It was another rough day for Diren. Entering into her home, with tears, she slammed the door behind her. She plopped down onto the nearest couch, having her face in a pillow; Diren continued to sob. It was one of those days where she felt more foreign than anyone else.
Diren had faced another day of bad judgments and comments of her condition. Oh, the words they spat at her, they were very harsh. The splattered words went deep into her mind, she couldn’t take it anymore. She only wished for the pain to stop, but it seems so difficult. She tried to think of something else, but no other thought came to mind.
After a few more gasps of tears, she looked at the clock; it was getting late. Diren managed to sit up on the couch and sniffled. I just wish, she thought silently to herself, I can be free of this pain. No more of this, please!. She didn’t know why it had bothered her so much. Was it because it was more comments than expected? Or, that the tension of everyone gaining unto her, and that no one helped. The thoughts of the event then made her exhausted. Her only option, that she could think, was just sleep it off.
She sighed and sniffled once more. Diren was able to find a blanket nearby and she lay on the couch. She wrapped herself on the blanket, clutching it to her mouth, as if about bite the fabric. She laid her head onto the soaked pillow, and shifted her head, and curled up. Coolness of the air seemed to came, almost, like a haunting ghost. Finally, with a breath, she started to fall asleep.
* * *
A loud thud shook Diren to wake up. She practically jumped off the couch, but she still was seated onto it. She was shocked, and frozen with fright; hearing sudden thud like steps. She looked up at the cieling, hearing that it was where the steps came from. Soon, in a moment, the steps stopped.
Only a few guesses came to her mind of who made those steps. It could be a burglar trying to break in. With a positive thought, Diren thought it may be Danny Phantom, but when she glanced at the clock, which read 12:17 am, she realized Danny wouldn’t come this late.
When she finally thawed out of her cold fear state, she stood on her feet, walking into the center of the room, where the steps were heard. She then flinched. A groaned came from the ceiling. To her surprise, it sounded like a woman’s groan. Diren then heard the voice muttered a complaint (well, it sounded like a complaint).
Diren then found herself on the floor, sitting on her rear. The window in the room where she was standing, opened all by herself. She got up quickly and ran to the kitchen and came back to the room where the window was opened. She had a pan in her hand, although it may not be a good weapon, but it can knock someone out.
Scrambling, the woman hid behind the couch, but had her eyes peeking at the window. She remained silent. A black figure was movement into the room, and it seemed rather large. Diren noticed that the figure had a huge white spot into it and four white items around the top of it. Diren didn’t know what to do, for that the fact the figure had to be something supernatural.
She finally jumped up from her hiding place, ran to the figure, and gave a loud yell. The figure seemed to turn to her, but Diren stopped as it glared at her. She again, fell to her rear again, looking up at the huge black thing, and she dropped the pan in fright. She didn’t want to believe it; she wished her eyes were lying. Upon, of what it seems to be, was a dragon.
Although, this dragon was wingless, and it had black scales, with a white underbelly that looks like white paint was splattered on it. The beast had four dolphin fin shaped horns at the top of the head, which went in order of tallest to shortest horn. It was also the same size rate, for the three horns on its snout. The dragon had a long black mane that seemed to end at the tip of the tail. With the whiskers dropping down, Diren had to tell it was an Eastern dragon, although its body was western.
The dragon was at least a foot taller than Diren and it seemed to gaze down at her. Diren flinched again, as the dragon spoke. She was surprised again that the dragon was a dragoness, with a deep voice that seemed to warm up Diren’s face with its fire breathing nature. “Are you alright?” the dragon asked, having her brown reptilian eyes gaze down with concern.
All that Diren can say was “You’re a dra-“
“Dragon, I know.” The dragon interrupted. Diren stood to her legs as the dragoness continued “I came because I sensed you had trouble.”
“I don’t know who you are.” Diren said eyes almost sparkling.
The dragoness had a smile to her snout, “I am Gem, a black dragon.” The dragon, who said she was Gem, looked at the window, and then returned her look to Diren. “You shouldn’t feel this pain.”
“Wait,” Diren spoke up, having some fear in the back in her mind, hoping this beast won’t eat her, “you know?”
“Yes,” Gem almost rumbled, “you have some trouble with these people mocking you. You don’t need to feel that heartbreak, you are unique, just the way you are.”
“Why are you here, erm, Gem?”
“I am a dragon who is willing to help a friend, although we may live in far distance places.” Diren was about to ask how Gem knew of her small problem but the dragon then continued, “I know how you feel.”
Gem lowered her snout to nudge Diren softly, but the woman softly pushed her muzzle away, making Gem almost growl. Diren yelled, “No you don’t!” then returned to a calmer mood, “You, a mythical beast, have a good life of, well, whatever you do. I, on the other hand, have a life of reality in Earth. Things aren’t fairy tales like where you live.” She soon started to tear up again, “You don’t know how it is to face pain practically every day. People always look at you strangely like an alien and call you a freak just because of a condition! ”
Diren had her hands on her face, sobbing. It had obviously hurt you to think of those thoughts. The encounter with Gem seemed to be mostly on her mind, but now that she was reminded of the pain, she couldn’t help but cry for the grief. Gem sighed; her eyes seemed to be closed temporarily, almost in sorrow.
When the dragoness opened her eyes, Diren looked at her; Gem caused a sob noise from her muzzle. Her tail went to Diren’s eyes to stroke the tears off her face, with her mane. Diren held the tail gently, almost embracing the soft fur. The tail then swept back, when the human’s tears were dried. Diren then realized that there was tear that was dripping on one of the dragon’s eyes.
“I may have been born in a mythical word,” she started, “but that’s not where I truly belong. This,” Gem pointed to herself, “is only a form.” She lowered her claw and continued, “In my human life, I live a tough live as well. I may not tear, but I have pain not for myself, but for the children of our generation. You, on the other hand (as you stated), may leave in a life on Earth, I sometimes think I live on sanity and wish for the luck to give me strength. Me, being mostly black, I hear in my ears some idiot things that the whites say about my ethical race. Some of the white students even say-“
Gem stopped, she didn’t want to actually say the word in front of Diren. “Worse, the black children don’t care. I’ve also faced some times of depression, you must be lucky, for you may have not starved a while ago due to economic problems and you could do more actions more than I. Me a dragon, a monster, and, admit, everyone hates monsters. Though, most don’t give me a chance.” She paused for a bit, “I wouldn’t want to say anything else, it may be too harmful to speak of, but since you an adult know of the tragedies of life and of this world nowadays, I suggest you can give a guess.”
“What I mean to say, to really conclude, Diren, is that everyone faces pain, even dragons like me. Everyone has a talent, yet, some people just can’t see the beauty in them. Everyone suffers in many ways, economic, medical-condition wise or just plain torture itself that many would just want to give in and do some suicidal things. That is just it, very sadly. ”
There was a silence between the two. Diren opened her mouth a couple of times, but there was no sound. Gem then interrupted the silence, “I’m really here to show you that there are no limits to people like you and me.”
“No limits?” Diren questioned.
Gem smiled, “If I’m correct, the first amendment is to have freedom. I say, we, everyone, has the right of freedom of speech, religon, friendly petition, etc., even the freedom to have freedom. Or, I believe it was also said ‘the pursuit of happiness’.”
Gem lifted up her claw. Diren stepped back, unsure if Gem was going to attack or do a sudden swift movement. Instead, Gem’s claw shifted to an open palm position, she still smiled. “Come with me,” she said, “I will show you some grace that others cannot even have.”
Diren glanced at her claw, she looked at Gem, afterwards, “What do you mean by grace?”
“You ask a lot of questions.” Gem chuckled.
“Well, it’s kind of my first time of seeing a dragon like you in person.” Diren replied. She was surprised that the sound of laughter had come from her.
“Well,” Gem sniffed, a way refrain her from laughing furthermore, “I mean the grace of flight, on a mythical beast. Most don’t get the chance to take this great experience.”
Diren looked surpised, “Me?” she gestured to herself, “On a back of a dragon?”
“Trust me Diren, when you ride upon a mythical beast like me, you can never forget the magic of the moment.”
Gem still had her claw up; her eyes brightly gestured to her “opportunity time” claw handing. Diren stared at the white talons that took out of the claw pads. She had a few thoughts, such as, what if this si really a trap, for her to eat me?! Or, what if she just kills me right at the moment were in the sky. But finally a positive thought came to mind; Maybe she is just a friend.
Slowly, cautiously, Diren’s hand went to the claw. When both palms engaged, Gem then went down on her three knees, while her claw was holding to Diren’s hand. Diren walked with the grasp to the back of the dragon; their eyes looked at each other, both seeing trust. Diren finally let go of the claw, and hopped with one leg to mount onto the beast.
Her legs were opposite and on different sides of Gem. She quickly grasp onto the great mane of the dragon, knowing there would be no seatbelts on an actual being. The fur seat felt rather comfortable, so was the grip that she had to Gem’s neck. The grip wasn’t too tight to Gem, but it did felt odd for her, for it had been awhile since she let a mortal sat on her back for a ride.
Gem stood to her claws and started to turn to the direction of the window. “You better hang on.” She advised, although Diren had already had a strong grasp onto her. Gem gave a soft rumble, and then jumped. With levitation, she was able to fly out, wingless, out of the rather large window. She flew gracefully into the night.
A rush of air came to their face, as they starting to ascend a few feet higher than the buildings. Diren started to get worried, “What if someone sees us?”
“I will go higher,” Gem says, “My black scales will look like the night itself, the white on me will just be a shooting star to the people underneath us.”
With that, with a soft thrust, Gem lurched up higher. Diren felt the movement of Gem moving much like an eastern, even when she swirled into the sky in a serpentine movement. Diren couldn’t help but smile, as she gazed down at her hometown, everything seemed small. She liked the feeling. She loved the thought of being bigger than everyone, it made her feel special, and she felt like she could squish all those people who had bullied her for her autism. Diren then realized that it may be a bit rude, but she still felt invincible.
Gem glanced at Diren, seeing her smile. Gem swirled in the eastern pattern, and gave a soft roar into the air. Diren realized that Gem was right. That moment was magical indeed. Not just because of the fact she was riding on something magical, but that the moment of feeling true freedom. She felt like she was actually held captive by those haunting words, but in those moments of flight, she felt like a free woman.
Seeing they were at least a few hundred feet up to the sky, the feeling of heights didn’t seem to bother her. Diren let a fist pump into the air, with an open mouth grin. She then let out a loud yell of joy. The yelling made her chest feel tight, but in a good way, feeling she had the freedom to yell of excitement. After another yelling course from Diren, Gem then gave a happy roar after her.
* * *
Gem and Diren remained silent on the way back into the home, knowing it was now really late to cause too much noise. Gem landed softly onto her paws inside the household, and bend down for Diren to hop off. Diren did so, and then turned to Gem, who was smiling, too.
Gem stood, smile fading, “I must leave now.”
“Wait!” Diren said in a loud whisper, before Gem could turn around to fly off. There was a few seconds of silence and stillness. Diren then ran into Gem and embraced her from her chest to her neck. Gem’s eyes widened, the feeling of the hug was odd. Gem awkwardly patted her back, and then placed her claw back on the floor.
“Um, Diren,” Gem added awkwardly, “Um, I’m not much of a fan of hugs.”
“Oh, sorry!” Diren immediately let go of Gem, taking a step back, awkwardly.
Gem then grunted, “Eh, come here.” She again had her claw up, but in a hand shake gesture. Diren took the paw, but Gem pulled her into her draconic chest and patted Diren on the back. Realizing the greeting, Diren patted Gem back on her mane.
Gem let go of Diren’s hand, letting her step back. “You know Gem,” she said, “I think we’ll meet again, although, although we just met barely tonight.”
Gem chuckled, “Oh, we met before.”
Diren looked confused, “How?”
Gem had her claw on Diren’s shoulder, as she smiled, “You know me better by another name. I’m rather surprised you didn’t get it yet.”
Gem let go, and turned to the opened window, but her head still was in the direction of Diren, “Until we meet again, I bid you luck. And, don’t forget, you have many friends and family members who will always have your back.” With that, Gem leaped and glided to the air. Diren ran to the sill and looked up at the dragon flying away.
Diren smiled, relaxing her arms on the sill, seeing the dragon slowly fade perfectly (for her dark scales) into the night. She sighed. It took her a few minutes of gazing into the night, to not find Gem in the skies anymore, to realize of what Gem had meant. Diren laughed to herself, no wonder Gem was surprised, she thought. “I,” she said, although it may be to herself, she wanted to say it to Gem (before she took off, of course) “also wish you luck, too, Diana.”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MINI~