How can anyone have such a hot touch, like a dry wind that tears the night apart? A touch that wonders around your skin without apologies without pain? An impudent touch with hungry loving teeth, a touch that almost howls like a wolf under the cool full moon? This touch leaves a path on me and the edges will ache for a long time.

I catch my breath and in the darkness, I can see the eyes of a dragon. Everything around me originates from a land that once was. I wanted to tell the dragon how I always fall behind my dreams under this touch, how I can see more things than I used to think I would even be able to. I could not find the words in the darkness so I laughed instead. And the dragon understood. He just nodded and let his head rest in my arms.

I used to look at my face in the mirror in many mornings. My smile was so strange, like somebody else's.

The dragon gave me an amber necklace for my birthday. The necklace grew deep into my skin. Those who were not worth my longing would not see it. Nor those whose smell, or feel, or name I would not remember the day after.

The following year my arms started to sting. The dragon tried to snap at them gently and I scratched them against his scaly skin but nothing helped. The dragon just smiled while I cried. I thought that the dragons were not able to understand pain. In the morning, I found that I had wings, glorious shiny wings with long feathers. I raised my arms and let their fluffy halo dazzle me. I kissed the dragon to thank him for waiting. Now I knew the price of my wings.

Times were passing us like muddy brooks, centuries flowed past like dusty sand in the wind. And my footprints were lonely on my own land. One of the million similar days, I saw the picture. In the picture there was a beautiful goddess with shining wings - and she was wearing nothing but an amber necklace and my strange smile.

Only then I learned how cold can the dawn with its dew be, how heavy my wings. And I learned the value of my journey through time. The amber under my skin has changed into something else and I want to give that something to the dragon. He knows where I am. He knows I do not need the necklace because I have had it all my life. The dragon knows all.

The beautiful rhythm and aesthetics of English: Anukaisa Alanen, translator