I woke up to the dull aching throughout my body. I tried to sit up as slowly as possible. I looked down at my hands and see dried, cracked, red blood. My green Polo sweater was damp and darkened with blood. The worse part is I don't even know if it is my blood or someone else's. I tried so hard to remember what happened the night before but I can't. Trying to makes my head hurt even more. I felt like I have a mega hangover but I know it's much worse than that. It's a curse and I can't get rid of it.
Every night, at preciously 11:11 PM, I turn into a dragon and stay that way until 11:11 the next morning.
The damn wrist watch the Irish traveling sales man tricked me into buying reads 11:30 AM. I look around me and see where I am. I always wind up at this place. Surrounded by a swamp and bones. Some human, some animals, some completely unknown. It was a graveyard and my home. I, of coursed, had no where else to go. I tried to prevent myself from causing havoc by chaining myself to trees or bones in the graveyard around 11 PM but it was no use. When I turned into a dragon I became to strong and would break the chains. I never know what I do until the next day and start walking around. Buildings collapsed, people killed or even eaten, houses burned to ground; I did it all.
I hated myself.
I also hated the sales person who sold me this watch. The night I got this watch was the first night I turned into a dragon and then again the next night. I figured out it was the watch when I woke up after the second night and saw that it was glowing a ark shade of purple and emitting a tiny amount of some kind of gas. I watched it slowly stop glowing and stop letting off the gas and then it looked normal again.
I can't take it off. Believe me, I've tried. I have tried to even cut my hand off but I always loose my nerve once I start. The sight of blood makes me sick.
I quickly changed into a pair of black cargo pants and a blue sweatshirt that I had hidden under a large boulder in the graveyard. I walked back to my one bedroom apartment down town. On my way I saw what I always saw when walking down the streets. Terrified faces, blood, smoke, people leaving town. I was responsible. I ran the rest of the way home because I couldn't stomach the sights and sounds any longer.
I locked myself away in my apartment and sat the kitchen table and began saw away at that thick band on the wrist watch. I already knew it wouldn't help but I had to have something to do in my spare time. I quit my job because I was always stressed and could longer focus. I stopped going to see my parents across town because all they could talk about is the dragon terrifying the town and how we should all move away together to be safe. Little did they know they would never be safe with me. I tried to break up with my beautiful girlfriend who has been nothing but amazing the whole two years we've be dating but she won't hear of it. She keeps telling me that we will work through whatever is wrong. But we can't and she doesn't get that! Everyday she calls me ten times and stops by my apartment to and from work. I listen to her pounding on my door by but I don't let her in. It's best this way. She'll move on eventually. She has to.
Ring ring. I heard a bell tolling coming from outside. I looked out my kitchen window and saw him. The man who sold me this watch. He was standing there with his cart of "goods" and had a line of customers paying him for his cheap stuff since most of the stores in town had been destroyed.
I sprinted down the stairs and marched over to his cart. "Thank ye, ma'am. It's a pleasure doing business with - Ah! Ow!" I grabbed him by the shirt collar and pushed him against a brick building wall. "Hey! What's the big idea?" He looked off to the side back at his customers which were slowly walking away. "No, wait! Come back! Ahhh! See that, yer scared away all me customers."
"You!" I slammed him into the wall again but this time a bit harder. "You sold me this watch. You ruined my life. You cursed me." I lowered my voice to a whisper before saying, "You turned my into a dragon."
"Curse? Oh no no no, laddy! I-" He started protesting but I slammed his back against the wall again and got closer to him. I saw smoke blow into his face, my hands tightened in a fist around his shirt collar was scaly and I felt my eyes shift and turn cold. I let go of his shirt and shook my head vigorously. I looked back down at my hands and then they turned back to normal. "See? It wasn't intended to be a curse of any kind. As long as ye can control the magic. I can ya the watch because I saw a power in ye. Tame the beast. That's why I sold ye the watch. If ye can tame the dragon then there won't be any problems, laddy. Ye can turn into the dragon whenever ye like."
"Tame it? Control it? I don't want it! Take it off!" I waved my wrist in his face. "Take it off!"
"Ah! But I can't. See, laddy. The power of the beast chose ye and I can't change that." He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Sorry, lad! But I give ye me word. The beast can be controlled and tamed. Ah! Hello, lassy!" He turned to see an elderly woman looking at produce from his cart. He patted me on the shoulder and walked away. I ran quickly back upstairs to my apartment. I stared at myself for a long while in the bathroom mirror. I felt nothing but rage and maybe that is why my eyes kept changing color from blue to red and slanted and my skin was cracking and kept changing textures.
I panic and punched the mirror. I looked down at my fist covered in dark red blood. It hypnotically ran down my knuckles. I grabbed a towel from the bathroom hook on wall behind me and wiped the blood from my hand. I threw the towel down on the ground and ran to my front door. I had to get back to the graveyard. When I opened the door my girlfriend was there with her fist raised in the air as if she was about to knock on the door. "Phillip!" She had a beautiful smile. It was heartwarming and heart wrenching.
"Lisa, I can't do this. I have to go." It hurt me to blow her off like this and avoid her. I squeezed past her and ran down the street leaving her standing alone. I made it to the graveyard about thirty minutes later. I sat down panting and sweating. I looked down at my wrist watch and saw it was emitting that gas it usually does when I'm about to transform into the dragon. "No no no!" I began shouting and punch the watch. "Ugh!" I closed my eyes and tried to calm down. Maybe if I could remain calm I could control - AHHHH!!!!" The transformation was starting again. The pain was excruciating. It felt like my flesh was burning off my body and my bones like they were breaking into pieces. When I opened my eyes my vision was narrowed and tainted. I huffed and let out a trail of thick dark smoke. Before I knew it I took off into the early afternoon sky. I was headed to the town to destroy what was still standing and breathing and I was okay with that now.
By the time I got to the town and was circling it in the sky people were fleeing and screaming. It made me feel a sick sense of pride and power. I breathed fire on houses and stores and watched as people ran outside with fire dancing on their clothes. They were frantically rolling around on the ground to put out the fire. I filled the streets with firing, blocking people's exits. "What a monster!" People cried. "Dear God, save us!" Nothing could save them from me. "Phillip, please stop this!" I hear a sweet voice call from behind me. "Phillip!" I turned around and saw Lisa standing at the end of the street. She looked beautiful even when she was scared. I loved her but I started charging towards her. I was planning on eating her alive! I wanted to hurt the love of my life. No no no! It wasn't me. It was the dragon. Maybe i could control it. I had my own mind. I was just stuck inside the dragons body. I conditioned running with no signs of stopping. I looked down at my arm and saw the wrist watch. I looked back at Lisa who began crying but she wouldn't run away. I couldn't bare losing her but there was something I wouldn't mind losing. I bit down hard on my tricep and yank my entire arm off my body. All of the pain came at once. The pain of losing my arm and the pain of transforming back to my human state. I feel to my knees and lowered myself on my back. I looked at my shoulder and cringed at the sight of the raw flesh, broken bone and blood oozing from the wound. I turned my head and closed my eyes. "Phillip? Phillip!" I heard Lisa calling me but I couldn't open my eyes and see the pity and disappointment on her face. Plus, the pain was so bad I just wanted to sleep. I felt so tired. "Phillip, please answer me. Please!" I opened my eyes when I heard her start crying. A look of relief washed over. I tried to raise my left hand to touch her cheek but throbbing pain shooting through my shoulder reminded me that I didn't have an arm there anymore. I gritted my teeth and groaned. "Ssshh!" Lisa knelt over me and spoke in a soft and reassuring voice. "Just relax."
"How did you know it was me?" I said through the pain.
"I followed you." She said simply. She stroked my hair back from my forehead and smiled before saying, "You didn't think you could get rid of me that easily, did you?"
I chuckled and closed my eyes before my world went black.
I woke up in a hospital room and my shoulder wrapped in stiff white bandages. I looked to my right and saw Lisa asleep in a chair next to my bed. A knock sounded from the outside of my door. "Come in." I said groggily.
"Aye! Hello there laddy! A familiar short, stocky, red-haired, blue-eyed Irishman stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. "How ya feeling?"
I rolled my eyes and sighed. "Like I just had my arm bitten off by a dragon."
He nodded his head and looked full of pity. "Aye, I understand that. Well, I see ye didn't tame the beast like I said ye should. But ye did control it. Well done, laddy! You'll tame it yet too."
"What are you talking about?" I glared at the man and said, "I bit my own arm off to get that watch of me. I don't have to deal with that problem anymore."
"Ayeeee," He dragged out and looked down at his feet like he was embarrassed. Then he said, "About that. Ye see, the power of the beast is still in ye. The watch was just a mere reminder. But ye don't have to worry too much. Ye already are learning the dragons strengths and weaknesses. Ye were able to turn into the today before it was time. Ye did that with yer anger. Ye were able to make the dragon do what ye wanted when ye were about to kill lassy there. Ye did that with love. Now ye just have to to tame those emotions and know how to use 'em."
"But-" I started to tell him I didn't want to tame anything or control anything and that I didn't want to have the power of the dragon in me but he interrupted.
"I know yer concerns. Ye don't have to tell me twice. But listen to me. Dragons can be kind and helpful. It just takes someone to bring it out of 'em. Ye can do it but first ye has to tame and control ye own self."
And that was the start of my journey to controlling and taming a dragon inside me. I ran away from my home that night and lost myself in a dessert so I wouldn't cause any more destruction. It's been three years now and I am back home. I helped restore the town back to it's original glory, I married Lisa and made up for the lost time with my parents. I am also the protector of the town or should I say the dragon and I protect the town. I can now transform into dragon or human state whenever I want. I help the dragon tame his hurt from not experiencing love and happiness. He helps me control my anger. We work together.
We help each other. We work together for good. The Irishman was right. Dragons can be kind and helpful. So can I.
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