Dragons and Healers
A simple act of kindness from a human toward a dragon triggered the Enukara--giving the human the ability to heal the wounds of others. The dragon bonded to him was granted immortality. The price for this gift was simple. The dragon's life was bound to the human.
The greed of dragons and humans was underestimated. For if an Enukara's life was taken by another, they would inherit the immortality blessed to the dragon. Both human and dragon could steal this gift. The slaughter of all Enukaras quickly ensued, until one dragon killed his own Enukara.
The power he inherited was unfathomable. He hunted and killed every immortal who had slain an Enukara.
A new Enukara emerges who challenges the mindset of the immortal dragon and the Enukara hopes to alter the fate of humanity, by showing the dragon how to love once again.
The dragons came to earth seeking an Enukara. The invasion was silent, taking decades to unfold. The first generation was smarter than humans, sent to befriend, learn, and study the local inhabitants. They crippled Earth’s technology with minimal effort. The second generation were the foot soldiers and devastated any human opposition. The following generations reproduced quickly and took Earth by sheer numbers. Resources grew slim. Rolling blackouts, burnt crops, and ravaged livestock forced man to retaliate. Thirty years passed before the first Enukara. A simple act of kindness from a human toward a dragon triggered the miracle. The human was blessed with the ability to heal another’s wound. The dragon bonded to him was granted immortality. The price for this gift was simple. The dragon’s life was bound to the human. If the human died, so would the dragon. The human could only heal another if the energy was transferred through the dragon. If he touched someone of his own accord, the transfer would drain him, leaving him lifeless. The dragon was forced to take on the role of guardian, forever protecting his human if he wanted to survive.
The greed of dragons and humans was underestimated. For if an Enukara’s life was taken by another, they would inherit the immortality blessed to the dragon. Both human and dragon could steal this gift. This discovery led to the death of thousands of Enukaras over the next sixty years. Most Enukaras were slain days after the blessing.
The dynamics changed when one dragon killed his own Enukara out of desperation. The power he inherited was unfathomable. This dragon hunted and killed every immortal who had slain an Enukara. He eliminated all remaining Enukaras and a semblance of peace ensued.
What was once considered a blessing is now feared. Dragons and humans have ceased all interaction to avoid enacting the Enukara.
There has been no Enukara for twenty years.
It has been one hundred and ten years since the first generation of dragons landed on Earth.
Chapter One - Desires
The bus rumbled and Jonas flailed for a moment before grabbing the handlebar on the seat in front of him. The buses that ran between the dome and central city were in desperate need of new suspension.
“How long do you think it’s been since they serviced these things?” Jonas asked.
He’d intended the question for his best friend, Flora, but she was engaged with the woman sitting across the aisle from them.
She flipped the pages of a bridal magazine reprinted from an issue that came out nearly a century ago “You can’t do white,” Flora said, tucking her black hair behind one ear. As if the rules from before the dragon invasion actually mattered.
Her friend, Kimberly, if Jonas recalled right, groaned and her response sounded like more of a whine than a word.
“You know why,” Flora said, in a tone that Jonas had thought she’d saved only for dealing with him. He crossed his arms and looked out the window at the wooded trees on either side of the road.
“Help me out,” Flora had said, “my worker is getting married and has no idea what kind of dress to get. You’re gay so you’re good at this kind of thing, right?” He was, but that didn’t mean he wanted to use his entire day off helping a stranger shop for a wedding dress. The plump woman should be more worried about shrinking her waistline than picking the perfect gown. He had a feeling he would be to blame when she found herself looking not as thin as she liked in every dress he suggested.
The bus lurched to a stop, and Jonas decided the driver might be more to blame for the bumpy ride than the actual bus. He looked at the ten-foot wall surrounding the central city, Kearney, and shuddered. He didn’t like the reminder of how large the beasts were that those walls had been built to keep out.
The bus doors opened and a gray uniformed guard boarded. He went down the rows, holding a scanner. Each person seated held up their wrist and allowed him to scan the barcode on the underside. Jonas winked and batted his eyes at the boyish-looking guard as he scanned his wrist, but the man didn’t even look at Jonas’ face. Shouldn’t the guard at least look at the people? Couldn’t a dragon get one of these tattoos and easily smuggle himself in? He opened his mouth to whisper a complaint to Flora but she was still chattering with Kimberly. She hadn’t even paused when the guard had stopped to scan her.
“Ridicu—” Jonas started to utter his disgust at her rudeness but a loud wail interrupted him. The sound had once been reserved for tornado drills, but now the horns warned of a deadlier threat.
“Everyone off the bus, single file, inside the perimeter wall, now,” the guard directed.
Jonas obeyed and fell in step behind Flora. He’d been through plenty of drills at the dome so it wasn’t that odd.
“This is not a drill,” the guard said, as if he could read his mind. “Hurry up.”
“Not a drill?” Jonas asked. He glanced at the gaggle of school kids in the back of the bus. “Why would the dragons be scheduled to visit the city when kids are in route to the schools?”
He wasn’t asking anyone in particular, but the guard standing next to the bus doors as Jonas stepped down must have heard him.
“Zackariah is here,” the guard said with a nod.
“The king of dragons is here?” Jonas blurted his shock. “Why would he be here?”
“Not my business to know, or yours, keep moving.” The guard put a hand on Jonas’ back and pushed him forward. He grabbed his head, worried the jostle might have ruined his carefully styled hair. He touched the tips of the spikes in the back and patted the bangs he’d slicked flat.
His eyes went up to the sky, lit by the morning sun, and he saw the forms of several dragons overhead. Zackariah had been in charge Jonas’ entire life. He’d heard from his father and been taught in school, that things had been violent and humanity’s outlook bleak before Zackariah had brokered an end to the dragon wars. Now the dragons and humans traded goods and kept their physical distance, hence the need for taking shelter when they came into the city. A brief touch between a dragon and human would create an Enukara, and potentially start a war again.
He quickened his steps to shuffle through the door leading inside the hollowed-out cement wall.
“Sit down, against the wall, line both sides,” a different guard, a woman this time, said.
Jonas obeyed and ended up sitting across from a boy who looked to be about twelve. His clothes were worn, shoes muddied and hair uncombed. Jonas shifted his feet so they weren’t in danger of getting dirty from the boy’s filth.
“You look familiar,” the boy said.
“Really?” Jonas asked. He had no idea where he would have encountered the kid.
“I think you’re from the same dome as me. The sheep dome. I’m one of the shepherds.”
“I work in the dyeing factory, so I doubt—”
“Marcus,” the kid said. “You’re engaged to him, right? I think I’ve seen you visit him.”
Oh, okay, that made sense. Marcus was a sheep shearer, so yeah, if this kid was in charge of a flock Marcus was shearing, he guessed they might have crossed paths.
“Yeah, that’s right,” Jonas said. “I am.”
Jonas looked for Flora, hoping he could speak to her and use a conversation with her as a means to end this painful one with the kid. Somehow when entering the corridor, they’d gotten separated.
The red-headed kid next to the one who had been speaking to Jonas was staring at his hair. He gave a wiggle and scooted closer.
“Why are you wearing make-up? And why is your hair so white? Your eyebrows aren’t. My mom says that’s how you can tell what a person’s natural hair color is.” The redhead widened his eyes and kept staring.
“Finley,” his friend said, “that’s rude.”
At least the shepherd kid had manners.
“How old are you?” Finley asked, not deterred at all, apparently.
“Twenty-four,” Jonas said. “How old is your mother?”
“Twelve, oh wait,” Finley said, thrown by the question. “I’m not sure, old, maybe her age.” He pointed at Flora, who wasn’t close enough to hold a conversation with, but close enough to overhear what the kid had said.
“What did he just say?” Flora asked. “Did he just say I look older than you?”
Jonas covered his mouth to hide his amusement.
“Must be the make-up,” Finley said, nodding to his friend.
“Must be,” Jonas agreed.