A Dream I Fell Into
A Skin & Scales Story
by Sherri Cornelius

I tell you this story so you will know we are the same. I have scales and you have skin, but if you choose to come with me, you will gain this armor as well. You will change inside, as well, I don’ lie. It is la desmayo which changes you, but it is not time to talk about that. If you choose the armor, then you will see for yourself.
My abuela was important to me, as yours is to you. She would often say, “There is a shadow over your shoulder, nieto,” and she would point. Sometimes her eyes, they would startle me and I would turn around to see...nothing.
Since my birth, Abuela said I was chosen. It is an honor, she said. I did not know what she saw, or why anyone would choose me for anything. She nodded when I dreamt aloud of the man I would become, the wife who would someday grace my house, the children who would run in the yard with the chickens. She would nod because she wanted me to feel safe, even though she saw the shadow that should not be there, waiting for me.
The way you see me now.
My dreams of manhood were only daydreams. At night I dreamt of fire and loss, and I was a Warrior--but then again, a dream is a glimpse into a true world. Did you know that? It is un regalo de dios,a gift from God to humanity that you Travel la desmayo and these other worlds only when you sleep, so you may call it a dream. Creatures such as I must guard against slipping accidentally into these other worlds. We live outside them, behind a veil of time.
My grandmother told me stories. Now I see they were mostly true, but for this armor. She thought the angels had wings and the demons had scales. She thought they battled with swords high above in Heaven or under her feet inside the Earth. But we angels are the ones with scales, and she would not find the Underworld by going up or down. It is simply not-there, nor-here.
Still, we Ushers inhabit the same city you do, behind this black veil of ours. When we want you to see us, we lift that veil and seem to appear, but the truth is we are always there, behind you, beside you, watching.
And now I have scales for armor--a dragon-man, as you have called me, throughout. My grandmother is gone and all the rest of them. They are a dream I fell into once, a hundred years ago or yesterday, I don' know.
We are the same, the two of us, you and me. Both Warriors. I was once human, chosen to fight for the Light of God, and now I choose you. Will you take the armor and fall into this new dream?

Copyright 2013 by Sherri Cornelius
Reprint with permission

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