Gears and Hearts Part Fifteen: The Puff of Hope

Written in response to: Write about two neighbors who cannot stand each other.... view prompt

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Adventure Fantasy Science Fiction

My phoenix sat on my shoulder, the dry grass crunching underneath my feet.  Thorns pricked my finger as I pushed them aside, small drops of blood appearing on my skin.  Two dwarves were yelling at each other from opposite homes.  One was a black shack, while the other one was a pristine white cottage.  Blue eyes met mine, a woman dwarf with dry white hair flying around her plump face.  A simple khaki dress drifted around her stout body, the male dwarf glared in my direction.  His brown wool vest popped against his green shirt, the brown pants he was wearing fading due the sun.  

“I don’t mean to interrupt you, but I am curious what the problem is.”  I stammered awkwardly, trying to not make them any madder. “Is there anything that I can do?”  Crossing their arms across their chests, they refused to look at each other.  

“She stole my diamond.” The male cried out in disbelief, waving his tiny hands around. “She alwa-”  The wooden clog on her feet clattered incessantly as she tapped her foot incessantly, a sharp glare from her shutting his lips.

“Tell my husband that I did no such thing!” She snapped back, grunting in anger. “I told him that a damn giant bird took it away.”  Crossing my hands, a deep sigh tumbled from my lips.  Turning my eyes up to the moon in the sky, a shooting star flying across the sky.  

“What if I got it back?” I queried softly, a sweet smile on my lips. “Then will you two stop hating each other?  Which direction did the bird go?” Her stance softened, her hands falling by her side.  The husband shifted uncomfortably next to her, scratching the back of his head. 

“I guess.” He uttered shamefully, looking sheepishly in the opposite direction of my eager eyes. “I would hope she would forgive me after all of my disbelief if it was true.”  Tears swam in her blue eyes, her finger pointing to the tallest mountain in the distance.  Nodding, my phoenix swooped underneath me, the chilly wind blowing all around my face as he flew near the mountain.  A gentle coo told me that we were there, an alarm widening my eyes.  This wasn’t a bird, but a damn dragon.  Black smoke curled out of the cave, a black scaly head touching my boots.  The mountain rumbled, yellow slits turning into a full blown glare.  

“Give me one good reason to not roast you alive right now.” She growled deeply, a hot brimstone breath nauseating me. “You have ten seconds, and how dare you bring a damn phoenix with you?  I despise those rats with wings.”  Shifting uncomfortably, the rock began to crumble underneath my feet.  

“I am looking for a diamond that you stole from a couple of dwarfs.” I squeaked out, a red glowing ball forming in the back of his throat. “They would like it back.”  His head snapped up, nearly knocking me off the large ledge I was standing on.  A snarl grew on his lips, yellowed rotting teeth the size of me snapping shut.  

“Tell them to give me back my precious baby.” She sighed deeply, her claw doodling in the loose dirt beneath her. “They stole my egg, so I took something from them.”  Sadness brooded deep within her eyes, her tongue flicking out.  I may have been seeing something, but I swore on my mother’s grave that a tear streamed down the scaly face.  My phoenix swept me up again, flying me back down to the dwarfs.  The wife stood with her hands on her hips, a deep frown on her face.   

“She says that you have an egg that belongs to her.” I explained with a touch of exhaustion, rubbing my forehead. “Can I have it?”  The two dwarfs shook their heads, pointing to a gnome village.  Can this problem get more irritating?  What a pain in my ass, I groaned to myself.  Sprinting over to the gnome village, a bunch of fairy sized creatures with pointy hats walked out to look at me.  The clothes were a sea of rainbow colors, the biggest one with a red hat and suit attempting to stab my foot.  Cocking my brow, my fingers picked him up.  A long white beard tickled my palm, his spear tickling my palm.  

“Where is the dragon egg?” I inquired, rather short of any patient at this point. “Do you have it?  Please say you do, and that nothing was stolen from you.”  Indignation burned in his eyes, his spear pointing down to a red spotted egg twice the size of the village. 

“It is ours.” He snarled, trying to stab me harder. “We earned it fair and square.  We are going to raise it to protect our village.  The damn dragon up there keeps threatening to burn our homes down.”  Rubbing my eyes, a gentle breeze blew my black silk gown.  

“It is her child.” I groaned through gritted teeth, tossing his spear to the side. “How would you feel if you lost one of your precious children?”  Curiosity flashed in his eyes, dismay deepening the frown on his face.  

“I guess you are right.” He sighed to himself, allowing me to pick up the egg. “I just want to protect my village.”  Setting him  on the rim of my hat, the orange wings of my phoenix flashing as it flew me over the dwarfs.  Scooping them up, they kicked and screamed the whole way up to the mountain.  The black dragon snorted in disbelief, her anger melting away at the sight of her egg.  

“Go on.” I prodded the irritating gnome. “Tell her what you would like from her.  This is getting ridiculous at this point.  I would like to get some sleep if any.”  His arms crossed, his mushroom nose scrunching up in pure disgust.  Swinging him around, his feet tried to kick my nose but nothing happened.  

“Fine!” He grumbled icily, walking up the dragon’s huge snout. “I would like for you not to harm our village in the future.  In fact, could you provide us protection from everything?”  Scoffing, the dragon nuzzled her egg.  Motherly love brightened her eyes, lighter black smoke curling from her nostrils.  

“I can if you promise to never steal my egg again.” She retorted cautiously, holding it tighter. “And if you watch her as needed.”  Rolling his eyes, a crooked grin danced across his face.  His lips parted to speak, the two dwarfs started yelling again.  A migraine began to throb violently, my gaze falling on the diamond under the dragon’s immense claw.  

“May I give that back to the dwarfs?” I queried gently, shooting the dragon with my best pleading puppy dog eyes. “I would love to see them loving each other again.  Don’t you want to not have to hear them?”  Nodding, she rolled the giant gem over to them.  Confusion dawned in the husband’s eyes, his head falling in shame.  

“Darling, I am so sorry.” His gruff voice whispered, a blush rising to his cheeks. “I would love to be by your side again.”  Tears swelled in her eyes, a sheepish smile curling on her lips.  Stepping over to him, her lips pressed against his passionately.  Pulling back, his arms pulled him closer to his chest.

“I would love for you to move back in my dear.” She wept joyfully, her hands intertwining with his. “Can you take us home now?” Nodding to my dear pet, his feathers glowed in the night as he soared off the mountain.  The grumpy gnome grabbed at the last minute leaving me alone with the black dragon. 

“Can I get your name?” I asked quietly, plopping down next to her. “You seem so kind.  It must be hard for you to get judged by your appearance.”  Smiling sweetly over at me, her claw traced the dirt beneath her again.  

“You are so kind to see my beauty.  Etoile is my name.” She confided in a whisper, my eyes falling on her rotting teeth again. “Especially since my age is beginning to show.”  Shaking my head, a blue light glowed around her.  The light faded, a much younger dragon laying next to me.  The whiteness of her teeth nearly blinded me, warmth curling at my feet.  A large black stone sat at my feet, the egg beginning to crack.  A sharp claw cracked the top, a tiny black head popping out of the egg.  Yellow eyes blinked back at me, a toothy grin melting my heart.  Cracks echoed around us, a feathered wet creature waddling towards me.  

“That is a beautiful name, and what do you wish to name your cute little baby?” I questioned sweetly, hugging the tiny creature. “Wait, is it a boy or a girl?”  A puff of pink smoke curled from her nostrils, the little baby waddling over to her mother.  

“What is your name?” She inquired quietly, the baby sleeping in her arms. “I would like to name her after you, that is if it is okay.”  A lump formed in my throat, scarlet burning my cheek.  

“Mina.” I stammered anxiously, imagining the blood on my hand. “I wouldn’t c-”  Her claw tapped my head lightly, my eyes meeting hers.  Cocking her head, she shook it.  

“You need to see the light inside of you my child.” She sighed happily, pointing to the rock. “You can use this to start a fire anywhere.  Just strike a piece of metal against it and boom you have a fire all night long until you put it out with water.  Stay with me and enjoy the sunset.  Do it for a friend.”  Gripping my mother’s locket, a tear streamed down my cheek.  Pink and orange bathed the sky, the last of the bats going home for the night.  

“Why does everyone see it except for me?” I wept into my palms, her kind gaze falling on me. “Everyone seems to love me, except for me.”  Her claw wrapped around my tiny body, her yellow eyes boring into mine.  

“I have lived a long time, and I find that the best people in the world hate themselves no matter what anyone else says.” She expressed profoundly, playing with the necklace around my neck. “Your mother was the same way.  If you were the other way, I guess you wouldn’t be so humble.  Please love yourself, my child, and live a long healthy life.  You will meet and lose people as you go on your journey.  Honor them with every good deed you do.  Until we meet again.”  His orange wing extended in front of me, the claw shoving me on his back.  The air rushed around me, my friends waving at me down below.   Maybe she was right after all, and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself.  Warmth washed over me, the black rock still warm in my hands.

May 31, 2022 15:24

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