I didn’t get a chance to talk to Dragon for the better part of a week. Thankfully, it was a fairly quiet week. My Young Hero no longer seemed to be wrestling with nightmares. If he was, he was doing it quietly.
On Friday, I found Dragon in the conference room, shivering in front of her illusory fireplace. She greeted me with a growl.
“Nice to see you, too.” I frowned. “I’ve been looking for you all week. I need to talk to you.”
Dragon’s eyes narrowed dangerously, the tip of her tail started twitching, and acrid smoke puffed from her snout. “I do not wish to talk. I wish to warm myself.”
I scoffed. “You’ve made this room hotter than a dwarven forge with your illusory fireplace!”
Dragon nodded solemnly. “It is my only defense against your Minnesota weather. What happened to spring? Last week, the temperatures were just starting to rise to comfortable levels, and some flowers had started sprouting.” The unhappy beast scowled at me. “Then the ice and sleet and snow came again, and the temperatures are frigid!”
I laughed. “Oh, come now! The temperatures aren’t that bad, at least not by Minnesota standards, and the slush is already starting to melt. By Sunday, it should all be gone.”
“For how long?” The despondent creature hung her head and looked miserable.
“Hopefully until next winter, but in Minnesota, you never can tell. The latest snow ever recorded in MN was June 4, 1935, when one and a half inches fell in northern Minnesota.”
“Oh, you are just full of fascinating minutiae.” Dragon glowered at me.
I raised an eyebrow and chuckled. “Funny, you don’t look fascinated.” Before Dragon could respond, I quickly pressed on. “But I didn’t want to discuss the weather. It’s not like we can do anything about it anyway.”
Dragon growled and thumped her tail on the floor. “I have offered more than once to change your weather to something more agreeable.”
“And I told you that is not an option.”
“Did you?” Dragon gave me a coy look. “I am afraid I do not remember.”
“Funny thing, memory.” I steepled my fingers and gazed at Dragon. “And that’s exactly the topic I wish to discuss.”
“Oh?” The big beast looked interested in spite of herself.
I nodded and took a seat in the recliner, pausing a few moments to gather my thoughts.
“Dragon, do you recall when you fell from my manuscript and entered this world?”
Dragon frowned. “Of course, I do. It has been a number of years, but I clearly remember the look on your face when you entered your office and found me sitting at your desk.”
I smiled at the memory. “Ah, yes! I remember that day, too. You weren’t the first of my characters to make the passage from book to reality, so it wasn’t as much a shock as it could have been. Still…”
The memory of the scaly creature sitting on the arm of my chair, shock and disapproval clearly etched on her reptilian face as she surveyed the chaos I call an office, still made me chuckle.
I shook my head and dragged myself back to the conversation at hand. “But I am really more interested in your memories of the world from which you came. Do you remember what you were doing when you fell from the manuscript?”
Dragon frowned. She rolled onto her stomach and tucked her front arms under her chest, assuming a sphinx-like pose. She tilted her head in thought and remained silent for a long time before replying. “No. No, I do not.”
“What memories do you have of your previous existence?”
Dragon studied my face. “Why do I get the feeling it is not my memories that concern you?”
I ducked my head guiltily. “How easily you can see through me, old friend. You’re right . . . or at least partially correct. I am trying to understand something about a character’s memory once that character has fallen from the manuscript into this world.”
“Any character in particular?”
“Yes, but we can discuss that later. For now, I am curious about your memories. Since you first arrived here, it has been obvious you and my Old Dwarf share a very special bond.”
Dragon nodded. “Indeed, we do.”
I frowned. “Yet, in the two manuscripts I penned, you never met.”
Dragon blinked. “Are you sure?”
I raised an eyebrow.
Dragon scratched her head. “But I have such clear memories.” She paused, then frowned. “Well, maybe not so clear. More like snatches of memories – friendly banter, small gifts the dwarf carved for me.”
I shook my head. “Those events were not part of the stories I chronicled.”
Dragon stared off into the distance. “No… no, I do not suppose they were. I was just a very young dragon then, barely more than a wyrmling.”
I wrinkled my brow. “So, if the memories are from before the events in my manuscripts, how is it you can recall them? Remember, you are not the Dragon about whom I wrote. You are the Dragon I wrote, the Dragon I created in my books. And the only memories you should have are the events in the book from which you fell.”
Dragon pondered. “I believe I may have an explanation. The Great Wyrm. I believe she is the Dragon about whom you wrote, only much further along in her life than when you wrote about her. I believe she may have inadvertently shared some of her memories with me when she and I crossed paths.” https://margecutter.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/waiting-to-see-if-it-worked/
I raised my eyebrow. I was surprised she had worked that out. I put that tidbit of information aside and continued the conversation. “I see.” I sighed. “Well, that solves that mystery, but it doesn’t help me understand recent events regarding my Young Hero and his memories. Unlike you, he seems to be missing memories he should have.”
“Oh? Enlighten me.”
I raked my hand through my hair. “You remember my Young Hero recently suffered a spate of nightmares.”
Dragon nodded and frowned, a puff of black smoke escaping her nostrils. “Yes. He should have come to me for help.”
I waved at her dismissively. “Perhaps, but he was embarrassed. You know, a hero being frightened by bad dreams.”
“Ah, yes. He felt a hero should be brave enough to face his nightmares.” Dragon nodded sagely.
“Exactly. But when he described his dreams to me, he said they were people and images he thought he should know but didn’t. He felt they were snatches of memories he could not clearly recall. From his descriptions, however, I recognized them as scenes from my first manuscript. I assume my Young Hero fell from my second book, as he has very clear memories of various people and events from that book – the Innkeeper, the snowball fight with my Gypsy . . .”
Dragon nodded again. “So, you wonder why he has no memories predating the second book, even though you wrote about your Young Hero in the first book as well.”
Dragon shrugged. “You answered your own question. It is as you said of me, Mistress Writer. I am not the Dragon about whom you wrote. I am the Dragon you wrote, the one you created.”
I frowned, not understanding.
“Well, neither is your Young Hero the hero about whom you wrote. He is the hero you wrote, the hero you created. But, having fallen from your second manuscript, he is also not the hero you wrote in your first book. So, his memories would not be the memories of that hero. Those memories would be but an echo in his subconscious.”
I blinked. “I think I understand. You know, I may have to go back to my manuscripts and rewrite you. I don’t think I made you nearly as wise and insightful as you really are.”
Dragon smiled smugly. “Does that mean I can go back to warming myself by the fire, while you go change me in your book to a creature more closely resembling my most splendiferous self?”
I chuckled. “Go back to your fire, old friend. I’ll try not to disturb you again until spring is really here.”
“I can make that happen any time you say.” The big beast winked at me.
Be sure to come back next week and see what is happening with my little band of displaced characters. We might be in the middle of a heat wave by then. You never can tell about the weather in Minnesota, especially if a Dragon is involved. And, of course, we’ll leave the porch light on for you.
Hello, cherished readers. Cleric here. Shortly after the completion of this week’s blog, Mistress Writer went to see her doctor. (Why she never allows me to treat her, I cannot understand!) Mistress Writer has been diagnosed with pneumonia, and is undergoing treatment. Master Miles is experiencing heavy chest congestion and will see his doctor this week. We all hope Mistress Writer will be able to continue her duties preparing this blog for your entertainment; however, it may be a while before she is up to such strenuous activity. If we are absent for a time, please know we have not forgotten you, and we look forward to returning with more adventures and misadventures.