(IP) The Last Dragon

(WP) The Last Dragon

               The
dragon sat sedate on the peak of the hill, listening intently. But all they
could hear was silence. They were alone, and they found no trace of their
brothers and sisters. The clans were gone.

               Was it
possible that they were the only one left of their great race? The thought of
being alone, truly alone on this green, lush planet, made them flap their
wings, walk in place. If they were feeling strong enough to use their voice,
they would scream, weep, or laugh. Despite their loss, they began to explore
their new home. Tall, leafy trees with heavy jewel-bright fruit, a rainbow of
stars and comets stitched in the fabric of the sky.

               It had
been a gorgeous place to land, at least.

               They
wandered, their mind full of memories too painful and fresh to hide from, even
in the beauty of their surroundings. Fire, shrieks of agony, dragons rent to
pieces and cold, wicked laughter.

               There
was a bright flare of hatred inside of the dragon, and upon confronting these memories,
it realized that the humans were at fault for the violence. They hadn’t warred
with the children of Earth for centuries. As their numbers had lessened, they’d
all become isolated, from one another and the outside world.

               It had
been something that they’d longed for since they’d had left behind egg years.
To see real humans, up close, had been a dream, a fire in their belly that hadn’t
gone out. Well, their wish had been granted, a price paid in the blood of their
kin.

               The
dragon found themselves wondering if they’d somehow caused the deaths of their
loved ones. Had the humans sensed its longing, capitalized on it to shed ‘monster’
blood? It was all so foolish.

               What
was the difference, in truth, between a human and a monster? Were they not the
same? Monsters came in all varieties. It was such a trite, human word. After
all, who determined what made a monster so?

Humans were so arrogant, so sure of
their own place in the world, never mind that all manner of creatures had
claimed the world before they so much as drew breath or opened their eyes.

But what good was vengeance,
retribution? The only result would be more spilled blood, and there was more
than enough of that to go around, for the dragon and the humans slain in the
war.

But they couldn’t just give up,
either.

Perhaps there was a better way to
go about things, even though they would never see their own like again.

After they were walking for some
time, the dragon came upon the beach, and beneath their clawed, long-toed feet,
they felt sand, smelled the salt in the air.

They couldn’t see hope now, but
that didn’t mean that it wasn’t there. Things would get better.

The pain would not disappear, but
it would recede with time.

At least the dragon had that. They
had life, and time, and a new home.

For now, that had to be enough.

**