Short Story: Return of the Dragons
Donna Delight was planning for the extravaganza of the year to take place on Christmas Day. It was to commemorate the first year of the Return of the Dragons to Planet Earth. The dragons had arrived on earth the previous year at the exact, precise moment that Christmas morning had dawned in Jerusalem – although they hadn’t actually landed in Jerusalem. They landed in London instead. More exactly, they had landed in the center of Hyde Park, just a little way down the road from Buckingham Palace.
Initially, there had been some confusion by the people of earth as to whom and what the dragons were. Opinions had jumped between the dragons being the spawn of Lucifer, angels of god,, aliens, an advertising prank, or Hollywood announcing a new movie. However, by Christmas night, it had all been sorted out. The dragons had left the earth eight or nine hundred years earlier because they were a little tired of being hunted and killed by knights in shining armor.
Donna Delight had been on the third scout ship that touched down – the third and last ship being considered the safest ship. If there was to be an attack on the huge transporters so alien to earth, it would be the first two ships that would bear the brunt. Even though Donna was only distantly in the line to the throne, her safety was still paramount. As she was the great-granddaughter of the leading dragon, Her Royal Majesty, Star of the Known Universe and patron of the Order of Chivalry, it has fallen on her shoulders, young as she was, to take up the appointment of Grand Ambassador to the Earth. Her siblings and relatives felt it a far too junior a task for their particular status.
Once the commanders of the two scouting ships had determined there was no danger to their landing, her ship had landed with all the usual fanfare the dragon race accorded to one of royal blood. Those of earth had no idea of the importance of the rituals and watched with eyes agog.
There was a dual purpose to the extravaganza Donna was planning for Christmas day. It wasn’t only the anniversary of their first year on earth and their eventual acceptance by the people of earth. She had hired Hyde Park in London, Central Park in New York (where she would be), and Alexander Gardens in St. Petersburg, Russia, to ensure that not only would the settings be spectacular but that as many people as possible could attend. She knew that the Queen of dragon-kind would want the return of the Talisman to earth – the real purpose behind the party - to be commemorated in a very special way; and if there was one thing that Donna Delight was good at, it was being the very best socialite, event-planning dragon in the Universe.
Of course, it included that inconvenient little ‘disability’ she had, the one that spooked everybody in the dragon world.
At first, Donna Delight had wept buckets of tears, and that made it even worse, because dragons were supposed to flash flames of fire not buckets of water. Donna had, with the help of her favorite sibling, eventually accepted that she was who she was...
She had always been very thankful that the Royal Court acknowledged her expertise in event planning. That was because there were things that Donna was not so good at – important things like flame throwing in battles, love affairs of the heart, and the eternal search for why the dragons had lost their magic. Eventually, she left these more important aspects to the other dragons and accepted her strengths for what they were. She focused on her party giving expertise, and if that made some believe her to be rather less than the brightest spark in the Universe, then she was okay with that. Of course, it included that inconvenient little ‘disability’ she had, the one that spooked everybody in the dragon world.
At first, Donna Delight had wept buckets of tears, and that made it even worse, because dragons were supposed to flash flames of fire not buckets of water. Donna had, with the help of her favorite sibling, eventually accepted that she was who she was, and that was all she ever could be. In her secret moments, she still wished that she was a normal fire-spitting dragon, but a girl had to accept the hand she was dealt, and so she tried not to think of it. Instead she just focused on being the best party-giving dragon that she could be.
“Your Highness? Rile, Captain of the Dragoon Troops, is here to see you,” announced her aide, the petite boy dragon who was training as an apprentice dragoon knight.
“Send him in,” responded Donna, more concerned with whether she would be using blossoming poinsettia to brighten the gardens in the middle of the northern winter or whether she should use dragon fire.
The young apprentice bowed, was gone a moment, and then he returned, escorting Captain Rile in. Donna looked up at the Dragoon captain. She had never liked him, and she was pretty sure that the feeling was mutual.
“What can I do for you, Captain,” she asked in her best imperial manner.
“There is an uprising amongst the earth people. Some believe that dragon-kind is a danger to the earth, and they have finally influenced enough of the people of the earth to be a threat to our safety - again. I would ask permission, therefore, to arm my dragoons in the event that there is an uprising on Christmas day.”
Donna’s fire went cold. That’s what the thought of any nastiness did to her, for she saw all battle as just plain nastiness. But in an instant, Donna controlled the cold. Dragons were never supposed to have their fire go cold, and while she understood that she was born just a little bit differently to other dragons, she couldn’t help feeling ashamed of being different.
“Are you sure?” she asked the captain hesitantly.
“Oh, quite sure. There will most definitely be battle, and with only three ships arriving, and nobody knowing which ship holds the Talisman, we had best be well prepared to guard all our ships. It would certainly put a final end to any hope of the Dragon nation regaining their magic if the Talisman were lost.”
Donna thought about it. She was aware that there were always schemes amongst mice and men. But were there schemes amongst dragons? She didn’t know. She now wished that she had listened more closely during her governing classes. What was it her late father had always said to her? “Be prepared.” Yes, that was it. She had to be prepared.
“Go ahead, Captain,” she said with some misgiving.
A History of the Last Dragon
The three great dragon ships had hovered in the sky above the earth for two full days. Some argued that it was an invasion despite the fact that Donna had denied it in a public broadcast. Her unwillingness to give a believable reason did not make the people of earth trust her.
She didn’t want to mention that it was the queen of the dragons on a surprise visit or the return of the Gods to the planet. Nobody had said a thing about magic, and all the dragons were very pleased about that. They had sought for hundreds of years to understand why their magic had disappeared and, eventually, the Sage of the Ages had suggested that their magic had started dissipating after their flight from earth. It had taken the dragons some three hundred years to discuss whether they should risk a return to earth.
The people of the earth had grown in vast numbers and the hunting and killing of their species had been the way young earth knights had earned their spurs. It had not been a good time for the dragon species.
Preparation for their return to earth had been long and costly. They had needed ships specially made to warp through the vast distance between earth and their current abode. Eventually, it had been settled, and now the great day had arrived. Would the return of the Talisman to the Earth planet return the Magic of the Earth to the Dragons?
Do you like dragon stories?
On Christmas morn, Donna Delight rose early. She preened in front of the large mirror, practicing her flame repertoire so that it flared high and far into the atmosphere. She really, really wanted to make an impression. As the youngest of the Royal Dragon Court, she needed to prove to herself and to her relatives that she wasn’t the runt of the litter.
Then she set off to Central Park, all the while communicating with the hosts of event-organizing dragons in London and St. Petersburg. They all assured her that it was a go. Donna was feeling good. She sent a civilized thought to the Mother Ship saying that touch-down could commence, and then watched as the dragon shaped ships slowly started their descent. She knew that the entire media of the earth would be focused on those descents, and that every home – well, most homes – would have their television on and be watching.
By the time that Donna arrived in Central Park, the lead ship had just made landfall. There were crowds of people all over the place. She also saw that Captain Rile and his dragoons were far too close to the lead ship. A shiver of trepidation, quite unexpectedly, sneaked up o her, and something deep down inside her began to make itself felt. The wings that she seldom used now took on a life of their own, and without even realizing what she was doing, she was in full flight and breathing fire as she rose up to hover protectively near the entrance to the ship.
Captain Rile saw her lift from the ground, and he yelled at the top of his voice, “Breathe!” With one accord, every dragoon in his squad turned to face Donna and breathed fire at her. She evaded with split seconds to spare and rose high into the stratosphere in order to avoid any fire hitting her.
Dragons have good eyesight and Donna had better than average dragon sight, so she saw Rile and his dragoons storm the ship and take the Talisman. She calculated her chances at taking down the Captain of the dragoons but didn’t think that she could withstand the might of a hundred dragoon troops. It wasn’t as if her particular brand of fire was super-heated. And then Donna Delight had a thought. It was that her disability might just be the way to keep the Talisman safe, and stop Rile and his dragoons from doing whatever it was that they were intent on doing.
Donna Delight allowed the fear to seep deep into her bones. She focused on that fear, breathing it deep into her belly, and she felt her body grow more and more cold. Then she swooped down more closely until she saw all of Rite’s dragoons turn to focus on her. She belly belched and blew one mighty outpouring of her special type of flame towards the offending dragoons. Instead of fire coming from her mouth, a soft sheet of snow fell all over Central Park, putting out the fire of Rile’s attacking troops. It also added a snowy look to the festive decorations..
There was a mighty roar from the dragoons as they all toppled over, limbs frozen and fire out, including Rile.
Donna Delight was quite amazed. Her disability had a use after all. Feeling really good about saving the Talisman, she realized that blowing snow on fire had its uses. Then she gently flapped her great dragon wings and flew down to the park, made her way to the entry portal of the ship, and there she was met by Sage of the Ages.
“Hello, Wise One,” she greeted the man who had paid such special attention to her throughout the long years of her childhood.
“You have found your power,” he said.
Then he took something from underneath the scales covering his double heart, and hung it round her neck. “What’s that?” Donna asked.
“The true Talisman,” he replied. “You were it all the time!”
Ever afterwards, in both the annals of man and the eon long talk of the dragons, it was said that as the Talisman touched the cold of Donna’s Delight’s neck, it flared and sent a light into the air, and all around the snowflakes gained a momentary shine and magic once more entered the realm of the earth, bringing grace and beauty to all that lived.
© 2017 Tessa Schlesinger