Can you keep a secret?
Wait, before you say anything, think this through. This isn’t something that you can promise and break without a thought. It’s not a crush, and it’s not some rumor to spread at your fancy. This isn’t some flakey whim that you can walk all over.
I’m not talking about something near that frivolous. It’s not about who I like or some dumb thing someone else did to me. This is a strong, serious thing that you swear on your life to keep. You can’t run to your friends because it’s just that good or go tell because you suddenly changed your mind.
This isn’t an ordinary secret – this one is mysterious and intriguing. It will fill your belly with anticipation. You will want to tell. It’s also omniscient – it can make you jealous. It will fill your heart with envy and spite. You may grow to loathe me.
If I tell you, you may not even remember.
Your mind will be lost within golden pools of intelligence and wisdom. Your very soul will cry for absolute obedience to my every whim the moment your gaze reaches mine. Your every thought will be mine to see, mine to command.
The influx of information may overwhelm your mind. You will see many horrors, past and present. You may even see the future, depending on which iris you see first. You will see things that will make you paler than the snow you shelter from. You will feel anger, hate, and horror. You will experience love, hope, and contentment. You will know joy. You will know fear.
You will know fear.
Fear of being hunted for things beyond your control. Fear of those that dominate the earth. Fear of death.
Not for the Great Beyond, no. That is a homeland we long for, fills us with nostalgia like a mother’s first kiss on her baby’s brow. It is the next adventure, where you stand on the stage you built in your life, to show your growth to all you know and love. It’s where no secrets exist, for everyone knows everyone. Everyone understands everyone. Everyone loves everyone. No creature with the knowledge we have obtained could fear something as glorious as the Great Beyond.
No, death brings pain and suffering to my people, my family left behind. How easy is it to take another life’s precious gifts in their passing and abusing them for personal gain! Hardened plates for shields, armored vehicles, underground shelters. Sharpened fibers for blades, swords, arrows, even needles and darts. Sightless eyes as priceless gems. Every piece is taken.
You will see these things, and you will want.
You will desire the treasures of the past. You will long for the potential glories of the future. You will lust for worthless gems in the place of the present’s vibrant life.
You may not notice the approaching danger until it’s too late.
It’s a deadly secret.
It can hurt you, maim you. Kill you. This is a secret that can murder your social standing as easily as breaking your body. It will set you aside even as it will make you stand out. Your friends will tear you apart, but that’s nothing compared to the secret I hold.
If I tell you, you may die.
Your flesh may tear through black talons, blood may gush and paint white enameled fangs. Dark red may drip past a giant maw and onto the ground many stories below. If you’re lucky, it can be quick – your head will disappear down a long, sinewy neck by powerful jaws. You may hardly be aware that you just died.
Perhaps it will be slow – limbs systematically removed by powerful claws. The finesse my figure holds may strip the very flesh from your bones, leaving a formless mass of muscle and bone for the elements to play with. It can make you suffer.
It’s a terrifying secret.
It can fill you with horror and fear and make you question your own sanity.
For it is a terrifying beauty. Men stare in wonder even as sharpened bone crunches pale flesh. They praise my gleaming exterior even as black ivory nails tear through unsuspecting muscle.
It’s hardly a surprise when those unfortunate enough to stumble upon me during my alone time see my secret.
If my other form were to see the light of day, even the darkest of my royal purple plates would send colors playing through the sky – light purple interweaving with dark violet streams to flow like a serene river across the heavens. Dark gold strands would highlight the tranquil colors as my flowing mane stands out even more under the sun.
The hardest time to hide is always sunset. As day darkens, my scales fight the sun for dominance over the sky. Reds and oranges battle with violets and dark purple and almost seems to win. Except just as the star takes its last stand for the day, turning the land black and the sky a burning red, my hide glows into a lighter magenta before flashing a brilliant green, lighting the sky with life before the sun is gone and the colors fade.
But then the moon comes out, and even the galaxy’s arm across the heavens can’t hold a candle to the lights that gleam across the darkened tapestry. While the sun played with hues of purple and gold, the moon tangoes with magenta and green tones.
The colors dance across the sky, playing among the stars like long-lost friends.
Colors of coral and pink command the sky for a brief moment before grass and lemon-green overshadows it, only for them to blend seamlessly into contrasting harmony. All the while, small white dots shine through them, twinkling in joy and laughter.
Men stand in shocked awe as the lights play in the sky, waving and hugging like old friends, all centering around my gleaming scales. They stare in horror as their tiny minds try to tell them what is in front of them.
Yes, only those with the most awful luck stumble onto my secret. Their deciding moment is always the same – a simple glance sends a lifetime’s information to the shared minds. They often die before their body has a chance to act on their desires.
As if they could kill me when I could swallow them without staining my white ivory teeth. As if they could take my gifts, my talents, my dreams. My life.
My life isn’t over yet. Eons are before me, with mere centuries behind. There is still much to see, much to learn. Much to experience.
But it is hard to do it alone. Once every green moon, I ask a question to one who’s heart gives me hope. Hope to end my isolation. Hope to begin another chapter of life, one with a friend by my side.
Hope to gain what I see in every man’s mind in their last moments, of family and friends that stand by them no matter the cost. Of their Only One, keeping ahold of their very soul.
Once every green moon, I ask if Man could ever accept me. Not as a monster, not as a beast. To look past the horrifying exterior that haunts children’s nightmares and adult’s waking thoughts. To look beyond the tales of Man’s experience with ones too young to know any better.
As if a child can control their temper when it first burns.
I long for that one person, be it beast or man, that will look past the golden depths in my irises and not see a freak of nature, or a treasure pool of wealth and glory.
In my deepest heart, I long for one person to answer different.
So, tell me, and look into my eyes when you do.
Can you keep a secret?