The Thorn Among The Roses
“Casseopia” is a very lovely constellation. The myth says she was the loveliest dragon to roam Pyrrhia, but her tribe is never specified. Seawing or Skywing? Sandwing or Nightwing. Even Icewing or Mudwing, she was a mystery; and just as much it could be considered a mystery how she was immortalized in stars.
Immortalized in a different world that is. “Casseopia” is alive and well in another.
Overseer stared at the ornate mirror in their claws, the small budding roses at the edges indicating the time was arriving soon…
•• ━━━━━ ••●•• ━━━━━ ••
The Nightwing had found the mirror ages ago, if you asked them where they had found it, they wouldn’t have an answer. They had always clutched this hand-mirror close, kept it hidden with them in their grotto home in the rainforest.
It was an animus-enchanted object after all, how could Overseer not keep it close?
And it had been just their luck how this mirror allowed them their isolationist lifestyle, the glass showing them whatever they desired to see. From past events like that of the Royal Seawing Massacre to even what some random Rainwing was up to in the nearby village. Overseer could oversee those around them and with enough time owning the mirror, realized another thing it could do…
Removing the small gem at the bottom and holding it… it would allow the dragon holding the gem to cast a spell as if they were an animus themselves. But only one enchantment; It could be specific and long-winded or short as a sentence but all as long as it was one.
Overseer would admit, they hadn’t realized this caveat at first. They had squandered their first spell rather vindictively, under the impression it wouldn’t be limited spells and the roses lining the mirror were merely decor. No… these roses were the enchantment timer.
And right now? Finally, fifty long years later the roses were budding and on the cusp of blooming once more. Overseer knew just what to do this time, how to use their spell. This time, there would be no wasting it on cursing anyone but themselves. The them of fifty years ago was a moron, but now Overseer was wiser.
Before the nightwing’s eyes, the mirror’s rose buds opened into full bloom. The thorn-vines weaving between them and along the rim a mere afterthought as Overseer grabbed the small gemstone at the bottom of the mirror’s handle and twisted it out of its confines. The quartz crystal growths holding the enchanted stone snapping and breaking off easily against the force of their claws.
It all would’ve gone perfectly, they would’ve wished for their own lack of mortality and thus be able to get as many enchantments as they should please.
But Overseer didn’t account for her to still linger and re-find them.
The nightwing held still, as elongated rainwing-like claws rested threateningly on their throat. The dark claws tapping along a beat on their windpipe but still too close to their arteries.
They held still as a clawed talon snaked its way to their own and plucked the mirror’s small gemstone from it, a wing’s starry underside covering their other talon that still clutched the enchanted mirror.
The hybrid atop them hummed as she examined the gem in her claws, steadily gripping Overseer’s throat tighter as she used their body as her perch… the dragoness notably younger than them but much stronger. She looked like she hadn’t aged a day since they cursed her, but that wasn’t right. They had seen her through that glass at the edge of death, and had been so sure she died. Yet here she was, digging her claws into their throat and easily having the upperhand.
Luster spoke in her ever soothing voice, though her voice now only made Overseer’s scales prickle with unease. “My, what a precious stone you have here. A really special little thing, such a powerful little thing. Too bad you couldn’t use it right though, Over-dear. You nightwings, always needing to be poetic. Never watching your words.”
The hybrid watched their ex-partner’s reactions closely, watched how the old and powerless nightwing tried to threaten her. She tightened her grip on their throat and constricted her tail around their torso, firmly latched to them.
“What? Do you not enjoy this monologue? You seemed very fond of making your own the first time fifty years ago. Such a bore, but I caught your mistake in your curse. Poor Overseer, not used to animus magic nor its capriciousness. Should’ve been clear what you asked for, Over-dear. Now watch me as I do this cursing business right.”
The rainwing-nightwing leveraged herself to stand straighter and clutched the gemstone in her talon. “I enchant myself, Luster, to not just need to feed off the affections of other dragons but also be able to sustain myself off their blood and flesh indefinitely and from that blood and flesh to change into any dragon or form that I please.”
The hybrid looked at the gemstone, took her wing off Overseer’s arm and watched the mirror’s roses wilt and die in an instant. She looked at the horrified nightwing below her. And they spoke as if they were speaking to death (which in a sense, now they were). “Why… you could’ve undone your own curse, why did you build off it.”
Luster rolled her eyes, “Why ever would I have undone it? You gave me eternal life, your curse’s only specification was that to survive, someone else would have to love me. You didn’t consider that ‘the love has to be mutual’ or that love can be more than just romantic. But that is your oversight, however I am now more interested in seeing how my new modified curse works.”
The dragoness bared her new fangs, the canines visibly larger and sturdier than just ordinary rainwing fangs. “Thank you for everything.”
Overseer’s last moments were feeling those elongated rainwing-like claws finally rip into and pull apart the flesh and scales of their throat, as Luster’s maw opened wide and tore the rest apart.
•• ━━━━━ ••●•• ━━━━━ ••
Luster licked the last streaks of red off her claws, checking over and over for any sign of blood lingering on her still. She could see none.
The dragoness reached out with her newly cleaned talons and picked up the mirror, pressing the gemstone she’d used back into its handle and watched it reattach.
It had been—in her eyes—Overseer’s mistake to have done this clearly before her. It was like they were giving her a tutorial really on how to use it and what it could be used for.
The hybrid looked at her reflection in the glass, seeing herself. And then seeing her rainwing attributes melt away to show her her new form. A lovely nightwing looking back at her.
She spoke out loud, heard only by the mirror, herself, and the maimed corpse of her ex-lover. “Oh yes, this will be a very good thing. I think I shall name this me… Beguile. Beguile suits just fine.”