Appearance

It was the 22nd of May, Aaron's birthday. Aaron was overjoyed about this day. He was turning 18, and his parents had gotten him a pistol. This wasn't just any pistol. No, this was a customized IMI .50 caliber Action Express Desert Eagle with red dragon skin and a high output laser sight. Even better, he was also given over 1,000 rounds of ammo and 3 clips for his new sidearm. Aaron had an unnatural love for three things: guns; blades (like swords and knives); and most all, dragons. He had prime examples of all these things. He had a M1 Garand; a red five inch kult knife that he affectionately called his Claw; a crimson bladed, hand and a half long sword that he named Talon's Fang (the Fang for short); multiple stories, figurines, and drawings of dragons; and now, he had a desert eagle with a red skin and a scaled texture finish.
    That afternoon, Aaron passed a couple of hours at the small gun range behind the house shooting at some targets. At 8:00, Aaron spent 3 hours learning how to clean and maintain his new sidearm. It was 11:07 p.m. before he finally laid his head on his pillow. A minute later, before he about to close his eyes and submit to the grasp of sleep, a brilliant, white light flooded his room. It stung his eyes with such an intensity that he felt as if they were on fire. For some reason, Aaron began to lose consciousness. After about thirty seconds of exposure, he blacked out.

•••


    When Aaron regained consciousness, he was lying in the middle of the floor in his room. He got up and walked over to his nightstand. The clock read, 10:50 am. His parents must have gone to church without him. With a groan, Aaron stretched his muscles and slipped on some pants. As he opened the door to his room, he heard a thud. A small squeak followed. Aaron turned around slowly and his eyes fell upon a crimson, scaly tail with a spade tip at the end protruding from around his bedpost. Curious, Aaron grabbed it and it let out the same squeaky yelp that he'd heard before. Aaron let go of the appendage in a fit of surprise. He looked around the side of his bed and saw that the tail was connected to a larger body of scales. From the body, four appendages and a head. All were covered in the same, crimson shaded scales. The face had multiple black spikes on it. Right above the bony, spiked eye ridges were two long, black horns that curved up slightly at the end. A row of onyx spines ran from the top of the skull to the tip of the tail. Two membranous wings protruded from its back. After about ten minutes of staring, Aaron finally realized what his eyes beheld. It was a dragon! Not just any dragon, this was the one he had created for his stories and drawing, it was what he saw himself as on the inside. This dragon had a name, a name that Aaron knew all too well: Talon. He had the body of a hatchling, only three feet long from tip-to-tail and hardly one foot tall at the shoulders. His neck was probably around six to eight inches long.
    A tendril of thought touched the edges of Aaron's mind and, before he could react, seized it. A small yet loud voice like that of a ten year old child rang in his head. HI!
    Surprised, Aaron jumped backwards and hit his head on the wall, giving him a dull headache. Shaking it off, he ran out of his room and into the kitchen. I'm going insane! He thought. I need to get something to eat and clear my head.
    Aaron heard the soft click, click of claws on the hardwood floor. He ignored it. All he wanted to do was eat in peace. He sat down at the table with a bowl cereal. Again, the dragons mind touched him, What are you doing? Aaron jumped out of his chair, spilling the cereal all over the table and floor. Oh, sorry, the young drake said, Did I frighten you?
    “Yes, you scared me!” Aaron screamed at the dragon. Taking a few moments, Aaron began to accept that either he was going crazy or that the dragon next to him on the floor was really there. He was hoping for the later. He was an honors/AP student. He was a person of superior mental intellect and stability. If he was going crazy, it would put his entire future at stake. Regaining his composure, Aaron decided to talk to the little dragon once more, “Sorry for yelling, I just wasn't prepared for this sort of thing, and I was a bit scared.”
    You can speak to me through your mind as well. As for you freaking out on me, I understand.
    Aaron used his mind and followed the intangible link of Talon's mind and latched on to it, Well, this is different. Can you hear me? He asked.
    Yeah, I can hear you perfectly. Came the reply. How is it?
    It is... he broke off for a second; it’s something I can adjust to.
    Cleaning up his mess, he concluded that he should go out into the woods behind the house to sort things out. He grabbed a large apple. It would have to suffice for his breakfast. Before heading out, Aaron pocketed his Claw and belted on the Fang along with his pouch that carried his three throwing knives. Talon followed his every step, taking in everything that the human did. He wanted to know more about this creature that he was strangely attached to.
    When Aaron opened the door to the outside world, Talon asked, Where are you going?
    I'm going for a walk in the woods. Aaron replied.
    Can I come too?
    Sure!

•••


    Aaron trudged through the woods with Talon jubilantly padding along behind him. The end of Talon's muzzle bumped into the back of Aaron's leg when he abruptly stopped at the edge of a clearing.
    Talon, Aaron said. Stay right here. You can watch if you want, but I doubt if you'll be interested. Talon sat on his rump, his eyes had a look of intrigue in them. Stepping out into the middle of the clearing, Aaron drew his sword. The crimson blade of the Fang caught the rays of the late morning sun and cast a red glow over the entire clearing. He began with slow, deliberate forms and stances; each one flowing seamlessly to the next. He gradually picked up the pace until he was a blur. He went through every form he knew, including a few that he'd made up on his own. It seemed like an endless wave of jumping, slashing, blocking, and stabbing. In one final strike; Aaron spun and, following the direction of his swing, loosed the three throwing knives at a tree 30 feet away. Returning his sword to his scabbard, Aaron went to inspect his handiwork with the throwing knives. One throwing knife was deeply imbedded within the trunk of the tree at neck level. The other two had impacted directly below it. Any of the three hits would be lethal.
    His mind now clear, he returned to Talon at the edge of the clearing and the two headed back home. On the way back, Talon began a small barrage of questions, What were you doing?
    I was going through some combat moves. He replied.
    Why?
    I usually do it to clear my mind, so I can think clearly.
    Oh. Is something bothering you?
    No, not really. It's just that a lot has happened this morning. It was then that Aaron had discovered a problem: should he hide Talon from his parents? How would he go about doing that?
    Is there something bothering you, Aaron? Talon piped up.
    Yeah, I just got to thinking, how I'm going to hide you from my mother and father. Aaron replied with a hint of concern.
    Want to know what I think?
    What?
    I think that your parents have a right to know about me. After all, they love you and care for you. It would be an insult not to let them know about another life form that was living in their house.
    But what about my friends and people at school? I don't think I can trust all of them.
    Well, if you can't trust them in the first place, they shouldn't be your friends. But for the other people, I can turn myself invisible, so that no one can see me.
    Are you sure you possess such ability? I have a friend coming over who needs help with a biology assignment. I would like to see this beforehand, so that I know how it works. Could you please show me?
    Sure thing! Almost immediately after Talon said that, he began to fade away from sight. His small, crimson body slowly turned translucent until he could no longer be seen.
    That's awesome! Aaron exclaimed. Talon was still there, the foot prints being the only visible sign that he was there. Talon moved closer to Aaron and found that any sound that was normally generated from his movements were nonexistent. Okay, Talon, I'm impressed. How did you know that you could do that?
    I don't know. I just did. Talon replied as he returned to a visible state. I guess it's just natural.

•••


    When the two of them returned to the house, Aaron's parents, Levi and Ruth, had returned from church. Aaron had Talon cloak himself for the time being. He needed to talk to at least one of them. His father was getting ready for a business meeting so that left Aaron's mother. She was sitting on the couch reading a book called, Christianity and Teens. He had never heard of it before, he concluded that it was something from the church's library.
    “Hey, Mom,” Aaron said as he sat down on the side of the couch opposite of Ruth. “How was church this morning?”
    “Oh, pretty good,” Ruth replied, “The service was a good one today. You should have been there, but we didn't want to wake you. You had a pretty big day yesterday and thought you would enjoy a few hours of extra sleep.”
    “Did you or Dad see the bright light that flooded the house last night?” Aaron inquired.

    “No, but it was all over the news this morning, before we headed off to church. They said it was some sort of weird, solar flare.” Ruth told him. “Why do you ask?”
    “Because I need to show you something, and I think it may have been connected to that solar flare.”
    “Sure, what is it?
    “You have to promise me that you won't freak out, okay?”
    “Okay, I promise.
    Talon, you may show her. Aaron said with his mind. Talon faded into view and caused a muffled yelp of surprise to come from Aaron's mother.
    “A-Aaron,” Ruth stuttered. “Is that a... a dragon?”
    “Yes it is.” Aaron said. “It's Talon from my stories and drawings.”
    “Is he tame?”
    Talon took initiative to answer for himself, You bet I am! Talon said through a mental link directed towards Aaron's mom. Her reaction was priceless! She flipped over the arm of the couch, while her face held a expression that looked as though she was shot in the chest with 12 gauge buckshot.
    “He talks!” Ruth exclaimed.
    “Yes, he does.” Aaron said, “I wanted to know if he could stay with us. He is, in a way, my creation. He appeared this morning, I have reason to believe that the solar flare was responsible.”
    “Yes, he may stay as long as he is kept fed, cleaned up after, and stays out of trouble.”
    I'm not some mindless pet! Talon said with a snort of irritation. I can hunt and clean up after myself. I'll go where ever Aaron goes as I can stay out of sight, as you have seen. Speaking of hunting, can someone let me out? I'm starving.
    Aaron let Talon out, and he too began to look for something to eat. At the table, Ruth came up to him with a serious look on her face. “I hope you know that I'm only allowing this because you are now eighteen. One slip up and he's gone.”
    “I understand, Mother.” Aaron said.

•••


    At 3:00 p.m., Talon returned with a large rat in his maw. He was extremely proud of his first kill. After Talon devoured his catch, the duo retreated into Aaron's bedroom. Aaron lay on his bed and began reading a dragonology book while Talon curled up into a ball on the pillow next him and took a nap. At 4:00, there was a knock on the front door. Aaron put down his book and told Talon to cloak himself. Aaron opened up the door to find Michael standing on the other side.
    “Hey, Mike.” Aaron greeted him. “What's up?”
    “Not much,” he replied. “I'm just here for some help in Biology, remember?”
    “Yep, follow me into the woods. You just need help collecting specimens and samples and need some help with the inner workings of the cell structure, right?”
    “So you did remember!”
    “You know me, I never forget my friends' needs.”

•••


    As they walked through the forest, Talon popped up in Aaron's head with a warning, I think that Michael is hiding something.
    Are you sure?
    Yes, positive. I can feel another life force near him, but I cannot see it. I believe it may be another dragon.
    Alright, I'll check it out. Aaron turned to confront his friend, “Mike, you are hiding something. What is it?
    “I could ask you the same question.” Michael replied, somewhat threateningly.
    “Who is it?”
    “You will know in few seconds.” Michael said. He then called out to the open air, “Rakk! Show yourself!”
    Standing next to Michael was a blue dragon. It was roughly the same size as Talon and shared many characteristics with him, except that Talon had many more facial spines and this one had white claws, spikes, and horns instead of onyx ones.
    “This is Rakk.” Michael said. “Now, I assume that Talon appeared to you, am I right?”
    “Yes, he did.” Aaron said. “Talon, Make your presence known!”
    Talon materialized right beside Aaron. Once all four were acquainted with each other, they all returned to the task at hand. Aaron was the first one to bring the topic back up, “So, about the assignment.”

The End

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