Fall/Winter 2020 Issue

melting snow

Jessica Zhang

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Snowflakes drifted through the frosting air, seemingly floating through oil. And through those snowflakes, a mountain jutted out. And on top of the mountain, you could almost make out the tiniest glimmer of scales.

The tiniest glimmer of scales, which, upon looking closely, belonged to a tiny dragon. Its aqua shine caught the light at an odd angle, which then got snuffed out by the thick pile of snow. The dragon was awake, yet not fully awake. A dizzy storm churned inside its head as the snowflakes fell.

I lost my home.

There is a rumor that in a town a distance away, there used to be dragons teeming with life. Dragons who roamed the grassland, who nested on giant clock towers and bathed in crystal pools. Valleys made way for sunlight to stream down, and foamy, effervescent rivers brought energy to the air. Nobody knows why it disappeared.

I know why. They burned us down. They were afraid of us. 

There is a rumor that in this town, all the wealth was stolen. The gold, the jewelry, all its prized possessions. And most importantly, the memories.

I lost my treasures.

The tiny dragon clutched onto the fading hope that his pendant was still out there, somewhere. Meanwhile, a glimmer of silver burned in fire until the ashes of it spread out into the wind.

I lost you.

Yes. You did. 

The dragon curled up tighter under the little concave of the rock.

I am stagnant here, as time passes away. I lost my home, I lost my treasures, I lost my memories, I lost you, and now I’m losing time. 

Loud silence blew through on a raging current.

And it’s my fault. It’s my fault, the dragon cried.

The fabric of the world fractured before the tiny dragon — its scales growing dull and its life growing dark — the mountain rumbling as snow leapt and whipped through the air, and then drifted back down. Somewhere overhead, the faint ringing of a clock tower cut off. The silence expanded and engulfed the dragon.

The silence expanded.

The silence.

Shh.

Hey. Is that you?

Somewhere among this mountain, among the drifting snowflakes, a little voice rang through the wind, a whisper of a chime that made its way into the dragon’s ear: The world has not left.

You promised we would pick wildflowers last summer. You promised we would watch the stars, and you promised to point out which ones were which. Orion. The one like a horse. The ones with the spoon.

We can do it tomorrow.

Everywhere I go, the earth cracks. How do I make it stop?

Emptiness does not need to be filled with silence.

I don’t remember the past year.

That’s okay. There are more years after this one.

On top of the mountain, you could almost make out the tiniest glimmer. The tiniest glimmer that caught the light and dripped down like a liquified moonstone.

Tears finally fell from the dragon’s eyes, and without its awareness, melted a drop of snow. Underneath, a glimpse of breathing earth peeked through.

It’s okay to lose, the dragon thought, its eyes half fluttering open. I have lost the past. I have not lost the future.

And the dragon opened its eyes. 

After all, we were born to create.

“Mushrooms”
Sam King