No matter how often I dream of the sea, somehow I always find my way back to the desert.
I return to its endless vista, the slow sand, the unbroken sky.
And this puzzles me greatly, time and again.
As I wander towards the distance, I am joined by a dragon. She is huge, metallic, corroded. The grate of her massive folded wings betrays her presence long before her voice does.
Back again, I see? she says, her voice reminding me of the rust that coats her dark flanks. Her head is broad on a muscular neck. No fire burns within the flare of her nostrils, but there is ice in the widely-set eyes.
Neither of us belongs here, I reply thoughtfully. You belong to the ocean.
But this is an ocean! Her voice sounds genuinely surprised, offended almost. I cast my gaze from side to side, across the sea of sand to the distant horizon.
Perhaps. Its surface moves and changes. It has limitless depths. It hides a great deal.
It hides everything. The dragon chuckles. Eventually. But peril comes from above, not below.
The sky is empty. Really? I don’t see that.
No creatures patrol the desert's depths. No hungry predators will erupt from its sand to seize the unwary from their journey or rest. Moments pass, a point is made. So peril must come from above.
The twisted logic feels linear, sane. I feel exposed.
Yes. Exposed to the sky. Perhaps this is why you come here. To confront fear.
I don’t think so. I cast my hands and eyes about. This desert is a metaphor.
All things are metaphors, Indigo.
For a while, there is silence. Silence except for the dragging of her plated, draconic tail as we walk, and the nails-down-the-blackboard whine of her loping gait.
Everything that has ever been is beneath my feet. Secrets and lies. Wars and mercies. And the truths that locked them away. My gaze is distant, internal. The past, forgotten by the drift of sand. And no matter how the surface changes, it always remains the same.
And the sky? There is a new tone to the voice. It is bright and encouraging, but cautious not to lead its witness.
The sky is empty. Endless. Unknown. Full of possibilities. I stumble, and fall to one knee. Ironically, I laugh, And easy to overlook when I’m focused on the path in front of me.
We walk in silence. Awaiting an answer, I glance sideways at her expectantly. She catches my look and starts, Oh please, do continue. It sounded like you were getting somewhere. I didn’t like to interrupt.
Her corroded smile is innocent, playful. There is death in it.
Well, if the ground is the past, then perhaps the sky is the future? I look up at it, a little edgily. No wonder I feel exposed.
She nods, And so the path is...?
I stop in my tracks and stare at the ground at my feet. Sand sucks at them restlessly.
And the path is the present. It... I fumble for the words, It exists between the two.
There is an exultant scream of metal. Terrified, I tumble sideways and can only gape as the dragon rises into the air on beating metallic wings. The rust of ages fills the air, stirred by her thrashing tail as she gains height.
Watch the skies, Indigo! I'll see you again! she cries as she soars into the blue. And it will be very soon!
I finally stand, my heartbeat slowing.
I am alone in the wasteland.
A new dune rises in my path. It is tall, steep, its sand soft.
It will be hard work.
Yes, definitely a metaphor.
Dedicated with respect to my friend Lesinfin
This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2010