the sky, I thought all this was my doing, but I could not imagine how. One more look to the island, that had been so beautiful before, and I turned to the sea and the rest of time. My mind shifted again, right as I was about to let go of the world. I went from flying to standing in a busy street, but no city I had ever known. I took a step or two, making sure nothing else was going to change. The street stayed the same, but the feeling within me did not. I could still feel the echo of the great black dragon within me. Aspen was not a part of me now, but sorrow and pain accompanied the hard black truth of what I had become.
As I walked through the city, it was clear, I was in the middle ages, not the twenty-first century. Fire holders lit the street, this place had the feel of Edinburgh Scotland, but many centuries before my birth. There was a deep sense of loss in the pit of my being, I felt old, lost and seriously out of place. I knew this was the memories in me, not my personal feelings, but then, the concept of I, at this moment was all relevant. As I blinked, I went from a random street, in the middle of town, to a single home on the outskirts of the city. the door was open, and There was no one else around but me. I stepped inside, an immediately felt at home.
There was a fire burning in the hearth across the room. A long couch, that also looked large enough for small dragon, to spread out on, opposite the fire. Pictures line the walls, and one picture stood out to me, above all others. It was hand painted, rough lines, but the place was clear, an the individual standing in the foreground could not be mistaken. The location was the beach, where I had been earlier in this memory, the person, the little girl, Simile. As I looked at the picture, a deep feeling of loss, an need filled my mind. I had tears falling from my eyes, and anger rising in my depth. What had happened to me? What had caused all the fires and destruction on the island where I was from? Had I been truly responsible for the destruction of my village, and my family? Had I truly killed my younger sister, Simile? A mixture of my thoughts and memories, churned with those of Amy’s. Everything I knew about when Aspen had come forth in me, was amazing. The first change had been hard, but not so dramatic as all this. What could have possibly gone wrong, to cause the change in Amy to do so much evil? In the blink of n eye, the world changed yet again. I was in an old London, back when the streets were dark, and the only light came from a lamp fires. Something terrible was happening in the building next to me. Screams from women, cries through the black and then the world burst into flam. People were running in all directions, the flam consumed everything around me. The ground shook, the building beside me collapsed and from the flames stepped Zorgonus. Her black scales glowing like ruby embers in a black coal fire. Every inch of her being was in flam. Every step forward shook the earth and then she was face to face with me. I looked at her, she looked at me and I got the deep odd feeling I was staring into oblivion. My sight doubled, I saw myself, through the eyes of a dragon, I also saw the dragon through my own sight. I was me again, not Amy, but I was also her. I felt pain within me, I felt anger, but most of all, I felt terrible loss and sorrow. I missed my family. I missed my sister, and I missed a world that made any kind of sense. The eyes seemed to penetrate the deepest parts of my soul. I saw what she saw. I felt as she felt, and I finally knew why she had gone so dark. Her voice, the voice of Zorgonus, and the dragon voice of mother all echoed through my very being;
“It was meant for the best. It was supposed to create balance. So dark the souls of man. Can creation not bring life? Can women not crete love. How have we gone so wrong? Drowning, dying, hating, loathing, needing wishing, hopeless. My pain will fill the world. My sorrow will kill desire, and my torment will torture the innocent!”
As the feeling of complete loss filled me I became deathly aware of the events leading to the demise of Amy’s soul. I could understand the wish to destroy. The blending was hoped to bridge the destruction and desire for control in man, with the ability of creation, and love from woman. Zorgonus, had not considered how much like man he was. He had not thought about the possibilities of trying to remove the dark from the light. Without the darkness, the light can not prevail. He had successfully blended with a woman, but the light of creation could not contain the dark of control, and the blending had gone completely wrong. Zorgonus now lived as two separate beings; one completely dark, consuming everything through Amy, and the other only the empty shell of a great dragon, forever stuck on the isle of its creation. The same isle Amy had burned to ashes, after killing her family and only sister. Madness had consumed her for the tens of thousands of years following that event. Once again my mind went numb, the world blurred and I found myself back in the subconscious of Aspen. I was still in pain from the events I had just lived through. I felt too many things all at once. I felt pain and sorrow, but I also felt betrayal. I had seen her world through her own eyes. I had felt her loss of Simile and her family. I could only think to myself an the wind blew around me. Could I say I would have become different, had I not been in her shoes? Would anyone ever be able to withstand the loss of so much?
A fuzzy feeling brought me bak to my own reality. Aspen wiggled her mind into my own. I felt her love take hold, and the heat from her soul fill me. Had I been in my own body, and not hers, I would have been trembling. I opened our eyes, so I could see the world. Dawn was coming and still we flew. Mother and the rest were all around me. Aspen filled me and spoke softly.
“Are you alright love, I lost you there for a time. Where have you been?”
“Where are we Aspen, How far have we flown. Did you not witness everything I just did?”
“No, my dear, your mind was gone from my own. The others and I have been very worried about you. Can you tell me where you went and what you have learned?”
I felt for the emotions to respond, more then words. I knew after the story I had just witnessed it was going to be my heart and soul that got me through this alive, not thoughts and understandings. Though I had seen and felt her past, I was no longer sure I would be able to be impartial to her current situation and points of living. I opened my heart and allowed Aspen to feel all I now felt. I tried to share the world from the point of view of Amy and I made sure to not hold back. I could not put any of it to words, but to my relief, Aspen seemed to get the point. Her energy turned from concerned about me, to concerned about the situation. Again, I opened my eyes, and saw a dim light on the horizon. I also saw the form of land, far off. It looked familiar, but as we continued to approach it, I realized where we now were. The island looked different now, but the peaks were still just as jagged. There were no trees along the beach, no green in any direction, only a completely dead look and feel. I knew the waters below were cold and icy. This was the birth place of Amy, Simile and Zorgonus. The dawn was coming, the black of night shifted to light, and everything I now knew became so clear in my mind. That was the great loss at the hand of a dragon. Amy had been chosen to create a bridge, for light and dark. Only the two had already been bridged by male and female. You can not separate that which already creates balance. You can not tear the dark from the light. In a world so vast and natural, only one thing could come from breaking the balance. Pain.