The Cold Days (Story Part)

Winter. I always wished I could enjoy the cold air more. It would sure have made those long treks easier to bear. Not easy, just slightly less miserable. I know my pup liked it, though, so I tried to keep that in mind when I felt like my eyeballs were freezing from the outside in. 

Cove had had a good little week, seizure free. We walked out to a clear portion of pasture to celebrate with a little game of fetch. It wasn’t much, but those moments were always the most memorable, even if I felt my fingertips turning gray with frostbite. 

The pasture wasn’t ours – in fact, nothing was ours. We were drifters on the run. On the run from ourselves. 

Everywhere we went back then was riddled with NO TRESPASSING signs. We walked where we wanted to walk. I always liked the way the Native Americans felt about the land, that no man could own it. However, I also understood the need for privacy. City people migrated to pastureland more every year. Privacy was becoming less and less abundant. 

We took the risks of trespassing because we liked our privacy, too. Cove and I, we loved our quiet time. Noises gave her headaches and drove me insane. Yeah, we liked the quiet. 

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In that pasture we played fetch for an hour. Cove liked those repetitive games. It made me smile to see her healthy, happy, and playful. It was a simple joy and deserved recognition. Mostly, simple things lose their prominence as people grow up. People take little everyday moments for granted. Not Cove and I. We loved these quiet, playful moments and set out to fill a book with them. 

After fetch we walked. Lots of walking, always. Walking lets us think. We walked through mesquite trees and heavy brush, but mostly it was a walk through clear, open pasture. Cattle grazed as we walked by, not paying much attention to us. Cove is indifferent to cows, luckily. I’ve seen some dogs chase cattle regardless of how much punishment the dogs receive afterward. But not Cove. She’s in her own world most of the time, like me. That’s how we like it. That’s what keeps us sane (mostly).

We came to a wooded area and found a little animal trail leading inside. It was a tight squeeze for me, Cove, and the wagon I pulled around everywhere, but we were used to making things work. The trail led to a little clearing within the woods. I looked all around and saw no signs of humanity or heard any voices through oaks. The trees were pretty thick, giving us a nice little wall of shelter, so I threw down my backpack and began to unload the tent.

Dusk came as I finished pitching the tent. Our little temporary home wasn’t much, but it was sure cozy on a cold evening. Cove laid on her mat next to my cot as I wrote in my journal. I wrote down every good thing that happened to us that day. Sometimes good things are hard to find, but mostly good things pop out easily. I just had to learn how to see them, how to appreciate them. 

I wrapped up my journal as the final glimpse of sunlight disappeared below the horizon. I mixed a can of dog food with Cove’s medications and opened a can of beans for myself as she ate greedily. Dinner in the dark.

It made no sense – us being out there, in the cold, eating from cans in the dark. I guess we just grew tired of doing things because they made sense to do so. We figured it was time to start doing more of what made no sense at all. In that way, nonsense became the most reasonable aspect of our lives. It was free. We were free – free of all the norms and expectations. Because of that, we were happy. Everything we owned fit in my backpack and wagon. We had each other and really, we had everything we could ever need. 

Out there, we were safe. Once people found out what I was, they came in droves. They came after me. So Cove and I had been on the run ever since. They’d never find us. They moved on with life and in a few years they forgot I ever existed. Cove and I just had to wait out the time in isolation. Honestly, I grew to prefer solitude quickly. 

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The Creation of Our Solar System (Short Story)

Sunfire flew away from her pursuer at full speed. She was never the fastest dragon, or the largest, but she was agile. She dodged through and around asteroids with grace in hopes that King Draxton would crash into one of the space rocks. He was a great warrior of his time, but his time had passed since then in gluttony and leisure. Sunfire needed a chance to make a clean break before Drax caught up to her. If he caught her, she’d surely be thrown in a prison cell for the rest of her centuries to come. 

She bobbed and weaved, flying through open space with speed like a graceful comet. Her skin reflected light here and there, but she kept her fire within to not give away her location as she skimmed in and out of asteroid clusters. 

Sunfire came to a large asteroid she could hide her entire body behind. She breathed deeply to remain quiet as she recovered from her spurt of flying and dodging. She listened intently, trying to quiet her racing heartbeat. 

BOOM! “You little —” Sunfire heard Drax scream across space with thunderous anger. All twelve realms could have heard his cries. 

This is my chance, Sunfire thought to herself, he must have hit something. She pushed off the asteroid and flew as fast as she possibly could towards the realm barrier. 

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_______

Sunfire entered the Center. She was free, but she couldn’t relax yet. She had a choice to make. Twelve doors made a circle around the Divine Nucleus. Which door would be safest? A sense of urgency overtook Sunfire and she rushed to the door that dragons had been avoiding for centuries. She took a deep breath and took one final glance back over her shoulder. With full force and speed, Sunfire flew into the Dark Dimension.

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——

There were few ways to describe the Dark Dimension other than black. An endless darkness spread out light years beyond Sunfire’s enhanced vision. She flew silently. The silence of the Dark Dimension was even more haunting than the eternal black. 

Where could she go when there was nowhere to go? Sunfire had never been to this dimension before, but she had heard stories her entire life about the parasitic ghosts and phantoms that filled every twist and turn. 

With no destination in sight, Sunfire figured the best idea would be to put as much distance as possible between her and the realm exit. She flew at full speed in the opposite direction, creating a larger barrier of space that any followers would have to travel. Most dragons, even Drax, would be hesitant to enter the Dark Dimension, though. She was setting herself up for a clean escape, as long as the ghosts of the realm left her alone. 

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 _____

For months, Sunfire survived alone in the darkness, though she was never lonely. She was free – free of the perilous chains King Draxton had trapped her with for hundreds of years. She was free of the noise that her once beautiful dragon species had slowly become through war and greed. And of course, she was never really alone. 

Finally the time came for Sunfire to pick a spot to lay her glorious eggs. She ran away to save her babies, but in the process had saved herself as well. Children can be great motivations in which to change a tumultuous life into something better. 

She picked a spot for her nest. By now she was an eternity away from the portal door. She gently laid her first egg. She smiled at the small, round wonder before laying the next. One by one Sunfire dropped her eggs into her powerful gravity. Each one was of unique size and color. After her ninth and final egg safely entered the universe, Sunfire took her place in the center as each egg began to gracefully orbit around her illuminating light. 

As her eggs incubated in her eternal heat, centuries passed in peace, safety, and freedom. 

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No Waterfall for Moonhawk and MoonCove

Upon searching for “waterfall” on my Maps app, the closest result was Wolf Creek Waterfall in Palestine. I was pretty excited because Palestine is only an hour away. 

This morning, Kovi and I left for Wolf Creek Lake around ten. I had searched for the waterfall specifically, and we ended up at the Palestine airport with the GPS basically telling us to venture into the woods. 

Instead, I followed a road that wrapped around the Wolf Creek area and ended up at the official Wolf Creek Lake park. I drove around and didn’t see any trails, so we parked and I decided to just search for the waterfall, on foot, with Maps.

Where we parked, and the entire park, was on the opposite side of where Maps was telling me the waterfall is. Since I couldn’t see a trail, we just walked to the side of the lake and began making our way to the opposite side.

We quickly crossed over a dam and then faced dense woods. Following my GPS, Kovi and I entered the thick brush. The thorn level in these woods has to compose over half of the vegetation within. Kovi quickly grew tired of this sticky trek but we kept pushing anyway. Not wanting to get lost, we stayed close to the lake so I knew where we were the whole time.

It started out simple but fast forward an hour and we were still searching for this waterfall after crossing a muddy creek and getting stuck with thorny vines every 2 feet. By the way, we still hadn’t seen this mysterious waterfall.

We hit a point when we came to the actual Wolf Creek crossover point, but the water was far too deep for me to walk across and for Kovi to swim across. Maps had already said we were right beside, in front of, on top of, and passed the waterfall. Apparently we walked a circle around it and totally missed it. Who knows?

At that point I could tell Kovi was ready to get out of the woods and into open air so we set out to back track since we couldn’t cross Wolf Creek.

When I checked Maps, I saw that we were pretty close to the airport from earlier, so we headed that way instead of trying to trek through the thorn haven again. 

We cut through more vines (with our bodies) and eventually reached a large hill. We climbed up and at the top was the wood-less city airport. Walking along the wood line to avoid any suspicious stares, Kovi and I found the road that led to Wolf Creek Lake and we started our final stretch back to the car.

It was probably another hour of walking, but at least it was painless without thorn needles pricking every inch of my skin. 

Finally, we got back to the car. Kovi and I drank some water and loaded up to head home. On the way out, I spotted a little clearing that might have been the opening of a trail…

…However, I felt Kovi’s desire to leave as she spread out in the back seat to nap. I was also starving. 

Maybe next time, waterfall. Mysterious, hidden, annoying waterfall. Stick to the trails, friends. 

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