Fiction Friday:  Once

The woman was weathered with deep wrinkles and light silver grey hair.  A tiny grey and wrinkled dragon was curled up in her lap.  She put her hand on the girl’s, closed her eyes and said, “Do you really want to hear the story?” The girl nodded, eyes wide with anticipation.

“All right, but let me warn you, it is not a Nice story.”  The old woman paused.  The girl nodded with encouragement.  This was it.  This was The Story.  This was her birthright.  It was time.

“Once.  Once there was.”  The old woman sighed and rubbed her eyes.

“Once upon a time?  Yes, that’s better.  Now we shall begin.”

“Once upon a time there was a little girl with bright eyes, wild hair and bare feet.  The girl lived in a thatched cottage on the edge of the Estate.  She lived with her mother, her father, her grandmother, her grandfather, her seven older brothers, and a big orange cat.  They were poor and every day was a struggle, but they worked hard, and were able to get by. Every night they sang together before bed.  Life was good.  The girl was happy but always felt like she was simply waiting for her life to begin.”  The old woman smiled as she remembered the happy days of the earliest part of her life.

“One day the girl walked through the field of the Estate.  She skipped.  She twirled.  She laughed.  She felt pure joy and a sense of anticipation.  She stared up at the sky marveling at the beauty of the world.   Then, she tripped.   She looked and there was a  perfect, shiny, metallic black egg.  It was warm and hummed softly.”

“A voice spoke in her head, ‘Finally.  It is you.  You are here.  I have been waiting for you for so long.'”  The small grey dragon purred and snuggled in closer to the old woman who looked down at it fondly.

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