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Pippalunacy — The Fiction

There were no handholds or footholds, just a smooth curve. The roof of the dome sloped up and up, and Pippalou felt the soles of her shoes slipping, as the others, experienced roof–climbers, scrambled quickly up and over the top, laughing, joking. "C'mon! You'd better catch up!"

Her feet slid steadily down until they hit the edge, while her body hugged the dome, fearful and tense. The laughing voices faded away and out, throwing into stark relief her rhythmic heartbeats, breathing. "Lunacy," she murmured.

The beat of heavy wings filled the clear air. A large shadow crossed the light of the full moon.

"Did someone call me?" The voice drifted down, low and soothing. She raised her eyes. At the very top of the dome, a small dragon perched serenely against the dark backdrop of night. "Well," he said, "get up. Come up here."

"I can't," she wailed.

The dragon snorted, and a darting flame, with attendant smoke, played all around her. Things got warm, then hot, then hotter. Startled, she scrambled for traction and lunged upward in a desperate, awkward crawl.

In defiant success, she glared into the large, staring eyes that reeked of madness and sorrow. "I'm here now! What do you want? Who are you?"

The dragon heaved an enormous sigh filled with the sadness of the world. "I thought you knew." He looked straight into her eyes. "Lunacy." He rummaged around in a great pouch and pulled out a small black box. "Did you bring your camera?"

Pippalou shook her head. "I don't have a camera."

"Take this one," he said. "Look at the view from here."

High above the earth, she gazed upon the beauty of the river sparkling in the moonlight, the joyous city lights gleaming, winking in the darkness. A deep breath of wonder and contentment filled her lungs.

"Take pictures," said the dragon.

Turning in a slow circle, she clicked the button, again and again, recording images – sparkles, glows, deep shadows headed downward, radiance headed upward...

"I want a picture of you," she told him.

"Go ahead," he replied.

Looking steadily through the lens, she focused and clicked... She lowered the camera — he was gone.

"Hey!" she cried out in a panic, "I thought you'd help me get d – " Beneath her feet the green grass shimmered with evening dew.

She slumped to the ground. "I still have the camera." She turned it over and over, but it was only a black box.

With deliberate care, she opened it. The first picture showed at the bottom of the box. She reached out to take it, and it dissolved before her eyes. Soon, the second picture came into view, then the third, and so on. She waited expectantly for the last one, then she frowned — a picture of an empty night sky.

She looked up, thinking. "But...I distinctly remember..." She looked back down, and the box had vanished. Sighing deeply, she murmured, "Lunacy."

 

 

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