I see humanity, but no humans. In this enclosed bubble I also smell a hint of brimstone from him, feel nothing but scales.
He looked at me and I looked at him.
“I see broken wings,” I whispered, pitching my voice to a level I knew he picked up best. Flying in the clouds had a tendency to leave most unable to hear higher pitches, no matter their species. “But I see no broken dragon.”
He let his head fall, but I just pulled it against my chest. He needed to hear it; I needed to hear it. His wings were gone. That bronze dragon had raked them with sharpened claws, and there was no way that they were going to be growing back – not now, not in the future.
He was still depressed over it, and I could understand why. No more flying in the sky, no more being who you were meant to be.
“Darling, you were meant to be more than a sky dragon,” I told him, scratching him gently on his ridged nose. “I think you were meant to be the first ocean, or lake, dragon.”
“How so,” he said mournfully, looking at his wings. The membranes between the bones were gone, and honestly all that remained were the bones. That damned dragon sure knew where to hit to make it the most painful. Emotionally that is. Physically painful would have been if the bones had been broken, though I’m sure he felt the lack of membrane, the air currents that swirled through him instead of over and under.
“The water would pass through your wings, but you should still be able to change your movements in the water.” I tugged on one his ears; he liked it. When we’d first met he said it reminded him of when he was a hatchling.
“I can try it, I suppose,” he grumbled. I laughed, knowing in my heart that he would love being near the sea, and playing in the ocean too. We’d lived in his home for so long now, I had almost forgotten where I’d grown up. The scent of sunburned, peeling skin, the taste of hot crab legs drenched in butter, the surf trying to pull me deeper into the watery abyss.
I was right, though it took about two weeks for him to admit it. By that time he’d eaten (and played with) schools of fish, dolphins, whales, and sharks. Jellyfish too. We weren’t north or south enough for the flightless birds, but that was okay – he was mastering his swimming and certainly getting a better cuisine than I.
It was only when we saw flying dragons in the distance that he would grow morose and groan about all he had lost. At first I tried to comfort him, but he would have nothing to do with me when I did. So then I just ignored him, and he did better with that since it allowed him the face he wanted to wear.