Mistica Chronicles

Welcome to Issue 34

Bluewakawaka Winning Entry

It would be a long time before I learned courage was a virtue and didn't only belong to "heroes." Then, as a small Tarinooki growing up near Lake Auberon, I didn't realize that a hero could be anybody, and the villains aren't always mean. Back then, I didn't realize a lot of things.

The day I started realizing was the day that I pushed my boundaries back towards the Inferno Terrain. The warm sand and dirt beneath my paws that cooled instantly as the sun sank beneath the horizon, painting the sky with ghoulish scarlet and color of the fire- these were things I'd remembered from my trips to the marketplace with my human. The volcano always stood like a monster, looming over the small city as if waiting to devour it, and clouding the sky with heavy black smog.

It was different alone.

Alone, everything seemed larger. The reds and oranges seemed deeper in the sky, as if seared into the horizon. The galleon of smog floated across the thickly painted sky, tossing and turning in the wind. And above them all, a silent and ominous tyrant, was the volcano.

Lance, my fashionable guru friend saw me. His eyes followed mine to where they rested on the volcano. "You're waiting for the monster, then?" he asked.

"Of course." He should know that. Ever since my owner let me wander off more, I always came here to hear the monster. "He's going to roar isn't he?"

Lance nodded, his velvety black fur rustling in the wind. His eyes were the color of the fiery horizon, along with his bright orange hair and red tipped fingers. "Always does."

Then we heard it. It started with a tremble from the ground you could feel rush through your bones, and then came the loudest, hollow, deep, terrifying and terrified bellow that rumbled through the air and shook the sky. It was the sound of a dragon. It roared again and again, piercing ears and made blood curl. The desert rats scampered and hid beneath stores, and silence reigned over the desert again.

"Goodnight, my desert," it seemed to be saying. "Goodnight."

I stood there, amazed. "Lance? Is it true that the dragon is roaring because it's warning people to stay away from it?"

Lance shrugged. "Everyone has their own opinion. Some people say it's a warning. I say it's because he doesn't have friends."

At this I turned my head. "No friends?"


I wasn't surprised. I wouldn't expect to have many friends if I lived inside a fiery volcano and roared like that. What terrors it evoked when it roared! What mysteries and questions filled my mind when that deep, beckoning sound filled the air. I needed to know what the dragon looked like, I wanted to know why he roared.

"Have you seen the dragon Lance?"

"Once or twice."

"What was he like?"

"I can't say really. It's not my place to say."

I frowned. What couldn't he say to me? His life long friend?

"Fine. I'll find out myself."

A cat-like, mischievous grin spread across his face and his eyes sparkled like the sun. "I'm glad. He'll like to see you. He doesn't get many visitors you know, and told me he would love to meet his number one fan."

My eyes widened. "You're joking, Lance! He didn't say that. You said you've only seen him once or twice before! You were telling the truth, right?"

He smiled, that grin still placidly spread across his face. "Goodnight." With that, he closed his shutters and the light in his shop flickered off.

I turned towards the mountain, and paused. Then I shouted as loud as my small lungs could, "You should come out once in a while!" Spinning around, I darted back towards my house.

The next day, as the sun peered through my window, a note laid next to me.

"You should come see me once in a while."