I stared out at the land sweeping away from the temple on the hill. Everything looked so soft with the green grass and I had the weird feeling it would feel like velvet if I ran my hands over it.
It would make about as much sense as what I’ve been told.
I shook my head. “That’s not right. Incorrect.” I tried finding words other than the usual – crazy, insane, nuts, ridiculous. I’d been called all those things too many times because of my autism and I wasn’t about to use them on someone else. “I’m not magical. I don’t have power.”
“All evidence to the contrary, m’dear.” Arach chuckled and smoke drifted from his nostrils.
It must be a byproduct of being a dragon. I’d never seen him actually smoking anything like a pipe or cigarette. I had seen him shift from the man who stood inside the temple with me to a large, scaly reptile with huge wings, a long tail, and a sinuous neck. The horns were pretty cool, too.
“No, this doesn’t make sense. Can someone please wake me up when it’s all over?” I turned around to face the older, Hippy-looking woman in the flowing layered clothing and a jewel-toned headscarf. “I can’t be your champion. I don’t know anything about fighting or magic or saving the world. I don’t play D&D or the online games. I’m just me, an audiologist from Whidbey Island.”
Tekhne laughed, the sound reminiscent of wind chimes. “It wasn’t the gods who brought you here, Matsuko. That was all a human effort. But now that you’re here, we’re offering the backing of our power to help bring the world back to its center and put the evil away for good. And in exchange, we will send you home to your world.”
I shook my head. “I didn’t even know I was lost.” I bit my lip. “And if I don’t somehow become this…” I trailed off and waved my hand. “Sorceress, magic-wielder, paladin person, I’ll be stuck here forever?”
The goddess shrugged and chuckled. “It might not be as bad as that. The people here make beautiful music and art. And there are dragons.” She winked as she inclined her head at Arach. Then her eyes narrowed and her face lost all its humanity. “But if you don’t do this, this world will die, as will all its people, including you, and the evil encroaching it may well overtake your own world. The choice is yours.”
I barked an incredulous laugh. “Choice? What choice? Die fighting the evil unleashed in this world by someone else? Or die with everyone else when the evil gets around to this part of the world?”
“Personally, if I’m going to die either way, I’d rather die fighting to save something.” Arach shrugged, his words amused but his expression grave.
“Right.” Fear surged in the back of my mind but I refused to let it out of its box. Maybe the idiots who opened Evil’s box should’ve done the same. I closed my eyes and swallowed hard. “Fine. I’ll fight this war for you. I learn magic and sorcery and whatever to save your world.”
Tekhne tilted her head. “And what will you want in return for this effort?”
“I haven’t decided yet. I guess what I want is all the choices when it’s time. I’ll do this and you’ll pay whatever price I ask when I ask it. Deal?”
That's it for me this month. Check out my fellow authors' Once Upon A Tune Flash.