(this is when I lived in Stony. I am still only 21, my hair is short, my teeth are straight, and my CP, shunt, tube, and scars are all still-long-gone. Marc and his friends are all still long-gone, so there is still peace. This is after my dad and Barb are married)
I sat quietly at my bedroom desk, working intently on one of many sketches of the stars of the constellation Draco; the soft white light from the globe of my dragon lamp, and the soft scratch of my pencil upon paper, the only illumination and sound in an otherwise dark and quiet room.
I would occasionally glance out my bedroom window to take a quick look at the 17 stars forming the constellation, then go back to my sketch.
“Charlie!” I turned upon hearing a light knock on my bedroom door, and smiled at my 5-year-old sister, Madison.
“Hi, Madison!” I replied cheerfully. She walked up to stand beside me.
“What are you working on?” Smiling, I slid my pad over so she could see it. The instant smile that crossed her face always made me feel good.
“You do such wonderful sketches of the dragon, Charlie!” Madison said, looking up at the sky through my window. I smiled.
“Thanks, sis!” I replied with a grin. “It’s always been my favourite to sketch.”
Together, Madison and I looked up at the night sky, seeing Draco gleaming faintly in the darkness, like a sole beacon in a lonely and desolate expanse.
Just the other day, she and I had just finished watching the last movie in the ‘Dragonheart quadrilogy’. We had watched them according to the story timeline, beginning with Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse, before going on to Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire, the original Dragonheart, then finally ending with Dragonheart: A New Beginning.
For some odd reason, during the last film, my sister kept glancing between Drake, the young dragon, and me, her big brother. While I didn’t notice this, I later got the impression that Madison had somehow sensed some surprising similarities between me, and the young dragon Drake.
She had also been impressed by some of the qualities I emulated in my everyday life: wisdom, honour, truth, and hope, to name but a few.
My little sister soon began to feel tired, so she and I bade each other goodnight, as she gave me a hug, which I returned fondly.
After turning in, she lay awake in bed, thinking about those stars, and seeing my sketches in her mind. She still couldn’t quite believe how realistic, and how beautiful, they were, but that was one of countless things she loved about her big brother: he was an amazing artist.
She also, through the times we had read the Bible together, had come to learn about the many different creatures that were mentioned, and of how men had interacted with them: Daniel in the lion’s den, Jonah within the whale, and many others.
She also came to enjoy having me read her some of my favourite verses, but one in particular caught her attention, Isaiah 35:6-7:
“Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. For waters shall burst forth in the desert, and streams in the dry plain. And wherever was parched shall become a pool, and arid zones will become springs of water; in the meadow lands where dragons rest shall be grass with reeds and rushes.”
The last part of the verse really caught her eye: ”in the meadow lands where dragons rest shall be grass with reeds and rushes.”
My little sister’s breath was taken away, as she thought of the words. ”The Bible says dragons will REST, not ravage, and the meadow lands will not suffer destruction at their hands!!”
Madison was hit with a revelation: ”Just as the lion and lamb shall lay down beside one another, in peace!!”
This, for my little sister, fully shattered the age-old myth that dragons were meant to thirst for blood, and raze the lands of men.
She recalled how I had shown her my deviant art page, and how my alter ego, Drake Starfire, was a mirror image of me in terms of natural disposition: Kind, wise, honourable, with an air of youthful energy, excitement, and hope about him, just like myself!! My alter ego was Drake himself, from the second Dragonheart film.
”And I never even realized that my brother may in fact actually be…!!”
Madison couldn’t rest a moment longer. Quietly getting up, she tiptoed across the hall to my bedroom. Luckily, I almost always left my door open.
Silently entering, she saw me fast asleep, and went over to my laptop. Quietly flipping it open, the screen, dimmed from earlier came on, but I didn’t wake.
Madison quickly but quietly got on the internet, and went to my deviant art page.
She stared at my deviant art ID, Drake Starfire, for a long time, before opening a picture recently taken of both her and myself by my dad.
My little sister studied my photo for a long time, then looked at the visage of Drake the dragon, in my deviant ID.
The more she compared the two pictures, the more she came to believe, that maybe, just maybe, there was a connection between Drake and I that only myself, and a young one like herself, could ever hope to understand.
After studying them for a moment longer, Madison quickly but quietly shut down my page, the internet, and finally my computer.
But just as she turned to leave, I awoke. “Madison?” I said sleepily. “What are you doing up?”
She sat on the edge of my bed after quietly closing my door, as I reached up to turn on my dragon lamp.
My little sister was silent for a long moment, before looking me straight in the eyes. She then asked a very surprising question.
“Is it true, Charlie? Are you really who you believe you are, at heart?"
I blinked at my little sister, not sure if I’d heard her correctly.
But then her question sank in. “I take it you saw my deviant art page, Madison?” I asked with a slight smile.
I shook my head; a sudden sadness entering my voice. “I only wish it could be true in reality, Madison.” I replied. "Yes, I've always believed that I could be like Drake, but it is only true in my dreams." Wordlessly, she nodded, before turning and leaving my room, closing the door behind her.
After hearing her door close, I turned off my lamp, then laid back in my bed.
While asleep, I began to dream…
I was standing upon the quarry cliff at twilight, watching the stars appear gradually in the sky. Closing my eyes, I spread my arms wide open as I felt the cool breeze pass, and breathed the cool summer air.
I suddenly heard a whispering voice on the wind, calling my name.
I spun around, looking in every direction, but was all alone. Suddenly feeling something, deep within my heart, I glanced up at the northern sky, just in time to see the constellation Draco rising over the horizon, surprisingly brilliant even in the twilight!!
I watched it rise with an air of anticipation, and reverence. A sudden, blinding ray of golden light blasted from the star I recognized as Eltanin, in the dragon’s eye!!
I watched it arc across the sky, then seemingly head downward. As it did so, I suddenly felt a gentle hand upon my shoulder, and turned, coming face-to-face with a beautiful being radiating golden light.
Tears came to my eyes as I recognized the angel Gabriel.
Kneeling before him in reverence, I bowed my head. “Arise, Charlie!” he said in a soft voice.
I did so, and looked up at him. “Words cannot express how glad I am for you and your little sister! To see you both in such a loving relationship brings not just me, but all the heavenly host, unparalleled joy!”
I smiled, touched by his kind, sincere words.
Gabriel smiled again. “She will soon come to know who you truly are, Charlie! And in time, your true form shall be restored to you!!”
I kneeled once again, bowing my head.
“Words cannot express my gratitude for your help in allowing me to show my true form to one I so dearly love, Gabriel!” I replied with honest sincerity and reverence. “I thank you!”
The angel Gabriel smiled, reaching out to gently lift my chin to look into his eyes, and as I did so, my vision was gradually filled with dazzling golden light, before I felt warmth all over…
I slowly opened my eyes again, finding myself lying in my bed. Glancing at my clock, I found it was almost midnight.
”It is time…!”
Quietly but quickly getting up, I went across to my sister’s room, and ever so quietly sat on the edge of her bed.
Only this time, I neither spoke to nor touched her.
Instead, using a special power granted to me by Gabriel, through the stars of Draco, I reached a gentle thread of energy into her mind from my own, connecting us briefly.
”Madison, my dear sister. It is true! I only THOUGHT it wasn’t, because I was unaware of my true power, yet the angel Gabriel helped to open my mind, and my heart, to the truth! I am Drake, the son of Draco, and yet I am still your brother; Drake and I are one and the same! The angel Gabriel combined my soul, and heart, with the aspects of this mortal body, which allowed me to live on this earth, amongst humanity. But now, it is time! Arise, and see the truth!!”
Suddenly, without warning, the stars of Draco flared once again, as a thin ray of golden light shot into the room, and began to swirl and grow, coalescing to form a ghostly, spectral being bearing remarkable resemblance to Drake himself; his form being exactly like the dragon Drago’s ethereal form seen in the third film, "The Sorcerer's Curse", but it was Drake!!
My little sister opened her eyes, and sat up, looking at me sitting at the edge of her bed, then gasped softly upon seeing the pale, ethereal form of Drake, my dragon self, standing next to me; the moonlight making his form shimmer and glow!!
“Only someone with your faith, would truly believe that I am here, now, before you, Madison!” Drake, my ethereal draconic self, said with a gentle smile. His voice was similar to mine, but was slightly softer, deeper, and somewhat ethereal.
My sister smiled at Drake, not the least bit afraid of him. “So it was true, what my brother said to me: ‘For those who have eyes to see, then let them see. Let their hearts be willing!'” she replied softly.
Drake nodded. “Many years ago, long before Barb gave birth to you, Charlie was struck with a near-fatal wound while fighting what was then not just his, but the world’s, greatest enemy and threat, Marc de Manthaeus, the son of Satan himself!!
The battle at first was in Charlie’s favour; his skill and strength allowing him to defeat and destroy Marc’s four friends: Judas Escarotas, Moloch Machiavelli, Curtis Campbell, and Dallas Smith, but then, just as Charlie dealt Dallas the death blow, Marc managed to strike Charlie down, and wound him gravely.
The angel Gabriel was then asked by God Himself to find a ‘vessel’ to place part of Charlie’s soul into, to preserve his existence, should his mortal body die. Gabriel chose Eltanin, one star within the constellation Draco, the constellation my father was named after by Bowen, as a vessel; that star being the dragon’s eye. This, in turn, allowed Charlie to survive, yet his mortal human form was severely weakened by Marc’s unfailing effort to kill him.
Yet, even thought Charlie was strong, and fought valiantly, the wounds inflicted upon him by Marc nearly cost him his life. And so, with God’s help, Gabriel called upon the stars of my father's constellation in order to save Charlie’s life, which thus brought me, Drake, into existence. But since it was a part of Charlie’s soul, and not his physical body, that was bound within that star, that is why I do not have a true, flesh-and-blood form, yet.”
Drake finished the tale, leaving my sister to grasp all that he had explained to her. Madison was silent for several seconds, before looking up at us both in sheer amazement!!
Yet, as I recalled from the Bible, “whoever has the faith of a child shall be the greatest in God’s kingdom”.
And by the look in Madison’s eyes, Drake knew her final question.
“You must not worry, my child!” the dragon said gently, placing a warm, ghostly hand on my sister’s shoulder, and she unconsciously smiled slightly from the feather-light touch. “Once Charlie and I bind with each other, and become one, we will both be flesh-and-blood, capable of assuming either a human or draconic form at will, and thus, will be by your side, always!!”
Madison began to cry, but the tears in her eyes were those of joy, and not sorrow. She embraced Drake, who, even in his ethereal form, could feel my little sister’s warm body against his, and also, through his natural empathic connection to us, her joy, as well as my anticipation for what was to come.
Drake smiled, returning the embrace with the same love and affection I had for her.
Releasing Madison, Drake stepped back, and turned to face me. Suddenly we found ourselves outside, in the backyard of the house!
“Are you ready, Charlie?” my draconic self asked, with kindness, sincerity, and solemnity all in his voice.
I nodded, looking him in the eyes. “I am ready, Drake!” I replied. “Come to me, and let us return to our true form!!”
The dragon smiled, before raising his right hand. I smiled, and raised my left. Then, as soon as Drake and I grasped hands, his copper breast scales began to glow fiery amber!! As Drake closed his eyes, he willed himself to transform instantly into beautiful, fiery golden-amber power much like the mystic sand whenever it was released from the golden dagger in ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’!!
Madison stepped back, watching as the golden power swept over my right hand and arm, then spread across my human body, lifting me off the ground as my brown eyes glowed gold!!
I then began to transform; the power flowing and swirling over and around my changing human body, gradually pulling into my new form, as Madison watched in sheer awe!!
The transformation into my dragon form was quite swift; the brilliant golden power shifting and swirling over and through my body as it changed!! Soon, in just under one minute, I had fully transformed into the young dragon!!
Now fully returned to my true form, the swirling golden light and power gradually faded away, swirling and pulling back to spread across my wings, making them appear fiery; thin wisps of power flowing off of them as it weakened and dissipated, before I floated down, and came to rest gently on the ground, unconscious!!
My sister slowly approached the young copper-and-grey dragon before her, reaching up to gently run a hand over one of my horns, before slowly crouching, and placing her head against my chest, listening to the strong, steady pulse of my dragon heart, smiling as she recognized Draco's heartbeat from "Dragonheart". My huge wings instinctively folded against my back, yet I did not wake.
’Thump, th-thump, thump! Thump, th-thump, thump! Thump, th-thump, thump! Thump, th-thump, thump!’
Mesmerized by such an odd, yet beautiful, and relaxing, sound, my little sister carefully crouched while turning around, and got down to lay back against my side, before closing her eyes, letting the sound of my heart lull her to sleep. While we were both asleep one of my wings instinctively unfurled, coming to gently settle over Madison like a blanket, as she shifted against me to get comfortable.
Our parents soon came home from work, and upon noticing both Madison and I weren’t in our beds, went downstairs.
When dad saw the dragon curled up on the grass in the backyard; Madison resting peacefully against his side, protected by one of my wings folded gently over her like a blanket, he felt tears begin to form in his eyes.
Barb came to stand beside him, as they both watched us sleeping together, a big brother and his little sister, side-by-side, and smiles came to their faces.
“So, my son has finally shown our daughter the truth!” my father said with a smile, as Barb smiled in return.
“Only one with the faith of a child would believe in the truth, without question!” she replied with a knowing smile.
The next morning, my dad and Barb came quietly out to the backyard, and woke us.
I got up, stretching and yawning deeply; my huge wings unfurling and stretching wide, before re-folding against my back.
“I am so glad that you could see, and accept, the truth, Madison!!” Barb said, hugging her daughter, who smiled.
“The angel Gabriel helped my brother help ME understand his true self, and for that I am grateful!” she replied happily, as we all smiled.
After returning to my human form, I had a quick shower, dressed, and sat down with my family to a delicious breakfast.
My brother Brandon soon returned from an overnight stay at a friend’s house, and was overjoyed when dad told him how I had revealed to my sister my true self.
After breakfast, we all cleaned up, then I went out to the backyard, shifted into my dragon form, and took my little sister for a morning flight, showing her the countryside.
Madison was thrilled beyond words to experience the sheer joy of flying with a dragon; a dragon who she knew was her brother, and as Madison and I flew high into the sunrise sky, I taught her a very beautiful song that I’d always held close to my heart: “Corner of the Sky”, by Matthew James Thomas.
The chorus of voices of my sister and I flowed like velvet on the morning breeze, as we expressed our heartfelt joy of being alive, and being free; I saw the song as my expression of joy at my true freedom, and Madison the joy of sharing in such a wonderful experience!!
After returning home, I bade Madison, my father, my brother Brandon, and Barb all a warm farewell, as they all wished me the best of luck in my new life.
Stepping back from my sister after we’d hugged once more, I looked down as I reached up, carefully lifting my breast scale as the familiar pulse of my dragon heart echoed around us.
Reaching up with my other hand, I held it against the muscle covering my heart, as they all saw the light suddenly shine from between my fingers!
Clenching my right hand into a fist, I lowered it while closing the scale over my heart with my other hand, then opened my hand to reveal a dazzling golden labradorite stone the size of a cockatiel egg, which I gave to my sister, as a gift to always remember me.
Even though it was quite small, I knew Madison would treasure this gift from me forever.
She knew without me telling her that this gem had vast healing powers as well as the power to allow any of them, not just my sister, to forever keep in contact with me.
After warm, heartfelt farewells to my family, my father gave me Lucian's silver medallion with the green cat eye stone, from the movie 'Underworld', slipping it around my neck and securing it, as I smiled, exchanging a fond hug with him.
I then walked out to the road, before slowly spreading my magnificent wings, and taking off, soaring high into the morning sky as my medallion shone; the gem sparkling with dazzling brightness, and turned east to fly off into the sunrise.
Knowing that I was leaving the only home I had ever known behind forever did not matter, since I knew, and truly believed, that the greatest bond I had to my family, and they to me, was love.
There was also friendship, trust, and joy, but above all of these, was love. Genuine, unprecedented love! I was also eager to discover a bright new future, which I trusted God would ensure to be more fulfilling and exciting than I had ever known!
Even though I would never return to live here again, I DID plan on someday returning to visit, and looked forward to that day.
Looking up into the sun as I flew across the sky, I smiled, softly singing to myself.
"Gotta find my corner...of the sky!"