A Start

This short story was written as an entry for the Sparkler Magazine “Share Your World” contest. It had to be under 500 words and showed in some way how you share your stories. The characters I used are from a story I’m working on and have been for a year now. I hope to have the plot finally settled and to be able to start writing soon.

“Mommy! Look what Grandfather gave me!”

Maya looked up from the book she was reading as her young daughter bounded over. She was hugging something close to her chest.

“What is it Aisha?” Maya picked her up just as Aisha started to climb onto her chair. She set her in her lap, adjusting her wings, which were wrapped around her shoulders, to accommodate the young child.

“A book!” Aisha held up an old, leather-bound book, grinning broadly.

“I see.”

“It’s all about dragons.” Aisha set the book in her lap and opened it. “It’s got blue dragons, and green dragons, and even a white dragon!” Aisha flipped through the pages, skipping the words and only pointing out the pictures. “An–and look at the red dragon!” She held the book up into her mother’s face, the page almost touching her nose. “Isn’t he scary looking?!”
“Yes he is,” Maya said calmly as she slowly pushed the book away from her face.

“Why is he being so scary Mommy?” Aisha lowered the book back down into her lap. “None of the other dragons look like that.”

“Your grandfather didn’t read you the story?”

Aisha shook her head. “I asked him why too, but he just gave me the book and told me show it to you.”

“I see,” Maya said with a slight frown. She took the book from her daughter and held it up so both of them could see it. Aisha snuggled in closer to her mother, her silver eyes brightening. “Well, a long, long time ago, when the earth was still young, the youngest of the five dragons, a red dragon that burned with the flame of life, was flying through the night sky. He looked up and saw the stars sparkling above him, and he thought, ‘I can sparkle just as bright as any of them…’”

Maya closed the book slowly. Aisha was fast asleep. She hadn’t even made it halfway through the story before she had drifted off. She looked at the old book. It was a collection of old tales and legends of dragons. She ran one hand over the finely carved leather, something one didn’t see on books anymore. It was no doubt valuable. With the way Ryu was always fussing about Aisha being in his way or making a mess, why would he give her something like this?

She sighed and opened the book again, this time from the beginning. On the inside cover was a list of several names, all written in a child’s scrawl. She didn’t recognized any of them except the last two; Tsuru, her mate, and Ryu, his father. Maya looked at the list of names and then back at her daughter still sleeping in her arms. She smiled softly. How long before Aisha added her name to that list? Maya closed the book again. She would have to thank Ryu later. It wasn’t the reception she was hoping for, but it was a start.

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