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 Dragon Feathers!?!

Science FictionSherlyn Meinz
AlienLove Staff Writer

Bianca loved living in the country most of the time, but it could be lonely. She loved the woods and her hiding places under the branches of the giant, ancient ‘mother’ trees. The swampy regions full of mystery, the old stone walls, half-fallen down that ran through both field and forest.

She sat down on a rock that was one of her favorite resting spots, and daydreamed in the warm morning sun. She knew her mother was worried about her, had even made an appointment with a therapist for her, after Bianca admitted that she sometimes heard someone else’s voice in her head. She could hear it again now, sometimes it was just a faint buzz in the background, but increasingly, as she got older, it happened more often...

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She had accidentally talked back out-loud one day within her mother’s hearing. When her mother asked who Bianca was speaking to, Bianca replied truthfully, to her mother’s dismay. All her mother could think of was poor Great Aunt Hildie, who talked to an imaginary creature more and more as she got older, alternately hushing herself, then reminding herself it was a secret. The family took it pretty good-naturedly, they thought the old lady was interesting and fun in all other respects, and occasionally joked that perhaps a few of Auntie’s screws had come loose – whatever that meant! Bianca was old enough to realize that people didn’t really have screws holding their brains together. A cousin told her that Aunt Hildie was actually a witch, but Bianca didn’t believe him, either.

Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed movement and drew her thoughts back to the here and now. A mediumish rock only a few yards away had begun rocking. “What an odd thing!” she thought and got up to investigate.

As the young girl approached, the “rock” began moving in a more agitated manner. Even close up, it still appeared as nothing more than an old bumpy rock. Bianca stared fascinated as the rock began falling apart. What emerged confused her – while small, it seemed perfectly formed. It’s wings were so large for it’s body it tripped over them. It almost looked like a dragon, but instead of lizard-like scales, as one would expect, it had tiny metallic looking feathers. It was a beautiful mix of silver, gold, with a hint of metallic blue.

To her surprise the creature spoke, “Well, good morning! You must be my human!”

A little taken aback, Bianaca responded, “Your human?”

“Well, of course, we always do best when partnered with someone. My species tends to get a little impulsive and irresponsible on their own.”

“You were just born – how come you can talk? And since when do animals talk anyway?”

“Why, I’m special, you know – have you ever seen anything like me before? There are very few of my kind around! Of course, you are special too – because not many people can even see us.”

“What do you mean can’t see you – how silly!” Bianca blurted. “I can see you perfectly well, why couldn’t anyone else?”

“I guess a few will see me, children mostly – but not many adults, you know - they lose the ability... stop believing in things magickal,” the tiny silvery bird-thing told her.

“You mean, I can’t tell anyone I found you, because they won’t be able to see you? Well, I’m only a girl! How am I supposed to care of you, feed you? Will I have to catch you rabbits, and other small critters? I don’t think I’m gonna like that!”

“Oh, no, no, no! I don’t eat my brothers – the other creatures. I eat only plants, and you don’t have to worry about feeding me at all! Look – the Earth provides us with plenty – food grows all around us.”

Bianca sat quietly for a while studying the marvelous creature – so tiny, so perfect. She began wondering how big it would get, then remembered that it said most adults couldn’t see it . “Will I stop being able to see it when I get older?” she wondered to herself, but her gasp was audible.

“Of course, you won’t stop seeing me. You are my human! You will always be able to see me!”

“How did you know I was worrying about that?” Bianca asked. “You can read my mind? You know what I am thinking?”

“Well of course silly! That’s how I knew you were my human, and hatched. I had been waiting a very long time you know. I looked like a rock for more than a hundred years waiting for you to come along...over the years others saw me, but all they noticed was a not very attractive stone. But I could feel it when you were born, I’ve just been awaiting the right time. Every time you came into this clearing I knew it, but you weren’t old enough before – actually you're still a little young, but I did admit that my species is somewhat impetuous, and I just couldn’t wait any longer.”

Bianca stared at the dragon-like bird in wonder. “Is that why I always liked this spot so much? I often felt drawn here!”

“Well, I would imagine so!” it responded, “You can hear me too, you just don’t realize it yet! Close your eyes, sit quietly and try – it will get easier and easier.”

Bianca did as was suggested, and within a couple minutes began feeling warmth and love from the creature filling her. She strained to try to make the buzzing in her thoughts into words.

“Don’t try so hard! Just relax,” she was told. Suddenly her body jerked, “You are the voice I hear sometimes!”

Then, like a window opening she heard it, “Hi Bianca, my name is Gahianasi (Ga-HI-ann-aw-cee) of the Ancient Peoples. But you can call me Annaw, if you’d like. And, yes, I have spoken to you before.”

Bianca opened her eyes, exclaiming, “I heard you! I really heard you! You said I should call you Annaw! You are the voice I’ve heard in my head before, but never so clearly. I think you were trying to tell me your name, but I couldn’t understand. Are you a girl or a boy?”

In her mind, Bianca heard “I am a female dragon. And yes, I tried many times talking to you, once I felt your birth – even when you were just a baby.”

“A dragon? But I thought they had scales! You have beautiful tiny feathers, how can you be a dragon?”

To Bianca’s mind, Annaw responded, “A misconception! But I do admit that our feathers are rather metallic-looking and they actually do offer us a lot more protection than the feathers of a bird.”

“Why don’t you talk anymore, except in my mind? It feels kinda strange, you know.”

“Bianca, you must get used to talking to me through your thoughts. If you walk around talking to someone that almost no one else can see, it could cause you a lot of trouble. Do you understand? That’s why we are supposed to wait til our humans are a little older, oh dear. People might think you are crazy, don’t you see?”

“Oh, I guess I do understand!” Bianca sighed. “It would have been so much fun to be able to show you off to the kids at school. I told my mother the other week that I heard a voice in my head and she made an appointment for me with the ‘talking doctor’.”

“Oh dear,” Annaw thought to her, “well I suppose you will have to go. Perhaps you can tell the doctor that you were just playing pretend with an imaginary friend. That should work okay.”

“Well...if you say so, I guess I could.” Bianca told the amazing little dragon. “Will you get very big?”

“Hmmm…by your standards, my human, I would suppose so, but it takes many decades for us to even reach adolescence, so I won’t be gigantic til you are a very old woman!”

“Well, that’s good, I guess. Hey, my Aunt Hildie, who everyone thinks is kinda nutty – does she have a dragon? Is she just too old to remember not to talk out loud?”

“It could be, Bianca, dear. It happens sometimes to the old ones.”

The two spent the rest of the day exploring the area, while Annaw ate voraciously of the plants, roots, and berries she could find. When it was time for Bianca to return home, she asked if Annaw could accompany her and live in her room or if she had to live outside. Annaw said that she could manage with either, but that it would be so much nicer to live inside while she was still so small.

Bianca was ecstatic, imagining good places in her closet and room where she could make a special nest for Annaw. When she returned home, her mother noticed a strange excitement in her daughter, but nothing she could quite put her finger on to ask about.

As soon as dinner was finished, Bianca asked her father if she could be excused to her room to do some reading. With not a little surprise, her father nodded, and returned to his conversation with her mother about his day.

The little dragon slept right next Bianca that night to her delight. The next morning was Saturday, and Bianca pleaded with her parents for a visit to sweet Aunt Hildie, Bianca wanted a chance to talk to her. Her mother called Hildie and arrangements were made for a visit the next day.

Bianca felt great relief that there might be someone older that she could talk to about this, even if everyone thought she was a little “screwy.”

As the car pulled up into Hildie’s driveway, Bianca recognized something she never had before. The hills and bushes beyond Aunt Hilde’s house took the shape of a dragon, if you really looked. She was amazed and appalled that she had never noticed before. Hildie’s dragon waved it’s tail at her. Her parents only saw some young trees whipping in the wind, which was odd since there seemed to be no breeze otherwise.

Hours went by, and Bianca still had not had a chance to get Aunt Hildie alone, her plan was turning to ashes. She sighed loudly with disappointment. Hildie noticed and gave her an odd wink. A few moments later, her Great Aunt asked Bianca’s parents if the child would like to sleep over. It was summer vacation afterall, and Aunt Hildie made it clear she would enjoy the company.

Bianca’s parents were somewhat reluctant to agree, but at Bianca’s exuberant response, they decided it might be nice for all concerned – it had been a long time since they had had time alone.

Annaw was encouraging Bianca and gave a delighted, satisfied squawk when the arrangements were made, then announced that she was going outside for a while to eat and talk with her big relative. Annaw had a few questions, about this whole human/dragon bonding thing, of her own.

To be continued…

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