The Purple Dragon
An Adventure for the Ages
Perhaps, I had a life before that moment. I cannot remember anymore. When I first noticed her, she was standing petrified next to an apple tree, scanning her surroundings. Light sobs were beginning to form, tinged with uncertainty. "Mama?".
Instinct urged me to help the child. I flew down from my den into the ground. The impact startled her. Then, her sweet, innocent eyes rested on me from the distance. The golden sparks in her iris lighted up against the grey-blue storm surrounding them, like fireworks in the twilight sky. Her fear seemed to vanish as her little legs moved toward me. Her smile sent sparks into my body, my limbs, and my wings. A squeal of delight and a trill of laughter lit the fire in my belly. I dared not move, but my insides jumped.
In a moment, the girl moved her arms and grabbed my face, holding it close against hers, at eye level. I did not flinch. Then, she stood still, staring with wonder deep into my soul. An odd combination of excitement and tranquillity invaded me - the wave of feeling that comes with finding a true purpose. I knew, at that moment, I had someone to protect. My ward. The child who conquered the heart of the last Violet Dragon.
"Purple!" the girl squeaked with pure delight ringing in her young voice, "Purple! Purple Dragon!".
I felt a strong urge to speak up with my most serene voice to tell her, "I am not purple, child. I am Verithia, the Violet Dragon". But no sound left my body. I had forgotten, I cannot speak to humans.
"No violet. I like purple" the girl interrupted my thoughts with cheeky confidence. Her big eyes stared intently at me. What? I was confused. Could she hear my thoughts? Then, I recalled a distant memory. Long ago, I had heard of a legend from a faraway land called Algo...Algae...Alagaësia! It told that when an unbreakable bond is made between a human and a dragon, they need not speak words to communicate. Could the tale be true?
As if on cue, the girl reached with her little hand and tenderly brushed my nose with her finger, as she squished her eyes closed. "We special purple". The words came not from her mouth but from her inner voice. She did understand me! And I, her. It was a special connection. One for the ages.
"Purple it is, then. I suppose...", I sighed with playful resignation. Her eyes flew open and her smile brightened the whole world. With a tender heart, she embraced me, sealing the sacred bond between dragon and human.
The woman walked swiftly around the bookshelves with worry carved on her face and growing nervousness in her trembling voice. "Gini?", she called out, "Gini, where are you?". Closing time was approaching at the bookstore, but her toddler was nowhere to be found.
It was not the first time this happened. For her young age, Gini had a curious mind and a heart for adventure. In a second, she could take off without making a sound.
"Excuse me, have you seen a little girl?", Lena asked the clerk impatiently, "She's two. She has light brown hair, and her clothes are pink and purple".
"Right, I'll help you look." the young clerk said springing from his chair into action. He grabbed something from behind the desk. Then, he pushed a button and spoke into a walkie-talkie. "Hey Audrey, we have a lost child."
"Okay", a female voice responded through the speaker and paused for a second. "Check The Forest first. I'll call security and be there in a minute".
"Copy", the male clerk confirmed. "This happens all the time, we'll find her", he attempted to sound reassuring. "She's probably in the children's area", he said, motioning for the woman to follow, as he walked away.
The bookstore was enormous, divided into five different stories, with a wide and modern staircase connecting them through the middle. The walls were perfectly white. In contrast, hundreds of books adorned the shelves creating mosaics of color.
Back in the corner of the first floor, a few steps lead down to a smaller area. The walls were painted with apple trees and a cottage-like playhouse was placed in the middle. Around it, green beanbags and little benches -made to look like tree trunks- created a sitting area over a soft, yellow carpet. Baby versions of the store's bookshelves were positioned around the room, along with a few large, wicker baskets filled with toys and plushies for sale. Pinned to the ceiling was a faux wood sign reading, "The Fairytale Forest".
It was not difficult to spot Gini, as she was the only child left in the area. Her pink clothes clashed against the carpet. She was sitting by one of the baskets holding something. It was a plushie: a purple dragon, her favorite color.
"Gini!", Lena stepped in quickly to hug her daughter. A few seconds passed as she squished her in a tight embrace full of love and relief. "Don't run away like that!", a firm and serious tone broke into the moment, "It can be dangerous!".
"I found MY purple dragon!" the little girl hopped with excitement showing the dragon to her mother, as if justifying her little adventure with her wonderful discovery.
Only a few minutes of having her child missing left Lena emotionally and mentally exhausted. "Honey, it's time to go home. Let's put that back", she said with a quiet sigh, as the adrenaline left her body.
"No, no, no", the girl squealed desperately, moving away from the reach of her mother. "Mine, mommy", Gini said protectively, looking up at Lena, as she held the toy tighter. Her pleading, big, blue and honey eyes were fixed on hers. Her tiny hand then rested on her mother's leg. "Please?".
Lena sighed. She grabbed the fluffy, fantasy creature and inspected it. Attached to one of its wings was a small, shiny paper tag. "This is Verithia the Violet Dragon...", the woman read in a soft voice.
"No Violet! Purple Dragon!", Gini startled her mother as she interrupted.
Lena chuckled lightly and continued. "Her lucky stone is Amethyst and her favorite food is honey-spiced lichen. Like all the dragons in the land, she has a special magical power that she will share only with a worthy human: the one that conquers her heart. Take her home to find out what it is."
Lena sighed. She had been looking for a toy to give her daughter for her first day of kindergarten. She peered at the basket wondering if she could buy it some other day as a surprise, but she noticed it was the last one left.
"Fine, Purple Dragon", she conceded, "I guess we're all going home."
It seems as if it was only yesterday. On that day, I was taken by surprise when the Sorceress and her page found us in the forest. The fire in my belly was ready to protect the child at all costs. However, when the woman ran desperately to the girl and embraced her, I realized that she and the young princess were acquainted. Forby, they were blood relatives. And royalty. For, humans who possess such magic must be held in the highest regard.
I became aware of the magic when the Queen Sorceress whispered my name and my story without our previous acquaintance. How else could she have known such things except through an enchantment? Perhaps, it was mind-reading. She had also sensed the strength of my bond with the child and agreed to let us continue our journey, instead of taking her away from me. Her magic, I thought, would be a powerful ally in my quest to guard the girl. And so it has been. For many years now.
I found the world outside the forest to be unusual. Loud noises and curious artefacts surrounded us. However, it mattered not. From the first moment, wherever the princess went, I followed. Whether it was distant lands around the world or the nearby kingdom of Skouhl. We have embarked on daring adventures and faced many challenges together. Through all our endeavours, the Queen always wielded her special magic most gracefully. She possessed the ability to heal -almost- any sort of ailment.
I will forever remember the day she restored my eye, after the princess and I faced the pirates of Elemenia. It was a few years after our first encounter in the forest. The bandits were buff and strong, and decidedly vicious. Their goal was to terrorize the children in the village and seize their food and valuable treasures. The others yielded to their demands, but the princess refused to let them conquer. "I will NOT let them steal our lunch!", she stated in her thoughts. Courageous in nature, she defended her companions and recovered the stolen goods.
It would have been a victorious day, but the pirates were vengeful. They focused their wrath on the princess. As I stood by her in the field, they charged toward us. "I am with you", were my last words before the first strike. I poured every drop of strength into the battle, throwing bites and flapping my wings with all my might. Nevertheless, it was not enough. They separated me from my ward and pinned me to the ground. In a single move, one of them snatched my eye with a wooden spike. The princess remained physically unharmed, but she was distraught at my state after the battle. "Do not cry, dear one. All will be well."
When we returned to our quarters, the Sorceress immediately flew me into her chamber, reassuring the princess about my survival. With warm, dainty hands and the most gentle touch, she worked her magic. In a few moments, my sight returned and my body felt whole again.
Today, many years have passed since the Sorceress transcended into the eternal realm. A few months prior, there was a strange feeling of dread in the air. I sensed that her life force began wavering. In her final days, her face appeared pale even when it was not under the moonlight. Her heart was as kind and strong as ever, but her body seemed to drift away.
"I don't want her to go", the princess, then in her late adolescence, wept every night as she clung to me tightly. Sadness, filled my heart as I faced the truth -nothing in my power could save her from her pain. Nothing, except sitting in silence by her side and joining her in grief.
The day the Sorceress departed, the world lost a source of magic and the princess lost a mother. My promise to the Queen was to continue my duty of guarding the princess. From the first moment, I made my vow to protect her and to be her companion. I will hold my promise until my body surrenders or she releases me from her side. Through our journey, the spirit of the Sorceress will guide and accompany us. Her magic sowed in our memory and our hearts.
As Gini lay in bed quietly sobbing, her mother walked in looking tired and weak. And yet, her eyes never stopped sparkling with the strength of love. Lena sat on the bed next to her daughter and saw her hugging her beloved purple dragon. She remembered the day at the bookstore. What would have been, had she left the bookstore without the toy? It became such an important part of her daughter's life.
"You really just loved this one from the first moment, did you know?" Lena said softly as she gently stroked Gini's long, chestnut hair with one finger. I guess you two were really just meant to be."
"Huh?" Gini asked confused by the unexpected comment as she raised her head to look at her mother.
"Your Purple Dragon", Lena replied trying to imitate her daughter's baby voice, from when she was a toddler.
"Oh yeah, it's so crazy to think that I've had her for so long", Gini said squishing her fluffy friend a little harder. "She has just... always been there for me, you know?". As Gini's words left her mouth, she turned thoughtful. The sadness started creeping in again. "Mom has also always been there for me. But soon she won't be."
"Oh, I know!", the mother laughed in anticipation of her next comment, interrupting Gini's train of thought. "For a while there, you couldn't even go potty without her". The remark finally got a chuckle out of her daughter. "And don't even mention the time Dad forgot her at the supermarket," Lena added shaking her head, "It was complete chaos!"
"Or the day those Bushner kids poker her eye out with a pencil", Gini added to the memories, rolling her eyes, as she pictured that day at her primary school.
"Right! We thought we wouldn't survive that, didn't we?", Lena said as she brought her hand to her face, mimicking wiping sweat off her forehead.
There was a natural lull in the conversation. The room suddenly became very quiet.
Lena felt a pinch in her heart, as she carefully considered her next words. "Please promise me, you won't lose the magic", she said brushing a strand of hair from Gini's face. Then, she leaned to kiss her daughter's head.
At that moment, Gini couldn't hold the emotions back any longer. She released her breath and began to cry again. Lena squished herself into the bed and held Gini tightly in a loving embrace. The mother placed her hands over her daughter's and closed her eyes.
The noises died down as Gini's sobs slowly stopped and became deep breaths. Lena opened her eyes and slowly sat up and noticed she was holding the purple dragon in one of her hands. She stared at it and then glanced at her sleeping daughter's tear-stained face. "Take good care of her will, you?", she said kissing the toy and gently placing it on Gini's pillow.
It is noon and the sun shines bright outside the window. The white walls of the office disperse the light, giving it a magical quality. A young woman walks around a large, wooden desk, holding a coffee mug with a phrase written in cursive letters: "Magic lives within pure hearts and open minds".
On the desk, there is only a potted plant and a slick laptop. Closed. Nearby, placed on a modern, grey love seat is a purple dragon plushie. It sits quietly and still, worn down by time and life, but reliable as always.
After setting down the coffee mug and swiftly tying her chestnut hair up in a ponytail, the woman turns to look at the fantastic creature. A lifelong friend. She smiles. Her blue eyes, with flickering gold, slowly well up with memories. "It's time." She pulls out the chair to sit down. The laptop opens and her fingers begin tapping in a dance, finally ready to write a story. Black letters appear on the blank screen, like magic:
"Legend says, that when a dragon makes a bond with a human, it will last for the ages of the Earth. That was the case for the mightiest of dragons. Blessed with skin the colour of amethyst and eyes yellow as amber, she was known as the last Purple Dragon. Her magic gift was to heal the hearts of those who needed her the most. "
Finishing the sentence, the woman closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, rubbing her hands together. Then, she allows her fingers to continue.
"Once upon a time, there was a little girl lost in the forest."
Note from the author: Not every epic story happens in faraway lands. Even through hardships, magic exists in our world. Imagination is what creates it, in the little things and moments in our lives. We just need to keep our hearts pure and our minds open to see it.
About the Creator
I'm a work in progress! On top of working in communications, I love writing for fun (mainly short stories, informative bits and heartfelt pieces to make people happy).
This is my personal writing page.
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