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my name is Kiotya

" 'Who are you?' Deinantz asked.  She regretted the question instantly.  If someone asked her who she was, she would know the answer instantly: Deinantz, great dragon, feared across three provinces, daughter of Klio.  But how could this small girl know who she was, and dare to answer a dragon's question?  Deinantz's mere presence usually reduced the mortals to dumbness.

But perhaps this girl-child was not a mortal. She stood straight and proud, almost like she was posing, shoulders thrown back and a slight smile on her narrow face.  Kiotya had no escape --- before her stood the great dragon, behind the dragon a threatening cave, and behind the girl there was only the edge of a cliff, dropping down to the dense forest.

But there was no fear in her green eyes.

'My name is Kiotya', the child said calmly, giving the words a foreign musical lilt as she spoke them. I'm half-elvish. I was passing through.  I won't harm you.'  She was a child, her height no greater than half a young sapling, her skin still soft, unmarred.  Her chin was sharp, ears were pointed.

Deinantz wanted to laugh at the absurdity of it.  The child was acting as though she was the powerful, terrifying one, ignoring the plain fact that Deinantz could kill her with a single swipe {of her forepaw}.

Then Kiotya's gaze met the dragon's, and Deinantz was not so sure.

The elvish's eyes were unnerving, seeming to twinkle with humor.  Laughing at the dragon who thought herself so great."

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Right now it's April 2016, Ki's birthday month.

Right then it's April 2003, Ki's birthday month too.  She's going-on-fourteen and composing her short story at the start of that month.

"Perhaps this girl-child was not a mortal." (Today, in our own personal versions, we could revise this by erasing the first word. Some of us will find out.)

"She stood straight and proud."

She posts a bunch of editorial comments about her piece, among them "it's just the first draft of a first draft... I'll start updating soon."

We are past the attacks of 1998 when she had been nine.  But. obviously, the confrontations with her dragon are continuing.

And will be continuing to continue, for another five years, until the middle of 2008.  When both Kiotya and Deinantz will win.

It's just a short story, right?  First draft of a first draft?

May we all laugh at our dragons, always.

With creativity and imagination at this level, with the vivid reality of Kiotya's face at thirteen and always, my own eyes turn green too.