The evening was as still as a hunter waiting for his prey. The wind wasn’t stirring. The animals were quiet. As I walked to the door, I sensed an evil presence. I took a deep, calming breath and pushed open the door. Immediately, I felt the penetrating gaze. I searched the room for the source. It was hiding in the shadows. I could smell the decay. I could feel the fire of its anger. I could taste the bitterness, like that of a quince picked from the tree in my backyard. My awareness heightened, as I slowly moved through the thick swamp. Dread slowing my steps even more, I turned and saw it. It was cleverly disguised, but I knew. It’s gaze briefly brushed over me as I continued to watch. It was waiting for the perfect moment to pounce.
I watched as it mesmerized the others with its words. It had them in a trance. I knew not to fall into that trap. I’d done that too many times in the past. Wisdom, it seems, does come with age and experience. I wondered what it hoped to accomplish. It certainly knew that most of those present were of little consequence. At least to it, they were. Then again, it enjoyed the torture process so much that it didn’t care who the victim was.
I walked towards it slowly, so as not to frighten it away or give it reason to attack. As I came closer, it set its sights on me. Cold eyes, burning like frostbite. A flash of fangs before it reigned in its anger. Knowing I’d done nothing to rouse the beast, I stopped in front of it. I spoke to it.
“Are you avoiding me?” I asked.
“I’m trying,” it said.
As it walked away, I pondered this creature. Who says dragons don’t exist any more?