He is a dragon and a man and an angel, all wrapped into one and, at the time,
he is the embodiment of all that is wrong with the world. Vain, prideful, angry,
murderous, vengeful, greedy, afraid... dead. Within
him, though, is something greater, far greater. Within him beats the heart of
a man beyond compare. And in order for that pure manifestation of greatness
to come out, in order for him to transcend the spiritual cancer that is eating
him alive, the dragon needs to be slain.
He stands on a mountain top and roars his hate for everything in existence,
because it has always eluded him. Beauty, to him, is a thing to be destroyed
or locked away- even the beauty within him, the ineffible quality that makes
him a child of God.
He is angry with God, for making his heart so hardened, for putting every obstacle
in his way. He is angry with God for letting this be, letting HIM
be the dragon.
And his roar echoes upon the hills and the small hearts of other men and he
laughs. His laughter, however, halts when his eyes fall up on two figures
standing close by.
No, they are not happy to see him. They are rather infuriated with him and
at the same time loving him in a way that he never has shown himself or others.
Not that he didn't want to; it's just that he has to be what he has to be. It
is kind of like destiny.
She is a lovely woman, beautiful and strong and helpless. She is alone in the
world in a way that so many knew all too well but never really noticed. She
noticed her loneliness and it soured her mind and heart to the point of pity.
Pity not for herself but for those who never felt it for others. She is in
love with the man, who is also an angel and a dragon. Not
the romantic sort of thing- it is more like the love a woman feels for a damn
good friend who doesn't realize the consequences of their actions. She was
compassionate and the compassion has been spoiled and turned sour by the actions
of this creature. The confusion broke the second he let his lungs expell used
air and rotten breath upon the world. Her compassion turned, slightly and of
its own will, into something akin to purpose and drive and knowing.
As much as she loves him, she knows that she has to let him go. He must die
so that he may live. He loves her, she knows, but he is not in love with her,
a quality that he has yearned for since birth but never known in its fullness.
It doesn't matter, though, because the angel within him is what draws her near
and she's always known this about him. That is why she loves him and that is
why he must die.
Because an angel without wings is out of its element and in the world of
nature and spirit, everything should be where it belongs. A place for everything
and everything in its place. The dragon has the angel's wings and it is using
them for horrible acts. This cannot be tolerated any longer. She
loves that angel, and the man, far too much to let the dragon continue its tyranical
The world, more than her, needs this to be. She doesn't like it, as a matter
of fact, she hates it, but this is as it should be. This is the will of God,
since no other option is left open to them.
Another friend and kind of servant stands next to her. He is a warrior and
he is true and strong. He would protect her in all things if need be. The strange
thing, though, is that even in the presence of the dragon, she isn't afraid.
The thing is rearing back to strike and kill her where she stands, but she is
immobile with courage and an invisible willpower the likes of which she has
never known. In this spot she would die, if God is willing to let it be. But
a small, quiet voice in the back of her mind tells her to relax.
This won't take long.
He'll be dead soon and free and you'll be able to live like you've always wanted
The dragon beats its wings at her and she smells the brimstone and foul stench
of its breath. Fearsome and horrid and ugly are mere mental abstractions to
her at this point. All she sees is the angel that lies within. That is the focus
of her sight. She sees angels everywhere.
He is a Shaman. And a Priest. And a Warrior. And a Healer. And a man. He is
so much more and so much less. Trained to kill with a word or a glance, he is
power incarnate. Not only has he gone where angels fear to tread, he has
conquered those places and ousted their inhabitants. He has fought with all
manner of villains and righteous servants, they make no difference to him in
the long run. Both Good and Evil hate him alike.
He is a Gray Walker, a being that slips through worlds without question or
doubt. He is searching for the thing that will force him to choose.
The battles he has had within himself have been far greater than any he has
known in the past. He hopes that he won.
This moment, this spec of a dust of a mote in time, is the culmination of
his journey, his destination and end-point. What happens next, what he does
now, will dictate whether he won that battle inside his heart. He sees the dragon,
a man that he once considered to be a friend and brother, and is unmoved, unshaken.
The danger that lies in the menace of that dragon's mouth holds little sway
to this Gray Walker. He is, after all, Unchosen. Fear might as well be courage.
Hope might as well be defeat. Strength might as well be weakness. Love might
was well be hate. All things are gray to him and because of this he is an
enemy to all except those who understand him.
This woman standing next to him, the intended first victim of the dragon, the
red and green snake with wings, is a woman of unsurpassed bounty. She is equal
to Eve or Asherah or Ah-Shirev, she is so unique and great. Men would fall
at her feet if she would let them. Armies would rally together and die in oceans
of battle at her word, if she'd bring herself to utter it. Scholars would forget
everything and hang in patience for her wisdom, if she were strong enough to
The Gray Walker has seen this woman before, in one form or another, and respects
the power that she refuses to use. Because of this fact, because she WON'T
use it, he respects her even more than ever before. It takes real strength
to not use the power that is always available to the wielder. She is the consort
of God, a midwife to a being that the Gray Walker bows to and loves like a
brother- a much, much, much older brother.
And God has put this Gray Walker on this mountain top with one
hope: that the Gray Walker will choose. Let the Unchosen Choose. Who better
to decide? The Gray Walker strides up to the dragon, his brother of years gone
by, and reaches out, his hand open and imbued with power.
Time stops for a portion of time that can't be determined, perhaps it's infinity,
who knows because time has stopped. The dragon stops. The woman stops. The Gray
Walker stops. God stops as he is passing by overhead. The Universe comes to
a screeching halt.
And a heartbeat later.
It all starts again.
The dragon is gone, its heart beating slowly and falteringly in the Gray Walker's
hardened fist. All that remains is a man, even the angel has ascended to the
Heavens and gone to its home.
The woman falls to her knees to lament over the fallen man, her lover that
never was. When she reaches out to touch him, when her skin comes into contact
with his, she feels nothing. This is a husk, a shell and an illusion; what
was there is gone and might never have been there at all. In a sick and sad
way, all she sees is a dead man that didn't really need to die. She tried repeatedly
to lead him in other directions, to make other choices, but in the end his self-destruction
was necessary. He's dead now and it's what he needed all along. And as soon
as she realizes this mystery, she suddenly realizes something about herself.
All things are made new again.
The Gray Walker drops the dying heart in the grass, next to the fallen man,
and grunts. He turns unceremoniously and without regret. "This time, get
it right," he says over his shoulder.
The woman never hears him. She is too lost in her freedom to understand that
she is alone.
But she is not alone.
There is one other person present, to bear witness. Me. And I loved her from
the start. I couldn't interfere. I couldn't participate. All I could do was
watch and wait and chronicle the event. That was my job and that was my purpose.
And now that it's done, I'm free, too.
I say her name clearly and she turns to look at me. "It's time to go now,"
I say. "It's over. What needed to be done is done and we can move on
now. Come on."
She sighs deeply and looks at the corpse next to her. "What about him?"
she asks. "Is that it? He's dead?"
Slowly, carefully I nod. He was my friend, too, back when the dragon was just
coming into being, back when he was just a man. I mourn his passing, but not
his death; it was necessary. She asks of the Gray Walker.
"He's gone, too," I say. "He has other things to do in other
places. Let him go. He'll be back. And when he is, he'll still be our friend.
He just needs to put his own house in order."
"Why?" she asks.
"Because that's what people like him do, when the war is over,"
I answer. "They go home." I reach out my hand to her. "We should
do the same." I smiled at her warmly. No proposal, no question, no doubt.
It makes sense. We aren't necessarily meant for each other. It's just that
we're all that's left of a unique species of people. We have our own house to
put in order.
She stands, walks to me and takes my hand. "Where will we go?" she
I shrug. "Wherever we want to. Let's find out."