Alright. Since Wilderness is kind of hanging in a weird state of limbo right now (don't worry, it's not an abandoned project. I just need to synchronize with my characters again) I figured I'd post some of my non-PokeMon writings here on 'charms. Here shalt thou find random one-shots written over the years - and though sometimes thematically linked, they have no relation to each other at all. I shall post them one story per post (like the chapters on Wilderness). Turning Point Or: Last Thoughts of the Last of the Dragons Somewhere, beyond the horizon, between darkness and light, on that thin border line between chaos and order, between transparency and clarity, between positive infinity and negative infinity, lies a magical valley where the last of the dragons still remaining in our world dwells. Her crystalline scales, that have once glowed in every colour of the rainbow, have long since faded into a pale shade of white gold, as if they were trying to remember a single spark of what they have once been. Her flowing mane has faded from sky-blue to grey with a pale, bluish tint. Her wings – once covered in black feathers, within which the light of the stars was embedded in little pinpricks of light – were battered and bruised. And her eyes - in which one could see, until not so long ago, an entire microcosm - have lost their radiance, and now one could only see a few dim, distant stars, nearly faded away. The silence before the storm. Only one who has ever seen a dragon in its prime could feel the sadness in the sight of a dragon in its fading, and few are the creatures that lived long enough to see the same dragon through all the years of its life. As dragons were granted incredibly long – even if not eternal – life, and ancient wisdom, most of which has long since been lost to the mists of time. She has borne witness to the great rises and falls of life in this world, and much like the rest of her kind, she realized, sooner or later, that her time was at an end. That the time of the dragons in our world was over. That there wasn’t a single place left in which she could fly as freely as in the olden days - in times before the age when exact sciences took the place of legends. Before concrete and iron took the place of the open plains. Before the green of grass and forests, the radiance of the sun and the glitter and shine of the stars have been replaced by the green of money notes, the radiance of precious metals and the glitter and shine of gemstones. Before the world has sold its soul to people whose interests lay solely in the acquiring of power and wealth, maximizing their profits out of any given situation – the very same people who lived in perpetual protection of treasures they have gathered in numerous ways, guarded in underground vaults under tight security and perpetual firepower, and never being happy with what they already had. She grimaced remembering the old legends that described dragons as fire-breathing monsters who dedicated their whole lives to looting and pillaging, lived in caves in which they hoarded their treasures – and alas for those who would have wandered into their lairs – no matter their intentions. “History fools us in such exquisite ways.” She mused. Within every legend, there is a core of truth, so the proverb says - although a more ancient proverb says that the role of stories, whichever they may be, is to tell us something about ourselves. Accumulating wealth and fortune was never the way of the dragons – it was humans who needed something for the fable’s sake, and firmly believed that ‘their’ dragons were the only ones that existed. The few who have managed to see a real dragon – and look, even for a second into its eyes – immediately realized that true dragons never played with masks and stories – they were creatures of truth and beauty. The few who have encountered a true dragon have also realized that ‘their’ dragons were simply monsters and nightmares, the likes of which can only be found among human beings. In every legend, there was always a fragment of light in the darkness – a gallant knight who would defeat the greedy monsters and bring forth justice. No more knights. The age of chivalry was long gone. Even the knights have sold their souls. For among men there have always been those who would use anything they could find to promote a certain goal. They had their own dragons – beings of filth and sin, direct extensions of their devil, sent to the earth only so "saints" of all sorts would be able to cleanse the world of their presence in the name of a certain idea, a certain belief, a certain profit... And ultimately, in the name of power. Power-hungry people using power-hungry monsters to promote their own power – leading a certain organization, a certain religion, a certain idea - no matter how righteous or pure it seemed to them. Power corrupts, and they knew it well. Lo and behold – without noticing, they gradually became the same creatures that they have preached against. And as time went by, fables became legends, legends became tales, and tales became something trivial and irrelevant – amusing fibs designed to entertain old friends around a burning bonfire. Songs that were written about death and plagues have lost their meaning long ago, and have become lullabies for children who could not fall asleep at night. And man began to live in a constant rat-race to stay in line with progress – the race for wealth and power, and alas for that which would stand in the way. The bandwagon rolls, and those who wouldn’t jump upon it would be left far behind or trampled underneath its wheels. And there is no force heavenly, earthly or diabolical which could serve as a barrier or an obstacle. And it accelerates with every moment which passes. And in time, when the understanding came that there was more lost than gained in this way, it was too late. They were trapped within an ever-tightening loop, from which there was no turning back. The last of the dragons spreads her wings, almost powerlessly, raises her head towards the sky, her long neck curving in grace that has not left it in spite of the years, and howls an ancient melody to the full moon. A beautiful, yet sad and hollow melody, echoing through the basic fabric of the world. The ‘swan song’ of a dying dragon. In a world like this, there was no more room for her. For a dragon, physical life is only a mid-point and physical death is not the end of the journey, but only a turning point in the tale. But for the world, it is a moment of recognition. Something will make the foundations of creation tremble, and thousands of millions will suddenly experience a sense of loss. Some will try to get to the bottom of this feeling. Some will have tears in their eyes, and some would drop anything that they were doing to tell the people dear to them that they love them. And maybe, for a little while, people will look beyond their narrow scope of the world and see the big picture - and maybe, just maybe, understand what is truly important... And after a while, life will go on. It always does, especially when people are too bothered with their own matters to feel anything for too long. And for all the days that will follow, all that would be left of the dragons would be memories. The last of the dragons curls up to a ball and wraps her wings around her body. The lone stars that are still alight in her eyes collapse into themselves. The universe within her eyes comes to an end, and the light her eyes shine – blue light, brighter than bright – wraps her body slowly in waves upon waves of uncertainty, and she vanishes from one dream into another, purer dream. The thin border is broken. Reality and dream, order and chaos are one. Transparency becomes clear and clarity becomes transparent. Positive infinity washes into a vortex of negative infinity, negative infinity washes into a vortex of positive infinity – and they are both made into none. The valley has gone. And the world continues, completely unaware that it has ever been there. And somewhere, far away in the night sky, a rain of falling stars falls, glowing in pure, radiant light. Forever.