We are dragons, but think of us as human, except for the part when I lay an egg.
"We made this."
"It was an accident."
As we huddle in front of this massive, oblong egg, our heartbeats come together.
The egg stands as high our knees, and it stretches nearly as wide. From this angle, it glints with every secondary color: a purple shell; an emerald encrusting; thick, ochre shadows.
The shadows come from the bedroom candles—tall sticks that we lit just a few hours ago. The same candlesticks, we also lit the day that our egg was conceived.
Now the egg sits on our bed, wrinkling our dark silk sheets, staring at us.
"We could scramble it."
"Gross." We pause. "Isn't that cannibalism?"
Then we exchange glances, hoping to also exchange our thoughts. When our discomfort turns into a sudden disconnection, we wrap our hands together.
"Do you want to keep it?"
Another pause. "Do you?"
We simultaneously realize, this is one of those few times when people can form a greater collective. If we let this egg hatch, we'll make a family unit; a society; a community.
"It could be a girl."
"It's probably a dude."
"How do you know?"
"You just want a boy."
"I'm okay with a girl."
"So you want to keep it?"
We're not sure why we avoided this conversation until the egg sat on our bed.
Then we decide to turn on the computer, looking for answers from someplace outside of us.
Our options reel around: questionnaires; multiple-choice dropdowns; personality tests. Yet we're not getting anywhere cohesive.
On Reddit, five-hundred-plus upvotes leads to a YouTube of a baby dragon, just brought to sunlight, breaking its egg open, snarling, yapping, toothy. That turns into:
"It's kind of cute."
"More like ugly."
"Ours will be ugly, too."
"No it won't."
"We'll think it won't." Pause again. "But it will. Won't it?"
In our deliberating, we stand up and pace. We move our arms. We glance again.
And we drift back to our dark silk sheets.
Hand-atop-hand, we touch the top of the oblong egg.
It's like we can feel a world moving.
But we can't actually feel anything— It's too soon.
The double-pink-lined flashlights are in the trashcan, our only proof of this soon-to-be life. Before we bought the early-result bulbs, we—
The lead programmer says, "I don't like this."
So I ask, "What's wrong?"
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Small Stories, Big WorldsScience Fiction
Short stories exploring uploaded consciousness, simulated realities, and other fantastical science fiction. Collection includes contest entries spanning widely across sub-genres. Completed. #2 Dream World | October 18 #3 Contest Entries | October 18...