Dragon Spotted in Local Bookshop
There’s a bookshop I frequent every week. It’s not very big, about the size of a closet. I’ve often marveled how so many books could fit in there. It has more books than those large, spacious, brightly lit stores with their books neatly shelved with spaces between categories. Shelves here start on the floor and rise towards the ceiling; some books lie on the very top in the narrow crack between the shelf tops and the ceiling. It’s a bookshop where you’ll find children’s books, novels, atlases, encyclopedias. Algebra and trigonometry often are found beside cookbooks and science fiction. There are new releases and books dating back to the medieval era.
In any case, I was in this bookshop trying to decide which type of book I was really wanting to read when I thought I felt something brush ever so lightly on the top of my head. Being a man with a stature of nearly six and a half feet, I found this to be a little bit odd. Could it have been a fly or a bee? No. I would have heard a buzz and I doubt I would have felt such a creature in my thick brown hair. Could it have been a bird? A small bird? It would have had to be a bird characterized by silent flight or one with great gliding abilities. Maybe it was a bird. After all, I was focused on finding a good book.
I continued my search for the perfect book, the one to keep me enthralled for the next week. I examined each spine, finally pulling one out that grabbed my attention. I admit I normally stay well within the confines of manga and science fiction, with the occasional romance, but I felt compelled to take this particular book off the shelf.
Modern Alchemy: Quick Reference Guide for Today’s Alchemist. I took the tome, all 2500 pages, off the shelf. The cover creaked as I opened it as in a dream. 1382. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Thinking I was imagining things, I closed the book and shook my head. I was about to place this book back on the shelf, but stopped when I saw a golden creature sitting in the place where this book had sat earlier.
The golden lizard shone as it sat in the space on the shelf, in spite of the lack of light in the bookshop. I watched as it curled its long tail around and around, making its body taller. It stopped and stared at me,like a cobra hypnotizing its prey before it attacks. Before I quite knew what was happening, it threw its head down in the centre of the spiral it had created with its slender body. It grabbed its tail with its front claws and rolled a bit in the space. It poked its head out from its tangled body. Its emerald green eyes sparkled with joy. Small white clouds puffed from its nostrils. It opened its mouth. I could see its shiny, ivory fangs, its fire-red tongue wave up and down as if to say hello.
I stood frozen as I watched it play like this. I stood frozen, but admired every shiny scale, the sharpness of its five claws on each of its four feet, the soft goat-like beard, the deer-like horns. I gathered enough courage to reach out towards it. I just wanted to feel the texture of the shimmering scales. That’s all I longed for at that moment. I reached out, but it straightened like a rope being pulled taught, and vanished. Just vanished.
I stood frozen before the shelf. I stood frozen in disbelief. Was that a dragon I saw? But dragons don’t exist.
I looked down at the tome in my hands, Modern Alchemy: Quick Reference Guide for Today’s Alchemist, created in 1382. This book was coming home.
Now every time I open this book, a delicate aroma of lavender and blue bells washes me away. I close my eyes and I see the bookshelf creature again, clear as the day I saw it. No. That was not a bird or a lizard or a snake. For the first and only time in my life, I had spotted a real dragon.
Witness: Darcy Petraflinched