Look at him now, see how he moves when he thinks no one is watching. There’s a gracefulness to him, but it isn’t human gracefulness. He holds himself as if his body is a new garment to which he is not yet accustomed. Notice how he tilts his head to listen — that’s a habit of someone whose ears aren’t placed where a human’s are. Not that he looks anything other than human. Too pale, maybe, with that almost-white skin and that hair like sunset and flames, but still… It’s the movement that gives him away, that tells of the form he used to wear.
You’ve seen pictures of them, of course, in old books and older tapestries. The people of the wind, they were called once. Remember those pictures now, the long bodies all scaled in copper and amber, the wings like burning sails. The eyes. Ah, yes, the eyes. He has them, as bright a green as ever, and that, too, marks him as not-human despite all his human seeming. And look now — see how he shrugs his shoulders as if settling wings that he no longer has.
You’ve heard the stories, too, about how he came to this condition. You’ve heard about how the wizard Kelven took him captive and forced the Changing upon him… You’ve heard that the changing was meant to be total, and wasn’t. Do not wonder, then, at the loss that lingers in those blazing emerald eyes. A dragon’s soul locked in a body that is neither dragon nor human but caught in between… Feel compassion for this creature, but take care. A dragon in pain is dangerous.
This is not my usual writing style. I don’t know what caused me to try this particular experiment, although it may be a result of writing an unrelated (as much as anything in my fiction can be said to be unrelated to the rest) narrative recently in a similar voice. As I told Loyal Reader, I’ve been in a mood to write backstory lately.
Speaking of backstory… Yesterday evening I showed my clone-sibling the (partial) flashback scene for The Excalibur Mission that I’d struggled for months to write. This prompted a discussion about why a certain person in that scene isn’t around later, and that led to a lengthy bout of speculation concerning the long-term story arc… Not only do we know that DD has an agenda (this is your cue to say “eep!”) — we know what it is.