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The Mask Chaser of Dreams Past
Writer/Photographer: Christine Stoddard
Model: Gillan Ludlow
For months, a Chinese dragon haunted me in my sleep--
one of crimson and gold and emerald green,
with a screaming face confined to a wooden mask.
It watched me in my dreams, hiding like a stalking beast.
It peered from the depths of the thickest brush,
in the dark heart of the heaving forest,
echoing silence as it held its roars in its throat.
My task was to catch it, to tame it, somehow I knew
I was to tear it from its kingdom and make it my serf.
I would reign from my throne overlooking the lake
and it would fetch me water and wine in gold goblets;
scrub and wash my flowing robes in bubbling basins;
and sacrifice itself for my every whim, my every fancy.
But first I had to wear it, press it over my face,
and absorb its mighty powers until my skin glowed.
Then I, too, would possess the spirit of the dragon.