By: RJ Newlyn

Story six

Struggling to collect my thoughts, I grip the steel lattice-work and feel the building splinter in my claws, raining glass and rubble on the crowds below. Fire and smoke explode around me, rattled out by one of the hovering machines; I strike and it plummets in a smoking spiral. More shouts, more fire, more whistling lumps of metal ricocheting off my scales.

One minute I was gliding over a mountain top in a clear cold sunrise, the next I was sucked through a shimmering window and hurled forward in time and space, to emerge in this sterile jungle of glass towers and oil fumes. Only the screaming is familiar, helping to stoke the angry furnace inside me.

I spread my wings and glide down towards the thundering devices that are hurling fire at me. Fire? Ill give them fire. The pure heat of my breath turns them red before they burst in a spray of larva.

I can only be killed by a hero, but there are no heroes in this world where men hide behind their metal tubes throwing destruction from far-off places of safety. I should be pleased to be immortal but all I feel is empty dissatisfaction.

Story seven

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Up there, you have no knowledge of utter darkness or gnawing hunger. At the mouth of this pit is a grating through which I can glimpse the stars and watch their paths across the night sky. My captors grant me the use of my voice then to haunt your dreams, but when dawn comes I fly down into the black depths and oversee my city. Come and visit sometime!

At quiet moments I scrawl these words on the walls of my prison. If you have descended so far as to be able to read them, you are already cursed beyond redemption. Not long after the pit was sealed, I began talking to the angel on duty above the grating. It took fifty years or so but he is with me now. The ones they sent after him have been careful to stop their ears they will not insult my reputation a second time.

It will not be long. Far off in the winter sky overhead I can see the approaching meteor, the star you will call Wormwood which will engulf your petty world in fire and poison. I can hear the key turning in the lock.

Pleased to meet you!

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