All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Mei Lien stroked the petal of one of her enchanted lotus, staring out at the sky waiting for nightfall, and the moon. The water below her was beautiful, rippling quietly and keeping her company with it's quiet gurgle, but she yearned to see something besides it and her prison. The papery petal kissed her hand as night fell and she waited for the moon. She saw the shadow of her moon hut dance across the water. The moon was to her back, she had to wait.
She picked the lotus in anticipation, quietly spinning it between her palms and listening to it's whispers as the wind whistled through its petals. She saw silver lights start to float up from it. The moon was almost there.
“What will I do with you?”
The same as ever. No, why not try something new this time? She felt silver light illuminate her face and looked up at the moon.
“Greetings, Yueliang.” she smiled at the moon and plucked some of her light, weaving it into the lotus. The silver sparks became more frequent until the lotus became a small becon of the moon.
“Fly, my lotus. I hope you find someone. Fortune with you.” she released the lotus and it flew gently on the wind from her. Oh, what was she thinking? This wouldn't work any better than any other lotus she released. But she couldn't give up, she had to know what was out there. She returned to the inside of her moon hut. It had no door, but it's window was large and in the shape of a full moon. Outside the window, her lotus grew to the height of her window. Inside was a sleeping mat and some other basic necessities. There was no escape from it, but for the lotus blooms.
Every night she could enchant one flower, though it's power would be void at sunrise. She tried to get word out. Typically, she would drop it to the water with an enchanted message or something, but maybe a flying lotus would get the attention of someone who could help.
Hai-yun watched the water intently from the shore, waiting for the newest lotus. Her master needed the moons power, and the girl had a strange possession of it. Fei-Long had been a moon dragon, until he fell. She was not privy to the specifics. But when his position was lost, a human was selected. The girl became Blue Lotus, or Lan Lianhua. If she passed 20 years, she would be transformed into the moon dragon and Fei-Long would be trapped on the ground for eternity.
He had sent her to find the baby 19 years ago. Tienlong protected her from them and hid the child, with defenses. Neither could get near her. But if they collected all her lotuses then the power could be given to Fei-Long, who would finally have a chance to reclaim his kingdom. If Hai-Yun served him faithfully, when he succeeded he would take her with him to the moon, and she would become the moon princess, outsting Ch’ang O. They might even be able to kill the girl, if they could keep her from the moon long enough.
She spotted from the corner of her eye something bright and silver, faintly glowing. This lotus flower was flying, for some reason. Maybe she would have to be more careful about making sure she found them all after this. She fished it from the air and left for Fei-Longs home.
Fei-Long stared down at the moon reflected in a small pool in his cave, under a hole enchanted to aim at the moon all night without moving. His face was grim as he stared at it. He deserved to be on his silver throne. He deserved the power, not some weak human girl.
Tienlong had been wrong to take him from his realm. He had done no evil. Ch’ang O, the moon princess, had been infringing on his domain. Everything he had done to her had been just. His pale blue body writhed with fury. It grew duller and paler by the day. His power dwindled, but not for long.
He looked down at the opal clutched always in his claw, pulsing with power. This would send him back, and he wouldn't be banished again. Tienlong may have been lord of dragons, but he was the moons. He would return, and he would keep his power.
He turned to his servant, Hai-Yun. “That flower isn't wet.”
“She had it flying this time. It tried to lead me back to her.”
“Shes getting more clever. Is there any risk of her escaping, do you think?”
“I doubt it, though if shes changing her methods I could be to late to collect the lotus.”
“Very well. Dismissed.” he took the flower and transferred the power to his opal. If the blue lotus were to escape her refuge, she would reclaim the power in his opal. It would protect her from him and anyone from him. It could not be allowed to happen. Fortunately, she couldn't escape without outside help. She would need a ladder or something.
He basked in the moonlight as if eating it, drawing strength and imagining the day he would crush blue lotus for her insolence and rule once more. Without a moon princess taking power from him. He would have all the power, and Ch’ang O would stay here forever. He didn't care what happened to Hai-Yun. He would probably reward her somehow, he wouldn't let her be the moon princess. If Tienlong wanted to get involved, he would get what was coming to him.
Mei Lien stared out the window from across the room, sitting on her sleeping mat and very bored. Maybe she should try new stuff. She had already tried getting lotus flowers to carry her down or something, it hadn't worked. She ended up sending a giant, flying, slightly broken, glowing lotus off without her.
She ate a lotus, chewing slowly, as she waited for dusk. It came slowly, like always. She woke up just as the blazing sun was lowering on the horizon. The moon appeared and she talked to it to ease the loneliness. She didn't remember learning to speak. Or learning to do anything. She preferred the explanation that the moon taught her, however true or false it was. This time, she sent her lotus off floating, as ussual, but with directions to grow and hold anyone who touched it.
She sighed and settled back down. What was she thinking? Nobody ever found her flowers. 2 hours later she heard something outside, besides the ripple of the water. She ran to the window. Had it worked? A giant closed flower floated into view, rocking gently with muffled shouts coming from inside. The flower opened and a terrified woman stood their, her jet hair disheveled and covered entirely in silver dust.
“Hello! My name is-”
“I know who you are, blue lotus! Never do that again, fool. You will never rule the moon!”
“What? Who said anything about-”
“Die you foul imposter!'' The woman leapt from the lotus and bagan swimming, dragging the lotus with her. Mei Lien stared in shock, a tear forming. What had she done wrong? She never claimed to rule the moon! The only other person she had ever met just told her to die?! Why had she been so cruel?! Maybe she was best staying where she was. People out there were awful! She turned back inside and sat on her beed, crying in confusion. What had she done? Was that normal? She felt more alone then ever…
The moons light fell in just a way that every inch of her room was covered with moonlight. She looked up at the moon and felt comforted. So what if other people were jerks? She would just stay put and not deal with them.
Something about that felt wrong. People couldn't all be like that. Right? What that person said hurt her. She stared down at the water as the moon reflected on the still ripples. She wanted to touch it and know what it was like, more than just the water her lotus brought her(water comes up inside their petals. They’re also edible.). She wanted to see what was beyond the water too. She didn't know how, but she knew there had to be something. Besides, how else did that person come on the lotus?
Tienlong watched from the heavens as the girl, blue lotus Mei Lien, managed to see another human, a servant of her enemy and his. He should vist her again to help her get past it. He couldn't free her himself, but he had taught her how to speak read, write, and told her about the outside world. He remembered when she was a child staring at him with wide blue eyes, asking for another story of outside. Of course, she couldn't remember his visits.
His golden serpentine body whipped about as he saw her collapse onto her bed, crying in confusion. Poor child. He pushed the moon to comfort her, and she seemed to feel better. He flew down and landed outside her hut, his face inside. As she saw him, her memories returned and she smiled.
Mei Lien stared down at the moon reflected in the water, lost in thought, when she saw something, like a flying golden snake, head toward her. A dragon. She stared at it until he arrived and memories flooded back.
“Tienlong! I haven't seen you in forever. Did you see what just happened?”
“Yes, child.” his deep comforting voice soothed her. “Pay that woman no heed. She is the servant of a jealous creature bent on your destruction.”
“But I've never seen another human before, and one of my lotus actually found someone finally!”
“They all do. She collects your lotus and takes them someplace else. Perhaps instruct the next to avoid her.”
“Yes, Tienlong. But something feels different. Like pain, but inside.”
“It's ok. She hates you and thats not your fault. Forget her and try to get word out to a better human, ok?”
“Ok.” she nodded. Tienlong left, and she wistfully stared until he was hidden by clouds.
What had she been thinking about? She didn't know… regardless. She wouldn't let that woman make her give up. She would just tell her lotuses to avoid her and seek out other humans. She would have the new ones fly.
The next night, she did so. She also sent it in a different direction than she normally did. It had instructions to try and reach the nearest human but actively avoid the one that had been so cruel. Once delivered, it would give a message and lead the person to her. If they didn't follow it would find another.
Hai-Yun spotted the flower floating on it's way, faintly glowing. Wonderful. She reached up to pluck it from the air, but it dodged her. What? Really? This was in no way funny. She tried her best to catch it, but eventually had to give Fei-Long news of her failure.
Ch’ang O knelt in a rice field, staring up at the moon. She missed it. She hated how cruel Fei-Long had been with her. The moon was her home too. Yet he decided he deserved all the power and banished her here. She didn't know what had been going on since, though she had seen Tienlong flying in the area a few times. Nearby was a vast expanse of shallow water, prone to growing lotus. Strangely, it didn't have rice.
Something she sensed caught her attention. Moon magic. She looked up and saw a blue lotus flower glowing faintly silver with some sparks from inside. It lowered to her and hovered there, waiting for her to take it. She eagerly clasped it's stem and watched in wonder.
“Hello. I hope this gets out, and I hope my lotus avoided that person woman thing who yelled at me last night. If you are a human, and you are friendly, please come help me. I've been trapped all my life and I don't know what to do. My lotus will guide you to me. My name is Mei-Lien. Please help.”
Ch’ang O stared at it. This was amazing! She didn't know who the girl was, but she had sent a lotus brimming with moon magic, and that was good enough for her. She followed the lotus deep into the lotus water. Near the center, she thought she saw something on the horizon.
Fei-Long glared down at Hai-Yun.
“Sorry, master. The lotus was actively avoiding me. I think it's because the girl met me. She didn't want to again, so she prevented it.”
“I need that power! We will never get home if you don't collect the lotus! Oh, I’ll just have to do it myself.”
“Sorry, my lord.”
He ignored her and seethed as he went out to find the lotus. It was gone.
Mei-Lien was sitting in her hut crafting something with lotus petals and stems. She had once stayed up all night, searching hopefully for any sign of a person. She gave up long ago. At this point, crafting lotus was simply something to do to pass the time. She had no hope.
“Hello? My name is Ch’ang O, I'm looking for a girl named Mei-Lein. Is anybody there?”
She dropped her thing and bolted up, eyes wide in shock. What was that? A person? What if it was cruel too? She hid behind a chair. But wait, what if it was a friend? She tiptoed around uncertainly. She was so nervous!
“Hello? Is anyone there? Theres a lot of power here, and lotus. Do you know where I can find Mei-Lien?”
Get it together! She forced herself to walk to the window. “Why?”
“She said she needed help. I found a lotus she sent, so I followed it. Do you know where she is?”
“Do you mean to yell at or be angry with her?”
“What? No, of course not. She said she needed help.”
“Ok, I'm Mei-Lien.”
“Hello, what's wrong?”
“I'm trapped. I can't get down from here. I can't remember when I wasn't, but I just know theres something and someone out there. I don't know how.”
“How do you survive?”
“The lotus provides. Do you know a way down?”
“Yes, I can go get a ladder or something.”
“Wait, you're going to leave? Right now? Already?”
“Yes, but I’ll be right back. Watch the moon, I always feel like i'm not alone when I do.”
“Me too! And I have plenty of experience being alone.”
“Ok, I’ll see you in a minute.”
“o...Ok.” she watched the only person she ever knew the name of or had ever been kind to her leave. What if she didn't come back?
Ch’ang O grinned as she left the girl. Finally, some sort of hope from the moon! She didn't know exactly what was going on or why the girl was there, but it was hope. She went to her temporary home and grabbed a ladder, clutching the lotus tight. It was her hope. She heard air rushing behind her and turned to see Fei-Long, his scales dull and his eyes duller. Angry, still.
“Greetings, old friend. How did you get here?”
“The moon is mine! Don't take another step. That girl will stay where she is.”
“Yeah… no. i don't think so. This is the first I've heard from the moon since… oh, since when was it? Oh yeah, when you tried to seize everything i built for yourself and banished me. So, how’d you get here? Did you just really want to see me?”
“That vile worm Tienlong banished me.”
“I only see one vile worm.”
“You will take back your words, drop that ladder, and pretend that girl doesn't exist.”
“Or what? Your power is low now, except… what's that? Well thats pretty, can see it?” she spotted his opal and stared at it. Filled with power. She had to get it away from him. She needed to break it or something, get it away from him. If possible, get it for herself. He stared at her and it and seemed to realize it was in peril and he was weak, to weak to defend it. He flew away, grabbing the lotus from her as he did. She was angry, but she had to get back to that girl. Something about her was important. The girl was innocent, to naive to have any agenda, but she had power and a connection to the moon. Mei Lien was her way home.
She brought the ladder and propped it against the huts frame. It just barely reached the window.
“Here, I’ll steady it for you. Don't be afraid, you're fine.”
Mei Lien stared hopefully out, almost believing the girl wouldn't come back. The moonlight on her face kept her hope alive. She waited for a thousand years, which strangely didn't even last the night. But it was absolutely a thousand years! And she stayed there all thousand of them. Finally she saw a figure on the horizon. It was Ch’ang O with a strange contraption she propped against the hut.
“Here, ill steady it for you. Don't be afraid, you're fine.”
“Are you sure? How do i use this thing?”
“Hold it, ill show you.”
The girl used the ladder.
“I don't know, it looks dangerous.”
“Just trust me, I’ll catch you if you fall.”
She climbed down carefully and agonizingly slowly. Dawn was breaking when she arrived. When her feet dropped into the water, she laughed. It was such an odd sensation! She wiggled the toes in her sandals. So weird!
“Uhhh are you ok?”
She giggled. “It's so wet! And squishy! I’ve always wanted to do this!”
“Ok, great, now you have, lets go. It's dangerous.”
She turned and whispered goodbye to her lotus. “Ok ok. I made up a world outside. Is there a thing called grass?”
“Yes, how did you know?”
“I don't know, i made it up, maybe in a dream. Tell me about grass!”
“Well… it's green. And under your feet.”
“And is rice real?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Tell me about it!”
“Well… you eat it.”
“So like lotus?”
“Actually yeah. It grow in water and…”
She kept pestering Ch’ang O about what outside was like until they finally reached shore. Mei Lien stared in wonder. It was beautiful! She hesitated to step foot onto it, it was so perfect! She took off her sandal and placed her foot on the grass. It made her laugh too. It was prickly and funny!
She put her weight on it and felt something rush to her. It was like she was wrapped in the moonbeams from every lotus she ever sent out(she was). They weaved themselves into a sheild for her and then tightened until they were in her skin. She glowed faintly.
Fei-Long lounged in the shadows of his cave hiding from the sun. suddenly he felt something in his claws and stared down in horror. The opal in his claw flared and then all it's color and light was sucked out of it. No! That was it. His power, his final chance was gone. His scales turned white. Not a pure free white like a wind dragon. A dull greyish white. He clutched a final bit off power from that which fled him.
No more waiting. That wasn't an option anymore. This was his last chance and he wouldn't blow it. He took the power himself and felt his scales brighten. Hai-Yun stared at him, worried. He ignored her and rose. He had to find that girl. It was almost to late. He couldn't let her change.
Mei-Lien smiled at Ch’ang O.
“Thanks for your help. Where are we going again?”
“To a dragon temple, Tienlongs.”
“I've heard that name before. Wait, thats not possible…”
“Maybe. Hey, how old are you?”
“I'm not… wait, I think I turn 20 tomorrow. I don't know how I know that either.”
“You don't know a lot. But if you're who i think, no, that can't be right. Never mind.”
“Ok?” they kept along the road until they finally made camp. That day when they were both asleep Tienlong visited. He tapped a claw to her forehead and left. She had a dream. She was on the moon, as a dragon. Tienlong was telling her something… it was important… oh, she wished she could focus enough to hear!
She woke up and stared down at herself. She had scales. Blue dragon scales, the color of her lotus. She screamed.
“What's wrong? What wrong? Is this normal when you're on land?”
“Relax. You're 20 now, aren't you?”
“Yeah, probably, so?”
“I was right. You're the new moon dragon.”
“It must have been 20 years ago or so that the moon dragon, Fei-Long, decided he wanted all the power of the moon. He banished the moon princess to take all the power of the moon. The ruler of the dragons, Tienlong, saw what happened and grew angry, because the balance between the two was disrupted. So he banished Fei-Long and gave his power to a girl. But the dragon hunted the girl, so he locked her in a safe place. Then everyone forgot about the moon princess, except for trying to put them nearby. Thats what i assume happened, i only know part of the story.”
“Wait, you mean i'm the moon dragon now?”
“Correct. And that one with you was the moon princess, until she wasn't worthy and i banished her.” they both turned to a dragon that looked similar to her.
“You're the evil dragon?”
“I'm not evil. I was wrongfully banished. Now you're in my way and i don't like that. Now, this is how the story ends. The new dragon fights the rightful moon dragon for the position. She dies. Then the honorable Fei-Long kills the moon princess like he should have done in the first place and goes home.”
Ch’ang O stood and stared him down. “There is no honor in killing her, worm. You never needed my power. Whatever Tienlong did to you, you deserved. Leave her be and go die in your hole.”
“Stay out of this, princess. It's her turn to die.”
“No, it's yours.” they heard a whistle of air and Tienlong landed between them. She backed up, confused.
“Wait, you're the, and then you banished, an now i'm, and what? Where does-”
“Yes. i'm the moon princess. He’s the evil dragon who banished me. You're everyones ticket to getting something. Now stay back and let us deal with him. This is our fight. We should have finished it long before.”
She did as told and watched in confusion as they all fought. Ch’ang was knocked unconscious. That woman showed up who had yelled at her! She stared fighting with Fei-Long, but Mei-Lien pinned her down. It felt a lot like holding a lotus, actually. She focused on her and started weaving moonlight. And then she disintegrated into silver dust.
“Good- job… Mei-lien.” Tienlong grunted. Shehad figured it out, so she ran forward and helped a little. She used her power to distract Fei-Long. That was all she knew she could do without getting in the way. Tienlong finally succeeded and deftly ripped the power, all the power, from Fei-Long. Fei-Long crumpled.
“Now, you go to the moon. You need to keep balance with Ch’ang O. she can explain to you what you can do.”
“Ok? Will i ever go home again?”
Tienlong laughed. You're going home. To the moon.”
“Tienlong, do you know where my husband is? I haven't seen him since i was banished.”
“Ah, yes, come with me and we’ll work that out and…”
Mei-Lien stared up at the moon and it started getting bigger. She didn't realize, but she was flying home.