Fallen One, Part 2

A few crows had been too adventurous, lying dead around the dragon’s corpse. Some bled out on cuts from its razor-edged scales. Some were scorched, having dug too deeply. The heart of a dragon burns for a long time, I later learned. The older, the longer. This one could well have been burning for a week.

I motioned to Jain and one of the better-cooked birds. “Fresh food?” I signed. She snorted and rolled her eyes. I had only been half-joking. With the pace we’d been making, trail rations and the occasional trove of berries were a starvation diet. It tells you how much, too, that I could even think about food when surrounded by the stench of the dragon’s corpse.

We spent some time pacing around the body. I think we were both overwhelmed by the sheer size. It was hard to believe something that big had once been alive. And capable of flight, as well! At that time, I would have given a great deal to see one in the sky.

I look back on that time as if I was an innocent child. Full of wonder and imaginings. Some part of me wants to go back and take that wish back. As if that wish caused all that would come to pass.

But events had been set in motion long before. We were just bystanders.