Inside her, a dragon raised its head and looked back at her through glowing eyes, the tip of its tail twitching with interest like a kitten’s. It looked small, like a baby dragon, but already beautiful and wonderfully magical. As if it had sensed her admiration, the fire shaped like a dragon grew and shone brighter, uncurling its long tail and unfurling a pair of wings previously tucked against its body. What now? Would it get up, flap its wings and soar out of her body?
On cue, the dragon did exactly that. She could feel the heat inside her shift and expand and travel up from her belly to her heart and beyond. It was aiming for her left hand like a vehicle shooting toward the only available exit. Automatically, her arm lifted and her hand opened because she couldn’t contain the flames lapping at the confines of her skin. Her eyes flew open in time to see a flame burst from her hand, looking remarkably like a pocket-sized dragon.
She gasped and shot to her feet, the sensation of the fire out instead of inside her indescribable, tip-toeing the fine line between ecstasy and pain, between power and fear, gain and loss.
Joshua’s voice, barely penetrating the haze, sounded oddly on edge.
She only had eyes for the fire dragon zooming around so fast her head spun when she followed it with her gaze, like a bird on steroids.
Cartwheeling in the air, obviously happy to be let out and unwilling to ever be caged again, the dragon zoomed here and there. It kept its distance from the still figure of a ghostly white statue-like man watching it with wary eyes, and from the rushing, cold water whispering fatal invitations. When it hit a branch and almost lost its balance in its burst of energy and merry, the baby fire dragon stopped in mid-movement. It stared at the branch before drawing itself to its full—not exactly intimidating—size and spitting a flame at it. It was so comical that a giggle threatened to spill out of her mouth. Despite the smallness of the flame, however, like a match aimed properly, the dragon managed to set the branch ablaze. The first timid lick of flame brought hungry, bigger flames in its wake. They ran their tongues toward the other branches of the tree threateningly.
“No! Do something!”
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