Flash Fiction: The Statue

They put a statue of her on the island outside the city after she died, her likeness forever captured in bronze. At first the statue was kept polished by the people of the city who loved and remembered her. Soon, however, other articles fill the newspapers and the woman who sang the dragon to sleep was forgotten.

A few of the elders of the city still took the worn ferry over the water to the now deserted island as a ritual once every season to clean away the blue-green patina that would inevitably form on the metal.

Singing the old song of the dragon, they would walk the overgrown, winding path to the top of the hill where the statue stood between stunted and burnt trees.

This year, the last of those who had been alive during the dragon’s attack went to the island.

“Go back,” she told the bored ferryman as she stepped onto the island. She turned her back on the lake and the ferry and started to sing the song.

Her words drifted away on the wind as they spilled from her lips. She ran her fingers along the budding bushes that lined the path and gingerly stepped over gnarled roots. The spring sun shone down on her head and shoulders, warming her as her heart soared with the song.

The birds of the island fluttered and flitted around her as she walked the winding way, singing along to the old melody.

When she at last reached the hilltop, she stooped picked up a dragon scale that glinted in the sun. Turning the warm disk over and over in her hands, the memories of the fiery day filled her mind and the song faded away. She slipped the scale into her pocket and stepped up to the statue.

The cleaning of the statue went slowly with just one person working on it, but when the sun started to set, she finally dropped her cloths on the ground.

Tears filled her eyes as she started to sing the song for the last time. She took out a pocket watch and glanced at the slowing hands. She nodded once at the statue of her mother and sat down at its feet, finishing the song with her last breath.

When she opened her eyes, it was to her mother standing in front of her, smiling and looking as if dragon’s fire had never touched her.

“No more waiting,” she said and took her daughter’s hand.

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