July 16, 2017 by Patrick Starks
When I was just a little one, my mother taught me three important lessons—lessons that creatures like she and I needed to know. The first lesson was flying. You were nothing to anyone if you couldn’t fly. My first time trying it was scary, although I must admit, it wasn’t willingly either. I still remember it like it was yesterday, the moment when mom let me go. My body just fell when she did so, plummeting straight for the ground which would determine my fate—the fate if I lived to go on and be big and strong, or just end, right then and there. As I continued to fall, I assumed she wouldn’t just let me die, but what she told me afterwards made me think otherwise.
‘I will not try to catch you my child. I brought you into this world, but your life will be your own soon enough. I will not be around forever, around to protect you. You and only you, will be able to write on how your story will begin and end—by letting you fall, I give you the pen.’
I couldn’t believe it, I felt she didn’t love me anymore—that she didn’t want me, but I soon realized that was a false assumption. Mothers have always had a love for their children, more than anyone could ever grasp to realize. And by anyone, I mean the males—the fathers—although, the relationship they had with the children would be another story to tell.
So, as I fell I flapped my wings as fast as I could, but doing so got me nowhere, neither did it slow me down much. My wings were of course tiny, but laugh if you want, and talk about how cute they were—there would be the day when I became older as I am now, there would be the day you’d burn in your own ignorance.
I then tried slowing it down, tried spreading my wings out a bit further. From the way I just now described it, it was something like out of a R.Kelly video. All I heard was that song “I believe I can fly”. And yeah, you’re probably thinking how the hell a creature like I could know such a song. Well… you’d be surprised the things we creatures hear from above. But anyways, my body began to soar the skies, the blue skies—they were very beautiful on that day. I glided through the air gracefully, I looked to my right, then my left and there she was—mom. I won’t go into detail about how it was to fly with her, but if I had to use one word to describe it, it be “Magical.” But sorry if you wanted to hear more, the story must continue. If there is one thing my father taught me, it was that too much dialogue—was too much dialogue. He was a writer as well, surprisingly. And yes, creatures do write you silly humans—sometimes I wonder why I even bother, but continuing on.
I’m sure you want to hear lesson two. You ready… Lesson two, my favorite—fire breathing. I know right, what could be cooler than breathing fire, and the answer to that—nothing. The humans, you humans, tried to duplicate what we creatures could do. Trying to breath fire yourselves, but sadly were awful at it. Some even burned themselves in the process, leading up to fatal injuries, sometimes death. Father always laughed at this stupidity. He always felt humans were stupid. He told me that humans were never a proud species and for years tried to find connection to the gods, celebrities even—hoping to feel a sense that they were relevant to life, but all they ever did was strand divided. But father was smart—once again, surprisingly. He knew that they never needed any of that in which that sought, all they ever needed was each other and to live their life gracefully, with patience.
But even though my mother was to teach me this lesson, father figured he’d intervene. I believed his very words were, ‘Step aside, let me show you how a pro does it’. He was always confident, I mean… cocky about his fire breathing. He’d come marching out in the front of mom and I with his chest all out like a well-fed rooster. I couldn’t blame him though, he was the largest out of all of us—that being the community we lived. Thinking about it reminded of me of the story mom use to tell me before bed—the story of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf. The only difference was instead of blowing down houses, father would blow down cities—sadly along with the inferno that came with it. But don’t be alarmed, he would only burn down cities that deserved it, cities that lied wasted with money and lust—only to slay each other for it all— hopefully you don’t live there, but if you do, i’m sorry.
Getting to the point. I followed in my father’s footsteps after he blew what appeared to be a wicked fire. I tried my first breath. It was tiny and had just a few speckles of smoke that surrounded it. My mouth burned a little, it was quite painful. And if you’re thinking fire breathing from creatures like me is painless, then you have a lot to learn about the art of it all. My father laughed, and my mother gave him the most-cruel look a woman could give. It was obvious to me at an early age that when a woman looked at you that way, it was best you shut the hell up—or else you’d be in hell. After my father stopped his giggling, my mother had given me a few words of encouragement. I blew one last time, and then my father’s eyes bulged out from its sockets. The fire was magnificent, it was larger than any of the young, however the coloring of it was odd. I didn’t know what I blew, but it looked cool. Mom on the other hand looked concerned, as my father’s jaw still laid rested on the ground. The coloring was not the typical color of fire—not red, nor orange, but blue. Mom and dad worried, they knew this would become an issue later in school. However, they had the time to figure it out, we were only fourteen days into the summer. Although, the summer went by faster than expected and sooner or later I was to find out if I would be accepted as part of the community or to be cast out.
As the summer came closer to its end, mom taught me the final lesson. And yes, finally lesson three. I thank you for being patient all the way to this point whomever you are reading this.
Lesson three—knowing oneself.
When my mom told me of this lesson I was confused. I didn’t understand why creatures like us needed to know this, why we needed to dig so deep. We were beast after all, and all that beast needed to know was that they ruled over all. I mean… we were free spirited, no one owned us—not one human. But apparently I was wrong, what mom told me during lesson gave me a whole new perspective on life and my destiny.
She told me that when I was old enough, when I was done with school—I would have a major decision to make. To be a watcher or a fighter, she said. To make a long story short, I was to apparently help the humans fight—to help them fight their wars. I thought about it, and asked what for. Why… We could fly, we could breathe fire—why the hell should we obey anything they’d tell us. I immediately began to think like my father, thinking I should just burn them all down—mom shook her head. At first, I thought she was disappointed in me, but I came to find out that she shook her head because that was the reaction that she expected of me. She always knew I was a creature that couldn’t be tamed—even my father knew this. Like father, like son, the saying goes. So as it would seem, I went on to be somewhat of a watcher.
Years later I grew wiser, larger, stronger—i’d changed my mind of being a watcher, I made my final decision. I would fight, but not for the humans—I wanted to fight to end it—end all wars and bring peace back to the lands I once roamed as child. I decided on that day I would not become a conformist, but to find out who I was and what I could bring to the world, what I was destined to bring. After mom passed and father died in the war, I left the community, I left the humans—only to discover and embrace the world as it was, hoping to one day change it for the better.
So, there you have it, those were my lessons. Judge me however you’d like. Either its good or bad, I’ll be fine. I won’t take it personal, for that I am not one of you. As I glide through the clear skies once again on the lesson I’ve learned, the lessons I’ve shared—I now discover who and what I am.
Here I soar—a Dragon.