Dragon Tech Support Script:

PROBLEM: Your dragon isn't breathing fire.

Have you checked the pilot light?

To access your dragon's pilot light press the 'jaw release' lever located at the top, right side of the neck just behind the mandible. The pilot light should be in the hinge of the epiglottis.

If the light is extinguished, exit the dragon and find access valve G-3 below the sixth thoracic vertebra. Turn clockwise to close. Keep the dragon ventilated in an open space for no less than fifteen minutes, then re-enter the dragon and use a long, fire-place style match to ignite the pilot light.

Once it is lit, exit the dragon once more, disengage the 'jaw release' lever, allowing the dragon to close their mouth, and re-open valve G-3 (turning all the way counter-clockwise) to re-enable the fuel feed to the dragon's fire breath.

Your dragon should now be able to breathe fire. If not, hug it and tell it what a good dragon it is and that you're sorry it's sick, and bring it to an Authorized Dragon Repair Shop.

It was me. More precisely, it was so quiet the soft sound of my office chair squeaking as I breathed was audible.

*headdesk*

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Me: “I AM STILL HEARING IT.”

Everything else in the house: “…it’s not us.”

Me: “GRRRR, WHAT THE—”

Then I realized.

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Me: “What is that noise?”

Dog: *snoring*

Me: “No, that’s not it.”

Kids: *occupied elsewhere in the house*

Me: “Nope. What the hell, it’s driving me crazy, what is that NOISE?”

The entire house: *quiet*

Over dinner, the kids told me the plots of all three Kung Fu Panda movies, complete with sound effects.

If I ever watch them, I suspect it’ll disturb the absolutely fantastic headcanon I now have.

It is a sign that as powerful as you thought they were, you are more. And have *always been* more.

And with that thought, I’m going to go see if there are any doughnuts left.

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It’s not weakness to admit you have reached the end of your cope and ask a trusted friend for a morsel of help. It is, rather, a sign that your abusers—powerful and deadly and godly as they seemed at the time—could not break you.

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And the weird thing is, often the people you know and trust and finally bring yourself to ask for help are thrilled to give it, without strings, shouting, or nastiness. Often, they’re more than willing and happy to be of some aid!

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I repeat: It is an act of human courage to seek out help when necessary, and an act of supreme courage to do it when you were raised to expect nothing but mockery, abuse, and further degradation for doing so.

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Right now, things are hard, and asking for help is even harder. If you’ve had to do it recently, you’re not bad, you’re not broken, and you’re not alone.

You are, in fact, very brave.

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It’s very, very scary to ask for help, even from people you know and trust, when you were raised to never show any vulnerability/weakness because it would always be turned against you in horrifying ways.

YOU GO, ADORABLE SNOWFLAKE GUY. My faith in humanity is well on its way to being restored.

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And the snowflake guy is ADORABLE. “Nobody ever asks, ‘what’s this black hole for?’”. And the classic, “I wanna be the guy who figures this out.”

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Not only do I love the prism vs. basal facet nucleation stuff, but the idea that a sapphire is used in making the lab snowflakes just DELIGHTS me to no end.

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And now I want to write a story where two identical snow crystals end the world because of their sheer impossibility.

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I mean, he was right, and I also need no cardio for the rest of the week. Whew.

It’s neat when your kid is so excited about something they come running to share, even in adulthood.

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My son: “MUM!”

Me: *heart racing* “WHAT? WHAT IS IT? ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?”

My son: “Oh yeah, I just thought you’d like this video about snowflakes.”

youtube.com/watch?v=ao2Jfm35Xe

I…may need a Shiba Inu apron like Tatsu’s. Because reasons.

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