Dragon’s Blood Drug

October 17, 2015

THE CHANGELING 

 Mist swirled, blood red, becoming the maws of twin cyclones; side-by-side. A flap – the tornados spun faster. Another flap, and a pair of leathery wings, giant and primeval, emerged from the heart of of the cyclonic disturbances – between them, two eyes, luminous blue, flecked with sparkling gold-

Bella woke with a start. “Oh shit, what time is it?” 

She ran to the dingy bathroom to wash her face and apply some lipstick before Maze showed up. Maze was her employer, very rich, and totally hot. Bella had a boyfriend, but with her looks, brains and drive – well, she could definitely trade up. 

She spied him pull up in his black Maserati. Exuding an aloof power that gave her butterflies, he stepped from the car and headed up the project stairs. The gangbangers gave him a wide berth. Their keen sense of survival told them Maze wasn’t someone they wanted to fuck with. They were right. 

In her room, he opened his satchel, “Something new from the labs, Bell – the kids are going to love it.” He a couple of dark red shards down the stem of the pipe, heating it as he spun it back and forth. As the crystals melted, the liquid began to smoke – a red mist. 

He hit it, and when he opened his eyes, they had changed to a luminous blue, flecked with gold. He turned the pipe to her, “I know you like me. Hit this, changeling. Then if you catch me, you can have me.”

Timidly, with steadily growing hunger she sucked the end of the pipe, taking the smoke deep into her lungs. When she exhaled the blood red mist, her view of the world began to shake; first a tremor, then an earthquake. Only the actual ground never moved, just her vision. Sounds rose; she could hear the gangbangers three floors down, arguing over whether to mess with Maze’s car. It was like a filter had fallen away and now everything flooded her system. She felt…powerful. 

The world went black. 

When Bella came to, she was looking into Maze’s freaky blue and gold reptile eyes. She tried to put up her hands, but what came into view were two leathery appendages with razor sharp claws. It took her a moment to realize they were hers. In fact, her whole body was leathery and gnarled. The biggest shock were the wings. 

“Wha-what?” Her mind in overdrive, thoughts entered and exited like flashes of heat lightning – faster and faster. Bella felt dizzy and the world started to dim again. 

“Whoa, Bell. Stay with me beau,” Maze gently cupped her chin and peered into her eyes, his face mere inches from hers. A clear nictitating membrane, rotated 90 degrees from his regular eyelids snapped closed, then opened. 

She sat there in a near catatonic state, thoughts continuing to flash past her conscious, until one flew by that made some sense, so she grabbed it and blurted, “Where are my clothes?”

Maze laughed, a soft rumble, “Well – welcome back, beau. I took the liberty of relieving you of them. It hurts like hell to change with clothes on.

“Am I high?”

“Very. But this isn’t an illusion.”

“We can’t sell this shit to nobody. Is it just me, or does turning our customers into monsters is not a good sales strategy.”

“Ha. That’s what I like about you, Bell. You have a solid head for business. Our customers won’t change. They’ll get really high, but they won’t change like this. I put a special ingredient in this batch.”

“Like what?”

“Like my blood.”

“Oh.”

Maze stood and padded softly to the tiny kitchenette’s window; the one that looked out over the project’s decrepit playground. Among the broken playground equipment, there was garbage and used syringes. No one would be out there this time of night; no one who liked living and hated rape, that is. 

As he silently looked out across the miserable moonlit scene, Bella took the opportunity to examine his wings. Even folded tightly against his back, she could tell they were big; and, not how she imagined angel’s wings. These were the wings she imagined for a dragon or some prehistoric pterodactyl.

“Remember I told you that if you can catch me, you can have me?”

“Yeah.”

“Well…” Maze pulled himself over the sill, and dropped. 

Bella heard a flap – and another flap. Then the silhouette of a man-dragon crossed the face of the rising moon. Not one to be outdone, Bella stumbled to the window…and jumped

– DeRicki Johnson

Twitter: @derickijohnson

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