Unnatural fires burned for days and the smoke filled the valley where the kingdom had once stood until the sun was blotted from the sky. So much heat poured off the ground that a local wind storm swirled into life, further fanning the flames, and raked across the countryside in towering walls and spinning twisters. The dragon hadn’t bothered to save any of their meager offerings, and snorted with pleasure as it watched the treasure and food disappear beneath the first of its fiery blasts.
The grand hall collapsed moments later as it returned to its true size. The stone walls exploded away as its tail lashed out. The domed ceiling caved in as its giant head broke free to rise overhead. Then it had turned its breath to work on the remains, melting stone as easily as flesh and devouring lives before most had the chance to scream.
The sorceress, having dispatched the would-be assassin with a single word of magic, appeared next to the raging pyre that had been the kingdoms shining glory, and despite her layers of protective enchantments she winced in pain as the heat rolled through her. Even in the depths of the dragons lair she had never felt so much heat.
“You better get yourself clear,” the dragon’s voice boomed in her mind and she winced again at the anger and pleasure she heard. “You won’t survive what is coming.”
With a thought, her shadow guardian pulled her safely into its realm, where she would be safe from the beast’s tantrum but could still witness it. At first she found herself once again awed by its fierce power, but as the valley was swept by fire, she felt a tear burn against her cheek as it slid away from her eye.
“Have I become the bully’s I’ve always detested?”
Her whispered question was swallowed by the darkness around her, as the fire storm razed the earth and the dragon’s laugh thundered from the sky. She kept her composure beyond that solitary drop, but her mind was rife with turmoil and agony until she felt each new death as a strike to her heart.
“What have I done?”
“What have I become?”
“Where do I go from here…”
Time slipped, there in the shadows of the world, the dragon left, but the fires raged on.
And, with that, I hope to have enticed you enough that were you to see/hear that I had finished this story and you could pick it up in exchange for parting with a few of your dollars, you would not hesitate to do so to see what happens next, to see what becomes of the sorceress and dragon, to see what further feats of magical brilliance lay ahead… I’ve got some work to do on my end to make that happen, of course, but that’s just time and energy, and I have both. Thank you for following along up to this point. Thank you for the words of encouragement. Thank you for the positive feedback and support. In other words, thank you for reading.