My conversation with Apollo did get me excited about what lay ahead, yet I had a heavy feeling in my heart, as though I was leaving something behind. Something or someone that I was going to miss. I looked around, hoping to see Apollo once more before leaving. I sighed in frustration when I did not find him anywhere.
Sayeh nudged me with her long serpentine like tail, prodding me to climb onto her back and begin the journey.
“Sayeh, you ready, girl?” I asked, stroking the blue-green scales on her back. “We have a long journey ahead of us, and I need you in your best form.”
She looked at me with her bright green eyes and nodded in agreement. Sayeh, my dragon, had grace and warmth about her that always seemed to calm me. Just as I was climbing onto her back, I heard Dad’s voice calling out to me.
“Leaving without saying goodbye to your dad, Arty?”
I turn around to face him and say, “I know I will see you there, Dad. Didn’t think goodbyes were necessary.”
“Is there a hint of resentment that I hear in your voice?”
“Resentment? Why would you think that?”
“Well, let’s see, I am displacing you to another world, I am asking you to leave straightaway, you are required to find a job, you’re leaving by yourself…must I go on?”
“OK…OK…I get it…you see through me! But it’s not like I am not excited about the prospects. Apollo did help me see why this is important, for the greater good, just like you said!”
He took a step closer to me and lifted my chin up to meet his eyes before saying, “I know you’re excited, dear daughter. And I also know what is weighing you down.”
“Yes, you are my daughter, after all. I know you!” he said, giving me a hug. “And that is why I have decided that Apollo will join you all in this mission.”
“What?” I squeal in excitement. “My brother will be joining us?”
“Of course, I have commanded him to join us at this mission on Earth; furthermore, he will soon be making the journey there, too.”
“Oh, Dad! This is the best news you could’ve given me!” I said, hugging him once more.
“Wait, before you get all excited, I have some bad news, too.”
“What bad news?”
“It’s about Sayeh, you cannot take her to the mortal world, child.”
“What? Why” I cried, putting a protective arm on Sayeh’s back.
“Because Sayeh’s a dragon! And a dragon has a dragon’s heart; it is going to look at the mortals as a tasty morsel of a meal. Not to mention the fire she may breathe that could demolish the mortals and their concrete jungles,” he explained calmly.
“No! Dad, I will be there with her! At all times! I guarantee that Sayeh will do no such thing. She will not destroy anything mortal and I promise, I promise to keep her away from the humans,” I pleaded.
“Artemis, I am sending you there for a mission! Not to babysit your dragon.” he said sternly.
“No buts. I will allow Sayeh to drop you off on Earth, but after that, she will return to Olympus!”
I was fuming and I wanted to show it. “What are you going to say next? That I can’t take my beloved bow and arrow? Do I have to leave that behind as well?” I asked in an annoyed tone.
“That you are allowed,” he responded immediately, sensing my mood. “I say yes to your bow and arrow because I know you will use it responsibly.”
“Of course! That’s it! That’s what I need to do!”
Father eyes me suspiciously, concerned at my sudden change in mood.
“I just need to be responsible for Sayeh!”
“Arty, I told you, she’s a dragon, you won’t be able to control her at all times.”
“Exactly, Dad! I will not be able to control her if she’s a dragon. But you forget that I have powers by which I can transform her into one of the animals that mortals aren’t afraid of!”
I look at Dad with what I think are puppy eyes trying to gauge his expression. He laughs at my appearance. “All right, all right! You were always the stubborn one! Remember, daughter, mortals do not have strange animals like a stag for a pet, so choose wisely when you transform Sayeh!” Dad said.
“I know, Dad! I will observe and learn from a few mortals before I transform her. Until then, I will restrain her in the woods!”
Dad seemed pleased with my answer. He wished me a safe journey and kissed me on my forehead.
Riding on Sayeh’s back, I felt peaceful tranquility, and the beautiful views of the verdant meadows and the lush green forests leading up to the rolling hills only added to the serenity. The winds tousled my hair as Sayeh started to descend into the woods. I did not want this journey to end, but I needed a place to hide Sayeh until I decided what to do with her. Somewhere safe where she will not be a danger to anyone, and no harm would come to her as well. I noticed a hill with a waterfall and thought that should be perfect, it’s bound to have a cave.
Sayeh flew into a landing near the waterfall, where I had indeed spotted a cave. I dismounted from her and stood there, enjoying the views. I drew in a breath and smelled the pleasant, dewy petrichor of post-rain dawn.
“This is it, Sayeh! Get ready for our latest adventures!” I said, smiling at Sayeh, who was already getting comfortable in her cave.