The ash lay everywhere. The city, what was left of it, was covered, as if during the night a snow storm had come through, but this snow was not white and it certainly wasn't pure. It reeked of death. Life, once vibrant and pulsing, now lay dormant, black with burnt flesh and blood, brick and mortar. Everywhere the eye turned, nothing but ash, feet and feet of ash.
The dragon had watched for a long time, waiting. He knew, as long as the city was strong, he could not take it.
Gradually, over the long walk of time, tick, tock, tick tock, those who stood guard became less vigilant. They ate and became sleepy. They drank and became slow. They walked away from their posts.
They had been told the stories of the dragon, that he would return. They knew the tales from old, of how the dragon hated all creation and sought only to burn it into the ground. They heard the testimony of their fathers, how they had fought the dragons, keeping the city safe.
Gradually over the long walk of time, tick, tock, tick, tock, they forgot the stories, they mocked the tales of old, they no longer listened to their fathers.
Now the dragon waited. He would come. He would wait until they were all asleep, comatose in their drink and pleasures, then he would swoop in.
His breath would light the night. The inner, glowing embers of his evil heart would spew forth from his jagged mouth. All that felt the heat of his hatred would melt and burn. All that would be left was ash.
That is what he did. The dragon.
All that is left is ash.
The first portion of this post is a fiction piece written by Amy D. Christensen.