Friday, August 10, 2012

WOE: The Truth in Our Stars

Write On Edge prompt:  this week I challenge you to be inspired by the phoenix. You may choose one of the two definitions below to write about. 
(source New Oxford American Dictionary online)
phoenix |ˈfēniks|
(in classical mythology) a unique bird that lived for five or six centuries in the Arabian desert, after this time burning itself on a funeral pyre and rising from the ashes with renewed youth to live through another cycle.
Phoenix |ˈfēniks| Astronomy
a southern constellation (the Phoenix), west of Grus.

There are no such creatures as a Phoenix, the Storytellers say.  There are only Dragons.  In the time after the world's creation, when Men began to walk the Earth, a Dragon found a baby lying naked on the mountainside.  The Dragon took pity upon the cold and hungry child.  She took the child in from the cold, and raised him as her own. He grew up in the warmth of love, safe in the arms of the Dragon. He was observant, and watched how the Dragon would swallow molten rock before flying off to hunt for food.  He watched the Dragon and her clan soar into the air, their scales gleaming in the sunlight.  He heard their cries of joy as the air seemed to lift them higher.   He dreamed of soaring with them, even as he was left to rot in the Great Hall while the dragons hunted.

I want to fly, the Child said.

You are not a Dragon, my child, said the Dragon.  You were created as you are by the Deity, and must be content.  Then she flew off to the east, to bask in the glow of the rising sun.

I want to fly, the Boy said.

You are not a Dragon, my child, said the patient Dragon. You were created as you are by the Deity, and must be content.  Then she flew high, a streak of iridescence in the blue sky.  Each day the Man would ask, and each day the answer was the same.

You were created as you are by the Deity and must be content.  

Yet the Man was not content.  Each day he thought about flying.  He found some of the molten rocks in the cave of the Dragon, and placed them into a pot.  He took the pot with him down the mountain and into the forest.   And now I will fly, the man said.  He picked up a molten rock and swallowed it whole. 

But Man was not meant to swallow fire.  His entire body burst into flame, catching the eye of the Dragon.  She immediately flew to his side, and her tears put out the flames, but it was too late. The Man's ashes  were caught on the breeze and blew away.  Bereft, the Dragon cried for three days and three nights, her heart broken. Her one regret was that she had not taught him to fly. On the third day, she heard a sound and looked into the pot left by the man. 

Lo!  A tiny dragon sat in the bottom of the pot.  The Man had been granted Rebirth by the Deity, and allowed him to be reborn as a Dragon.


  1. actual, not metaphorically rebirth...I love it

    great imagery

  2. This is a great piece. You created the feel of the old time storytelling in this piece wonderfully.

  3. Love the repetition as the child grew to boy and to man. Classic storytelling, and beautifully written. This could be illustrated and turned into a children's book I think. Well done!

  4. I love your dragon stories, rebirth is rebirth metaphorically or not.

  5. I enjoyed the rhythmic repetition; it's very effective in establishing the time and culture of the characters. And dragons! I love that they're everyday creatures while phoenixes are supposed to be mythical. Wonderfully done.

  6. Very cool - I love the oldstyle telling of the story, like something a gleeman would tell at the fireside in the evening.

  7. Wise dragons. Lucky Man. Love the storytelling style, it's very atmospheric.


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