Narine dropped to the sand from the force of the Eternal Dragon’s energy. Never could she have imagined the power of Its presence. There was no resisting or competing with that power; the Dragon commanded the elements like no other. Each bit of earth, air, fire, water inside of Narine blew open, mere seeds popping over a fire. The Dragon glanced at her with Its eternal eyes, no more than a flick, but in that flick she plummeted deeper inside herself than she had ever known. Her existence in that eternity lasted less than a moonsbreath before she was back, gasping for breath. Her father, perched at the edge of the dock, caught her eye, a look as eternal as the Dragon’s. He smiled at her, gestured with open hands, and then fell from the pier. Before she had time to react, to digest what had just happened, the Dragon opened Its mouth and inhaled. The world froze. She felt the Dragon’s great inhale pulling at her heart, but she could do nothing as It drew that breath and absorbed Thorze’s corporeal energies as Its own. As It exhaled, Narine felt her own cells fill back up with her Father’s Knowing. His Transitioning of himself into her. She could feel it rooting, thin tendrils weaving themselves through the miniscule spaces within her being. But it was too fast; it was too much. There was no way she could contain it all. She wasn’t ready! It wasn’t her time! “No!” she cried and grasped at the wet sand. “Father, no!” The world popped back into place, her cries became those of Vendra’s, reaching her great flipperpaw after Thorze’s body as it plummeted into the water’s darkness. Vendra leapt to the side of the pier, the waves shook the world, and she slammed into a silver pillar. The great Dragon huffed and knocked Thorze’s scepter away with Its thick sea green tail. The scepter flew across the water and landed on the shore before Narine with a heavy, wet thud. No! It couldn’t be! “Father!” she cried, searching the waters, tears streaking her cheeks. “Father!” The Dragon dipped Its head back into the lake, and, in one fluid motion, arced Its massive body after it. The tail of the great serpent flicked out from the water like a tongue, and the serpent was gone. The World Sages stared at the water in silent shock. Waves lapped at Narine’s feet, dragon-sized ripples. She looked down in her daze. The scepter. She picked it up from the sand, and her body immediately seized up. A white light tortured her vision, and then streaks of blue and silver blended within the reassuring voice of her father, Yes, Narine. Take the Dragon’s Gift. Author Danika Dinsmore
Danika Dinsmore is an award-winning author, performance artist, and educator. Over the past 25 years she has developed content for the page, stage, screen, and web. Danika currently works in literary and speculative fiction with an emphasis on juvenile & young adult literature. Author of children’s fantasy adventure series FAERIE TALES FROM THE WHITE FOREST, she often takes her interactive Imaginary Worlds Tour on the road, performing and teaching world-building & creative writing at schools, conferences, and festivals across North America.
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