Friday, September 2, 2011

Red Writing Hood: The Ritual of Changing

Prompt: For this week’s prompt, write about a season of change for your character or you. It can be literal or metaphorical. I am trying to continue what I started here. I apologize in advance for any spelling errors; it was late when I wrote this. Concrit is appreciated!

My time came upon me, and the urge to create life became too strong. It pulsed through my blood in rhythm with my heart, until I could not sleep. I must mate.


There were no other dragons, just me, I thought bitterly. I lay in my cave, despairing, and then remembered a story once told by the clan Seer about the Ritual of Changing. I had only heard the story once, and could barely recall the name of the Ritual, much less the story. Now I had hope.

I searched through what archives I could find, traveled from cave to cave. By day I read the rocks. I could find nothing! Until my eye spotted something gleaming on the side of a lonely spire nearby, I was growing desperate. A forgotten dragon lair, with the bleached bones of a human outside its entrance. The gleaming was a sword and shield. Daylight found me poring over dragon archives that were hidden away deeper in the mountain than I ever knew possible.

It was here that I found the answer, in the ritual magic of the dragons. I carefully copied what I needed on a rock of my own; I did not want to disturb this lonely place by removing the secrets it had held close for so long. I took the sword and shield with me, and dropped them as I flew over a pasture on my way home, reasoning that if I had been able to see their gleam, other humans might also.

I prepared for my own Ritual of Changing. I would be unable to eat while in my temporary form, but I would only be changed for a short time. I gathered the required materials; emeralds, obsidian, the bones of a deceased human, a knife made of silver, a small Aspen tree, a plant called rosemary, and a snow-fed lake.

That night, I moved rocks into a circle next to the lake, and breathed onto the broken bits of Aspen in the center to start a fire. I picked up the rosemary plant and walked in a clock-wise circle three times, chanting the ancient words that were now embedded in my mind. I began to sense the bones of my Ancestors stirring in the earth below me. I then held the rosemary over the fire until it began to smoke, and walked the circle another three times. The circle closed, and suddenly my Ancestors were whispering; they surrounded me. Their power filled me, seeking, but I was determined and therefore unafraid. My chanting never slowed as I placed the human bones in the fire, then the emeralds and obsidian. The Ancestors took up my chant. The fire rose higher in response, and the flames appeared blue, indigo and violet. I picked up the knife, held it with both hands over my head. Then I used the knife and sliced open a vein by inserting the blade between the scales on my arm.

Bleeding heavily, I walked into the fire. The flames seemed to feed on my blood and rose even higher. I could hear my Ancestors screaming. Then the Change began; the sudden pain as my bones began to reform made my back arch as I screamed.

I fell, curling up with the pain, the seething pain, and the flames grew even higher, consuming me. I knew no more for a time. I came to myself with the flames still cradling me, and hurled myself from the fire. I staggered, crawling, and finally was able threw myself into the cool waters. I felt the hiss of the steam upon my body. When it stopped, I rose to the surface, stood on two legs instead of my four, and made my way to the shoreline. My scales were gone, and as I looked down my pale skin gleamed in the moonlight.

I would appear human for the next ten days. Now I could mate, and bear offspring.


  1. Such an interesting story line, loved the twist at the end. Love your descriptions of the heat and flames, so vivid I think I felt warm just reading.

  2. awesome. I love sci fi and fantasy, and this was a beautifully done change scene :)

  3. Ooh! Nicely played- the dragon, the changes, the karate chop ending.

    My favorite line -Until my eye spotted something gleaming- because it scremaed a change in feeling and story.

  4. Just the get away I needed. Sorry I've been away. Glad to have come back to this--well done!

  5. Oh, very interesting and unexpected. What a great imagination and so descriptive. I like it very much!

  6. I am awestruck!! This is turning out to be such a fabulous story. I love the spell you weaved--deceased human bones, aspen tree, rosemary... the walking of the circle. This is fabulous! I can't wait for the next piece!

  7. Wow! Such a unique and vivid story! I loved this the idea behind the transformation and continuation of life. Great job!

  8. I love the care and attention to the ritual, and the dragon's sense of purpose while she acquires the information and materials she needs.

    This is a great voice, and a fantastic spin on the dragon-lore genre. I really liked the first one, and I think this one is even stronger.


I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!