Dragon Moon

Art by Jarom Neumann

Her body twisted in the evening breeze, gown billowing from her thin frame. She moved around an empty ring of grass. The night spoke through bending trees as the young girl danced.

“Tis bad luck to dance the night before the Dragon Moon.” Hissed the young girl’s father. He watched, eyes filled with scorn and ire. “Does she not understand the dishonor that comes from her choices? From her . . . movement?”

“She is no daughter of ours, Ferrind.” Growled Joya, Ferrind’s wife. Her jowls quivered as she spit out each word, “When she comes back to us all that will be waiting for her will be a locked door and shuttered windows.”

For a moment they both looked on their own flesh and blood as she leapt from side to side.

Behind the woman Ferrind turned the key in its lock. “When the Dragon Moon rises, no one will be there to save her. As it must be.”

Leaves twirled around Shanri, emphasizing the rise of her limbs and silken sleeves.

One am I with this Earth. Our hearts as one.

Her thoughts echoed in the darkness of her mind, reminding her of what she must endure.

Through hatred and poisonous envy I wade, One alone to save this Earth.

Shanri executed a fluid kick and somersaulted onto the short cropped grass.

A dancer I must be, of the unmoving mountain. I bow to no one, but move as supple as the wandering brook.  Like a sapling I sway in the wind, anchored by the earth.

Not a soul acknowledged the young girls efforts as Shanri pulled at the elements around her. She reached youth filled hands into an ever-living pool of history. Withdrawing the energy of Mother Earth she pushed it out to the village around.

The night air reverberated with magic as iridescence settled over the unsuspecting village.

I am one with this world. And with this energy I bind this last village, these the last of my people to an uncertain fate.

High above the young girl a radiant circle of light peaked over a ridge.

I call to you, Dragon Moon! Dragon Moon!

Flecks of green and shimmering silver fell from the moon as it rose into the night sky. Shanri continued her dance.

Let fly this weakness, from my mortal flesh. For the Gates of Destruction have opened.

Spreading her arms wide, the young girl spun round and round. Her robes once again swirling about her. Above her lines of moonlight struck the far side of the valley, causing cliff-faces to glow.

Rise Dragon moon.

Shadows fled from the mountain side as an imperceptible shiver ran through the ground. A chill wind blew through the valley, twisting around the silent village. Shanri was a blur of motion as she felt the fear rise. Beyond her, the mountain opened as she bent her body back low, completing the rite. Moonlight streamed into a gaping chasm as a thousand years worth of dust seeped into the world.

A low growl echoed through the valley.

Rise.

-M.E. Inkowl

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