Dr’gon Dragon- August 2016
Thunder shook the office bookshelves. “It’s a Dark and Stormy night!” H. Gingham Horse whispered from his perch on the bookshelf on top and to the left of the office doors.
Chauncey Dr’gon looked up from reading The Scribe’s newest book, which she had left on the desk when she went out that morning. “And?” He held a claw on the page he was almost finished reading.
“We want to know,” the smallest dr’gon perched on the old typewriter keys squeaked out.
“Yeah, tell why Cl’rnce can’t spell,” the gargoyle sitting next to Chauncey Dr’gon said. He pointed to The Scribe’s book. “There are plenty of books in here where dr’gon is spelled dragon.” He looked around at all the bookshelves.
“You’re talking about why Cl’rnce spells his name like he does without the ‘a’ and the first ‘e’, and why he spells dr’gon without an ‘a’. I suppose you want to know why it changed how all dr’gons spell?” Chauncey Dr’gon nodded to Garret gargoyle and the office dragons. “Good question,” he said, closing the book. “And a very good tale for a dark and stormy night.”
The typewriter’s keys clacked as the little dr’gons settled down for the story.
Settling into a comfortable squat, Chauncey began, “Well, It all started when Cl’rnce was young. Younger than in this book. He was a rowdy dr’gonelle, getting into plenty of trouble and causing plenty of chaos. It didn’t help that he was very spoiled and got his way almost all the time.”
“Which was because he was in line to be the next Primus!” Tricks and Treats Dr’gon said from the office doors, keeping his guardian stance as he peered out through the door’s glass panes. He always warned the office inhabitants if The Scribe was coming. It wouldn’t do for her to catch them talking and moving about.
“Yes. Cl’rnce was a very indulged little dr’gon. Spoiled. But his twin sister was something else, beautiful, with big lustrous eyes, glistening scales, and ever so smart.” Chauncey stopped and cleared his throat. He had’t meant to sound so wistful about Hazel. But the truth was he thought she was the most special dr’gon ever.
Chauncey stared into the shiny crystal ball next to him, wishing Hazel would come visit the office. The glassy-reflection of his plump body prodded him back to Cl’rnce and the story.
“Why doesn’t Hazel spell her name without vowels like Cl’rnce?” Smallest dr’gon asked.
“You know. Sisters especially older twin sisters…” Chauncey started.
“They do what they want no matter what!” Amythyst dr’gon rolled her eyes at her twin sister on the music box next to her. Agate rolled her eyes back, then stretched her neck to nip at Amythyst, who jumped up, which started the music going.
Which was a good thing, because it covered up the really big thunder clap that shook the office windows again. Chauncey raised his voice to try to restore order. “Yes. Sisters are special. Sometimes more special than one counts on.”
When all the dr’gons and stuffed animals were quiet again, he went on. “It was birthday time for the twins- Cl’rnce and Hazel. Hazel had long ago asked for a mirror to put on her cavern wall.”
From atop the bookshelves nearest the windows, Fuzzy Duck wriggled until her wings spread. “Very appropriate. When you are especially lovely like Hazel and I, you need to see yourself.”
Chauncey grinned. “Yes. Well, the point is that birthday day had arrived, and Cl’rnce still hadn’t decided what gift he wanted. It was between a moss-stuffed pillow and a special reed-woven hammock.”
“Even then he loved naps,” Chauncey added. “When Cl’rnce got up for BirthDay, he thought he’d been quite clever not asking for just one thing. He was sure his mother would get him two presents.
But when Cl’rnce, Hazel, and their mother gathered for breakfast, there was only one present. And it was wrapped in pink and purple with a huge tag that said, ‘Happy Birthday, Hazel’. Hazel squealed and ripped open her gift. It was a large carved mirror, with faceted crystal glass.
Hazel hugged her mother and raced to her cavern to put it up. Cl’rnce looked at his mother, lifting his eye-ridges. “I bet my presents are next.” He was already planning where he’d set up his hammock and how many naps he’d take with his new pillow.
His mother sat down across from him. “Cl’rnce you’re a clever fellow. You know there is only one gift on your birthday. The day is not finished. If you will tell me what you want, I’ll see that you have it.”
“But a hammock is no good without a pillow.” Cl’rnce put on his stubborn look, pursing his muzzle and squeezing his eyes. “It shouldn’t count as two presents.”
“But it is.” His mother’s eyes got that ‘I’m not going to discuss it’ look. She nodded at his breakfast bowl. “Are you done with your grains and berries?”
Cl’rnce tipped the bowl down his gullet and handed it to her. Once his mother made up her mind, there was no way to change it. For once Cl’rnce wasn’t ready for a nap. He was ready to go be mean to Hazel. It wasn’t fair that she got a present, and he didn’t.
But when Cl’rnce got to her cavern, she was nowhere around. The new birthday mirror was prominently displayed on the wall near Hazel’s desk. “That’s funny. Why doesn’t she have it by her riverside window. There’s more light to admire herself.”
He marched up to the mirror. But when he got to it, he got a surprise. Instead of seeing his own gorgeous reflection, he saw swirling fog or mists or something. He rubbed the mirror, but they wouldn’t go away. Cl’rnce knew what Hazel had done. “OH! Clever clever Hazel. She asked for a magical mirror! Now she can get a zillion presents!”
He looked at the mirror harder. “Or I can,” Cl’rnce said grinning at the swirls that were forming a dark center. “Mirror! Give me, Clarence Dragon, the world’s softest hammock AND a pillow. And set it up by the riverbank under the river oaks!” He waited a minute while nothing happened. He walked back and forth waiting. “I can’t believe this stupid mirror won’t get me what I want.”
He put his forepaws on his hips and reared up so that he was very tall and very menacing. “I, Clarence River Dragon command you, you miserable stupid mirror, to give me the special presents I want. And no stupid saying it’s two presents. I want both!” He spit at the mirror, a glob of berries and grains landed in the middle of the crystals.
The mirror began to shake. The swirls in its center got darker and circled faster. Rumbling like distant thunder swept out of the mirror. And then it exploded. Shards of crystal landed all around Cl’rnce. He stared down at the mess.
“I knew it!” Hazel stood in her cavern entrance. She wasn’t screaming, but the cold tone made the scales stand up on the back of Cl’rnce’s neck. “I knew you couldn’t stay away from my present.” She sighed. “So what exactly did you do?”
Cl’rnce tried to stand in front of the broken mirror to block her view of the ruined present. He didn’t know what to do next, but he knew he needed to delay the minute when Hazel figured out her gift was destroyed, gone, never going to work ever again. He waited for her to explode in anger.
But she didn’t run at him or shout. Hazel just bent down and picked up a crystal shard. “You really must have been rude. I’ve never seen a magical mirror curse someone before.”
“Curse?” Cl’rnce looked behind him. The mirror now reflected his image perfectly. Which was strange, but more strange- it wasn’t broken. He looked back at the floor. It was still littered with bits of crystals.
He picked one up. It had his name on it. Almost. “It’s spelled wrong.”
“Not now it isn’t, you dr’gon fluff!’ Hazel shook her head. “You did this to yourself and all of us. That isn’t just a magical mirror. It’s a smart mirror. You know, like educated. And you must have treated it badly, definitely insulted it if I know you. And it got even with you.”
“I just asked for my birthday presents,” Cl’rnce said.
“Right. And I’m sure you weren’t a bit snarky or demanding or insulting or … “ Her cheeks went red. She stopped, took a deep breath, and closed her eyes. “Do you see the shards? Do you see your name in the shards? The mirror got even with you. It took your name and broke it. The mirror permanently changed how your name is spelled, and since you obviously told it ‘dragon’ was part of your name, thank you from the rest of the Dr’gon Nations. Now and forever more dr’gon is spelled without an ‘a’.”
“Is that all?” Cl’rnce wasn’t sure spelling was a big deal.
Hazel rubbed her snout and put out a small flame. “We’ll find out if that’s all. Changing the spelling means all the records of the Dr’gon Nations are changed. But how much? Are other things changed? Are curses awoken? Is the future changed?” Her voice was low and scary.
Cl’rnce looked past her, thinking about how to escape.
Hazel sighed. “What’s done is done. I left your stupid birthday present in your cavern.” She gave him a hard look. “I don’t suppose you got me anything?”
“It depends on if the ‘a’ dropped out of your gift.” Cl’rnce looked over at her desk. He’d borrowed a pillow from his mother’s bed and attached a gift card addressed to Hazel that said ‘nap pillow.’ He was not sure he wanted to know if ‘nap’ had turned to ’n’p’, which might encourage Hazel to nip at him.
Chauncey glanced down at The Scribe’s new book. He smiled as he looked back around the office. “And that is why only humans call us dragons. We are all part of Cl’rnce’s Dr’gon Nations and the adventures that Cl’rnce and Great and Mighty Wizard stir up. Would you like to hear the story of how Cl’rnce met Great and Mighty?”