The Ninth Dragon

Amy Tang trudged her way along the eight peaks of the Kowloon Peninsula. Legend was that if you traversed the eight dragons on the first day of the Lunar New Year, you might meet the ninth dragon.

The legend was as true as most, complete fabrication, and this one more honest than most in its lies. It was a story created to encourage Hong Kongers to hike, and the trail was busy today with people escaping small apartments and critical families.

It was good to be out, but she still wished, deep down where she was still eight years old, that the legend was true. Although, the ninth dragon was some old emperor according to a proper legend. Made proper by its age if nothing else. Meeting some man, or boy, the story generally said he was just a boy, didn’t sound terribly exciting.

She chuckled to herself. Maybe people had been meeting the ninth dragon this whole time, but never realised because he was just another boy in the crowd.

As she reached the final peak, and began the final ascent, fog descended. She groaned. This was not meant to happen. It was supposed to be clear all day.

She frowned. It was meant to be clear, and this was the wrong time of day, at the wrong time of year for a mist like this one.

The countryside around her faded away, and all she could see was the winding path, set amongst clouds, that would see her over the peak and down to the end of the trail.

She kept walking, and walking. This was strange, she’d done this trail before and she didn’t remember the final rise being this long, or this gentle in its incline. Had they put a new path in?

She stopped for a minute and looked around. Not that she could see much beyond her own little patch of ground. She couldn’t hear anything either. The chattering of the children, the Canto Opera blasting out of the grannies’ radios, all of it was gone.

She swallowed, this felt strange, frightening. Maybe she had taken a wrong turn, maybe she should turn back.

She turned to retrace her steps and found a man standing behind her.

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