Fair hair and sky blue eyes. Pale and thin. Your footsteps so light that they can barely be heard. You dance with the sun as it rises and sing to it when it sets. Little beauty, so innocent and free, like a bird you fly from flower to tree, from sunrise to sunset.
Lips sing your name and hands reach out to touch your golden hair. You sing to them, your voice so silent yet so strong. You are loved. And you love.
But you do not see him. Blacker than ink and stronger than iron. He stands cloaked in the night, watching you, waiting for you.
In one moment, your world changes. Light and black swirl together, fighting for the treasure, fighting for you. He reaches out. His filthy hands grasp your tender heart. Your pure soul, so white, so unbroken trembles before the evil. His eyes blaze fire as he leaves you in the dust, taking with him his prize.
“Dragon.” He whispers over you. “Lily is mine.” He turns, crushing the white flower of a pure heart beneath his heel.
Blood red and inky black scales form over your delicate hands and your white face. Your tender eyes died when your heart was buried in the dust. They are replaced by leaping sparks and angry fire.
The empty place where your heart should have been, is replaced by a cold stone. You are no longer loved. You no longer love. When the sun rises, you fight everyone who dares to approach you. And when the stars begin their nightly dance, you fight yourself. You tear at the face of the hideous creature that you have become.
Your one desire in life is revenge. Retaliation against the one who threw your world into darkness. Yet you cannot find him. You roam the streets and paths, searching for him. And when you see joyous children, he whispers in your ear. “Dragon.” You wound innocent youth, innocent as you once were. You are a monster, hating and destroying. You are abhorred and despised.
He stands out of reach, yet you know he is always near, reminding you of who you are.
“Unloved. Unworthy. Monster. Dragon.”
Day after day, you chase his shadow. Hating him yet not able to break free from his chains. You are numb. Your stone heart is too hard to feel. You are lost in a sea of pitch-blackness.
But you have not lost all of who you are. You see something lying in the dust. Your clawed fingers reach down and grasp it. Torn and bruised, the once-white lily is faded and broken. Hot tears splash against it, causing it to wither in your hold. You drop your scaly head to the ground and whisper one word in a hoarse voice.
You remember who you once were. Sobs wrack your whole body as you mourn the loss of the innocent girl you once were.
“Am I too far gone?” You whisper into the blackness. “Will I always be Dragon?” You stare into the darkness, longing for answers, longing for hope. In the distance, you see something; someone. A flash of light.
“Lily. Lily! Come to me!”
The stone inside of you begins to warm, beating rhythmically. You look frantically, searching, longing for the voice that uttered your name.
You are unable to move. Invisible chains wrap themselves around your wrists and your ankles. Through the hazy fog that is your vision, two figures become clear. Both stand tall and strong; both are fighting for you. The first form you know. He is wrapped in a cloak of angry red flames that mirror his eyes. But the second figure has captivated your gaze. His very being is made from a pure, white light. He turns to you and places his hand over chest.
“Lily.” The light speaks softly over you, whispering your true identity. The stone becomes hot. Instead of the blank numbness that you have felt for so long, you feel deep pain starting in your hardened heart and spreading throughout your whole body. You fall to your knees and cry out.
The Red Cloak sees that his power over you is weakening. With a roar, he turns fiercely upon The Light. You watch as evil fire and pure light clash and struggle against each other. At last Red Cloak turns to you and cries out, “Choose between us!” He glares at you, his eyes burning your very core.
The Light shouts to you. “Lily! You are loved! You can be forgiven! You are not lost forever!”
“Dragon!” Red Cloak seethes. Fire drips from his mouth. “Who would want you after all you have done? You murdered innocent children! You are unlovable. You are worthless!”
Your body feels like fire. You tremble. Evil and Good fight for you, before your very eyes. You open your mouth, yet you cannot find your voice.
“My child!” The Light reaches out a hand to you. “Remember who you are! Remember the days of joy! Remember your true identity! You are not defined by what you have done. Let me change you!”
You stretch out your hand. The chains around your wrist melt away. Red Cloak roars at you. His power is disappearing, his grasp on you becoming weak.
“You are Dragon! You can never change who you are!” His eyes flash. “Choose now between us.”
With a desperate cry, you muster the last of your strength and grasp the outstretched hand of The Light. The darkness, the fire and Red Cloak fade from view. You are standing alone with The Light. Ashamed, you stare down at your scaly feet, your angry dragon eyes dripping boiling tears.
“I’m not Lily.” You whisper. “I’m a monster.”
The Light stares deep beyond your eyes, into your very soul. “You are not Dragon anymore.” He touches your chest again. The stone inside of you melts away. The black fire in your eyes dies away. “You are freed from Evil.” You fall, unable to stand, helpless at the blinding feet of The Light. “And you will be Lily once again.” He holds the dirty, torn flower before you.
“It’s impure.” Tears fall as you think of the snow white bud that your heart once was. “It’s defiled.”
“It is.” The Light holds the flower gently. “But it can be clean again. You can be whole again.” He presses it to his heart and slowly the dirt fades and the pure whiteness shines out. “Let Lily live again.” He speaks powerfully, as he presses the delicate flower into the empty gap in your chest. He raises you up and gives you strength to stand. “You are Lily. And each day you will see her more.” He fades from view, yet you hear a strong voice whisper in your ear. “You are not alone. I am always with you.”
You look down at your hands. They are still covered with red and black scales. You tremble with dismay. Yet as you look closer, you see a small gap between the tightly woven guard, the heavy armor you hide behind. From that gap shines a pure light.
Every morning, you lose some of your dragon scales and you begin to look like the old Lily again. But ever since the moment that your heart was healed, you know that Dragon has gone and that Lily has returned, more beautiful than before and shining brightly; sharing hope and spreading joy.
A quick reminder for all of you in the art contest, your artwork needs to be completed and sent in by TOMORROW! Please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org