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 Such a thing as dragons

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Miaka
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PostSubject: Such a thing as dragons   Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:21 am

The three strangest things that define me are as followed; I am a sixteen year old boy, my best friend is my twin sister, and, technically, I’m an only child. I guess that this would be impossible, but, really, impossible things happen every day. You just have to open your eyes to see them.
♦•♦•♦•♦•♦•♦
I was born as a twin. I was first born, and then followed by my twin sister, Anna. She was my younger sister by about three and a half minutes, and by about three and a half pounds. She was retained at the hospital for a while, and I came home. She returned home shortly after, and besides constant hospital visits, she was perfectly normal. Anna and John, the twins, reunited once more. But, it wasn’t long before she returned to the hospital. She went back there, and she never came home. My sister had been born and died in the same place. We were five months old.
I grew up without really knowing that I had a sister. I did, in my own way, know about Anna though. I could see her, and speak to her. She was, in many ways, like the imaginary friends that other children my age had. She was, also, so different from those imaginary friends that I knew that it was not the case. She was just like any other person. It confused me though, as nobody else seemed to know she was there. I didn’t see how she could be missed.
She looked similar to me, hair and eyes were traits that we shared, but everything else was all her own. She had the same loose curly ginger mane that I had; hers considerably longer and much better groomed, but it was, nonetheless, almost the same as mine. Her eyes were like my own in their color, a green grey, and, besides the unique color, there was nothing very interesting about them. Except for when she smiled. When she smiled there was something that just lit up about her face. Her teeth seemed brighter, and her eyes would sparkle in a much greener shade. It was something that would have made other people grin and smile as well, had they been able to see her.
Besides that, there were few similarities between us. She was pale, and even the freckles on the bridge of her nose seemed faded. I was tanner, and no freckles at all. She was short, I was tall. She had a petite build, while I kept my ‘baby fat’ until I was nearly ten. We were opposites, and still, we were one of the same. Without her, I was incomplete, and without me, so was she.
Anna was with me wherever I went, or, almost wherever. She went to school with me, and sat with me at lunch. Because of that, I felt no need to have any other friends. After all, she was there whenever I needed her. Nobody else was like that. Anna was all that I needed in a friend, and so, Anna was all that I had. She did, like the best of friends, know when to give me room when I needed it, though, I barely ever did.
My parents learned that I had an ‘imaginary friend’ when I was seven, which they thought was cute. All was well and good until they learned her name was Anna. That was when they took me to several trained professionals and several men in large white coats.
Maybe I was just really stupid, but it took me three years to realize what Anna really was. I don’t really remember why I was doing it, but I was looking through my parent’s sock drawer. They often kept large sums of money in there, and many of their most valuable sparkly things, and so that was more then likely why I had been searching through it. And that’s when I found it. Under a pair of hideous argyle socks, there was a picture of a set of twins. I recognized us immediately. We had been young, four months old, or younger, but it was enough for me to understand. Anna was my sister.

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PostSubject: Re: Such a thing as dragons   Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:21 am

I’d given her presents before, on birthdays, and on holidays, but I doubt that she ever cared about a gift as much as the one I gave her on our eleventh birthday. I’ve never been the best at choosing presents for people; the collection of ill fitting ties in my father’s closet was enough proof of that. I was, however, certain about this one.
I bought it on a class trip. We had been studying the middle ages, and what better place to study them then in a museum with a guide who looked like she had first hand experience on the matter. The only really enjoyable part of the entire trip was being released into the gift shop. Everyone loved browsing around the room of fairly overpriced, and, frankly, poorly made replicas. And, of course, they all bought more then their fair share of junk with their parents’ money. I’m guessing that I was the only person who bought less then ten items during the entire trip. In fact, I had only bought two.
They appeared to have been collecting dust for far too long. After cleaning it a little on my shirt sleeve, it was really quite nice. A small description tag was stapled on, reading: ‘Real Dragon Scale’ and a brief history on dragons. They looked like a naturally shaped mother of pearl, except for the fact that it was green. They could have just as easily been a piece of flatly cut jade, but I liked to pretend that I was right with my first answer. They were nice enough, and I bought the whole stock; all two of them. The checkout lady seemed surprised to see them, and I think that she just made up a price. I returned home with a considerably lighter wallet, but I was happy all the same.
Anna’s entire face seemed to light up when I gave her the present. Her smile alone made me glad that I picked it, and I knew that I had chosen well. She happily took the necklace from the table and put it on herself, fumbling slightly with the clasp. I had never really tried to give anything to her through my own hand, afraid that if I were to touch her, she would disappear entirely. I knew it may have been silly, but, even so, I was content living this way. I didn’t want to test my reality.

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PostSubject: Re: Such a thing as dragons   Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:22 am

A couple of years past, but neither I nor Anna had taken off our necklaces. They were, after all, twin necklaces, just like us. They were each unique, similar, but different. I was sitting on the roof outside my bedroom window, a place where I went constantly. I lay down on the shingles, the heat warming my back. Anna sat against the chimney. Her pale arms wrapped around her legs, loosely pulling them close to her chest.
I pulled my necklace up, letting the sun catch on it, making it shine in ways that it never did otherwise. I almost squinted, the reflection of the swinging scale was bright, but I didn’t want to miss it for some reason. It was one of those things that I just couldn’t do. I wanted to be able to remember this sight in the years that followed, letting that moment sink into my memory. I wanted its sheer perfection to last forever, and, as long as Anna was with me, it would.
“Anna” I said. “Do you think that there is such a thing as dragons?” Anna’s response came quickly, and it didn’t take her any time to think of a response.
“Well, of course!” She said, as if it were the blatant truth. I couldn’t help but smiling. She made everything so simple. No matter what anyone else said, as long as she believed it, I would too.
“Such a thing as dragons…” I repeated, this time, not as a question. It hung in the air, we didn’t say a word. We didn’t need to.
Not long after that day, I really began to wonder. Where was Anna? I knew that she was with me, but where was her grave? I had thought about it before, but not for long, nor very hard. Why would I want to go there if Anna was right here with me? But the more I thought about it, the more it haunted me. I became focused on that alone, and I couldn’t pay attention to anything. I wanted, no, I needed to know. It hung over my head, like a cloud. Anna was my sky, my world, then this was a thunderstorm. It was created by Anna, but it had to come. Anna would never do anything to hurt me. This I would stake my life on. But, if I was the earth, I needed to have the rain. And I needed this more then anything.
I didn’t know where I was going. I looked through our attic, in the boxes in the basement, everywhere. But it was hard to find proof of something I wasn’t really supposed to know about in the start. I rooted through desks, trying to find letters, old addresses, anything. My searches proved fruitless. I couldn’t give up though. It was then that I got desperate. I had hoped that it would never get to this, but I had to. My last chance was asking my parents.
I doubted that they would tell me, but I put on my most innocent act, and asked. Innocent for a sixteen year old boy is not easy. Especially for one dubbed a psycho by all my previous psychiatrists. Shockingly enough, they gave me the town name. It was much more then I had ever imagined. I searched through guide books, and called travel agencies, until I found its geographic location. Applesvale, a historic town, famous for its apple grooves. Not so famous for its original naming abilities. It was far away though, perhaps a two hour car drive, on a good day.

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PostSubject: Re: Such a thing as dragons   Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:22 am

Now, the only real problem was getting there. I had almost eighty miles to go, and no way to get there. I had no car, after all, who would trust a lunatic with wheels? There were no trains going near there. I had no real friends who would get me there, and I knew that my parents wouldn’t drive me. There was a bus, but it only would take me a third of the way. I decided to take that bus, and then walk. A stupid decision, but, what else was I to do?
I left the house early with my backpack, pretending to go to school. I wanted my parents to know that I had left, thinking that I was at school. It would give me enough time to get far enough away from home. I took the bus halfway to school, and then got off at Main Street. From here, I walked to the bus stop, and if anyone asked, I was visiting my sick granny.
My bag was filled with food and water, and I felt almost like I was going backpacking. I had money as well, and about five dollars in spare change. I jingled a little whenever I took a step, and although it was annoying at first, it began to remind me of bells after a while.
Nobody bothered to ask where I was going. I got off at the appropriate stop, and then started walking. Anna appeared beside me, and began walking. We didn’t say anything for a while; it was like an unspoken agreement. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be skipping school, and so did she, but we stayed silent. We made a few comments on the weather, telling each other how nice of a day it was, and such. I was glad for her company, but I realized that it must have been strange for her. After all, I was walking with her, but I was walking to her grave. I doubted she wanted to see it. I tried to brush this away, because I wanted her to stay with me, I wanted her beside me. The silence was crushing me, and I knew that I was doing wrong by making her stay with me.
“Anna…” I said, savoring the sound of her name as it broke the silence. She turned her face so that she was looking straight at me with. “You…” I choked the words out. “You can go.” It was painful for me to say it, and I felt a great pressure weighing down on me. Wasn’t this where the pressure was supposed to disappear? “If you want to… you can go.”
She smiled at me, the corners of her mouth turning upwards. It wasn’t a joyful smile though, and she didn’t show her teeth. She didn’t say anything at all for a few moments. Her fingers touched her necklace. Then, she reached her hand out, and touched my necklace as well. They were twin necklaces. Just like us.
“Goodbye John” She said, and I saw tears in her eyes. “Goodbye.” She repeated, and then disappeared. I had never thought that she would really leave me like that. I didn’t think that she could leave me like that. She was a part of me, and so, she couldn’t disappear. I tried to tell myself these things, but I knew they weren’t true. She had left me. And so, now, for the first time in my life, I was really alone.
I tried to restrain them, but tears fell down my face. It was like learning she had died all over again, but worse. I shook with sobs. I brushed the tears away with the back of my hand, trying again and again to stop them from coming. I couldn’t remember crying like this before. Anna had always been there when I wanted her to comfort me, and now, she was the reason I needed to be comforted. I stopped crying after a while, but the pain was unbearable. She was really gone. This truth hurt me more then anything I could have imagined.

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PostSubject: Re: Such a thing as dragons   Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:23 am

By that point, I had been walking for almost three hours with Anna. My feet hurt, but it wasn’t all that bad. I was about halfway there, and I had the rest of the day to go. There were a couple of signs on the road telling where the closest exit was to get a burger, or where the nearest gas station was. I continued walking, and the pain in my feet increased. I wanted to rest, but deep down, I really just wanted to get there. Getting to Applesvale was my main priority now. Anna would have wanted that much of me, right?
I walked at a steady pace for another hour after that. I became more and more tired, and started to slow down. The next hours following were silent. It seemed that the birds themselves stopped chirping as well, but that wasn’t the case. It was only that I was so tuned out of this reality I didn’t notice it anymore. I didn’t need to hear them. I only needed to hear Anna, only needed to see the road.
I think that I walked twenty miles that day. It was probably more exercise then I had ever gotten in my life. The first break that I took that day was for something small. I had seen flowers off the side of the road, and, I decided to pick some of them. I thought about it, and I knew that Anna would love them. Even though they were really almost weeds, it was the type of thing that she would enjoy. I walked down the light hill, trying not to loose my footing. I grabbed a handful of both types of flowers there, Queen Anne’s lace, and Black Eyed Susan’s. They looked halfway decent together, and although I would never have a job as a florist, I liked the outcome. I had nothing to tie the bouquet together, so I just held it. It had no real scent, but its smell was enough to keep me focused. It wasn’t a pleasant smell, but it wasn’t horrible, and it distracted me from the increasing pain in my feet.
I walked another mile before I got hurt. It wasn’t dramatic or anything, in the way that it had happened. I had been already walking a little weird, but, then I had put my foot down, and added too much pressure to it. I don’t really know what happened, but I felt a pain shoot up my leg, and then, my foot felt like… ouch. Okay, that was a bad way to explain it, but it hurt. I have no idea how to describe that pain, but, after a while, I guess I got used to it. I tried to walk a few steps, but I couldn’t put weight on my foot. So, there I was, stranded far away from my house, and still too far away to get to Anna’s grave. I sat on the side of the road, still clutching the bouquet that I had picked. The road was empty, and I guessed it would be like that for a while.
I guess I was lucky, no, beyond lucky, because only a short time later, a car was visible at the end of the road. I stood up, and signaled it over, waving my arms in the air like the lunatic I was. The man driving the car got the message and pulled over.
“Need a ride?” he asked. I nodded my head, to thankful for words. “Hop in!” He said, and that was exactly what I did. I hopped. He gave me a weird look, and I explained about my foot. He smiled with understanding. He couldn’t have been much older then me, perhaps nineteen, tops. He started talking, asking questions and so forth, and I was glad to hear the sound of another human being. He told me that his name was Darian, and why he was going to Applesvale. As it turns out, his dear old Granny was sick, and he wanted to see her. I flushed pink hearing this, remembering my previous excuse.
Darian asked me why I was going to Applesvale, and, although I wanted to lie, my Granny excuse would seem pretty pathetic now. I couldn’t help it, as much as I wanted to stay silent; the words started spilling out of my mouth. How Anna was weak, how she had died, how I could still see her, and, most painfully, how she had left me. It felt good to have someone listening to me, and even if he was only pretending, to understanding me.
Darian seemed to think that a moment someone wasn’t talking was a moment clearly wasted. He asked me questions, and then, without me asking him, answered questions about himself. I was happy that there was something to fill the silence. The sun started had lowering in the sky by the time that I was dropped off in the cemetery.

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PostSubject: Re: Such a thing as dragons   Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:24 am

“Hope you find what you’re looking for, Mate.” Darian flashed a smile in my direction before driving away. I watched him turn at the intersection, and then, he was gone. My one day friend disappeared.
I walked through the black metal gates surrounding the graveyard. My foot had grown numb, and hadn’t hurt as much, but I walked with a limp all the same. It was a large place, and nicely groomed. The grass was kept short, and looked as though it was recently mowed. Which must have been a royal pain. Hills of headstones were in front of me, and I had no idea which one belonged to her.
I let my senses guide me, trying to get an idea of where she would be. A dull pain kept me anchored to the earth. I was so close. I was about to find her. Anna. I was going to find Anna. This thought alone drove me farther and farther, searching worn down gravestones for hers. I don’t know how long I looked for, but I found a family patch with my name on it. Generations of Hull’s were lying six feet underneath me, and as morbid as it may be, I was the happiest I had ever been. I found the most recent headstone next to the well-worn stone of one of my great uncles.
Anna Hull. The name was there. She was there. I was there too. I sank down to my knees and touched the lettering. Anna Hull. My twin sister, my other half. Anna Hull, beloved sister and daughter. There was something that I could touch, something that I could put my fingers on. It was proof of my sanity, proof that she existed.
“Anna” I said, feeling like this was the first time I had ever said her name. “Anna. I know you’re there. I’m here too.” I was happy. We were there together.
I remembered the last time that I had seen her. She had touched her necklace, and then mine. Without really knowing what I was doing, I held onto my necklace, the twin dragon scale. I could feel my heartbeat under my fist, and I closed my eyes.

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PostSubject: Re: Such a thing as dragons   Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:24 am

“Anna” I whisper. I barely open my mouth to let the word escape. She is there. I know she is. I don’t yet dare to open my eyes. My heartbeat is fast against my fist now, and the necklace is warming to my hand.
“Anna.” I say again, I speak softly, but not whispering this time. My heart is beating out of control in my chest. My necklace has surpassed my own body heat, and it’s becoming increasingly hot.
“Anna!” I cry out, this time my voice loud. I realize that it is probably shaking, but I don’t care. My resounding heartbeat is the only thing that I can hear. Again and again it’s a thump in my ears. My hand feels ablaze, it’s a heat like I’ve never felt before.
Thump. It’s the sound of my heartbeat. Thump. In my chest and in my ears it sounds, loud and clear. Thump. I doubt if that sound comes from my own heart anymore. Thump. Again and again, I’m listening, still without opening my eyes. Do I dare to see what it is, dare to open my eyes?
I’m blinded by the brightness of it all. Everything around me is white as untouched snow. There is nothing but this alabaster world. I listen, and there it is, again, the sound of a heartbeat. Thump. I look around. Nothing. The sound cuts through the air again, louder then before. I don’t know what to make of it. A breeze ruffles my hair. Again, thump. The breeze increases, and I look up. I believe what I see, but still, it is impossible.
Above me, there is something I already believe to exist. It flaps its powerful leathery wings once more, hovering in its spot in the air. The color is more brilliant then anything that I have seen before, but it reminds somehow me of my necklace. I don’t know when I removed my hand from it, but both my hands were free. I touch the scale and I’m surprised to find it cool. Again, the creature above me flapped its wings. It shimmered in the white landscape. It came closer and closer to the ground, but didn’t quite land. The dragon was coming closer to me.
The dragon, for that was what it was, seemed to be advancing toward me. I don’t quite know how it did that with such ease while still in the air, yet it moved so quickly that I had no idea it was approaching me until its head was level to mine. Its neck is bent considerably downward to have eye level contact with me. I stare it straight in the eyes even though it may be considered rude or a challenge. They have a strange familiarity to them. They are a beautiful emerald green and sparkled just as such.
A figure emerges from between the wings of the dragon. She sticks her head out from her hiding place. Anna. The dragon gives me a little nod, as if to tell me that I won’t be harmed, or burnt to a crisp, if I turn to Anna. I smile broadly and run to her. She is sitting on the dragon as a rider would be sitting sidesaddle. She makes even the strangest scene seem perfectly normal. If it were possible, my smile grows grander. She mirrors my smile, and her eyes sparkle. We stare at each other for a moment, and she extends her hand to me.
I look at her hand, and her widespread fingers. I look once more into her eyes. They sparkle and tell me to grab her hand. The dragon flaps its wings again, still airborne. The resulting breeze makes my hair fly into the air behind me. It does the same to Anna, immediately making me think of a troll doll. We both giggle, her coming to the same conclusion about me.
I reach my arm out to meet hers. My hand suspends above hers for a moment, and then, I grab it. We both smile at this connection. This is the first time that we had ever been this close. I am happy to be here. I am whole now, for the first time in about fifteen years. I squeeze her hand lightly, and she returns the light pressure. We are together. And nothing in this world or the next is going to pull us apart now.

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PostSubject: Re: Such a thing as dragons   Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:11 pm

Purely divine! How on earth does this not meet requirements??!?! It's awesome! beautiful descriptions, story, symbolism... i can't pick out anything that is wrong! bravo!
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PostSubject: Re: Such a thing as dragons   Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:49 am

Thanks, I'm really glad that you like it! :) ... I got really mad at my teacher...
She said that I didn't keep the tenses the same throughout the story... and when I told her that it was intentional, she didn't believe me.
Then, she told me that there was no journey... She said that the pattern of a journey must be:
Character leaves home -> Character overcomes obstacle -> Character returns home with lesson learned.
But I said that I did include this, in that:
Anna dies (character leaves familiarity, aka home) -> John begins search for Anna (overcomes, and deals with the fact that Anna is not auctually alive, aka obstacle) -> John finds Anna (return to familiarity, and love, aka home)

She didn't go for it... :( I worked so hard on this. Anywho though, I guess it makes a good story to just have around...

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PostSubject: Re: Such a thing as dragons   Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:05 am

I completely agree with you! All you've done is think outside of the square a little, and what harm does that do? It just proves that your more creative! :D
I didn't even notice the change of tense! If it was intentional, i guess that means you did it well!
If i were your teacher, i'd give you full marks!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Such a thing as dragons   Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:20 am

Awww... thanks! I had thought of an alternate ending, which I'll probably type up and post here soon. :D

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PostSubject: Re: Such a thing as dragons   Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:42 pm

Oh cool! I can't wait! :D:D You're a very talented writer! :)
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PostSubject: Re: Such a thing as dragons   Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:54 pm

Awww... Blushing Thanks! :D

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PostSubject: Re: Such a thing as dragons   Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:39 pm

I agree!!! This is great!!!! There were a few words I had to look up...but yeah!!! This is a great story!!!lol! lol! lol! lol!

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PostSubject: Re: Such a thing as dragons   Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:56 am

:D Thanks a lot! I'm really glad that you like it!

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