The Journey of the Slave Dragon
Far away from Hannah’s lost home and Charlotte’s cold haven, Lady Sophia sat and thought of days passed and old sorrows.
She remembered her days of toil. The days of lonely toil. Of so many walks uphill. So many times climbing and struggling to find a place to sleep. A hollow where harm could not seek her out. Those times she couldn’t believe a man she could existed.
Back then she sometimes thought of dragons. Of wildness. She liked to imagine pleasant or reckless things that might save her.
A great beast could come burn the fields that she was tending. All that harvest wrecked. She reaped a harvest for a happy family and not for her. What did she care? Let all this sun-beaten toil and sweat be lost in a rapid fire. It was madness to think of such things. And she relished it.
That old work in the garden demanded much. She weeded and weeded and forced her hand into the dirty earth. Great green climbing vines bright with fresh watering. Big ripe tomatoes waiting for picking. Plentiful food. She imagined a dragon’s breath across that earth. Arduously weeded fields that had grown to into orange trees would be charred branches and disparity. Those thoughts would make her laugh.
And her dirt caked fingernails would squeeze around an overripe orange and cause it to smush into pulpy sludge, molded bits and foul smelling liquid. Dragons were like happiness. It was something that was very unlikely she would ever meet.
Her years of wandering were long, hard, and felt endless. No amount of stories of or lore of happy families could make her believe there was something better beyond this that she would ever get to – that was before she met the man in the forest.
With time, growing would change her surroundings. Seasons came and went. She lived to see a harvest that was her own.
Once she grew older, Lady Sophia spent her days roaming the fields and knowing little of how to fix to the world beyond the silk islands. Becoming ruler of this land had taken decades. She tried to keep her people at peace.
She passed by her peasants as they creating new tapestries and working in noise-filled rooms. The sound of voices planning, yelling, passing through went on hour after hour. Some days it was like music to her.
She would pass through, see their faces then walk to the grass fields to be alone with her thoughts. Her feet took her far. Stepping again and again away. Striding into no direction other than forward. She wasn’t always going to the forest. She often just went East. With each steps East she was freer to let her thoughts be dreams of him. She always knew he was waiting for her in the forest. She always knew he’d greet her with his soft eyes.
She found so much safety in this feeling and the man the feeling belonged to. He was her heart’s end. And there seemed little that needed to be said as far as promises and plans. She seemed to know that they would make a life together. She seemed to picture houses even when there was no timber or stone nearby. His hands were there to hold hers. That was her home. His eyes were there to meet hers – that’s where she could sleep. Deep in his admiring gaze she felt rest. She would close and open, close and open her eyes and he was next to her.
It was difficult for her to think of much else. Being in love was like being ocean foam that only exists to float to the next moment. You’re resting on crests of emotion going nowhere and everywhere together. The nowhere is the best because there is no hurry to the shore.
It was this finality she’d been longing for. It wasn’t walking away from wars but it was finding true joy, reason for feasting and cause for celebration.