[flash fiction; 381 words]

The white dragon sprawled across the wet rock. The worst of the storm had passed, but cold rain, not quite snow and not quite water, still splattered her. Her wing was most definitely broken. It wasn’t supposed to bend that way. The pain alone was enough to tell her it was broken. She carefully sat and cataloged her surroundings. No snow or ice anywhere in sight. She rippled her iridescent scales and shook to settle them. There was no use in trying to spit ice. She hadn’t been able to for over day, and without some ice or snow around, she couldn’t recharge. Normally that would be cause for concern, but with a broken wing she couldn’t hunt. Starvation would be her end.

She sat. The wing was twisted in such a way that walking was not possible. The rain stopped but the sun did not come out. The sky was a multitude of greys, quite lovely actually. The sky complemented the grey rocks of the hillside and the greens of lichen and heather. At  least she had a pretty view  during her last day.

There was movement in the sky and a raven fluttered down next to her and clacked his beak.

“Go away. I’m not dead yet.”

CAW!

“Oh, I know very well your kind can speak.”

“Do dragons taste like venison?”

“I wouldn’t know.”

“You’re weak and broken. I should eat you now.”

“I still have tooth and claw,” she said turning her crystal horns toward him.

“Hmm,” the raven said hopping around on the rock and pecking at a thing or two.

There were voices from downhill, and both swung their heads to get a better view. Young humans were laughing and running up the hill.

The raven laughed deep in its throat and started to caw madly. The young humans changed course and headed for her rock. As the raven flew off the dragon cursed him saying, “May your offspring be white and may you never find another meal or shiny bauble!”

Small hands gently, so gently, scooped her up and cradled her. The voice of the young one was kind and soothing. As the dragon drifted off to sleep in her hands, she thought, “Maybe going out hunting wasn’t such a big mistake after all.”


mistake

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