CONFESSIONS OF A WANNA-BE DRAGON SLAYER by Tawni Waters

The thing is there is something that happens with your eyes when you sing that brings everything I ever wanted to feel right up into my face. You drag the ecstasy in me to the surface, like a magnet eking metal from sand, and my skin swims in your song, wet with sweat and something else, something no one can see or smell.
The thing is when you talk, running your hands over your face, I see you go somewhere else, and I chase you there. Your hell is not pretty. (Hell never is.)  You are a small boy trapped in a dragon infested forest. I should run, but the moment you you rested your head on my shoulder, I was invested in your fate.  The gate to your hell closed behind me.  I want to slay the dragons, display their skulls on your mantle, string their teeth on a necklace, give it to you for luck.  I’ll lead you by the hand to a stand of trees that houses a safe place with a pond and fronds and flowers, where hours can wander by, and you can lie in the grass watching fireflies dance.  The air there is warm-soft. You can feel not scared all day long.
But blind to me, you are paralyzed, hypnotized by the hallucinations that haunt you, and what can I do but press a tentative hand to your heart, whispering, “It’s all right,” hoping you can hear me through the demons screaming in your head?
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