This story is a continuation of the post My Dream House.
They were scientists working on a top secret, privately financed project together. They had been working on this project in a science lab on one of the smaller Hawaiian islands owned by a lovely woman nicknamed Goldfish for a couple of years. They were trying to create dragons.
Mildred, clearly the brains of the operation, wasn’t keenly interested in creating dragons like the rest of her colleagues, but she was fascinated with the concept of creating life from nothing. Her involvement in the project was not for any vast god-like power nor any designs on becoming an evil mastermind, but simply because she thought she could do it. She could see all sorts of practical applications that could come from this should she succeed. She might even be able to create a new heart for her ailing little boy who was only five.
While Mildred was ardently in favor of the scientific advances that could create them, she was afraid of the dragons themselves. She believed that, should her science prevail, it would be a travesty of nature and that only bad things could come of creating dragons in a world where there were none.
She raised her concerns in a staff meeting. This project that they were working on, unimaginatively code named Dragon Genesis, was dangerous. If they should succeed, there was no telling what could happen. They hadn’t even set up the dragon pen on the south side of the island yet. All her colleagues laughed off her notions as, well, laughable and called her a worrywart. After that, she kept her opinions to herself. She debated quitting the project and going back to the mainland, but she knew she would never have access to the top of the line equipment that she had on the island or the opportunity to work on her pet project unfettered if she left. She thought of her little boy and kept slaving away every day.
One night, as she was working in the lab on her own after hours, she found the key. She had finally figured it out. She wondered whether she should tell the rest of the scientists, but she decided to keep the information to herself for the time being until she could apply it to human hearts as well.
As much as she liked Goldfish, she didn’t trust her completely. She had to sign a nondisclosure and forfeiture of rights agreement when she had signed on to work on Dragon Genesis. If she told them now, she might not be able to create a new heart for her son. There was a good chance that, if she told Goldfish what she discovered, she would let Mildred continue her research, but she decided not to take the risk.
Her hours became erratic. She made sure that she was mainly working in the lab by herself and she hardly saw the rest of her colleagues at all. After weeks of diligent work, she had a new heart for her son. It was then, in the staff meeting, that she made her discovery known. Everyone was thrilled.
Mildred asked Goldfish if it would be alright if she took a vacation with her son since she had been working so hard on this project all along. Goldfish thought it odd that she wouldn’t want to see the dragons she had created come into being, but she granted the request anyway. She arranged for her private jet to fly Mildred and her boy anywhere they wanted to go.
The next day, when her colleagues were busy following her dragon recipe, Mildred went to the airfield with her son and waited for the jet to fly her out of there forever. In her left hand was a cooler containing a small human heart. In her right, was her son’s hand. They watched the jet taxi down the runway. A worker at the airfield said that they had to unload the supplies they had just brought back from the mainland, but in an hour or so, they would be ready to fly her to Los Angeles.
Mildred was strangely nervous. It had been a year since she had been to the mainland. Her friend Dr. Rogers was going to meet them at the airport and whisk them off to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to do the heart transplant. It was all arranged. She had explained everything to her son and she told him not to be afraid. She told herself not to be afraid, too.
An hour later, she was staring out the window of the private jet. As the jet was circling around over the island to right itself towards the mainland, she looked down at the science lab where she had worked for two years. Something was not right. There was smoke pouring out of the building. She saw little white dots, presumably her coworkers in lab coats, streaming out of the building. Then, all of a sudden, a massive thing burst from the building moving fast. It was on fire. No, it wasn’t on fire; it was a fire-breathing dragon. In an instant, she saw it incinerate four of the little white dots.
She sat staring out the window in disbelief, trying to process what she had just seen, until the island was just a speck in the distance. When she couldn’t see the island anymore, she relaxed back into her seat and took her son’s hand in her own. She closed her eyes to get some sleep, but one phrase kept running through her mind; I told you so. A smile crept across her face.