Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Swallowing a Dragon's Egg

A chimera. A single organism composed of genetically distinct cells. A monstrous fire-breathing mythological creature composed of a lion, a goat and snake. Siblings: Cerberus, Hydra. Something fantastic and implausible.

A little girl, hooked up to tubes, nibbling dry toast and then returning it gracelessly to the emesis bucket. A little girl who is swallowing a dragon's egg.

We condemn the bloody Aztec priest for offering innocents in sacrifice to a slavering god. But what if we are chosen for sacrifice, beyond all earthly volition, and bound to the reeking stone with the promise of salvation?

There will be blood, vomit, tears. It cannot be an easy task, to incubate a dragon's egg. Calciferous substances must dissolve, jagged shards reveal a fledgling beak. Will it accept this new nest? It must be kept calm. The handlers are ready, tense, syringes in hand.

The little girl is calm. She's uncomfortable, but she's calm. These wings will unfurl, like the monarch's on the milkweed, painfully, through the skin, a rendering of the fibrous cocoon. But then they will dry in the sun and the breeze, and be hers. Chimera.

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