Welcome to my weary war world dreaming…
The wizard and the dragon, shoulder to shoulder, poured over spell books deep into the night. Their only light was a sparkling skull set at the edge of their small round, wooden table that sprouted up from a craggy tree trunk. They had created a circular boundary that shrouded them from any animal or person or element that happened their way. They worked undisturbed.
Esmerelda flexed her luminescent wings as Gregor ran his fingers over a promising line.
“Close, but I’m sure I’ve seen lines more on point,” said Esmerelda softly.
Gregor raised his eyebrows and kept searching over the pages. This was their fourth book and he was beginning to tire. Esmerelda kept her talons clasped on his shoulder as if to bolster his strength. Steady old man, her talons told him.
The humans were determined to send nuclear warheads toward each other at daybreak. It was less than one hour until dawn.
As she instilled fortitude into her friend, Esmerelda’s mind wandered back to the day they met.
Esmerelda remembered waking up when the windshield wipers rudely banged on her talons. Her nose steamed with resentment and then the wipers started to bang at a more furious pace. It was then she realized the pain in her gut and her inability to get up or even move her talons out of the boorish wipers’ path.
Just around then, a middle aged man slammed a door beneath her and soon he was peering at her half opened eye. “What’s a dragon doing on my van?” muttered the man.
He reached out and touched her scaley arm and jumped. It’s not the Scotch! It’s truly a dragon. He leaned toward her. “My name is Gregor, my dear. Just who might you be?” he asked.
Esmerelda could only groan. He saw she was hurt and climbed the ladder on the side of his van to get a better look. “Goblin darts, oh my,” he sighed. Gregor knew what he had to do, but he would have to get back to his warehouse if he was going to do it on time.
“Can you hold on?” he asked. Esmerelda didn’t respond. She couldn’t.
“Look, you need to hold on. I’ll drive slowly but you need to stay on the van roof so I can get you to where I can heal you.” Gregor hoped the dragon had enough strength and wherewithal to understand him and hold on.
Gregor jumped down and got in the van. Fortunately, it started up on his first try. Perhaps even his infuriating van could tell this was an emergency.
They reached his warehouse in under twenty minutes. Gregor worked his magic, and Esmerelda stirred later that same day. They had been thick as thieves ever since. And that wasn’t Esmerelda’s last ride on the roof of Gregor’s psychedelic van.
Now, that same van was parked just a mile away, but it couldn’t help them this time. It was befuddling that they seemed to be the only ones aware of how close the humans were to destroying the world. They needed to do something and do it now.
Gregor muttered, “It was a variation of ‘swords into ploughshares’ if I recall.”
Esmerelda pursed her lips and said, “Our time runs short. It may be easier to stop time than dismantle their weapons.”
Gregor rubbed his ear. “Perhaps you’re right old friend,” he said.
Gregor closed the blue book and reached for the green book. “Page eighty-seven,” said Esmerelda.
Gregor found the page. For a moment, they locked eyes and then they slowly intoned the four-line stanza.
To this day, Esmerelda and Gregor, the psychedelic van, and the rest of the world remain still, warheads poised.
TATTOO—Journeys on My Mind: GET the audio book (7 hours, 13 minutes) at Barnes and Noble or Google Play or Chirpbooks or Kobo or AudiobooksNow or Downpour or The Podcast App or Scribd or Overdrive. On iTunes, click on audiobooks and search by author. GET thepaperback (232 pages) or e-book at Barnes and Noble, at Apple Books or at Amazon. The ebook is also at Smashwords.
Buy it. Read it. And let me know what you think.