A Thousand and One Stories#22 Dragon

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There was once a fucked-up palace upon a messed-up island and there lived a crazy girl and a weirdo dragon. Well, they fought daily because of the anxiety created in the place because of circumstances. (By the way, circumstances were these little pixies in the air who spread anxiety all over the place). Well, one day the girl fell off the island and she didn’t know how to swim.

She had been walking along the edge of the island collecting shells from the beach side. Sometimes on the other way where the cliff stood all tall and mighty, she looked at the deep ocean and it would fill her heart with longing. The way the story is told in all the different tales and myths, some say she fell, some say she jumped. She had been isolated on that island for so long with no one but the dragon to keep her company. But the circumstances didn’t even let that be a good thing. So she got annoyed and tried doing other things, finding distractions to fill her time. But every day at least once, she would walk along the beach whether in daytime, evening or night. And she’d also stand near the cliff staring at the ocean and seeing how the sunlight hues played with it, or the moonlight made it look enchanting.

But the thing is.. whenever she had stood on that cliff aching to go out, to reach and touch that ocean, she would remember that she couldn’t for she had been cursed ages ago by the same magician who threw the circumstances pixies on the island.

The magician had seen the girl as a youngling and fallen hopelessly in love with her beautiful smile. But she was, back then, a child and yet she had people coming in from far places just to see her. And he knew that when she grew up, she would attract too much attention and perhaps, even run away with a prince. So the magician stole her and trapped her on that island while sending the dragon to protect and take care of her. But he knew that beautiful that she was, even the dragon won’t be able to resist her charms. And thus, the circumstances pixies to make them anxious and fight a lot. Well, the curse was such that if the girl ever touched the water of the ocean, she’d start ageing three times faster and if she left the island through any means, slowly her body would start to break and she would die

So all the time that she walked along the beach, she was reminded of a thing within her reach that she couldn’t have. She walked on the sand but couldn’t let the waves wash her feet. She stood on the cliff but never could jump and swim. Until the day when finally she was mid-air, almost about to touch the surface of the ocean. But she didn’t know that the dragon had been keeping an eye on her.

Mainly to see that she didn’t eat away his share of cranberry pie. She was a foodie and a thief. Also, a reason why the dragon and she fought. Sometimes when the dragon came back from his flights, bringing ingredients and such from town, expecting lunch or dinner, he’d find empty pots because the girl had cooked, waited and then eaten it all.

Even he couldn’t tell if she had jumped or fell but he just knew he had to stop her from touching the ocean. And so he flew, faster than he had ever flown before and he caught the girl in his huge talons. The girl got gashes all over her body from the sharp talons and she started bleeding. Her blood started to mix in with the salty ocean water..and it made swirls in it…like a paintbrush being dipped in water. She looked at it in a fascinating way. For she had seen a work of art for the first time in those swirls.

She couldn’t feel the pain or the anger she should have on the dragon for hurting her with those talons because her eyes were fixed on those red swirls. And as the dragon started flying back to the island.. she started feeling the pain. So when she lay on the ground on top of the cliff with the dragon by her side, licking her wounds clean. Burning them a little with his breath to prevent infections, she screamed and screamed and her screams echoed throughout the ocean where her blood had just been spilled.

Well, aren’t you curious where did the magician go?

The magician WAS the ocean. He had seen the girl when her family had brought her to the ocean to be blessed as it was the custom in their village. Everyone believed the ocean had some magical properties that blessed the kid as it was born. For there had been many kids who hadn’t bathed in the ocean and hadn’t lived past infancy. The truth was, yes, the ocean did have magic. It was the magician’s relaxed state. It slept and spread far and wide. Waking only to bless the kids. That was until he has seen the girl. He woke up from his slumber, all turbulence in his mind. His heart started beating a frantic pace and he stole her and trapped her in that island. Her family just believed she had drowned in the ocean.

The curse put upon her was so she couldn’t disturb the magician till she was old enough to be sensible. For it took him years to even get back to sleep once he had seen her. He put the curse and was the only one who could reverse it, and if she ever touched the ocean, he’d know. Since her blood got mingled in with the ocean, the magician woke up with the taste of the girl on his lips. When he heard her scream, he personified himself in total rage.

And when he saw the dragon.. licking, touching, burning her perfect skin, he went BATSHIT CRAZY. The magician got close to the girl and felt her anguish as his own for he had now tasted her blood. He had already staked his claim on her when he stole her but now it was a different bond entirely.

The circumstances pixies had some of their hands in the mess too.The Pixies all had several hands, different numbers depending on the age of the pixie. They fueled the magician’s rage. And so he threw a magic ball of green light at the dragon which trapped it in a cage. The dragon who had never known the life of entrapment howled and screamed and tried to break his bondages, all to no avail. When the girl woke up though, she saw him in a different light. Her wounds had healed. Her pain was gone.

And so she begged the magician,  though she didn’t know who he was, to spare the dragon’s life. To set him free, let him loose, perhaps banish him from the island but not to hurt him. The magician felt each emotion she had been feeling and for a man who had lived asleep as an ocean for years, those strong emotions indicated only one thing. The girl loved the dragon and so he broke the curse he had put on the dragon that bound her to the girl no matter how far he went. That’s how the magician made sure he took care of her and never left the island for too long.

The breaking of bond hurt him more than the bondage had but he endured it without a scream. For he could see that every time he roared or screamed in pain, the girl would hide her face between her knees and start sobbing. In years he had started to care for her as well, but still not enough to not ask her, ‘Hey, Princess. Did you eat my cranberry pie?’ His voice was croaked out. The cage and bond were both gone. The magician was forcing him out of the island but as soon as he said these last words, the girl chuckled and then started laughing amidst tears.

Well, the dragon was taken away from the island as if being pulled by a black hole. But the magician assured the girl that he wasn’t dead. He told her he’d keep her company from now on and he did fulfil that promise. But the girl never made cranberry pie again or smiled. And the magician could feel it all. The way he had fallen for her smile and how ecstatic he had felt in that moment that she chuckled, he never felt that way again. And so, though, it was hard for him too, he gave the girl back to her parents. And returned back to his ocean form, restless and never sleeping for as long as the girl stayed alive.

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