The creature was gorgeous. If dragons could be gorgeous, this one was. He had a long, elegant body with scales in brilliant shades of turquoise, amethyst, silver, and moss green. Two wise, yellow eyes out into the rock terrain that served as his cruel prison. Horns of turquoise stuck up proudly out of the turquoise and amethyst mane of soft, wild fur. He had four short, powerful legs that were full of lean muscle, looking too frail to hold the dragon’s long, spindly body. The end of his long, long tail that snaked out of his thin body had a stunning, fin-like area. It spread out like a turquoise fan with bright crimson spots  at the dragon’s tail, and long, elegant strands of bright crimson fur surrounded the fan that was the tail like red feathers against a blue, spotted ocean. From his long, silver snout hung two whiskers of silvery wisdom. Long, white fangs poked out from the dragon’s powerful muzzle, complete with large, black nostrils.

Unlike his Western counterparts, no wings adorned this graceful dragon of the East. Magic allowed this creature to take flight, and he used his long, lean body to snake through the air. Regarded as a creature of wisdom, the dragon had been forced into this wretched prison of a valley. The walls were too high to climb, and the dragon was tired from his struggle against those foolish men who claimed to serve the emperor.

Sadness filled the dragon. How could his friend hurt him like this? How could the emperor chain him, the Imperial Dragon, like this? Sadness turned to anger as he slowly turned this over in his head. He was no bird! He was a dragon, full of grace and wisdom!

Steam shot from the dragon’s nostrils, and he paced the hard rock of the deserted valley, deep in thought. If only he could breath fire…. But that was forbidden, of course. Dragons of the East were the guardians of the people, to steer mankind toward the path of happiness and peace. But how would he be able to do his duty as a true dragon if he was chained here?

The dragon paused his restless pacing as an idea suddenly stuck him like a thunderbolt: could his evil brothers in the West have something to do with this betrayal?

Once upon a time, all dragons were the same. They were all long and lean, full of wisdom. But the Western people had ideas planted into their head. Rebellion! They needed no dragon to tell them what to do! Western dragons were forced to evolve in order to survive. Then, like the people of the West, the dragons slowly became corrupt. They lost their wisdom, but gained cunning and trickery to conquer the humans. Their pure, selfless hearts were twisted, causing them to become greedy and hungry for treasure and–the dragon shuddered at the thought–human flesh.

In a desperate attempt to maintain their power over the humans, the Western dragons had turned into greedy, human-devouring monsters. They learned to breath fire to better protect their hoardes of treasure and captive maidens. Wings came in to better hunt and terrorize their prey.

The dragon dug his talon into the hard, rocky ground as anger filled him at the horrible truth: he HAD been betrayed by his Western brothers! He howled his anger to the sky, and lashed his tail against the rocks.

But why?

The thought seemed to have come out of nowhere, piercing through his angry thoughts like an arrow of curiosity and calmness.

The dragon began to pace once more, musing on why his brothers would betray him. Why his brothers dared to use the emperor, his most trusted friend, as a pawn in their wicked, cunning games of evilness.

The sound of leathery wing beats broke the silence, snapping the dragon out of his thoughts. A huge creature soared over the valley, and spiraled down into an graceful stop. She landed with a heavy thud in front of the dragon.

She was a sharp contrast to him, this dragon of the West. A sharp, triangular head opposed to his rectangular skull. Coal-black scales all over her massive bulk made her look plain to his bright colors. While he was long and spindly, like a salamander, she was thick and hard, like a crocodile. Her cruel, red eyes, full of evil and malice, stared hard into the unblinking, serene eyes of soft, gentle yellow.

For a long time, they studied each other. Forming judgments and analyzing flaws. Admiring strengths and sneering at weaknesses.

Finally, the Western dragon spoke, her shrill, shrill  voice a soft, sinister hiss. “It has been a very long time, Imperial Dragon of the East. They call me Murta. Are you enjoying your stay here in this garden I’ve prepared for you?” She made no effort to hide her distaste.

The Imperial Dragon made no reply, and gracefully settled himself into a comfortable position.

Flames shot from Murta’s nostrils. “Are you ignoring me?” she screeched in disbelief, her short temper flaring.

He stared at her with those wise eyes of yellow serenity, and remained silent.

Rising to her full height, Murta let out a scream of rage. “You mock me! How dare you, you long, overgrown worm!” A massive flame shot mere inches about his turquoise mane.

He stared at her unblinkingly. Finally, after several minutes of her raging, she managed to calm down slightly. He yawned, showing massive fangs, and spoke for the first time.  “I have no business with impatient fools like  you. Go away.” His deep, even voice, so full of outrageous calmness, only roused her anger even more.

“You stupid, brainless–” Murta shrieked, lunging toward him.

He shimmered and vanished in a silver mist. Murta gasped, looking around wildly.  Reappearing on top of a large cliff, he settled himself comfortably in the warm sun, and fell into a peaceful sleep.

Murta howled in wordless rage, and furiously began to look for her Eastern counterpart. After a few hours, she finally gave up, and flew off.

In his sleep, the Imperial Dragon smiled gently. What West had to learn was that impatience would not be tolerated.


~ by w1s3r on April 2, 2010.

29 Responses to “Dragons…”

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