A Dragon's Tale
Hot and dry. Those were two words that could describe where Trevor was at the moment. Silent and lonely were two others. He was almost at the end of a long stone trail that led to the top of the mountain he’d climbed; the end of a hike three days in the making.
It had started in a village at the base of the mountain. Trevor had traveled there when he had some time to himself after he’d concluded business that his job required. He’d read a magazine that mentioned the village. His initial travels had been to relax and perhaps bring home a souvenir or two.
When some villagers told stories of a castle atop the mountain that housed a dragon of all things, Trevor couldn’t resist not only the challenge but the allure of finding either. While he wasn’t sure whether to believe them and knew scaling a mountain alone was a fool’s errand. However, their honesty and hospitality had won him over.
Most said nothing was up there or at least, nothing was up there now. However, those few that said otherwise hadn’t asked for money or anything else for their information. If anything they seemed more then willing to give Trevor any help he needed all without trying to talk him into the climb.
Logic had told Trevor that if the castle existed that someone would have discovered it, photographed it and perhaps even done a documentary on it. Trevor didn’t let that dissuade him. The small chance the stories could be true was enough for Trevor.
Even if the stories were as Trevor feared, too fantastic to be true, he took solace in knowing that he’d scaled the mountain, got some exercise and at least could add something to the list of things he had accomplished in life.
Trevor was tired, sweaty, and thirsty. While he did have bottled water in his backpack, he didn’t want to drink it all given he still need to go down the mountain.
Sand crunched under his boots as Trevor walked up the path, one which had stones of light beige forged from rock that didn’t seem to be native to the mountain. There were cracks and pieces missing but Trevor could see that someone had built something up here at some point in time.
Trevor followed the trail with a mix of trepidation and anticipation. Even without the usual warnings Trevor expected people to issue him upon informing them of his intentions; there could be anything up here. He had no backup and no way to defend himself if he was walking into a trap.
The trail led up the slope. His heart raced as Trevor drew closer to the end. He broke into a run until he came to the end of the tail. A breeze kicked up dust that made him cough. When things settled down, Trevor came face to face with a large patch of smoothed rock and what was left of a few walls beyond the trail. If there was anything there before, there wasn’t now. Trevor hung his head and sighed as Trevor walked into the patch.
"So all that was just to find some ruins; why would they lie to me," Trevor asked.
Trevor knew he’d set himself up to disappointed but it did little to dampen the emotion.
He sighed, removed his backpack and sat down towards the middle of where the castle used to be. Even if he was going to have to go back disappointed, at least he could take a break and have a snack.
It was then that Trevor remembered the meat that an older woman, one of the people that had said the tales of the castle were true had given him. She’s given it to him rather then sold it, saying it would provide him with strength. Trevor wasn’t sure if it was safe to eat. It looked like jerky and smelt nice enough when Trevor removed it from the plastic wrapper.
"I doubt she’d poison me," Trevor said.
Trevor drank some water and ate a couple of granola bars before he decided to try the jerky. It was succulent and tasted a lot like a juicy steak cooked just the way he liked it. He found this strange as he’d never had jerky this delicious. For a moment, Trevor felt what he could only describe as the feeling of anticipation. It felt as though something was going to happen, something good.
Things got stranger.
When Trevor had finished the first piece of jerky, he saw a shadow under him and heard what sounded like something flying above. When Trevor looked up, he saw only sky. A gaze down showed that the shadow was gone. Something about it had felt familiar, he knew he had seen it before but couldn’t place where.
He felt compelled to eat the second piece of jerky. This piece of jerky tasted even better.
As he ate it, the feeling of familiarity increased. Trevor had finished with seconds. Indeed, Trevor was feeling stronger and more energetic. Trevor stood up and stretched. It was then that Trevor noticed that the ruined walls seemed shorter somehow. In fact, even his clothes seemed tighter.
"Okay what’s going on here?"
Trevor heard another swoosh and saw the shadow again. This time he looked up to see a sight he was hoping to see but never expected to. A blue dragon with a beige belly hovered above him. It landed in front of him. Trevor realized saw that it was female and about twice his height. She had a large wingspan; big feet with three clawed toes per foot and two arms that ended in what Trevor could swear were hands.
"Excellent, you tried my jerky," she said.
Trevor gasped at the sight before him.
"Your jerky; who are you? Wait, you can’t be…"
She grinned and nodded.
"I sensed you were more interested in seeing a dragon then the castle. Not that I blame you," she said.
Trevor noticed that she seemed to be getting smaller, or more Trevor was getting bigger. His clothes were tight enough to be uncomfortable. Trevor looked at his arms to see that his tanned skin was turning a dark purple.
Trevor didn’t really need to ask as he had a pretty good theory. It was something Trevor had thought of from time to time but never admitted to anyone, lest they consider him insane.
"Shall I free you from the burden of your human clothes? Trust me, you won’t be needed them for much longer. Unless that is, you wish me to halt this."
Trevor considered it before shaking his head.
"Excellent, I’ve been alone for some time and would love a friend, perhaps even a mate," she said.
"But you were human?" Trevor asked.
"An illusion, it lets me be among humans and interact with them. Useful, but it isn’t my true form. I used to live up here but well, you see what became of the castle that once stood here."
His clothes felt constricting and he grunted. She smiled and in a quick succession of moves with her hands, she ripped his clothes from him, leaving him naked. It was then that Trevor saw the extent of the changes to his body. His body hair was all but gone and his skin was turning into purple scales (beige on his belly) enough that only a few patches of skin remained.
Trevor kicked off his shoes just before he went through a growth spurt that destroyed his socks and had him develop from being a lot shorter and smaller then her to being a bit taller and bigger. His tailbone felt warm. He looked back to see a long tail emerge, twitching as it made its entrance into the world as it became one with him. It was his tail, as much a part of him as anything else on his body.
"Almost done honey, just a couple more things," she said.
Trevor nodded with a head that was starting to develop a muzzle and losing its hair.
His back felt hot (but not painful) as scales stretched and grew into a magnificent pair of wings that felt at home on his body. Trevor looked back at them when they finished growing, proud of what he saw and wondering how he had ever been happy without them.
When his muzzle and teeth were finished growing, Trevor felt complete – he was complete.
Trevor stretched, spread his wings and beamed.
"This is incredible. Thank you," Trevor said.
She didn’t need to ask before Trevor hugged her, pressing his body against hers in an embrace that felt wonderful. It Trevor knew that she wouldn’t have to be alone anymore.
"No, thank you," she said.
Trevor released the hug and they walked a short distance to a cliff, both looking out into the distance.
"An incredible view," Trevor said.
"Just wait until you see it from the sky," she said.
Trevor couldn’t wait to try out his new wings. But, Trevor realized that there was a problem.
"Wait, how do I explain this to my family?" Trevor asked.
She kissed him.
"Don’t worry; you can disguise yourself as a human just as I can. There’s no need to say goodbye."
"Awesome. So, you said something about seeing the view from the sky?"
She nodded and hugged him. Knowledge of how to fly as well as what else Trevor needed to understand flowed into his mind. Trevor understood, it all made sense.
The two took to the sky, wind encircling their bodies as they soared over the mountain and then the valley. Trevor felt more alive then he had in years. A gaze at the gorgeous and obviously happy female beside him was enough to let Trevor know that he’d not only found what he was looking for but even had something special to bring home with him.