The Blue Moon Dragon
Once upon a time on an enchanted island far, far away there was a mighty Blue Dragon, the last of his kind, who inhabited a majestic mountain cave.
Long before he was born a meteorite crashed into this Planet and devastated the entire island, causing a massive extinction of many species including the antediluvian Dragon Kingdom. The Dragon Queen, with her gift of premonition, foresaw this cataclysm. When her warning fell on deaf ears, she arranged to have both of her precious blue and green eggs stored with the necessary provisions deep in the caverns of a mighty mountain. No one could have imagined that the scale of devastation and upheaval would be so vast and far-reaching; hence they all perished leaving the land barren for many centuries to come. Meanwhile of the two eggs carefully stored in the depths of the mighty cave only one had survived to hatch. The blue dragon therefore was born into a lonely existence and grew up fending for himself. Eventually the land recovered and other life-forms began to thrive in this rich, pristine environment.
The blue dragon, now grown larger still, with his giant wings often soared through the skies in search of food, longing to find evidence of other dragons.
During his searches when earthquakes, landslides or other such catastrophes unearthed the remnants of the ancient Dragon civilization he discovered vast stores of knowledge that revealed the cosmic secrets of the universe and the gateway to the many other worlds that lay beyond the mystical sea surrounding his world. Unfortunately he also came to realize that he was alone, and would be alone forever, as the Age of Dragons had come to an end. Rage and sorrow took hold of him and the explosive energy he unleashed very nearly destroyed the island once again.
He regained his senses just in time. Coming to grips with reality, he settled down and searched the surviving stores of knowledge, assimilating this vast information in gradual segments. Meanwhile he’d already learned purely by accident that close proximity to the sun always helped to regenerate him. Proximity to the moon pacified his senses and, by the same token, he discovered the joys of meditative serenity.
As he grew in maturity, possessing more knowledge now, he ventured through the doorways to other existing worlds. On these many excursions, he discovered other lands over the mystic seas, realms that were populated by strange flora and creatures. Further and further he went searching for adventure or, perhaps, a likely companion. He was innately overcautious and concealed his presence well. By this time he’d acquired many mystical powers. Beside that of concealment, he was now able to shape-shift into other living forms, however large or small. This made him bolder as he integrated into still stranger circumstances, such as those of the two-legged human creatures. He mingled among them learning their complex structures of dialogue, barter, social etiquette and their varied rules of governance. He found that, with practice, he could maintain his disguise for longer and longer periods, but never longer than a span of one night. His concealment was also more effective at night, for sunshine was too invigorating for him to constrain his powers.
Once at dusk while flying over a well fortified powerful kingdom a strange sound wafted to his ears and, looking down, he spotted well manicured lawns and gardens with carefully structured pools and bridges. He’d never seen so fine a garden and so he swooped silently down and, as soon as his feet touched a branch, he transformed himself into a songbird.
It was a fine summer’s twilight with a light breeze that invited all beings into the outdoors. A group of people were laughing and chattering, advancing towards the tree he was perched on. He withdrew to the cover of thicker foliage to observe unheeded the small entourage now setting up a picnic down below. The one among them standing to the side was particularly appealing. For one thing she had flawless white porcelain skin and was finely dressed. Her cascading golden hair was carefully managed with brilliant gems that gleamed like many stars in the full moonlight. She held a bouquet of flowers to her bosom so fragrant that it wooed his senses. The others, like fluttering butterflies, rallied around her attempting to make her jovial and content. This somewhat amused the Dragon and he watched their behavior and hers without tiring of it for the entire length of their gathering. When they prepared to leave he at once made himself invisible and followed after. His curiosity led him all the way back to her quarters but, seeing that they all went to bed, he reluctantly took his leave, flying out the open window. But at least he knew where this interesting creature dwelled, and he promised himself to return the next nightfall.
At first he was content watching her from afar in disguise but, bit by bit, he became smitten with her strange but sweet ways. By then he understood more of the ways of humans and how he might win her affections. Fortunately, she valued her time alone and often would send her attendants away on some fool’s errand just to gain some solitary, quiet moments by herself. Often she managed to sneak away at the conclusion of dinner to spend a tranquil period in the library. At other times she contrived to spend a few moments outside among the beds of flowers, leaning her back to a tree in contemplative repose. It was on one such occasion when the Blue Dragon decided at long last to approach her. But first he transformed himself into a human male. He’d seen certain illustrations in poetry books, specific figures that she expressed some interest in, therefore he fashioned himself into a mixture of those features she liked best: a youth of similar age, rather handsome and dressed in fineries. He even picked a name for himself: Blue Moon. He knew enough of propriety not to manifest in her private quarters for fear of causing fright, so he waited for an opportunity when she snuck away into the garden to spend time in solitude.
Their first meeting was somewhat awkward and still caused her a fright. But he soon talked his way out of it and won her confidence with his charm and wit. In time, during many more clandestine encounters, as they discovered they had the same zest for life and innocent fondness for adventure, they grew much more attached to each other. Of course all during the exchange they’d maintained the strictest propriety and observed proper decorum, thus nothing untoward or improper transpired between the two. This platonic love however had grown from bud to blossom soon possessing both their heart and soul. Eventually when the Blue Dragon revealed his true form to her, he was delighted to find it made no difference to her. Meanwhile he was now free to share some of the joys of being a dragon.
Often on her insistence, she was whisked away into the clouds riding on his back and saw the world as she never could have done without him. Once, while resting on a strange high meadow by a spring, he reached forward and gently clasped her hand and looked questioningly deep into her eyes. No words were necessary, she simply nodded her assent and from that moment on they were bonded forever.
With a shy smile he drew a small packet from his robe, wrapped in a blue cloth that shimmered as if with the light of many stars. When she opened it she saw it was a figurine of a songbird.
Blue Moon explained its meaning, “It is made from the stones of the Moon, where I stay when I want to be close to you, and it is shaped like the songbird I became when I observed you and your attendants in the courtyard that first evening. Keep it to remind yourself of me, and my eternal love for you.”
“I shall cherish it forever. “ She kissed the bird’s beak then reached forward to lovingly hold his hand.
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. One stormy night their closely guarded secret was discovered by a jealous attendant and, when promptly brought to the attention of His Majesty, his fury knew no bounds. He had three sons but only one daughter and now his darling daughter had being sullied by this, this dastardly intruder.
Immediately, a trap was devised to capture this brazen interloper. When the opportunity struck armed guards descended on him. The Blue Dragon could have transformed himself into his true form and incinerated them all, but he was far too concerned for the Princess’ well being, so he allowed himself be captured and brought in chains before his Majesty.
The King was in a murderous mood, and could not be reasoned with. Despite severe beating and torture the truth could not be attained, yet a most heinous, ruthless punishment was pronounced upon the presumed culprit. Badly bruised, bleeding profusely with many ribs and bones broken (for in this form he was as vulnerable as any human was) Blue Moon was dragged outside by his chains for the administration of his harsh punishment. As soon as he was outside of the audience hall he was able to use his skills and simply vanished into thin air.
The poor guards unfortunately were made to suffer for days for their failure. Meanwhile the Princess was confined to new quarters high up in a tower and this time, placed under close scrutiny. She was assumed to have been put under an evil spell by the sorcerer Blue Moon, as he had named himself. As a virtual prisoner for well over a year she was never allowed a moment’s peace in all that time, nor was she left for a single moment alone. The attending Priests and palace doctors came to and fro, at first keeping her heavily sedated then gradually endowing her with small portions of added liberties. She was eventually allowed to return to her more luxurious former quarters as she pretended to being cured from the paranormal malady. Despite all their persuasive methods and ingested medicinal concoctions however, deep within her soul and heart she’d maintained the seeds of affections for her beloved Blue Moon. At times when things grew unbearable she drew strength from her memories of times shared with him. This source of happiness, the like of which she’d never known, was, after all, inexhaustible. So long as she drew breath she knew she could never forsake him for he, her first true love, was already an inseparable part of her being.
Three nights hence would be the second full moon, also known as the Blue Moon. Theirs was a superstitious nation, so many candles were lit and the residual smoke from the burning of incense imbued with scent crafted to scare away evil, permeated the air till dawn. Meanwhile, the Priests beat drums and held prayer sessions and sacrifices to appease the wandering evil spirits of the Blue Moon.
As soon as dusk fell, confident in their measures to rid the Palace of the least evil, exhausted from vigorous day’s activities, all denizens of the Palace and city had fallen into deep slumber peacefully tucked under warm quilts in their beds. Complete silence prevailed throughout the Palace and the land.
At stroke of midnight the Princess suddenly awoke with a start. She had sensed movement in the room. True enough there he was, the handsome young man was now turning away from the window to smile at her. How fortunate that she had left the window ajar.
“Please do not be frightened?” He approached her hesitantly. “I’m sorry I’ve disturbed you. “ He bit the corner of his lip to constrain the bursting emotions of rage and sorrow. “You’ve endured such hardship on my account…I meant to come earlier, but…”
“It is I who should beg your forgiveness.” She interjected and, eyes brimming with tears, she shook her head in dismay. “They’ve treated you so abominably. And I, oh I felt so helpless to do anything about it!”
In truth, she’d done her best to sway them. In the beginning she’d even attempted to enlist her mother’s by help appealing to her compassion and when that yielded not result, tried to reason with a father hell bent on revenge. It was all to no avail. Instead, all her efforts had gained was to further convince His Majesty of her possession by the evil Blue Moon entity and the necessity of harsher measures and prolonged incarceration.
“It grieves me to say this, but I’ve come to bid you farewell. I will not forget you, ever.” Blue Moon turned to hide the emerging tears.
Rushing over she grabbed his arm and in a sobbing voice pleaded, “Please don’t go. But, if you must, I want to go with you, wherever that may be!”
He smiled and, cupping her face, looked deep into her eyes. “I’ve come to love you so very much. “ He leaned over and gently planted a kiss on her forehead. “Know this, regardless of any future outcome; you are now and forever will be my one and only mate.”
His face grew grim and he nodded. “However, I should have known there was so little, perhaps no chance at all, for us. I’m sorry; this is the way it must be for now. “He turned to go, then stopped, and after a thoughtful pause, drew from his finger a ring. He then took off his shiny blue cloak and presented both of them to her.
“One thing I have learned is that there are infinite possibilities to this universe and that nothing in it can be deemed impossible. Out of my deep regard and affection for you, I offer you the freedom to choose. Conceal this ring well and guard our shared secret. Wear this garment when the Blue Moon manifests and remember that I love you from afar. If, at the conclusion of your life span, you still have same affections for me, put on this ring on your forefinger and don the blue cloak. On that night I give you my solemn pledge that I will return and from that day hence, we shall be eternally together.”
He then transformed into a song-bird and flew out the window.
Wiping her tears, she folded the garment carefully and placed it in the drawer of her night table but she sought a more secure location to hide the ring. As it so happened there was a stone encased in loose mortar in a dark corner of the room behind some furniture. She’d discovered it when she was a child and concealed her most prized possessions there. It also contained the moon rock he had sculpted to resemble a bird. Opening this niche she placed this prized possession alongside her others. Then, though overcome with fatigue, when she went back to her bed and laid down, she was too emotionally overwrought to sleep.
Upon waking the following morning she immediately doubted the last night’s series of events as well as her brief encounter with the Blue Moon spirit. Seizing the first available opportunity, she checked the drawer. True enough there was a strange blue garment folded in there, but it was not gleaming or as extraordinary as she recalled. Later still she fetched the ring from its hiding place and carefully examined it; running her fingers absently over the strange inscription underneath. She next brought out the moonstone bird and, caressing it, kissed its beak before placing it back.
The garment, despite its apparent simplicity, was still treasured by her. Each Blue moon when everyone retired for the night she would, without fail, quietly don the blue garment and sit by the window waiting for her beloved to return. But he never did. As a small consolation she would feel his presence and warm embrace as she sat while the garment basking under the moon’s rays brilliantly glistened and came to life with countless dancing stars.
She was eventually forced to marry a Prince whose kingdom’s alliance was a political necessity. In time she bore three children. Her life in that other kingdom seemed surreal as she functioned within the parameters of acceptable behavior for the wife of a Crown Prince who then became a King.
During these years, she never wavered once from her initial promise to her true beloved and wore the blue cloak every Blue Moon. She kept this secret well hidden from all, even her children. Her warmongering husband the King eventually met his demise during one of his campaigns. After the elaborate funeral, the widowed Queen was allowed to return to the Palace in her homeland after her son, the Crown Prince, took the reins of power.
Eventually old age claimed the dowager Queen but by then her two other children had been married off to suitable diplomatic advantage and were living elsewhere. On this night of her final Blue Moon she asked her close confident to fetch the plain blue cloak for her and help her don it. In tears the other did as she was bid and, complying with her wishes, left her Majesty alone. With some difficulty she retrieved the ring from its hiding place where it had lain for the many years since she had married. Finally the former Princess, now a dowager Queen, placed it on her fore-finger. Going over she sat by the window to await her beloved’s return.
This time he did come. He looked the same as before, not a day older. Her inhibition soon melted away when he reached forward and kissed her on the mouth, gently breathing his magical dragon’s breath into her parted lips. Instantly she was transformed into her young, vigorous, beautiful self. Better than her young self though, for she was now an immortal.
“Are you ready?” He asked lovingly.
“I’ve been ready all my life.” She smiled back at him.
Instantly she was transformed into a colorful songbird.
“I have so much to share, so much to teach you!” He elatedly laughed.
And then, with Blue Dragon leading the way, they flew together through the open window.
The following morning, when the chief attendant entered the Dowager Queen’s quarters to awaken Her Grace, there was no trace of either Her Majesty or the blue garment.