Her Dragon was the size of a large dog by now. He was pure white with rich deep brown eyes. They were walking down a well worn animal track with Rose in the lead. She could hear Dragon behind her sniffing the area for any danger and possibly supper. Both were aware of their surroundings and watching for any danger that might come at them from anywhere. The forest was quiet except for the occasional bird singing in the tree tops and the soft breeze rustling the leaves. Rose felt the warm sun on her face in the patches that managed to reach the forest floor. The air smelled of earth, fresh and calming. Rose had been feeling little twinges of late in her midsection and was feeling rather irritable too. Suddenly Dragon’s nose caught the faint whiff of something. “Blood?” Rose heard Dragon’s thoughts. Softly Rose said, “Where? where is it coming from?” Dragon did not answer. He just kept sniffing the air, searching. Finally Rose stopped and asked again a little louder than she had intended, “What is it?!” Dragon looked at her a little hurt and said, “I don’t know, its really faint. I think its blood. It seems to be strongest near you.” Rose looked at Dragon a little surprised and said, ” I am not bleeding though. I have no cuts on me.” Rose checked her arms and legs for any wounds or cuts. She checked her stomach and had Dragon check her back. Nothing. Satisfied they continued on their way until lunch time. Dragon ate his lunch with his usual enthusiasm. Rose for some reason wasn’t that hungry. She picked at her bread. She couldn’t explain it but she wasn’t that hungry. Soon they were back on the animal trail heading towards the little town that Rose knew was still a day away. By the time they stopped for supper Dragon could really smell the blood. Rose decided she was going to the stream that she could hear not far from their camp. When Rose and Dragon reached the edge of the small spring they could see it trickling down through the stream bed away to the south. The spring was clean and large enough for them to both get in and swim around in it. The water was crystal clear and they could easily see the bottom and the few fish swimming in among the rocks. Dragon was the first to go into the water. “The water is warm! Like when it is heated over a fire!” Dragon said to her. Rose smiled at Dragon and told him, “This is probably a hot spring then. Warmed by the fires in the center of the earth.” Rose remembered some of the teachings that the old man had taught her in her short time at the Flower Shoppe. While Dragon was busy swimming under the water on the other side of the small spring she shed he clothes and quickly slipped into the water. The water felt amazing. She instantly relaxed and felt her muscles relax. for the first time that day, Rose smiled. The water even felt good to her stomach that was still cramping. “Rose The blood is in the water! Rose it is coming from you. Look.” Dragon said to her. Rose opened her eyes angry at being disturbed once again with the nonsense of blood coming from her. She opened her eyes to see that Dragon was in front of her but he wasn’t looking at her face he was looking lower in the water. Rose followed his gaze and saw small ribbons of blood coming from her and floating on the current. Rose quickly climbed out of the water and saw to her horror that blood was coming from her. She checked her clothes to see if she could find where the wound might be. She found her underclothes and found the spots of blood. The blood was where her groin area was. It was at that moment that she realized what was happening. Rose had become a woman.
The Black Rose