The Flaw

10 april 2005

(Ja, det här är då en fortsättning på Frusna Minnens Förbannelse, som även den finns här. Jag rekommenderar att den läses först, gärna. Och varför är fortsättningen på engelska? Ja, jag började skriva den på en engelskalektion för att jag inte orkade göra annat, så jag började skriva på engelska för att lätta på samvetet ^^)

The cold snow that swirled around me was not near as cold as my inside. What had I become, I asked myself. I did not know, nor did I know what to do next. I did not even remember who I was. I had been someone, that I knew, but I could not completely grasp that very memory. I knew that I had once been happy, but I could not recall how long it had been since I last felt joy. I knew that I had had a home, but I could not remember where. My inside was in turmoil, a chaos greater than anything I had ever felt before. But for every flap of my wings, my inside calmed down, became less disturbing, and colder. As I flew farther and farther away from the valley that had once meant something to me, my mind settled into a chilly calm. I felt my memories sinking lower and lower, until I could no longer reach them, at all. I knew that my memories were there, somewhere, just beyond reach, for I could feel them and sense them. I could feel my memories laying dormant inside me, waiting to be let out. I knew that they had been frozen away from me, just as I started to grasp exactly what the Curse of Frozen Memories meant. I felt the memories just as the small tingling before a sneeze, just as if they would be on their way back. But they did not come as easily as a sneeze. Imagine walking around an entire human life with that tingling, and you might begin to understand what an annoyance it was to me. But still, it was more, for I knew that the tingling would always be there, teasing me with the knowledge of my past. But after a time, I came to ignore that tingling, to ignore my frozen memories, as I was supposed to do.

I did not know where I was supposed to go, for I had not completely understood the power of the curse I was under. I still suffered from the pain of what had happened to me, even though at the time I could not remember what had happened and what had been taken from me. But I knew that something had been taken from me. Was I supposed to know that something had been lost? Was it a part of the cruel curse created by someone whose name I did not know? Or was it something else… I did not know why I knew that something had been lost, but it felt wrong. It felt as if something had gone awry, somewhere in the world. Had my senses been keen enough at the time, I might have realised what had happened, but being newly Cursed I did not know the true potential of the power my blood held.

I continued my flight across vast lands, flying swiftly forward on the strong winds brought by the storm that followed me. It had been with me since I was reborn into something as unfamiliar to me as anything could ever have been. I did, however, notice that the violent blizzard had started to dissipate. I could feel a slightest brush of panic inside me when I realised that without the blizzard, I would be unprotected against the prying eyes of mortals. Quickly, I flew downwards, towards the great forest below.

My first landing was not what one could have expected from one like me. You could probably imagine a glorious landing, a perfect landing. But it was not. I brought several trees down with me and I tripped over my own legs, for I was not used of walking, least not running, on them. I hit the trunk of great oak, and after that there was not much of an oak left. I roared loudly as I glided across the ground, scaring animals into flight.

As I trembled back to my feet, I eyed the damage my utterly catastrophic landing had done to the area. A human, with their complete ignorance of everything, would probably have assumed that a storm had blown all of the trees away, or that some great stone from the skies had struck the area. If the human would have been a wiser of their kind, though, he might have guessed that something else had ripped everything apart.

As I stretched my wings, I felt my body aching all over. I was surprised that pain affected me in such a way, for I thought, no, I knew, that it should not have. I felt a great unease at the burning feeling in my body when I took one of the first steps with my feet, if that is what you could call them. Claws would probably have been a more proper description. Great, silvery-white scaled claws. No dirt seemed to stick to them, just as it avoided the rest of my body. That was something very positive, for I do not know how difficult it would have been to clean a body of my size.

I tried to gather the strength to take a jump and lift myself to flight, but to my surprise I could not. I could not find enough strength to get airborne, and that failure scared me. I was too weak; the landing had taken too much strength from me. I needed to feed. My stomach cried out for flesh, for the sweet taste of death, while my mind had a deep hunger for something else, something much less concrete. And to my great relief, I could sense something, farther into the forest. I could almost here it… No, I could here it, here the sounds of someone sobbing.

I strode forwards, making my way through a small path that would have been very large from a human point of view. According to me, though, it was scarcely a proper path for a dragon. I had to press myself together, and crawl. It was not the easiest of tasks, considering my size. Had I at that time known the keenness of my senses, perhaps I would have sought to find food somewhere else. At the time I could not have imagined that the source of the sobbing came from such a distance, and it was not a pleasant journey.

It took me no less than an hour to reach her, to reach the sobbing woman. I could see, or more likely sense, the reason of her sorrow. I could feel it as clearly as I could see her with my eyes. She had been on a journey with her uncle, and on the way through the forest, they had been attacked by muggers. The woman had managed to escape, but when she stopped running, she could not remember where she was. She was lost. I smiled as I crept towards her, slowly and silently. When I was close enough, I took a final, great step into the small clearing where the woman was sitting. As she turned towards me I could se the pure horror that filled her face. And her mind. Yes, I could sense the horror, just as I could see it. But still, it was nothing compared to the sorrow that filled her.

When the woman rose up to run away, I felt a jolt inside me, as if something had… changed. I felt stronger, clearer, as if what barricades held back my true power had been blown away. This was not supposed to be, I knew, but it had happened, and the power that pulsed in my blood was overwhelming. I took a leap forward, a very small one, though it was enough to land right behind her. I raised my left claw and struck the woman and the hit sent her flying several feet aside. She hit a tree and I could hear the cracking sound of bones breaking. For a moment I though she had died from being knocked into the tree, but I realised that I could hear her breathing. The sounds were so low that no human could have perceived them, just as no human could have seen her chest moving up and down. I took a few steps towards her, and reached out. I could see her, and not just her physical appearance, but her inner self, her very essence of life. She was weak, standing at the brink of death, but I could not let that happen. No, I needed her; I needed to feed on her. So I reached out towards her, and let my mind brush against hers. I gently drew her back to life, and as her blue eyes opened and met mine, they were filled with the deepest awe. Then, as a sudden bolt of lightning, power surged through me. I still do not know exactly what happened, because the power that pulsated throughout my body was greater than anything I had ever felt before. I felt… Omnipotent, as if I could, in that very moment, have done anything. It was as if every instinctive part of me, every part of the animal I was, took over. I violently reach into her.

My mind clashed with hers with a ferocious strength I had never thought I could possess. I breached the little resistance she put up and, in that moment, she was like an insect, like a little bug I could have crushed in my fist. I could see her so clearly; she was like an open book that could be read at will. I lunged myself deeper and deeper into her, searching for the sorrow I had felt. It was there, everywhere in her. It was no shallow sorrow. The sorrow had been with her forever, that I could see. Her father had been a rapist and her mother the victim. Raised in poverty, she had always had a hard time managing, until she thought she had met her true love. But he had betrayed her for another; thrown her aside as used rag. That sorrow was what I sought, but it was rooted so deep that removing it proved to be a challenge. With a raging force I slashed my way to the source of it. I clawed and slashed my way there, and at that time I did not know what damage I caused her by doing so. When I reached the source of the sorrow, deep inside her mind, I tore it out of her, and devoured it. The search for sorrow had left the woman to a fate worse than death. A gurgling sound left her mouth as she sank to ground. She was not dead; she had only lost her mind, leaving her an empty shell.

But the sorrow was only the hunger my mind and soul yearned for. My body still needed flesh. The poor woman could not put up any resistance as I sank my teeth into her, and lifted her body. The still warm blood gushed out of her and down my throat, and the sweet taste seemed to strengthen me. I snapped her body into two with ridiculous ease, and swallowed her upper half in one gulp, and finished the lower half in another.

I laid myself there, on the ground, and stretched my wings and body, as the rush of power in me seemed to stop. The short moments it had taken to so brutally kill and eat that woman had been… satisfying, in some way. I knew that a part of me, the part that rested deep within, frozen, had never killed before, even though this body had. Still, it did not bother my conscience. Instead, it felt natural. I had killed to feed, to still my hunger. All did that, even humans did. They killed those weaker than themselves, just as I had done.

Even though the body of the woman had barely been enough to still my hunger, her mind had held more sorrow than I had thought someone could hold. It had almost been too much to handle. Almost. I could feel her, or her memories, within me, to some degree. But I had not yet learned the extent of my abilities, so I did not bother with it. Instead, I thought of something I had felt during the moments of rushing power.

I had felt something… Something that was not right. In a part of the moments, at the peak of the rush, I had sensed a power. I knew that the power I felt was the source of my power, the source of dragon-power, and the source of the Curse that was put upon me. It was there, inside me, flowing in my blood. I had felt it awakening from a long slumber, once again strengthening me, as it had done in the old days, before… before I was cursed. I was not meant to know that, to have felt that sort of power, but still I did. The curse should have prevented me from it. I was not even supposed to remember having felt the ferocious and wild power of the foundations forces of everything. Every memory of the life before being cursed should have been gone, frozen into the depth of my consciousness. But still I knew them better than I had ever done, during previous cycles of being cursed. They were not clear to me, but I had temporarily been able to sense them weakly, as an echo of memories.

And then there was the other one, the other one like me, the other Cursed One. I had felt her presence during that short moment of omnipotence. She was very far away, yet I had glimpsed her, through what bound all of us together. The tremendous power I had felt had briefly connected me to… everything. And her sorrow had been so great I would have to have been deaf not to hear it, so great that I would have to have been blind not to see it. I knew there were others like us in the world, but this one, this particular one, felt closer than any other. It was as if we had always been close, though being blinded by the curse, neither of us had known it. But now, I knew. And I also knew that she had felt me.

I raised my head, and sniffed the air. The smell of wrongness was about. Something was happening, and not just with me, but with the entire creation. I knew things that were supposed to be hidden from me, I felt powers that should have been stilled, and I sensed others like myself. I had come to this very forest every hundred years, and I knew that I should not have sensed her, and yet I did. It was wrong, it was… a flaw. No, it was not any flaw, it was the Flaw. I could not tell exactly what was flawed, but it was something that was connected to everything. I could sense this flaw as one could sense the coming of a storm. One could not tell exactly when the storm would come; one only knew it would come, soon.

I raised myself to my legs again, stretched my wings to their full length, and leaped into the air. I flapped my wings strongly to gain speed, and I set out north. I should have turned west from here, to go to my hunting grounds, where I would normally have dwelled for a century. This time, however, the chain was broken. The Curse of Frozen Memories was weakening, and sooner or later, I would have the strength to break free, to become who I had once been. I would see my memories restored to me. I would once again wield the true dragon-power, the power we were supposed to keep, the power that we alone, and those we chose, should have access to. We were supposed to be its rightful keepers, but someone had done something to us, using that power to seal us into disarray. Who, and why, I did not know, but someone had, for some reason. The only way for me to solve it was to visit the other one, and that I would. I would restore the dragons to their former glory, as Keepers, not as the ones being kept.

With a sudden certainty I flew north, to meet the other dragon. I could but hope that she also remembered, just as I had started to. If not, then she would be wild, though she would still have power as well as the cleverness and cunning of a dragon. I suddenly came to realise why no cursed dragon had ever met another dragon. If I could tear apart the mind of a human, then should I not be able to do the same to another dragon, wild or not? Yes, I should. That was why the curse separated us from each other. I realised that I could easily summon up the power to heat the other dragon’s mind, to break the freezing barrier that separated her from her memories. And if that would not work, then I could tear it apart. Of course, tearing her mind apart would greatly damage her, perhaps even kill her, but if that would grant me the knowledge needed to restore all of us, then so be it. If I could not convince her to aid me in restoring my memories as well as her own, then she would have to die. And if she would die, her memories would have to do until I could restore my own.

I flew higher now, far above the forest. The blizzard had once again formed around me, and the cold snow felt pleasant against my scales. I flew towards her, and I knew that she would be expecting me. She dwelt in water, just as I dwelt in snow. I had seen that. And when snow met water the Flaw would spread across the world as rings on the surface of the lake. And I knew that with the Flaw, would also come the storm.

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