The motorized Western Homestead reduced itself in size by many multiples as they climbed the sky and took in the day’s elaborate process of dressing for night.
A long and wide line of puffed clouds shaped themselves into giant scales – ironically just like the scales of a dragon – and stretched themselves out across the early dusk sky. Their tone and color blended thick and thin in spots, but always dark and mysterious, and at this moment, rimmed magnificently in light. Immediately underneath, just where the Sun began to slip itself down to the horizon’s edge, there the sky glowed. Festive and somber orange tones lit themselves up from within, popping against the multilevel grey-blue grey-periwinkle scales of early evening. Hints of iridescence sparkled.
Taz spread his wings wide, tracing their tips in kinship along the sky’s pop of orange. His coloring and that of the sky melded together in perfect harmony, their edges feathered one next to the other as if painted with a long arching brushstroke.
A soft, rumbling purr played in his throat and chest. Michaela felt the powerful vibrations and watched as her friend gracefully exhaled a stream of tinder flame, carefully pointing it up and away from her. His mammoth size began to shrink down during this flight, as if lessening the weight that he shouldered and significantly reducing the massive size of his legs to something much less than 200 stories in height. Yet, Taz still loomed large…even downscaled to a size much more manageable for anyone, including Michaela, to wrap their mind around….although his size was still massive. But looming large was just in his nature.
Stars glistened far overhead. Michaela listened to the air beat softly across Taz’s great wings. An unmistakable whoosh danced in her ears. With each song of whoosh, Taz propelled them farther and deeper into nature’s awe-inspiring majesty. She craned her neck and chanced a glance down below. Wisps of clouds swept aside as they traveled. The thick emerald forest — green blanketed in nightfall and glistening with its own magic — rushed up to greet them, until at last Taz silently set his talons and toe pads into the earth, folded his giant wings back along his sides and curled his mammoth tail around his body, caning it up to Michaela to assist her to the ground.
“You forget yourself, my friend,” Michaela chided tenderly and patted his tail, silently thanking him for his help. “If any from the Western Homestead learn about you…” she paused. A sudden fear swept through her. “Well…I shudder to think of it.” This time her fingertips feathered his scaley-skin even more tenderly, almost protectively. Not almost. Most definitely, and this was not lost on him. She cherished this little man Taz, even when he was a fearsome, magnificent, colossal fire-breathing dragon.
“It’s not I who forgets myself,” Taz purred a warm tone. He continued purring as he watched Michaela meet his reassurances with a smile in return. “You worry too much, dear friend,” he breathed, adding, “…nearly to the point of panic.” He paused in an effort to be gentle and to assess how well she listened, then said with as much love as possible because he truly loved her deeply and trusted her unquestioningly, “You confuse defensiveness with preparation and confidence.”
A controlled smile concealed her wince, but not entirely. She couldn’t fool Taz. He is her family and as such they are bonded together by one heart, the same heart. She could only risk fooling herself, and hadn’t she done this long enough she wondered. She allowed a bit of pain to seep through. She knew Taz spoke only truth. Taz, her Zen cat-dragon. Her travelling Buddha companion. Her family in every lifetime.
Presently, Taz listened deeply and at the same time, shrunk himself down fully into Viking cat form: a Norwegian Forest cat with the markings of a galaxy spiraling into the side of his being straight to and likely from his heart. It was all connected, which was very much Taz.
He sauntered up to Michaela, looking up at her like a wise child – innocent and open the moment, yet with insights from legions of generations. He wrapped his long tail around her leg and blinked slowly. His elfin, triangular shaped head always seemed to carry a smile, she noticed. Michaela bent over, stroking the top of his head with her fingertip; feathering the edge of his alert ears. She smiled in return.
“We are home, Michaela,” Taz purred and sauntered with graceful, quiet pride over to his favorite bed of leaves. Over it loomed a canopy of roses that draped over themselves in elegant fashion from a thornless rose shrub. Without a sound, he walked across the leaves, then sat and blinked at his dear friend, his pride member, his family.
“We rest now under the watchful eyes of our Elven sentinel.”
Michaela marveled at the beauty of the stature of a High Elf Goddess, dressed in a flowing gown and wearing long, thin elf ears and a magnificent set of deer horns laced from tip to tip with star clusters. She stood in the center of a ring of purple trees. Particle stars glistened endlessly from each leaf to the ground. One or two landed softly onto the tip of Taz’s nose. He was curled into himself, just like the galaxy on his side, which sparkled and slowly swirled, aided by the particle stars or by the forest mysteries…or by Taz himself?
Michaela knew which and smiled. He blinked slowly and nuzzled his head into his front legs, wrapping his long tail around himself for added comfort. She curled herself into a bed of leaves not far from his. And she marveled at the incredible magic of his being.
NaNoWriMo 2021 word count (not including this notation): 938 words for a total of 2,658 words.