There was not so much a battle of wills between both pair of black eyes as there was of an objective analysis – a sizing up of each face where these two powerful pairs of eyes resided.
The first pair of eyes — black as night was very searching nothing stayed hidden from these dragon-like eyes, hard as diamonds from the underworld yet with a twinkle lurking in the depths of the man who owned them. The other pair was just as black, almost identical to the man’s with the same searching look – almost scorching in their dragoness. But no twinkle or humor lurked here just a wariness hard earned and was it curiosity as well – maybe just maybe.
The man possessed the same shape face and raven hair as his daughter the Queen. Yet this was the first time the Princess had actually met her grandfather or even seen him since infancy. She was not sure what to think as she searched his face; his frame was a bit unyielding. She wasn’t precisely somewhere she shouldn’t be but instinct told her to tread carefully, this could go very wrong.
She was staying with her beloved Nana, this time at her estate out in the wide open country, miles away from the castle, the walls, the fluttering fake attendants. Just wide open spaces and seemingly no rules. The freedom was intoxicating as was the impossible blue sky, the green grass . . . it went on forever. While the Queen visited with her mother the Princess was encouraged to explore outside. She couldn’t believe her ears but she didn’t wait for her mother to change her mind.
Out she shot as quickly as her young scarred legs could carry her. She explored every nook and cranny around the house. The building that housed the transportation, the storm shelter, and a small locked room held little interest. But the large metal building near the gate, deeper into the property riveted her attention. Strange noises and smells like a furnace emanated from its depths. Off she crept. As she peered through the partially open door into the inky blackness she saw sparks with jets of white fire shooting to the rafters from the hands of someone wearing a grotesque metal mask.
As she leaned in to get a better view her hand inadvertently pushed the door open wider. Sparks arced in a sulphuric rainbow as the masked figure suddenly looked her way. The jet of white fire raged hotter for the span of 4 heartbeats before being suddenly and completely quenched as the metal faced figure moved out of the shadows toward the small child. As the imposing figure reached the door with purposeful strides the mask was lifted and two pairs of eyes, black as the pits of the underworld met. The now unmasked figure loomed over the frail girl who refused to give way as her wary eyes searched this face, not unlike her own.
As the man lifted his mask and advanced on the tiny girl his cold dark eyes searching; he felt a soft stirring in his heart and the ghost of a smile was threatening to curve his hard thin lips. The man decided to open the conversation since the courageous girl, in more ways than one, was standing her ground.”Well young lady” he asked?
“Well?” she queried back half defiantly.
The man’s eyes hardened for a moment. The twinkle lurking in his eyes grew very pronounced. The man chuckled, squatting down to eye level. In a bit softer tone he asked “Do you know who I am?”
The Princess, head tilted slightly peered even harder at the man, analyzing for a moment “Yes” she answered finally, offering nothing more. The man a bit perplexed yet intrigued prepared to ask another question when this fearless daughter of the Queen asked “Do you know who I am?”
“Yes” he answered back, now thoroughly enjoying this exchange and the promise it offered.
At a stalemate again of searching eyes, the man prepared to break the stretching silence when again the frail child suddenly pushing her way past him into the darkness asked “Do you have a dragon in here?”
Totally won over with her forward manner and assured attitude the man erupted in laughter replying “Something like that.”
The Princess who had stepped further into the shadowy depths turned and looked at the man searching his face for deception. The man said “How about if we see what your Nana has made us for lunch?”
Deeply pondering her next move, the Princess stepped back, then reached up and took the man’s hand asking “Can you show me the dragon after lunch grandfather?”
Yes his blood ran true in this oldest child of his oldest child. While proud his family legacy had surfaced in this frail girl, he knew about the curse and feared the price his family owed would be rooted in this tiny daughter of his daughter, in whose veins dragons blood flowed. Would it be enough?
They walked slowly back to the main house, the child enraptured by everything she saw. She looked up at her grandfather “After the dragon can we stay outside please?”
“Of course honey, I have so much to show you” he replied, his heart now tied to hers as surely as it was tied to the Gods.
After lunch the Princess ran back outside yelling “Hurry Grandfather hurry!” Her once cursed legs carried her quickly across the velvety lawn to the metal building. Bursting through the door into the almost stygian darkness she halted as her eyes adjusted to the deep shadows. But no dragon was to be found. Just walls with tools, metal rods and books bound in strange hides with unfamiliar writing.
Crestfallen she searched the entire space even essaying the rickety ladder to the overhead loft. Before she could get past the 3rd rung her grandfather reached the doorway, telling her to come down. “But Grandfather where is the dragon?” she asked imperiously.
Her grandfather walked to the far wall and grasped a long, thin, dusty, metal rod. As he half turned back toward the tiny child the metal rod erupted in flame, transfixed the Princess clung to the second rung. “Grandfather” she whispered in awe.
“Now my daughter’s daughter, come outside with me.” He led the way to another doorway extinguishing the metal rod in a barrel of water. Outside he walked toward an old blasted tree whose lower limbs swept a bare few feet off the ground like the coils of a dragon’s tail.
“I want to tell you the story of my mother, your great-grandmother.”
The young Princess skipped to the tree; naturally finding the lower curved limb to her liking. While comfortably draped like some tree lemur with sparkling eyes, mouth forming in a perfect O she listened with the fire in her veins as her grandfather spoke of Dragons and how dragon’s blood shaped their destiny. Singing of a race as old as the Elder Gods allied with the All Mother herself.
In another part of the world a wild boy embarking on manhood tempted death and won. For the space of five cosmic breaths he saw with clarity gifted from the divine the girl, her name, her home, the stones and his fate. He knew in that moment he had been chosen by the new Younger god fresh born to his ancient people in their new lands.
Far away, hidden in a secret temple, on a dead world, in another time the fabled dragons tears – the purple stones of fate stirred awake; harking to the Dragons song pouring from a young girl’s heart. Time was dancing with fate and destiny rushed on this young child with swiftness of wings bound by ancient prophecy and curse.