Because I pride myself on my ability to offer complete discretion, I almost never write about my occupational exploits — even to you. But when one meets a dragon, well, one does not wish to forget. It seems important to keep a written history of such remarkable events.
It began like any other afternoon. Several of the ladies and I lounged about on the lawn. I think we drank tea. Perhaps there were also scones or crumpets. I don’t rightly recall. No one wanted to play En Garde. No gentlemen were about. I had grown bored and was about to leave. That is when a strange gentleman appeared.
The man boasted a fine suit of the expensive cut and a mocha colored complexion that hinted at exotic origins. A closer inspection, however, revealed the strangest anomaly: long, spiked ears pierced several times ’round the cartilage. His perky, polite manners bespoke an easy elegance. Indeed, he seemed the type of man to fit in anywhere, even if he did fidget somewhat more than I consider becoming.
Now, experience taught me that this man was no dark fae. I have intimate knowledge of such creatures, and this man did not match my friend in any particular. Neither was he a vampire. The sun shone full bright, this being a clear spring day. Werewolves are altogether more gruff of manner. Besides, even when they are in human form, garou prefer to wrap themselves in fur or, conversely, to run as bare as possible through the closest bit of wilderness they can find. Overgrown puppies, werewolves are. This man, however, was nothing I’d ever seen before. Instead of leaving, then, I remained so that I might find out his true nature. I offered polite conversation. I listened intently as the others did the same. Mostly, though, I watched.
I needn’t have watched so closely. The fidgety man soon complained of the restrictiveness of his current “form.” Not long after, he transformed himself into a monstrous winged reptile whose tail just barely avoided swiping the front fountain. Thank Heavens he didn’t change in the house! He would have busted the ceilings clean through and possibly a load bearing wall, to boot!
Now, I have faced air kraken, zombies, half-demons, vampires, sea monsters, and the very bad manners of drunken twenty-first century prison guards. I knew something was not right about this man from the get go. But I still managed shock upon his transformation. Stupidly, I hid behind my wicker chair — yes, I hid from a dragon behind my very flammable wicker chair.
Sometimes, I lament my lack of a finished education most grievously.
At length, the creature was prevailed upon to take a form more suitable to our very human-sized garden. That may have been around the time at which I was prevailed upon to emerge from behind my chair. He settled down, then, and promised that he didn’t eat ladies. Even so, my fellow ladies concocted business elsewhere so that I was left alone to entertain our guest! Upon my word! Diary, have you ever?
I kept my hand very near my dagger.
The dragon and I sat down to tea, whereupon he regaled me with stories from his three thousand years of existence. He even showed me a few of his other forms — after extracting a promise from me that I would not again cower or scream. Certainly, I was put in mind of a few of my adventures with that altogether different sort of dragon that can be found in the basements of and back alleys of certain neighborhoods, but the length of the visit and the fact of subsequent repetition convinced me that this particular interview with this particular dragon was entirely real. If you ever have the opportunity to sit down and enjoy a lengthy chat with a three thousand year old dragon, Diary, I implore you to do so. They are frightening creatures, yes, but age and experience do breed wisdom. Seldom have I heard more entertaining exploits.
We parted as friends, this dragon and I, while he declared me very much a creature of “spirit.” I’ve seen him several times since. One day, he proposed to me a little adventure, and then he left me with a clue. It was a map, as it were. I boarded my trusty airship and followed this map. It led me to a large cathedral of sorts, in the center of which I found a round, hollowed-out spot built into the floor. Eggs of all shapes, sizes, and colors decorated this depression. In short, I had discovered a nest.
I felt myself curiously drawn toward one egg in particular. Black and shiny, the gold flecked markings upon this egg seemed almost intentional, rather as though they had been inscribed with a stylus than carved by nature’s hand. Around the base of this clutch of these eggs were scattered rawhide bones. Cautiously, I reached out and touched one of the eggs.
“A fine choice,” a familiar voice — the voice of the dragon –called out from behind.
The next thing I remember, I awoke in a field. I heard chanting. And hoofbeats. And, for some odd reason, the rumble of the river dance. All around me, in all of their different forms, were dragons. They cheered. Then, strangely, I vomited scarab beetles and flew away across the skies of a magical realm.
Again, diary, I assure you that I have not resumed my previous nocturnal adventures in Steelhead.
I awoke, again, back home in my bed certain that this was all a strange dream. The only trouble is that I can’t seem to get that silly river dance song out of my head. And have my eyes always sparkled so? Have my teeth always been so sharp? Have my ears always been so pointy? Perhaps I merely imagine that I can hear better or see father than before.
Hmm. It is all very vexing. I shall have to ask my friend the dragon about all of this next time I see him. Until then, I remain —
–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–