Dragon Fire

Dragon Fire

5.0 2
by Wallace Collins

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The idea for my novel DRAGON FIRE blazed in my mind like hot cinders on that Thursday morning in August of 1996. I was sitting before my computer pondering my potential as a writer. I thought to myself that there must be a literary device I could devise to get my fiction published. Then, a strange thought occurred to me. It made me look at myself.

I began by


The idea for my novel DRAGON FIRE blazed in my mind like hot cinders on that Thursday morning in August of 1996. I was sitting before my computer pondering my potential as a writer. I thought to myself that there must be a literary device I could devise to get my fiction published. Then, a strange thought occurred to me. It made me look at myself.

I began by asking myself why I was getting up so early every morning just to write fiction. My attire then appears significant to me, enough for me to employ my apparel as motive. It took on a new meaning for me. What I wore became symbolic of my urgency to maintain a writing habit. It got into the habit of getting up early every morning and religiously entered my studio wearing my red dressing gown over my underwear, simply to write fiction. That tendency had not occurred as significant to me before as out of the ordinary.

I noted the strange thoughts occurring in my mind that Thursday morning. They took on a special meaning for me then. I had just returned from a trip to China where I suffered a severe case of Jet-lag. To compound my time and space disorientation, the flue bug I picked up in Hong Kong while in transit to California mesmerized me then. I had sat in the air-conditioned airplane after the airport diverted it from Tokyo to Macaw, and that is, no doubt, where the flu bug stung me.

A Typhoon raging in the China Seas caused our delay then. The plane sat at the Macaw airport for about three hours with the cold air conditioning going full blast. By the time I got to Los Angeles I became stuffed up and had a temperature. It was that discomfort that ailed me as I sat before my computer thinking what to write when the idea for my novel DRAGON FIRE hit me. It came to me then that the reason I could not remain in bed after three oclock in the mornings was that I suffered from all these ailments.  

Thus, the idea about a man becoming conditioned by his urge to write at a particular time every morning, seized me. I saw that his compulsion challenged him further to do something unceremonious that would match or counter that routine. He became fixated by a desire to do something different on that particular morning. I thought that the man would put himself in a strange predicament at that early hour of the morning. When I consider the character, and the litany of odd actions that he might take, or might occur to him, I grinned to myself. The humor, the tragedy and the strangeness of it struck me. I began to write a novel about a man walking barefoot in the street in the early hours of the morning, wearing a red dressing gown over his shorts.

I visualized myself as that man. Why? Simply because I was wearing a red dressing gown over my underwear. I took it as a challenge then in anticipating the repercussions from neighbors if they saw me outside barefoot on the street and in my sparse attire. I began to think that if I ventured into the street dressed the way I was, and use as an excuse my need to mail a letter to my publisher, what kind of reaction I would get? In my mind I began to build the story by stoking the fire under the plots pot, which soon begin to boil with tasty morsels of the story.

For instance, I imagined that I would be picked up by the police and taken to the police station. While I am there, they would call my wife to verify my identity and my story. Then, they would know that I was not just some nut wondering on the street half naked early in the morning, but a sane, though misguided individual. My wife would confirm that I was her loving husband, and not just a weirdo. Of course, they would advise her to come and pick me up and to bring clothes and shoes for me while she was at it.

I made notes of this scenario and expanded on it later. Accordingly, I thought that I would present the story with humor and irony as it had originally struck me. The story should also have some realism. If I have the main character try to explain to the police why he was on the street scantily dressed and barefoot that early in the morning simply to mail a letter, it would evoke irony if not, comedy.

He repeats his story to the police officers at ad nauseam, thus heightening the implausibility of his declaration that he was merely mailing a letter to his publisher. Naturally, his explanation served only to increase the police officers' reason to doubt his story that he had left the front door to his house open.  It is here that I step aside and allow Elliott to tell his story in the reality of fiction.



Wallace Collins

Book Summary

It was three oclock in the morning when a man wearing a red dressing gown over his shorts, walked barefoot from his house, leaving the front door open as he traipsed up the street to mail a letter. The consequence of his bizarre act propelled the story in unexpected directions that caused untold suffering to his wife and doom to associate characters. The front door Elliott had left open in the early hours of the morning provided the entrance for other characters' initial appearance in the story. Some are his relatives and some are his friends, while others are negative characters who enter to do harm to his family.  It was this incursion by others and the situational involvement into Elliott and Jennifer, his wife's life that the story strove to resolve.

The theme of the story attempts to reconcile the intrusion, the murders, the suicide, the sex, the parenthood--real and adopted, to the tales legitimate reality. The front door Elliott had left open provided the material of what seemed to him then as a simple and harmless act, which ultimately snowballed into a bigger ball of wax.

Elliott works as a night supervisor at a post office in Manhattan.

He stays awake during the day by drinking countless cups of coffee while he answers to his "calling" as a fiction writer. He has been stretching himself out on a long, awaited novel he has been writing over the past eight years. The title of the novel he is writing is Red Robe. It begins with Elliott leaving his wife in bed in the early hours of the morning to enter his studio to work on his novel. He sees a letter he had written the day before sitting on the shelf over his desk. Elliott contemplates what to do with the letter. Elliott pondered whether to put off mailing it until later that morning. He would then drop the letter into the mail box at the corner of his street.

Again, he felt that he should take a walk immediately up his street and mail the letter. Reason tells him to wait until later in the morning. His rationale became superseded by a sense of urgency that told him to mail the letter while he remembered it. He must drop it into the letter box before he begins to write lest he forgets it and lose the five oclock mailbox pickup. He becomes fixated on mailing the letter.

Elliott decided to mail the letter immediately. He walked out of his house leaving the front door open. He was certain that it would take him just a few minutes to walk to the top of his street and mail the letter and be back into his house. From then on, he became confident that he would be back in a short time. He felt sure that the street, and area where he lived--period--did not pose a threat or any danger to his family. He was certain that no one would enter the front door he had left open the short time he would be away mailing the letter.

Elliott stepped out onto the side walk barefoot and wearing a red dressing gown over his shorts. He opened the chute of the letter box and dropped the letter in the letter box and the chute fell shut. Immediately, a police car pulled up beside him. A male black and a white female police officer emerged from the cruiser. Both officers approached him slowly, their hands resting firmly on the automatic weapon holstered at their side. The black police officer asked him what he was doing out in the

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Dragon Fire 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello i am foxtail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi Foxtail. What are you?