I look at my sister walking towards me, her hair swaying in fiery strands as it dances against the dim light of my flat. It somehow looks even more red and dangerous than mine as her yellow eyes scan across my face. I haven’t seen my sister since we were children, so I am truly taken away by how dominant and proud she looks. She almost looks like my mother. A true and utterly magnificent dragon woman.
“Charlotte, look how beautiful you are.” Lucille edges closer, her reptilian eyes analyzing my every move. The closer she gets, the more I notice how she stands so much taller than me at almost 6 feet.
“Lucille, what are you doing here?” I hardly breathe out, as I slowly walk past her towards the kitchen. I don’t have time for these pleasantries. I know she must be here for a reason seeming I haven’t spoken to her since we were children. My heart squeezes as quick flashbacks play in my mind of when we were young and used to play in the dragon gardens. That was a simple time. A fun and innocent time, before everything, came crashing down. I lean forward to fill the kitchen kettle with water from the tap.
“A sister cannot come to visit her family?” Lucille asks, her voice slightly softer, but still holding onto as much dominance as possible. I roll my eyes.
“Since when does a sister come to visit after what…” I pause in thought, my eyes scanning Lucille.
“Ten years of abandonment!” I breathe out and watch as Lucille quickly looks away, almost embarrassed by my uproar. Yip, thought so sister dearest!
“You know it was not my choice!” Lucille begins, but I stop her by waving my hand. I have no time for this.
“Oh please, Lucille. I was sent away to be all by myself, barely even a teenager and you didn’t even say a word! You merely watched from the sidelines.” I reply, my voice coming out a little harsher than intended. I swear for a second, I see a pained look in Lucille, but she quickly covers it with her oh-so-strong façade. An awkward pause follows my outburst and I sit to drink my coffee, one of the few human habits I have found myself become quite accustomed to.
“I did not come here to fight with you, Charlotte.” Lucille whispers, slumping down on the couch with a huff. I look up to meet her gaze.
“Yes, why did you come here, Lucille?” I ask almost sarcastically. I can see her wincing at my tone, but really? She just arrives announced and expects me to be my happy and cheerful self. I watch as her expression ponders on my question. This ought to be good.
“Well, mummy and daddy sent me to speak to you.” Lucille replies, her voice softening a bit at the mention of my parents. My ears perk up a bit. Why in the world would they need her to speak to me after all these years?
“Oh, about what?” I ask, genuinely curious about what she has to say. She looks in two minds to tell me but eventually sighs in defeat under my raised eyebrow.
“They want you to come home.” Lucille says, her whole body becoming tense and withdrawn. I feel myself paling at this.
“But I haven’t been home in so long!” I gasp. I hardly know what to say to this.
“It would only be for a month or so, then you can come back.” Lucille replies, her gaze becoming awkward and unsure. Aha! I knew it! There is an agenda to all of this!
“What do they need from me?” I ask, each word slicing into the air and my lips moving up into an evil smirk. How ironic that they need me to come home! I can see Lucille shrinking into the couch as she lowers her dominant posture under my questioning stares. She feels embarrassed to be having this conversation with me, I can tell. These only egg me on.
“The future king is to be crowned. Every dragon born in our lands is to attend. Mummy and daddy have become important in the dragon world, Charlotte. If you do not attend it will be the biggest insult to the royal family and they will lose their ranks.” Lucille says, her words coming out quieter and quieter. I cannot help but fall into fits of laughter from what she says.
“You mean to tell me, that me, a pathetic human according to you dragons, has enough power to completely destroy the ranks of my poor parents?” I laugh out, hardly able to breathe from the humor and irony from all of this. Who would have thought? I look at Lucille with amused tears in my eyes, but her expression is completely stiff and almost irritated.
“This is not funny, Charlotte!” She replies, folding her arms.
“Well, I think it is hilarious! After banishing me away to live with the humans, who would have thought that I would be the reason behind their demise?” I breathe out, finally able to calm myself.
“We did not banish you away! You know why they sent you away and by the looks of things, you look like you are living a dandy life here! You have no idea how stressful and uneasy things have been for the dragons. I wish I could be a human every day and be completely oblivious to everything happening around me!” Lucille booms, her words cutting through the air with emotion and pain. I have never known her to be someone who shows her feelings, even when we were little girls. Her words concern me, what exactly has been going on while I have been here?
“Lucille, what do you mean?” I frown, looking at the way my sister is watching her hands on her lap. The former powerful, dominant and unquestionable presence is now defeated and desperate. I feel my whole soul becoming more and more alarmed at her change in aura. This is just so unlike her! Lucille has always been the strong one. She has always been the one who never shows her vulnerabilities.
“The magical creatures…” Lucille begins before she sighs. I tilt my head and wait for her to continue. She seems unsure about how much to divulge.
“There has been unrest amongst the magical creatures. There is word that the Red Dragon is walking amongst us.” Lucille finally says and my eyes go wide. The red dragon?
“I thought that was just a childhood story from the fables?” I say, but by the look on Lucille’s face, I just know that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Another awkward silence follows as I try to take in and process everything that she is telling me.
The red dragon is a tale that speaks of change, evolution and reshuffling. This dragon is the rarest of them all and only comes in times when things need to become balanced again.
“But why now?” I hardly whisper, hoping Lucille could not hear me. Of course, I forget that she is a dragon and has the most expert hearing.
“I have said enough, Charlotte. Mummy and daddy need you to come home. I need you to come home. This is why I have come here and I have told you why. Make with this information what you will, but I cannot force you. You know where to go and you know what to do if you choose to do this. Just remember, the family is depending on you.” Lucille says, her voice becoming laced with arrogance again. Back to our old self, I see. I watch as she lifts herself from the couch, dusting off the “dirt” from her pants and slowly edging for the door.
“Lucille…” I whisper, from my seated chair in the kitchen, but she has already opened the door.
“Goodbye Charlotte.” She says, before closing the door behind me. I do not miss the silent plea in her eyes before the red door closes and the air around me becomes somewhat cold again, matching the usually cool temperature of the human land.
I feel so alone again, as I think about the conversation that I just had and the fact that MY SISTER was just in my house. Someone who I have not seen in oodles of years was here and on my couch. I slowly edge towards the window of my little home, pulling the curtain open to look outside. All the humans are standing in awe and watching the beautiful, orange swirls dance in the sky above them. I allow my eyes to zone in on a small movement, my expert vision catching onto the tiny spec of a dragon amongst the clouds. My sister. I watch as she soars in all her glory across the blue ribbons of air, her wings spread out in pride and her magnificent tail glimmering against the burning sun. The way she swoops and dips in the air is a sight to behold, as she glides further from me and closer to the dragon land. Of course, the humans have no idea that she is up there, as their eyesight would never allow them to see so far into the sky and into the blinding embers of the sun, but I am no ordinary human. I watch until she fades too far for me to see, before closing the curtain and stepping away from the window. I slowly make my way back to the empty mug on my kitchen counter, lifting it and rinsing it under the cold, tap water. My mind feels like it is in a complete haze after everything that just happened today.
Did I really just see my sister?
What the hell just happened here today?