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PORTRAIT OF LADY DRACANTHRA

Dreamed and painted 2001 by Chris Wayan

Not a clear dream, but I recall one flash. One side of my family came from England, and I was there, walking through the mansion of my ancestors. A long hall holds a line of ancestral portraits, in elaborate gilded frames. And slowly, as I go down the line, noting the family eyes and nose and jaw, I realize, from the script on the name-plates, and my ancestors' features, that this isn't the quite the England we know.

The earliest portrait was this.

Portrait of my ancestor, Lady Dracanthra, who has suspiciously saurian traits. Click to enlarge.
The golden name-plate was not in any language I knew--not even letters, but some sort of curling glyphs, like pointed, split reptilian tongues.
Golden nameplate with a short phrase in curling glyphs, not Roman letters.
But I could somehow read this dragon-tongue, and it said:

Lady Dracanthra
1392-2013

When I woke, I hauled out an elaborate, old-fashioned picture frame, and cut a wood panel to fit it, and dabbed on dozens of layers of acrylic paint with a kitchen sponge--and occasionally my thumbs. I used no brush, except a few details.

Head of my ancestor, Lady Dracanthra, who has suspiciously saurian traits.
It's true, by the way, that I come from a long-lived family; but 621 years is unusual even for my relatives. I don't know why the dream hinted that it's due to dragon blood. Except my relatives who really live long seem to share a certain ruthless humor that might be summed up:

"What fools these mammals be."



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