Dracaena (Dragon Tree)Posted by Sara C. Snider on Apr 4, 2015 in A to Z Challenge, Short Stories | 30 comments
It is said that there once was a Tree so great that it encompassed the entire world. Its roots drank from the vast oceans, and its branches reached into the heavens and soaked up the silvery light of the stars.
It is also said that there once was a dragon queen, Dracaena, whose scales were as black as the Void. She fed on light and, like the Void, could never find enough to satiate her appetite. She flew past the great World Tree and was angered how it consumed the light she desired for herself.
So Dracaena breathed her foul breath at the world—a miasmic cloud of poison and disease. The oceans soured and the World Tree sickened. The Tree then pulled nourishment from the stars and was healed and, in turn, healed the oceans beneath its roots.
Dracaena retreated and fell into a deep slumber and, after a thousand years, she awakened and returned. Still, the Tree absorbed the starlight, and again she was angered. Once again she breathed her foul breath at the world—a blazing torrent of fire and ash. The oceans boiled and evaporated, and the World Tree sickened. Then the ashes settled and the embers cooled, and the Tree wept tears of salt that formed the oceans anew.
Once again Dracaena retreated and fell into a deep slumber, waking only after a thousand years had passed. Again she flew past the World Tree, and again was angered how it stole her starlight. She perched in the Tree’s great branches, and breathed her foul breath upon the World Tree itself.
This time, her breath was darkness and sorrow, emptiness and despair. She pulled it from the very depths of the Void and, as she breathed, the Void claimed both her and the World Tree, leaving our world abandoned and exposed to the cold light of the stars.
And though our world survived, it is because of Dracaena that sickness and disease claim our elderly, that fires claim our homes, and that sorrow and despair plague us in the depths of the night. It was she who unleashed these horrors upon the world, and without the World Tree, these wounds can no longer be healed.
It is said that one day, Dracaena will find her way out of the Void. When she does, she’ll return and devour the stars, and our world will forever be consumed by darkness.
We must pray that such a day never comes.