Crouching at the edge of his bed, Theo watched the little bundle laying at the center of his bed. Somehow, he had convinced himself to take this little strange creature – a dragon for goodness’ sake- home with him. But after seeing how much blood covered the poor thing’s scales, and how thirsty it had been…
Theo gave off a little sigh, leaning into the edge of his seat, letting his arms flop down against the bed. “Your kindness will be your undoing one day, Theo. They said it for years, and you didn’t believe them. And now look at you. A Dragon. On your bed.” He sighed, and then looked at the dragon, finding himself smiling. Well, let it undo him. It was a once in a lifetime experience to see something like this.
He had wrapped the poor thing up in the blanket he had originally brought to protect the meteorite he had originally thought he was after. A soft smile played on his lips as he remembered the way the dragon had eagerly lapped up the water at first. He had even given off a sort of grating, rumbling little purr. Like a smoker cat, if that even existed. If it did, he imagined it would be something like that. Of course, anyone who let their animal get near a cigarette was a perpetrator of abuse, but… Theo was letting his mind wander again.
Heaving another, heavier sigh, Theo laid his chin against the bed, and stared hard at the sleeping dragon. He knew next to nothing about dragons. Like, real, actual dragons. How could he? They weren’t supposed to exist. Was this a space dragon? Did that make it any better, or worse? If it turned out aliens weren’t little green men, but tiny, adorable dragons….he might welcome the coming alien invasion, honestly.
Snorting at himself, he sighed. “You’re an idiot, Theo. An idiot sandwich,” he murmured softly, shaking his head. His hair was still damp, the uneven edges of his home-made haircut showing more than usual. Anxiety was a bitch, and he hated talking to people at the salon; and so the only solution was to cut his own hair. Perhaps not the most healthy of solutions, but he managed well enough on his own. Most of the time…usually.
He had taken a shower shortly after returning from his hike, and though his muscles were screaming at the abuse he’d inflicted upon them hours earlier, Theo couldn’t find it in himself to sleep. He wanted to just watch the little guy sleeping. Or little girl. Or…well, the dragon. Even with animals, Theo wanted to be respectful.
But did a dragon count as an animal?
Theo pursed his lips in thought, and then shook his head. The dragon had had an intelligent gleam in his eyes. And for a moment, when he was reaching for the broken necklace beside the dragon, Theo had thought he heard some sort of growled, garbled language. If it was a dog or something, Theo would have just written t off as a bark. But it was somehow different. More pointed and…well, like it had a point.
But he was a dragon, so who was to say he couldn’t talk?
Leaning away from the bed, Theo gave yet another sigh, cocking his head to the side. He could always wait and ask, but there was no guarantee that the dragon could even answer. It was at least food for thought- if nothing else, Theo had a vivid imagination.
He had done his best to get rid of the blood on the dragon’s scales, but didn’t feel right cleaning it off too much, while the poor thing slept. Something had happened to the dragon- something or someone had attacked and injured it. It was either a baby, or dragons were just that small; not like the hulking beasts most stories depicted them as. It was the size of a medium breed dog– though weighed quite a bit more than that. Most likely thanks to the armor-like scales that covered the dragon’s frame.
Theo studied the dragon for a few more moments, before he pushed himself up from the bed. “Oof.” He groaned, and lifted a hand to his lower back, rubbing lightly, feeling like an old man. His joints even popped as he gave a small stretch, trying to work out the kinks in his frame. He needed to work out more. Really, at all, since he never did. It wasn’t healthy- and his mid twenties were in the near future. He had heard that was when everything started catching up. “I feel like an eighty year old anyways,” he grumbled to himself, as he turned and limped over towards the desk at the opposite side of the room.
The old floorboards creaked a bit as he walked, a now familiar sound since he’d lived in this house his whole life. And so had Theo’s dad, and his parents before him. God rest their awful, hateful souls. He, too, had inherited the house after his parents’ death- once he had turned 18. His Uncle had taken care of him in Great Falls until then, but now the house had been solely his for four years.
Snorting softly to himself, Theo moved to the chair, and slowly lowered himself into it. He groaned at the effort it took, and his legs were shaking by the time his bottom plopped down onto the worn leather chair. It wasn’t quite as old as the house itself, but he really should look into getting a new one. Amazon made even getting furniture easy, in such a remote, nowhere town. Now if only his local Grocery store did Delivery, or even a Drive Up….
Pushing his mind away from important, but not impertinent issues, Theo dropped his gaze down to the object laying on his desk.
He had originally planned on putting the meteor in a safe container to bring it home. While Meteorites themselves weren’t actually dangerous (generally) he didn’t want any sharp edges cutting through his backpack. Or for the material of the backpack to leave any scratches or patches in the stone. Of course, he hadn’t actually found a meteorite since it was a dragon instead…. But the dragon had had an odd pendant with it.
He could only guess it belonged to the dragon, because the little thing had freaked out when he tried to touch it before. It was what had spawned the coughing fit that caused Theo to give the dragon the rest of his water. His cough had been horrible, and Theo’s heart ached at how eager the little thing had been to drink the water. Barely a drop had been wasted.
But the pendant was odd- that much Theo could tell. It being a dragon’s pendant could mean a number of things- which Theo wasn’t entirely sure he could guess the scope of. Earth didn’t have dragons, so the pendant and dragon had come from…somewhere else. He had no idea what the answer to that was, but he had been careful when retrieving the pendant. He’d used gloves and put it the little plexiglass container he’d brought for the meteorite. He hadn’t touched the stone at all, and yet he remembered feeling heat pour through the gloves. What had felt like a shock ran up his arm, and he had nearly dropped it.
Inspecting it now, Theo sensed nothing coming from the stone. It was beautiful, a deep sapphire color, with swirls of darker at the center. There was a fracture along the center of it, as if something had pierced it. Hairline spider web breaks crawled up along the middle, but they were only about an inch all around. As Theo stared hard and long at the beautiful stone, he could have sworn he saw movement within. It could have just been a trick of the light, Theo’s fatigue…or maybe something else. If dragons existed, what was to say a magic pendant wouldn’t, too?
Theo shook his head at the thought of magic, though. That was a little bit silly, even for Theo’s imagination. But a small voice seemed to nag him at the back of his mind. Was it really so silly? He dragged his eyes to the bed across from him, watching the sleeping creature’s chest rise and fall. He was staring at a living, breathing dragon. It was a small one, but there was no denying what it was. From the scales, down to the wings and horns. Not to mention he’d gotten a look at the deadly sharp fangs and claws…
Was a magic pendant really so outside the realm of possibility?
Theo tapped the edge of the glass, and leaned forward, squinting hard at the glittering gem sitting inside. No sparks leapt out from the stone, and nothing seemed to change…but Theo just couldn’t shake the thought that something was moving within the pendant. Something sinister lurking just beneath the surface….
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