A Dragon’s Curse
For those of you who are not fortunate enough to know me yet, I am a dragon. A fierce warrior and powerful magic user, I have roamed this world for centuries. Like many of my race, I also have a scholarly side, and as you can see I am quite fond of books. Now, what you may not know is that I am under an enchantment – why else do you think I would spend my time perched upon a stack of books with a sword in my claws? (We dragons don’t need swords of course, unless perhaps to use them to clean between our teeth). The spell was placed upon me several hundred years ago by a conniving little sneakthief of a wizard. He wasn’t even a very good wizard, but he caught me by surprise. Apparently he was upset because I had eaten his cat – but I couldn’t help myself as I was quite hungry, and the fat furball was in the wrong place at the wrong time (honestly, what would you have done?).
As part of my penance, I was cursed to serve as the familiar for a writer. Now just who this writer would be, I knew not, rather I was told he (or she) would find me in due course. And so I sat, counting the hours in a display case, watching hordes of tourists scurrying about, pressing their faces against the glass and peering in at me (you humans truly are an odd lot!). Finally, after what seemed like ages, a man asked my jailer (I believe he called him a cashier) to examine me. Much to my dismay, this man with white hair and beard looked me over closely, examining my beautiful scales, fearsome teeth and claws – you get the idea. Finally I could take no more and I spoke – or tried to speak – to him.
Either pay my ransom and free me from this prison, or put me down!
Now, to be honest, I never expected him to hear me. But to my surprise, the man looked directly at me and, with a twinkle in his eyes, answered me!
“It would be my pleasure – I would certainly never want to cross a dragon, especially one so magnificent as you,” he said with a smile.
I smiled, or would have if it weren’t for this blasted curse, in spite of myself. Obviously this human was intelligent, having recognized what a fine specimen of dragon I truly am.
So he paid my rather exorbitant ransom and took me to his home in some strange land called ‘Ken-tuck-y” or something like that. I was then placed in a position of honor (as I should be) next to the man’s computer. That was when this rather clever human spoke to me again!
“What is your name?”
None of your business! We dragons do not share our true names with the lesser races. If you must, you may use my human-given nickname, which is ‘Shimmerscale.’
“Look, Shimmerscale, I need your help. I’m an author…”
Oh damn! I’ll kill that wizard if I ever get free of this curse…
“I write about magic, wizards and dragons, and I need inspiration,” he said earnestly.
Not my problem.
“But, you’re a truly magnificent dragon – surely you could help me with my stories. You would want my tales about dragons to be accurate, yes?”
Hmph. (he did have a point)
“If you will agree to help me, I will grant you special power.”
Now he had my attention – was this man a wizard as well?
I’m listening, human.
“Supervise my writing. Help inspire me to tell stories of magic and fantasy. If you agree, I will grant you the power to edit my work – what you do not like, I will delete. You may revise, edit and criticize to your heart’s content. I do not give this power lightly – I am entrusting you with my work.”
Now this was an unexpected turn of events. I knew as part of my curse I would have to serve as a familiar for a writer, but this man was giving me power over both him and his writing. Perhaps this might work after all. I would guide his hand and help him tell the true story about those of my race – no longer would the world simply hear the wizards’ side of the truth.
I will accept your terms, human. I will help guide your stories and I will critique your work, but you must swear you will listen and heed my advice – ignore me at your peril. Do you understand?
The man smiled and nodded in agreement, acknowledging my superior intellect (at least that’s what I took the nod to mean).
“There is just one thing…”
That’s the trouble with you humans and the other lesser races. Only the elves are worse at dragging out negotiations after you think you are finished. We dragons are much more to the point, as it should be.
“If I am to truly trust you, then you must trust me. I wish to know your true name.”
The human had a point; he was giving me power over him, even though I am cursed to be his familiar anyway. He obviously recognizes dragons as superior creatures (which we are). Perhaps this partnership will work after all.
My name is Idris.
The man smiled and began typing away at his keyboard. To this day, I supervise his writing and give him hints and suggestions about how to structure his stories. I help guide him to the truth about dragons and the nature of magic. I only wish he and his family didn’t have quite so many cats.