The claws penetrated through the evil black dragon’s thick scales, spilling out black ooze from its long neck, rupturing the spine. Shelamo held himself, watching his fierce archenemy fall through the sky, miles away to meet its final destiny.
No sooner had Shelamo triumphed, the full force of another gigantic beast reached from above, its wings held close in, to intercept with a head-on collision. The red and gold intermingled, diving together as one big lump of meat and scales. The world spun around, as the red beast’s claws pierced in Shelamo’s front left leg. However, the opportunity given was more than enough for the golden Shelamo to bite through the skull, killing it in an instant.
The beast was dead, but its claws had dug deep within the foot. Attempting to release the deadweight failed him several times. The ground now rushed closer with speed towards the mountain cliffs of Dornar. Shelamo knew it was his time to die. But he never gave up. Biting and chewing up the red beast’s leg, he tasted the foul blood sprinkling out all across his golden face. Thrice, he screamed in agony, pushing his limits to save his own dear life.
Only a few moments away from hitting the ground, the bloody red leg broke off, and Shelamo, in desperation, flapped his wings to soften his fall. Nonetheless, the speed of his fall didn’t help him enough. Even though the red beast fell underneath to soften the landing, Shelamo’s now wounded leg crashed into the beast’s skull, fracturing his bones inside. The sheer pain forced him to give up, landing his entire body into the red beast’s gigantic dead body. As the pain reached deep, Shelamo lost his consciousness, and losing his alert status, drifted into a deep sleep, not knowing if at all he would wake up ever again.
Now, that is something to ponder about, Reuben thought. How shall I wake him up, and in what way? Will he have someone’s company? Or should I get a dragon slayer in front of him? Oh my, If I do that, will Shelamo manage to survive the dragon slayer’s death strike? Oh Lord, help me clean up the mess I’ve created.
Reuben glanced around his work desk. The different coloured gel pens, ink eraser, pencils, stencils, markers, multi-coloured highlighters were placed nearby, in a neat, organised manner. But then, at the end of the desk, he saw his favourite half-litre beer mug in which he’d got black herbal tea for him. It was half empty. It looks like I’m going to have to drink it all cold, or heat it. He felt the mug; it had become cold. As he picked it up to have a sip, he saw the fine tea particles at the bottom.
“Shelamo!” He was surprised to see the shape of a dragon’s head, sideways. His view inside the half-filled beer mug with black tea would, to a typical human being, look exactly like the fresh black tea, not so much cooked, yet enough to show its dark colour. However, to Reuben, it was different. The tea residue emanated blood-red coloured liquid.
“What in the world is going on?” Reuben said, staring into the mug with complete concentration. He stood still and watched as the colour of the entire tea changed to that of blood. But it didn’t end there. The blood-coloured tea started filling up inside the mug, bubbling up from inside. It became warm to the touch, and soon enough, hot steam materialised. Staring at it, Reuben saw the bloody tea reach near the top, and the glass felt boiling to the touch. Within moments, the blood tea spilt over onto his hands and reacted in reflex to let go of the mug in hand. It fell onto the ground and shattered to pieces.
A moment later, Reuben felt silence grab him within his ears. The shrill high pitch sound of the breaking glass fetched him back to reality, allowing him to see what had happened. There was no blood-filled tea spilt on the floor. “Am I going mad?” He questioned as he saw all around him. As he got up from his chair assuring that he wouldn’t get hurt from the broken glass pieces, he saw something out of the ordinary across the corner of his eye. On his laptop screen, where he wrote out the draft of his twenty-third novel, he saw blood trickle down across the screen. As he attempted to wipe it off, it didn’t, and then realised that the blood was inside the screen. It was oozing out from the Shelamo’s final letter ‘o’.
“That’s it. It’s Shelamo. I should tend to his wounds immediately; else he might die out of excessive blood loss. It’s been twenty-five long years since I had Shelamo come out of his dragon egg. Oh, how can I keep Shelamo in such a vulnerable state? That would be the most pathetic thing to do, torturing him with excessive blood loss, and letting him die.”
Removing the broken glass pieces on the floor, Reuben sat down without taking another break from writing. But when he looked at the screen, it mentioned something he knew he had never typed it out.
The ground shook when the beasts fell from the sky. But the pain and agony Shelamo felt were like none before. He felt lonely and thrown away for good. He felt there was no need for him to be in the picture anymore. His last words were all there was as he opened his mouth one final time before the light of the sky became bright and vivid until his vision blurred and fell into a deep sleep.
The bell rang along with three knocks on Reuben’s wooden house’s main door. What do I do? Shelamo’s in grave danger. I have to help him, even if he’s a character in my books. The bell rang again. But Reuben ignored it. He focused on his writing, but no words came to him. I have to write. I have to make him feel safe. He depends on me, and I can’t ignore him right now. Setting his eyes back on the screen, he saw more words on it.
The golden chamber’s door opened with a thud, shattering the door to pieces. Desperate to reach the master, Shelamo held out his wings to support his balance. He roared fiercely, challenging his master to come outside.
The silence in his room broke with an ear-splitting reverberation coming from outside the room; Reuben felt the breeze coming through the door leading to the living room. That can’t be. I just wrote about it, and it just happens to occur at my house.
“Yes, it has,” said a voice from the other side of the door, “and I need your help.”
Reuben opened the door and walked towards the voice that had spoken to him. A man had fallen to the ground, his left hand wounded, blood seeping out from his body. “Who are you?” He asked.
“It is I,” said the injured man. He turned to face Reuben, all bloodied and dripping blood across his face and neck. “Shelamo,” he claimed.
“How do you know of Shelamo?” Reuben asked. He was confused. “He’s a dragon, and you’re human.” He picked up the first aid kit placed on the shelf and started tending to him.
“I’m neither human nor dragon, Reuben. But I live within. I’ve been a part of you for the past twenty-seven years. I may have aged six hundred and fifty dragon years, lived as a dragon, right from breaking out of the golden shell, to becoming a full-fledged adult dragon until now. You’ve given me a vast number of unimaginable challenges, rode and flown me across every possible terrain and soared high in the skies above. Nonetheless, it was this final journey of mine that brought me out into the real world. I wouldn’t have seen the world if you hadn’t shown it to me.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I’ve learned all I need to know about you. It has been a dream to wish that your kind is something to treasure, and not set for termination.” He placed his right hand on Reuben’s hands to stop tending to his wounds. “There are many like myself who are part of the countless creatures of this world. And it is with great joy to inform you that you’re all part of an ecosystem approved towards sustaining yourself to evolving and becoming better each day.
“Life may be tough in the real world. But the ideas and thoughts your mind radiate, create a vision of the world. There are many filled with habits of negativity. But it is through us that you manage to survive and evolve into better beings. My time with you may have come to an end. But I know that you’ll continue to live a better life.”
“What of Shelamo?”
“Even with the real me passing on, Shelamo will remain within you. He’ll need you even more, now that I shall cease to exist. Although it is my time to move on, I’ll let you hold on to Shelamo for as long as you wish. Take good care of him, and he’ll comfort you in your bad times.” The man exhaled one final time as he closed his eyes.
The dead man who called himself Shelamo turned to dust and disintegrated into thin air. As Reuben stood up, he saw no more blood across the floor. Going back to his room, he reached out to continue the draft, when he saw more words appended the draft.
Shelamo’s master moaned in silence, providing a sense of calm within the golden dragon chamber. The open roof above the dragon chamber echoed the master’s wish, shedding golden light on Shelamo.
Soon, Shelamo opened his eyes, blinded by the sudden light. The pain inside dissipated, the light cleansing him from his oncoming death. When the light faded, Shelamo found himself alone in the chamber. With no presence of his master anywhere, he turned back to the broken door and walked out.
The bright light outside the chamber took him on a flight, unknown to him, to where he was when he fell after the fight with the beasts. Looking at his legs, Shelamo realised, he wasn’t hurt from the brawl. It was only a scratch. The visions during his fight had shifted him onto a different plane. It allowed him to travel to a different plane.
Reuben sat stunned for a minute, unknown to the progression of the story. From the shelves above and behind him, a small figurine made a tiny sound. When Reuben turned to look behind, a little dragon model moved and flew at him. Sitting on his shoulder, the little dragon squeaked and coughed, blowing steam. When Reuben held out his hand, the little dragon hopped onto his palm, shaking himself from the dust that had gathered about him. Reuben noticed a small tag underneath the little dragon’s neck. It was bold, cursive text embedded across his chest, Shelamo, the Dragon Alien.
As Reuben tapped on the Shelamo’s little head, he felt something on his own. He ignored the sensation. “I shall take good care of you, Shelamo.” As he brushed his hand across the dragon’s neck, he sensed something similar, as if something or someone had rubbed his own. He didn’t see anyone when he turned around. So, when he brushed his fingers across the dragon’s little hand, he saw the hair on his own hands press down as an invisible force brushed his skin. Knowing something was strange, Reuben stood up. The little dragon flew from his hand and landed back on the shelf where it originally came.
Reuben went into a shock; he lost his balance and consciousness. Fallen into a deep sleep, he heard a low murmuring sound trying to reach him. He concentrated and narrowed his scope towards the sound until the voices were crystal clear.
“Do not be afraid, Shelamo. I shall keep watch over you for all eternity. You are the best of all of my favourites. And I won’t anything bad happen to you.”
The voice faded away. When Reuben woke up, he didn’t find anything unusual. Except when he sat back on his chair, he looked up at the screen to read his draft.
Shelamo lost his consciousness, and losing his alert status, drifted into a deep sleep, not knowing if at all he would wake up ever again.
These were the words he had typed before something had happened. He couldn’t recall what happened before. He only held up a question mark above his head, unknown to his past few moments, vacant and void within his small human brain.
Acknowledgement: This inspiration comes from the Reedsy prompt – Write about someone who keeps an unusual animal as a pet.
Please feel free to check out their other writing prompts at https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts