On the highest branch of a barren tree, high upon a rock-strewn mountain I sat taking in the view below. I had retreated to my perilous perch after having waged a weary battle with the inhabitants of the village below. Many of their bodies now lay strewn throughout the muddy streets where, not more than twenty minutes ago their blood curdling screams filled the air in an attempt to first frighten, then, slay me. But their efforts were all for naught. And now their bodies and abodes lay smouldering, smoke wafting gently in the soft blowing breeze.
I don't know for certain what possessed them to turn as they did upon me. I was only seeking sustenance after my long and laborious flight from a similar village many miles away. And in that village, as with countless cities and towns before it, their townspeople turned in tyrannous fashion against me.
It wasn't always like this. Many moons ago the humans that walked upon the earth worshiped me, my large leathery body, my wondrous and majestic magenta wings, my gravity defying deftness and of all things my burning breath.
However, one day as I soared in a circular fashion in the bight blue and cloudless sky voices from below and above called to me.
The sound was relentless and hasty insults were hurled at me that carried capriciously in the wistful wind. The words were hurtful; they stung me like nothing before. And they made fun of my faceless visage.
Let me tell you, if you'd blown fire every day for forty years your face would be a little worse for wear too.
And I'd blown some serious fire over the years. Not merely smoke like some precocious pretenders have done that some may have read about over the last twenty-three days.
Often times I've had to fight with flames to defend myself against large winged creatures hell bent on poking out my eyes. Charred cheeks is the price one pays for a dragon defending itself.
And it was an accident that I set that village on fire many, many years ago while I was toasting a flock of pheasants who had come after me with their eyes on the prize, their talons attempting to tear out my pupils.
Alas, now my reputation precedes me everywhere I go. I was only protecting my eyes from those blasted birds in that fateful fight. Maybe things would have been different had I worn protective eyewear.
Instead, though, I made a spectacle of myself.
And if you think this tale is absurd wait until you get a whiff of the rest of the stories accessible via We Work For Dragons. My apologies to MikeWJ who, while he does blow smoke from time to time, really isn't a precocious pretender. And my apologies to Nicky. Just because.