Through no fault of my own (those stupid orcs!) I’d somehow ended up in a glittering cavern. At the far end was a fireplace roaring with a cheery fire, in front of which paced a dragon. It was not just any dragon but one rumored to be long dead.
"I hear your heartbeat," the dragon said, "Come closer." Its forked tongue teased the air. A huff of sulfur escaped its nostrils. I was terrified, yet stepped forward. The dragon lowered its head, leveling those golden eyes with mine. "Are you so surprised to meet your father?"
I looked down timidly at my scaly feet. “It all feels sooner than expected.” Father looked down at me, his wings relaxed. “I know we’ve only just met but I have a quest for you—your first.” We stared at each other, dragon-to-dragon. Was I ready for my rite of passage, I wondered.
“It will require bravery, skill and a strong sense of direction. I’ve seen you soar, I know you are no longer a novice in flight,” said Father. I felt my scales begin to stand up. It was a mix of fear of the unknown and excitement! “Your quest will begin at dawn and will require
you to face every fear you’ve ever had!” “Public speaking? Clowns? Spiders? Those weird packing peanuts that look edible?” I asked. Father coughed and sputtered, shaking his head in confusion. “Those are your worst fears, son? Really?”
“Yes, hi Mike. I’m hypnotizing a patient right now. First time! Ugh, you’re gonna kill me—I prefer merlot. You can come by at 6. I’ll leave the door open. Bring a big bottle! You too. Bye.”
“Ok. Where were we…Your fears will no longer hold you back. You can’t be stopped.”
Turns out the mix of messages blurred together to a monstrous effect. From that day on, there was no fear in my heart. No heart to speak of, as the amateur hypnotist had transformed me into a large, unstoppable, bottle of Merlot.