Meridian the Vicious
We all have memories of a past long forgotten. They present themselves as convenient photographs or as jagged pieces of traumatic longing. I don’t miss the past; I only miss the simplicity of living with my best friend in a world where racism did not exist.
I can’t say what year it happened since the revolution changed everything. The monarchy was disassembled and suddenly, my whole life was altered forever. I couldn’t go back to simplicity and wholesome moments. Laws of man have triumphed over common sense and goodwill. My world was governed by hysteria and toxicity. I was outlawed by those radicalizing the already unstable. A megalomaniac sat on the coveted throne and she had forbidden the color Red from every corner of her kingdom. On her way to the top, this woman had cut down every piece of former reigns. Nothing was left as reminders of past corruption. My hair color could not be allowed to exist; it had to remain hidden or be killed off completely.
I have been in the Clover Forest for four days. I never even got to say goodbye to my family before being abandoned alone in the middle of nowhere. My brothers were blessed with dark hair but I was like my mother: captivating crimson all over my crown. Thank the heavens my mother was dead or else, she would have been discarded like me as well. My hair color had given me a fate I would not have chosen for myself. I was now an exile left to her own devices. I couldn’t go back home for fear of jeopardizing my family. They had to live with their own choices and I had to live with my own future in my hands. I didn’t know if I could survive on my own. I was barely 3 years old and I never had to fend for myself before. I hadn’t encountered a single soul in this forest yet and I was afraid I would die alone.
I was sleeping underneath an open sky full of twinkling highlights when I smelled something obtuse. It’s a very peculiar stench but it’s a welcome one. I smelled……………..a color unlike any other. I smelled a shade that was like mine. I lifted my eyes open and allowed my nose to carry me to this color. My wings were silent as they glided above the shallow ground. I was curious as to what I would find. It was a girl, curled up into a fragile ball nestled among fallen tree branches and crumpled leaves. She was skinny and dirty and was just as afraid of this forest as I was. Fear made its way into my nose as well as her darling red hair. We were both deserted here. Forsaken and forgotten. This world no longer tolerated us anymore.
I watched her wake up to the dewdrop morning as the sun rose over a crippled earth. I knew she would be frightened of me when she saw me. They all cried out in fright when they saw my scales and wings. I was just as biology created me. I was a red-scaled dragon from the Mountains of the East. I was abandoned too.
“Are you going to eat me?”
They always ask that silly question.
“Are you going to kill me with your dragon breath?”
No, because I have no fire left in me.
“Why are you here?”
I am a secret here, just like you. I had nowhere to go to escape persecution. My red scales are just as a slight against the queen as your hair is.
“Why can’t you just fly away?”
I have tried. I have flown thousands of miles to flee from tyranny but it always finds me. I took refuge here in the Clover Forest in hopes of preserving what is left of my pride.
“Why are we born this way?”
Shame is a new thing, little one. I wasn’t always so hateful towards myself until the world told me I was less than everyone else. I used to love my red coat and red nails.
“Will we always be stuck here?”
I don’t know if I would want to go back to a world when it turned its back on me. I am better off on my own.
“I hope my family misses me.”
I’m sure they do but between you and surviving, I don’t blame them for choosing survival. I’ve seen many corpses over many miles with red hair such as yours. They chose to abandon you rather than send you to the gallows.
“Why is red so bad now?”
Power can be a good thing when used appropriately. It can also be a bad thing when used for personal gain. I don’t know why the color red reminds the queen of a past she would rather forget. I don’t know why this physical trait is something she sees as evil. We didn’t choose to be different. We are just us.
“Can a dragon feel pain?”
Of course we can. I fled so my fellow dragons wouldn’t have to suffer for harboring me. They wouldn’t give me up so I left to keep them safe. My redness would have doomed them all. I used up all my fiery breath in order to escape. I am no longer the dragon I used to be.
“What do we do now?”
We have each other now. We can keep each other safe.
“My name is Naomi. What’s yours?”
They used to call me Meridian the Vicious. I am a ghost, a shell of my former self. I am a hollow skeleton of my past selves. I used to be a creature of such regality but that sounds so archaic now. Just like laws that have no place in an evolving world.
“Do we have to change?”
I don’t want to change even if I was asked to. Anyone that loves you would never ask you to change who you are. Love is about accepting the flaws and the imperfections in addition to you accepting them for who they are. Love would never discriminate or put you in harm’s way. This world has outlawed love for right now. Perhaps it may change but we shouldn’t have to wait for it to.
“Meridian, could we fly away together?”
Maybe. If you want to find a safe place, I can take you there. It could take us a long time to find safety. It might be safer for us to stay here.
“Do we have to stay?”
No, we don’t. If you want to leave, we can leave together. This is only a refuge not salvation.
“What if we never find a place that is safe?”
We can keep trying. This world won’t always be this way. Our kind won’t always be living in the shadows. We won’t be extinguished or expired. Our kind won’t be subjected to such blatant disregard to life. We had our voices taken from us. It’s up to us to find it again.
Naomi and I took flight into the sky. To go where? We didn’t have the faintest idea. We had no map or compass to help us. We were in uncharted territory and we only had each other for support. I took that as a win. I met my crimson friend in a moment of darkness and together, we eliminated the darkness altogether.
Meridian’s scarlet scales and massive ruby wings hovered over a world full of hatred and loss. In that world, we found each other. It hasn’t changed much but we gave each other the strength to endure and face the next day. I changed my name to Cerise and have never looked back. Meridian’s fiery breath returned one day and we rejoiced with other red-haired creatures such as ourselves. We still struggle and fight the good fight but we were not alone as we assumed we were. I lay my weary friend to rest as she soars eternally into the zenith and reaches her final slumber among the stars. I will miss my beloved friend and will never forget the Clover Forest that brought us here. I dream about a time when the world forgives the past and we evolve into a brighter future. I return to the Clover Forest and say goodbye to my friend for the last time. I whisper her name into the wind and hope it carries it to the unknown. Goodbye, Vermillion.
About the Creator
I’m a 36-year old wife and mother. I love reading, metal music, and writing. I have bipolar depression and have begun writing again since 2019
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