The last dragon

The summer heat clung to me, sticking to my skin, lingering in my hair. The smell of dry dirt, stirred up by the wheels of an occasional passing car, hung in the air. The streets were almost empty, the scent of hot asphalt made me a bit nauseous as I walked through the streets. A walk home that I wasn’t enjoying. Coming home with a letter from school, written by a teacher who claimed to be “concerned” about me. That I might be depressed, suffer from a burn-out, and that I withdrew myself into a unreal fantasy-world. The teachers blamed home, a simple conclusion as school wasn’t nearly challenging enough to give me a burn-out because I stared at the ceiling most of my time, bored out of my skull. So it had to be home.

The streets resembled a desert to me, an abandoned town where people fled from something terrible and awful. And that while the horror was not in the streets, that was located in my own house. Armed in full armour, ready for battle, I walked through the streets. I felt the first drop before I saw any signs of the rain. The cool water brushing against my skin, leaving a vivid memory of it and of its promise to wreak havoc on the world. It was a heavy drop, a true part of a summer shower, and a true part of a raging storm. Drops like those don’t fall in spring, autumn, or winter. “This is a thing I’ve never known before. It’s called easy livin’.” I hummed along with the music, trying to lift my spirits for the battle yet to come. No warrior should run into battle while he/she is dragged down by sorrows one can’t do much about. I have enough monsters to battle in just a few minutes. So I decided to spent a few minutes simply standing under a tree, watching the world around me. The trees shook in the wind, I heard branches and roots groan under the violence of wind and rain, nature turning its force against itself.

As I walked into the house, I realised it was a mistake. In the middle of the room, the beating heart of the house, the dragon had located herself. Breathing smoke out of her nose, her eyes filled with disdain and hatred focused themselves on me. I felt the piercing stare burning through my armour, scorching my skin as she hoarded every possible treasure under her throne. Dragons are fearsome creatures, and rarely in a good way. They are known to tell lies, to manipulate everyone who comes near, and to hoard everything that seems valuable to them. This dragon fits that profile to the last detail.
As she looks at me, she scoffs. I carry no treasure that is worth anything to her and therefore she will not waste her time on me. “What do you want, you tin canned piece of shit?” I can only imagine that is the nicest, and most creative way to make fun of my armour and the contents that it holds. “Tell me where I can find the king and queen of this realm, you monster!” I demand to know, my voice as sturdy as it can be, my hand on my sword. The monster rolls her elliptical eyes. “They’re out, and if you want to live, you better make yourself useful. I can always use an imp like you to clean.” She points her claw, the size of a big dagger, to the pile of shimmering treasures. I recognize some of them, she stole those from me when she raided the lands from which I came and pillaged the cities in it. “I will do no such thing you foul beast! You will pay for you insolence!” I unsheathed my sword, ready to go into battle. The dragon might have thought that I was unprepared, but I am willing to die as long as it means defeating this evil creature. With a cry, I charged with a raised sword, swinging it and bringing it down upon the shimmering scales of the monster.

___________

A loud “bang” filled the room. “Hey girls, I’m home!” Mark’s voice tore me from my fantasy-world, the one in which the younger sister finally stood up to the big one that terrorized her life. As he walked into the room, his stupid grin already glued to his face, I pointed to the piles of books. “Can someone please explain why only my books are in here, and not Laura’s?” I looked at my stepfather with a stare that would hold one’s own with the one my sister shot me when I walked into the room. My stepfather looked at the pile. “We told you we were trying to sort everything before we start moving.” The stare intensified. His sheepish remark as not an answer, not in the slightest. “Not an answer, Mark.” Even after all those years, I refused to call him ‘Dad’. He had not shown one shred of evidence that he was worthy of that role, not to me at least. “Honey,” he says, a word that made me almost physically ill, as if his pleading tone wasn’t bad enough. “Your sister,” also not a name that she seemed to be worth, “has books about science, books she needs for her education. Why would you even want to hold on to this pile of so called novels and other nonsense?” I almost exploded as I looked at him. “You have exactly 10 minutes to get my books back to my room, where you shouldn’t have even taken them from in the first place, or I’m calling mom,” I growled, before stomping out of the house. Again. To be real honest, this was the third time this happened that day, and I needed to buy a new sword already. Or 10, they’ll be all beaten up before the moving trucks arrive… While I was at it, I might as well have bought for a proper canon.

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