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 Dragon Feathers!?! - #2

Science FictionSherlyn Meinz
AlienLove Staff Writer

“Well, I truly thought they’d never leave,” exclaimed Aunt Hildie with relief, almost before the door closed behind Bianca’s parents. Bianca, who had been forced to restrain her questions all day, couldn't keep herself from bursting out laughing, realizing that she felt the same way, but had been feeling a little guilty about expressing it...

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“Well, well, my dear” Bianca’s aunt told her, “I had always so hoped that someone else in the family would have the talent. My lovely Wilanona told me, when you were born, that you would be the one – it has been very hard to wait for you to grow up a little. Welcome to the world of dragon partners. There are quite a few of us human partners you know, but really, we are still a very small percentage of the population that is so blessed as to see them. Will you introduce me to your new friend? Then we can go out and meet, my dear Wilanona – of course her real name is much longer and hard to remember, but she won’t be offended, I am sure.”

Bianca smiled, her relief showing quite clearly. Annaw was circling over her head – the child held out her arm and Annaw landed with a squawk.

“Yes, it is rather a shock these first few days, isn’t my dear? Especially until you find someone to talk to. Now the introductions please, Bianca. I am not sure how long your parents will let you stay and there is much I must teach you and much for you to learn about the care of your friend, who I am sure told you she would be absolutely no bother at all.”

Annaw ducked her head at this comment, but then gave a mini-roar, and reached out one claw in greeting to Aunt Hildie. Bianca was a little surprised at the roar, but quickly introduced her dragon to her aunt. Annaw responded with instant affection, since Hilde knew better than even young Annaw, herself, where a dragon liked to be scratched.

The trio then heard the booming roar of Wilanona, much too large to fit inside the house, but not wanting to be left out. Neighbors heard what sounded like a lightning boom, despite the fact that there were no clouds or any sign of a storm, a not uncommon happening in their small town. Local high school students, interested in weather forecasting, had done a lot of research trying to explain the unexplainable – for anyone who couldn’t see dragons, anyway.

Bianca, Hildie and Annaw hurried outside to join Wilanona, who was much mollified and immensely excited to have young ones to train. Bianca and her aunt admired the little dragon’s beautiful feathers glinting in the sun, as they walked out to meet Hildie’s dragon. Annaw basked in the compliments and attention, which she felt were fully deserved.

Although Annaw had already been out to visit with Wilanona, Aunt Hildie insisted that formal introductions were necessary. This completed to Hildie’s satisfaction, Annaw was soon after herded into the sky by Wilanona for flying, and general “dragon lessons.”

Bianca felt a little jealous seeing her new friend so enamoured of Aunt Hildie’s dragon, and felt an unexpected pang of loss as the two flew out of sight.

Hildie was quick to notice the child’s reaction and reassure her, “They’ll be back shortly and will stay close for the time being, don’t worry your poor little head. You know, Wilanona has been waiting a long time too, she could feel Annaw’s egg waiting to hatch since not long after her own birth. The dragons are all aware of each other on at least some level, you know.”

Bianca listened with avid wonder, soaking up the information that Aunt Hildie imparted to her, like a sponge. It really wasn’t very long before the dragons returned, and Annaw was once again perched on her arm. The little dragon couldn’t wait to fill Bianca in on all her experiences and successes, having been allowed to try some loop-de-loops, and dives. Annaw was proud of her first lesson, and wanted to demonstrate immediately, but Wilanona quashed that idea quickly, insisting that Annaw was only a couple days old, and had done enough practicing for one day.

Hildie suggested that Bianca bring Annaw into the house while they prepared a picnic dinner for everyone, which they could bring out and share with Wilanona. Wilanona promised a surprise for them, as well.

By the time Bianca and her aunt returned, pulling a little wagon full of food and supplies, with Annaw riding on top, Wilanona had returned. The dragon’s contribution was a large tree branch, laden with a delicious fruit Bianca had never tasted before. The two dragons and their human partners lit a small fire as the evening darkened, and spent several more hours talking. Long past midnight, Wilanona gently spread her wings over the sleeping humans and baby dragon, then closed her eyes in content, and joined them in their dreams.

To be continued…

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