Had they stumbled upon the captured creature, most people would freeze in terror, or flee, leaving it chained and pinned in its pitiful state and probably thinking the poor thing deserved its fate – but I’m not most people and the outrage I felt at seeing its condition had steeled my resolve to free it.
It rested as a cloud across the crisp winter horizon, its scales, tail and wings painting feathers of pinks, purples and blues across the sky.
The butterflies dancing madly around its snout betrayed the regal arch of its neck and the flame that smoldered behind its lidded eyes.
It regarded me suspiciously as I approached and I can’t say I blame it; in its position, I would feel the same.
I guess it decided I was no genuine threat because it lay still, aside from the slow, steady rumble of its breathing, and allowed me close enough to inspect the shackles.
I found the clasp, an intricate puzzle of glyphs I had never before seen, and set to solving it immediately but a long while passed and the stars began to waken and the creature grew restless as I strained furiously to crack the riddle of its bonds.
Finally, near midnight, the locks sprung open and the beast unfurled its wings and took flight … with me clinging to its scales.
Delighted, it roared and glided into graceful circles, then spun in tight spirals and lastly dove downward at a blinding speed and only avoided crashing into the ground below when it snapped its wings out wide at the last moment and, though it landed lightly, created dusty whirlwinds that raced off in crazy paths into the night.
I released my hold on its scales and clambered to set my feet on the earth, my legs a bit shaky from the impromptu romp through the skies, but more so because of the eternal gratitude that poured from two molten amber eyes that looked into mine; and then I blinked and the creature took to the heavens forevermore.
I saved a dragon today.
written by Shannon Maechling
If you enjoyed this short story, please feel free to click HERE to read more about my novel-in-progress, Myrevaldi.