Aido-Hwedo waited while Bimba leaned back against the wall of the muddy ravine shaking in anguish and frustration. It had been so long since a human had been in her presence that she was content to observe quietly. Her empathy allowed her to feel the little human’s emotions, so much so that she cried as well, dragon’s tears. The sensation made her nostalgic, and her memory hearkened back to a time when dragons and mankind coexisted, if not in harmony or peace, at least without the present chaos in this realm. Then her mind went back to the time when she was a companion to the Gods.
She knew them all and delighted in their company, and they in hers. The world was new and full of endless wonders to behold. The Gods in their infinite curiosity and creativity constantly gave birth to new and amazing treasures. Aido-Hwedo flew through the skies above Pangea, the world’s one land mass as it was before parts drifted away from itself to form separate continents. Her wingless body held aloft by magic she had been gifted by the God who had created her. She never knew which one had given birth to her and it mattered not. She was always inhaling the bouquet of scents wafting up from the surface. Her keen eyes spied the brilliant colors that matched those in the scales of her lithe and powerful body. The rich greens of the plants, punctuated with dazzlingly colorful flowers of all shapes and sizes. She did not take her enhanced senses for granted but embraced every message her mind received from the world. She flew over all of the land and out over the ocean whenever she was not visiting with the various Gods in their domains.
Her favorite was Aberati, the Lunar God and Sky Father. She secretly hoped he was the one to create her, as she so loved to soar through the heavens. Visiting him high above the world, the moon offered a vista of her home that she found breathtaking. She plunged beneath the waters of the lakes, rivers, and even the ocean to see more beauty, astounding in its delicacy and grace. Then one day she spied her reflection on the surface of the water beneath her. Aido-Hwedo was glorious and vain and relished every opportunity to admire herself. Flying lower to get a close look she was shocked to find herself looking at another dragon.
The dragon was much larger than she, massive and impressive in its size and the power it gave off. It almost choked off the flow of the river as it flew through the water gracefully at a speed matching her own in the air.
The male dragon burst out of the water and was directly beneath her, flying inverted, its back to the water. Sharp and powerful talons seized her own and she bellowed in surprise and pain. She turned her flight into a steep ascent, her speed increasing to maximum in an attempt to shake her attacker. Rising high into the upper reaches of the sky where darkness engulfed them both, she felt her mind being touched.
The intimate mental contact was as much a seduction as an intrusion. She found herself breathless and her body flush right through her rainbow scales. Mokele-Membe was his name, “He Who Stops the Flow of Rivers” and the name fit as she had already noted.
Though she felt violated by this caressing of her mind as much as by the pulsing undulations of his body on hers, she found her own body responding against her will.
Reversing her direction, she brought them straight down toward the river, spiraling and sometimes looping in her flight. Just before they hit the water in a mighty plume of water, Aido-Hwedo felt Mokele-Membe enter her from beneath on her underbelly. It was at once as much agony as ecstasy and she roared to the Gods to save her from this.
His body now one with hers, he continued to stroke her mind with images she did not recognize, but knew on a visceral level. Then her body felt pleasure superceding the discomfort and she moaned and press back onto him. Both of their bodies shuddered and he released her and swam away, gone in the murky waters in the blink of her eye. The nictitating membrane, that was a second inner eyelid, closed to protect her eyes. They allowed her to see great distances under water, but she saw no trace of him.
Leaping into the air is a colorful spray of water, the sun dancing on the droplets as they fell back away from her. Her rainbow scales enhancing the effect made for a spectacular display.
As she rose into the air, her immediate thought was to expel whatever it was he had placed inside her. She did not know how to do it but would ask one of the Gods. She flew directly to the Garden to seek out the wise Komba, God of the Forests and Gardens. In flight, she began to feel uneasy and somewhat ashamed. She had enjoyed the contact with Mokele-Membe, indeed wanted more of it. In that instant, she felt life stir within her body.
Arriving in the Delightful Forest, Komba’s home in the world, lush with greenery and every possible color of flower and fruit, she hid in the dense foliage.
Unsure of what was happening to her, she abruptly realized the truth of it. Feeling as though she had done something wrong, she was afraid when she heard Komba calling to her. His melodious voice rippled on the breeze, tickling the leaves as it carried through the forest.
His presence announced to her body by the earth she lay on, and with which she covered herself. His proximity became oppressive and as he neared within sight of her, she jumped from her hiding spot and tried to fly away.
Komba gently caught her and cradled her in his God sized arms. Aido-Hwedo wept uncontrollably as she rested her head on his shoulders, not knowing what was making her so heart wrenchingly sad.
Before she knew what was happening, Komba had her out in front of him, held at his arm’s length, looking deeply into her eyes, her soul. He leaned in close and sniffed her loudly, his eyes twisting in recognition of the scent of her recent coupling. She saw his demeanor shift to one of displeasure as he cast her away from him. Without a word, with no more than an image cast into her mind, he announced that she was no longer welcome in his gardens. The life that was within her, that would soon burst forth from her loins, was inimical to the life in his forest.
Hurt beyond any torment she had ever suffered in her long life, she flew away, intent to never return to the Delightful Forest. In the span of moments she was ensconced in a cave deep within the Rwenzori Mountains, the Mountains of the Moon. This was the only land on Pangea blessed by Aberati, the Lunar Sky God. Here she would hide and give birth to her children. Here no one could ever hurt her again.
M. Zane McClellan
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