“To become spring means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence means accepting the risk of absence.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Manon, Ballerina
The Soul That Danced With A Dragon
Under the microscope, the miracles the old doctor created carried out their coded duty in the measured efficiency of life’s physics. A tone sounded from the physician’s lab coat. He lifted his gaze, eyes wide with disbelief. He fumbled in his jacket and looked down at the display.
Incredible. The General hadn’t requested his presence in years and every day of the doctor’s life, he waited to hear the Dragon’s call. Now, he called. The physician told his assistant to prepare for departure and hurried to put his secrets away.
* * *
Twenty years earlier.
Rastaman no longer hated Ivan much. They found friendship through their mutual admiration of Lee. Her work ethic eliminated most of their duties, and they no longer suffered the ill effects of busy labor.
Lee never knew it wasn’t her obligation to do those things she did. No one ever tried to disabuse her of the hard work she put into her job. In just a short time, she was responsible for nearly everything that resulted in a growing influx of guests.
The waitress went home after a twelve-hour shift. Lee went to the dresser in the corner near the window and removed the hair pins, hair bow, and earrings, letting her hair cascade down her back.
Lee felt her purpose in life more than ever before. She and the Dragons were coming along well judging from the attention she received from the blue-collar workers she met and fed.
She bonded with her coworkers and customers. They accepted her. Everyone would remember her grace, servitude, and sage advice when it came time to vote for the candidate the Dragons sent forth to serve them and their interests.
The Dragon Sister felt exhausted. It made her feel selfish. She slipped out of her dress and caressed the dragon brocade of the fabric. She hung it up with the others. It was her signature style. She worked every day as a mirror copy of the day before, frozen in time in the minds of the families that came to see her and eat a good lard-rich bowl of chili.
Undressed in front of the mirror, light and shadows danced across her body and captivated her thoughts. Would her Dragon appreciate the grace of her curves, the soft hillocks, and folds of her body? She wondered. The reflection that stared back at her seemed to recede into the shadows. The Dragon Sister longed for the time her promised Dragon would explore her body with firm hands and soft kisses.
Later, Lee tossed on the thin mattress on the floor and destroyed the harmony of the quilt that protected her from awakeness. She dreamed of standing at the edge of the great North River in winter. The blue and white of snow contrasted with the gray and black of sleeping trees and long shadows. The Dragon Sister sat naked under a dark sky, stripped of everything that tied her to her puzzling life.
Lee stared into the water and danced to summon the Dragon that lived in the depths. She danced the Shaman dance of souls to call the master of her destiny to consume her that she might find her way through this strange life she was called to live. The water rippled then boiled as the ice burst into flame licking at her skin and warming her against the cold emptiness that filled her life.
Blue light emitted from the depths illuminating the water making the sky and landscape beyond the river disappear. The Dragon presented to her and gazed at her with approval. Lee’s body glistened under the dragon’s gaze. She danced on unashamed.
Lee awoke. Her skin was cold and wet. She wrapped her arms around her chest and discovered she was completely undressed, her sleeping clothes thrown in a pile in the corner.
She sat up in the dark and listened to the silence, broken only by the ticking of the clock on the wall. The vision of the Dragon remained as she recounted the things the dragon whispered in her ear as he touched her in that way she desired. She knew her life had changed.
* * *
Back at the General’s estate.
The doctor went straight to Lee’s side as soon as he satisfied the formalities of his meeting with the General. He ordered the nurses to remove Lee’s covers and wrappings while his assistant set up the instruments. The old doctor felt Lee’s body in particular areas while watching her with intense eyes.
The assistant handed him cables with sensors on the end. The doctor inserted sensors in the natural gateways of his patient’s body. Readouts and pictures came online as the nurses covered Lee’s waist with a blanket to restore her sleeping dignity. Lee’s exposed skin pebbled with the chill in the room and the stimulation of the probes in her body. No one spoke.
Two pairs of curious eyes studied the feeds from each sensor. After a few minutes, the doctor walked over to Lee and bent over her body, reaching under her back and placing his other hand on her chest between her breasts. His fingers pressed into her flesh as he sought the nerve bundles. He massaged the nerves with acupressure and kept an ear to Lee’s mouth listening to the sounds deep in her lungs. The old doctor watched the data feeds, adjusted his grip, and pressed harder.
Lee gasped and opened her eyes wide and saw the Dragon’s mouth closed over her. Its’ slick tongue lifted between trembling legs, pressing into her back, and forcing her bare chest against the back of its throat as darkness enveloped her. Her dance with the Dragon concluded.
The doctor listened to the growl deep in Lee’s chest. He stepped away. His patient was deep in the grasp of the Dragon, and he didn’t have the stomach to risk the Dragon’s anger any further. The medical staff packed up their gear and left Lee to the care of the nurses.
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