I began to write this story for fun, and then decided to fit it for a contest on a virtual pet site called Rescreatu. The stories must be under 2,000 words (I'm mad about that). There is a new round every month, and each round has a generic topic the story must pertain to. The topic this time was color, so it now has a magical colory theme. :D The ending could be better in my opinion, but in general I am greatly pleased with this story. I already submitted it, but still please tell me what you think. This is probably the best short story I have ever written. The main character is practically a reflection of myself, which made it all the easier to write.
What can I say? I love dragons. And I like figurines. So I buy almost every dragon figurine that I like, and better yet, I have the money to do so.
There's a little store I like to go to that specializes in little figurines. Pewter ones, crystal ones, plastic ones, ceramic ones, whatever. I like the crystals, but I usually end up breaking them. Plastic is cheap. I have a few ceramics, but my collection contains mostly pewter.
A few of them are pewter mixed with lead to make them cheaper and harder. (Yes, that means that I have random dragon-shaped chunks of lead sitting about my room, which is a rather disturbing thought.) I like the way they look, though—they're dark and sometimes kinda fuzzy-looking. It would be a dragon like this that I would buy at the store today.
My mom pulled the car into the parking lot beside the store. (I wish I could say that I did it, but it'll be a few months before I'm old enough to get my permit.) "I'll just stay here," she tells me. "I don't like the smell in there."
I shrug. "Okay." I like the smell of incense, personally, but it gets kinda strong in such a small store. I can see how it could overwhelm someone. "Be back in a few minutes."
So I left my mom to her own devices and went into the store. I went straight over to the counter with all the fantasy figurines. They had statuettes for characters from famous novels, mythological equines, gryphons, you name it. And, of course, dragons.
In fact, they have an entire case dedicated to dragons, ranging from huge foot-tall statues complete with glittering gems and gold and silver plating to tiny pewter egg-shaped boxes which you could open to show a tiny inch-tall dragonling. But today I was going for something medium-sized with a dynamic pose. Something curling, twisting, roaring, perhaps. Covered in spikes is good, too.
After a few moments of careful searching, I found one. A fierce-looking feathered dragon maybe four inches tall, with partially extended wings and roaring. His head and neck are turned to face behind him, and one of his claws is hovering over a shining multi-colored orb of mystic topaz. The way the dragon is polished gives him a dramatic character. I call the clerk over. "How much is this one?" I ask.
He kneels down, rolls the back of the case away, and picks up the dragon I'm pointing at. He looks at the bottom. "Thirty dollars," he states.
I smile. "Wonderful." I pull out my wallet and extract two bills, a twenty and a ten.
The clerk pulls out a receipt pad, scribbles some stuff down, takes the money, and hands me the dragon. "Enjoy."
"Thank you!" I call as I head for the door. Within a few seconds I'm back in the car and we're ready to go, and within minutes we're back home. I take my new dragon up to my room and place him with some of my other statues. I begin to think of a name. Finally one comes to me—Windfire. It fits, in my opinion. Satisfied, I leave to go help my mom with dinner.
Before I go to bed I sit down to admire my collection. I wonder how on earth I managed to get such a large set, and even more how I got to such a state that I was led to buy all these in the first place. Just for fun I spend a few minutes roleplaying with my colonies and clans before I bring in the Lego drakes. A huge war breaks out, and I have to enlist the help of my brother to battle with them all. The war ends at 10 o' clock, leaving the battlefield covered in Lego bricks and a few upset figurines. I shoo my brother away and proceed to clean up the mess, first putting all the pewter figures back in their homes and then toying with the Legos in an effort to create some new unheard-of creature. I succeed in making a disorganized lump of bricks I end up calling the Lego Monster before I finally put it away and get into bed.
Hunger wakes me up the next morning. I go straight downstairs and toast a bagel. It pops up after a few minutes of anxious foot-tapping and I throw the hot bread onto a plate, smother it in butter, and sit down on the couch. My mom was even kind enough to take the comics out of the paper for me, so I pick those up and read them.
As usual, Foxtrot and Pearls Before Swine are my favorites of the day. And, as usual, I think about how lucky I am to live in a place where the paper not only has a large amount of mostly great comics, but also the hilarious and witty side column entitled The Edge. And when those things don't supply me with enough randomness, I can always resort to The Onion.
I finish my bagel, put my plate in the sink, and plod upstairs to get dressed. It takes me a while to find a clean pair of jeans. Then I put a dragon necklace and some dangly earrings on. Finally I move on to my daily room exam.
I make my bed, tidy up the floor, fold my laundry. Then I check my dragon collection…
And notice that Windfire is missing.
I run around the room in a frenzy. Just when I start to think that my brother may have taken him, I find him. He's in perfect condition… except now he's perched atop a jagged, amethyst-encrusted stone. My special one I bought in Canada that shines a more brilliant purple than I have seen in any other. I frown, puzzled. My brother must've snuck in here while I was eating breakfast. I go to ask him.
I poke my head into his room to see him reading in his bed. "Yo, dude," I say. "I'm not mad or anything, but did you touch my new dragon this morning?"
"No," he replies softly. It's not an absent 'no', and it's not a false 'no'. I can tell he's telling the truth.
"Did you touch him last night?"
"Because he's not in the spot I put him last night."
"Weird." Then he goes back to his book.
I roll my eyes and return to my room. I sit down at my desk and take a fuzzy burgundy leather diary out of a drawer. I pull my favorite pen from its cup and begin to write about this strange occurance.
That night I get an idea. I put Windfire back where he was the night before. Perhaps my brother's just a better liar than I thought. Then I move the amethyst to the other side of the room, just in case. I fall asleep thinking about the mystery and have a curious dream about Toy Story.
The first thing I do when I wake up is look at Windfire. Once again, he's gone. I instantly look at the amethyst—and there he is, in all his glory, sitting back on his gemstone throne. (Hey, look, that rhymed!) Once again I question my brother, and his answer of 'no' is truthful. I rush back to examine my dragon. I pick him up and look at him carefully and from all angles, seeing if anything has changed. He seems fine, so I end up simply studying his form. That night I leave him on the amethyst, but I move it back with the rest of my collection.
My mom has to drag me out of bed this morning. I look at the clock—10:37 a.m., it reads. How on earth did I manage that? I wonder. Usually I wake up at around eight. I get out of bed and promise I'll be down for breakfast (French toast!) in a moment. She leaves. I rub my eyes and go to look at Windfire.
He's in the same spot this time, but of course something's different.
Something's very different.
He's surrounded by gems of every color. The light from my ceiling lamp bounces off of them and casts spots of colored light all over the dragon. Wondering where on earth they all came from, I look at my jewelry box. Almost everything is gone. I look back at Windfire. Something seems different about his posture, and there is.
He's clutching the aquamarine from one of my earrings. It's the only true gem in my jewelry collection, and he's holding it. It's been wrested from the clamp, too, which lies somewhat mangled in my box.
My mouth is gaping. I attempt to move his arms, but they don't budge. He's made with enough lead and designed well enough that his parts won't move easily. I think about my dream two nights before and come to the only conclusion there could possibly be:
Windfire comes to life at night.
There's nothing special about lead, copper, or tin, so I try to take the mystic topaz he came with. The prismatic gem is hard to remove, but I finally manage it. In its place I leave a colorless piece of cubic zirconia. I take away the bare aquamarine and all the other gems, putting them back into my jewelry box. I take the dragon off the amethyst. Then I attempt to wait patiently until the next morning.
Nothing happened. I looked at Windfire the next morning, and nothing had changed. He wasn't even on the amethyst. That night I replaced the zirconia with a piece of chalcopyrite, known informally as peacock ore, that sparkled with as many colors as the topaz did.
Morning found Windfire back on the amethyst and once again surrounded by my gems. I shook my head. It was simply incredible. And it had nothing to do with a certain stone.
Color brought the dragon to life. Regardless of whether he left it all with a slight dusting of highly toxic matter, the colored stones brought him to life at night. I don't know how he did it, but I hardly cared.
Previously I had taken color for granted. I love to draw, but most of my dragon sketches are simply graphite lines, sometimes with shading. I don't color much. But I had a feeling that I would be playing with color a lot more now.
And who knows—one day, one of my drawings might even come to life.