… and this is what it looks like.
Where I live, the Earth is a
mellow creature. It doesn’t move beneath my feet or spew into the sky or
break open very often. Folk here are focused more on the sky and the
changeable—sometimes wicked—weather it brings us. We never doubt the
solidity of the ground we’ve built our lives upon because it so rarely
We shouldn’t be so trusting.
The Earth is a
living, breathing entity … a dragon, if you will. And that is never more
evident than where this dragon is daily making itself new. On the
island of Hawaii, the Big Island, the ground swells, it puffs poisonous,
sulfurous smoke from open red sores and hundreds of bottomless cracks.
It disgorges slow-moving lava fields that surround and torch homes,
highways, and fields. It creeps downhill to fill a once-beautiful cove
with 20-30 feet of solid black rock, rippled like skin.
here, and the people live with it, and
think of dragons as mythical creatures, armor-plated and breathing fire.
I think of them as having skin like this, and sleeping—ever so
restlessly—beneath our feet.
Helen C. Johannes is the author of
BLOODSTONE, a fantasy romance in which dragons do indeed sleep beneath
the earth, and their petrified blood possesses magical power.
nature takes hold of the
rock—very quickly, it seems, finding footholds for pollen and seedlings
in seams filled with windblown dust. Dragon skin is fertile, apparently,
or the islands built by these forces wouldn’t be so lush.
Helen C. Johannes