The dragon flew over new lands, accompanied by his young son, who rested on his back. They continued to fly, without speech; without fear. Searching for a new home, they flew over many villages and many mountains. They carried onward, until they found the perfect place to start over; start a new life. A small little cave, for the small little family, on a small little mountain, over a small little village. They landed. They had found a new home, at last. They could live in peace. They settled in the cave, and fell into a fitful sleep.
Many people gazed up into the sky that morning. Some of their eyes were fixated with fear, other's wonder, and other's hate. A lot did not know what to think of it. A lot had never seen a dragon before. Some feared for their livestock, after all, dragons were known for eating cattle and other farm animals. Some feared for their wives and daughters. There were many stories of dragons kidnapping women of the nearby villages and forcing them to be slaves of some sort. But others...others saw wonder and grace and power in this creature, and were just amazed by what it could do...and what it could destroy. But only one; only one really just...didn't care. He didn't a reason to fear yet, or to even think about what might happen.
Later, the Chief of the village called a meeting of everyone in the village. "We must rid our lands of this new menace, before it is too late and it takes everything we have worked for!" The Chief said.
"Why should we do anything about it? it has not done anything to us." Someone objected.
"Because Dragons are evil, they kill and destroy everything in their path, without thought for anyone but themselves!" The Chief replied.
"But how do you know that?" The same person replied.
"I've dealt with dragons before! I know of their ways!" The elder replied back, a little annoyed
"But what makes all dragons the same?" The person replied again.
"They were all raised to kill mercilessly. We must kill it before it kills us!" The elder said. The chants of hundreds of men echoed through the night, as the lament of one boy went unheard. As the villagers gathered their weapons, the boy headed home through quiet streets. He wondered what would happen, and what good could come of this massacre. And the elder...the elder was a hypocrite. If dragons are evil because the destroy without cause, then what does that make us? Aren't we destroying because of an unproven assumption? At least he would have no part in it...
The villagers continued planning the attack. They had saw where the dragon had landed; could even see a small fire brewing in the cave. They all went on a witch hunt that night. They proceeded up the mountain, to claim their prize. To show their power.
The dragon heard a noise. It sounded like humans. Angry humans. He looked outside to see a mob of them. All heading for his new home. What did they want? Why were they here? Why were they prepared to fight? Prepared to kill. Quickly, the dragon awakened his son, who was sleeping by the warm fire. His son sat up in surprise.
"What is it, father?" The young hatchling asked as he rubbed his tired eyes.
"I want you to hide. Find somewhere were no one can see you, not even me. Just hide." The older dragon said seriously.
"What's going on, father?" The young dragon asked scared.
"There's no time to explain. Just find a crevice or something to hide in. Hurry up!" He replied.
"You're scaring me, father...what's happening?" The youngling asked again.
"There's no time to explain. I have to go...son...I love you. Now go find somewhere to hide!" The elder dragon said, while walking out to face the humans.
"I love you too, father..." The young dragon said, as his father left. He then looked frantically around the cave to find somewhere, anywhere to hide. He eventually found a small crack in the wall. With a little effort he was able to squeeze into it. He could hear everything that was going on outside.
The raiders came to the opening of the cave just in time to see a large dragon coming out to meet them. The dragon said, "Why do you come into to my home, armed and ready for a fight? What have I done to you?"
The chief said to his men, "Do not speak to a dragon! You will fall prey to their evil lies and trickery! ATTACK!"
Someone threw a spear at the dragon's head, but the dragon dodged it easily and then asked, "Why do you attack me? Why do you believe the lies?"
The dragon started moving away from his cave, as he did not want them to find his son if he should fall. By moving he allowed the humans to surround him. There were so many of them! They must brought their whole village! He spread his wings to get into the air where they could not hit him, but they were ready for that tactic.The villagers threw spears with ropes tied to them at his wings. The spears pierced him and created holes in the wing membrane. The ropes entangled his wings so that he could not hope to get off the ground, which was his only chance against this many humans.
"Fine." he said. "If this is what you want to do, do it. You will regret it later." He roared and then spit fire all around him. He burned about 10 of them, but there were just too many. The dragon slashed with his claws at anyone near by. As he was recovering from the small wave of humans, another wave came. A human with a spear managed to get close enough to him and stabbed him in the neck. He roared in fury again, but could not spit any fire.
The humans kept coming, and even though he killed many with has claws and teeth, he knew it was only a matter of time. They threw spears at him again and again until he began to look like a pin cushion. One brave (or maybe stupid) human ran up with a sword and sliced the dragon's throat open. liquid fire and blood poured out all over the human. The human screamed and burned to death from the natural chemicals spewing from the wounded neck. The wound was deep. Too deep. The dragon's vision blurred, and his muscles weakened. He fell. At last the great beast moved no more, and the humans began to cheer. The small hatchling inside the cave cried silently, as he knew from the cheers that his father was gone, and that he was now an orphan.
The boy heard the triumph of the villagers. It would seem that they went through with it. They killed the dragon out of their own fear. He sighed as he went outside the greet them. Many cheered and drank and told the story of their triumph. Each story seemed more exaggerated than the last. He saw some of the villagers carrying their prize: the head of the beast that they had just murdered. They boy looked into the dragons open eyes. He didn't see any evil in it; just life taken away before its time. The boy silently lamented as he wandered home through silent streets once again, away from the festival that was being held in fear's honor. No one seemed to notice, or even care about what he was feeling. But then he heard footsteps behind him. He turned around to see the one person that would sympathize with him. His father.
"The dragon said it didn't want to fight..." His father said sympathetically.
"Then why did it have to die? Why do we fear everything because of what the elder thinks?" The boy asked.
"You know the answer...the elder is wise and all-knowing. Your just lucky I'm the only one who noticed you weren't there at all." His father replied.
"So you still believe that is was evil!? Even after it claimed it didn't want to fight!?" The boy shouted.
"The elder said it was just a tri-" The man said before getting cut off.
"I don't care what the elder thinks! What happens if the elder think that I'm evil because I didn't fight!? Would you kill me!? Maybe the elder and all that worship him are the evil ones!" The boy shouted.
"That's enough, Vasilis! You know the elder would never do that!" His father scolded. It was easy to tell when his father was mad, because he always used his full name, instead of just Vas. Vas stormed off without another word and left his father standing there and glaring. When he was out of sight and out of mind, he stared up at the mountain. He could almost smell the vile stench of rotting flesh. Maybe he could purify it with a prayer. After all, a life is a life, and it should have some sort of redemption.
Vas climbed up the mountain and through the wilderness. He followed the trail of blood all the way up to sight of the battle. There it laid. Many bodies of many dead men, along with the body of a copper dragon, brought down before its time. He felt his heart grow heavy for the beast.
The young dragon heard something outside. He had thought that the humans were gone; went back to celebrate their victory. He opened his tear-stained eyes to see if his suspicions were correct. They were. There was one human lingering over his dead father. Rage took control of him. Just seeing his father and a human in the same vicinity made his blood boil. He crawled out of the crevice and sprinted towards the human.
Vas tried to comprehend what had just happened. He was just paying his respects one moment, and the next he was on the ground. A young copper dragon pinned him to the ground. It had a striking resemblance to the slain dragon laying next to him.
"Why?" The young dragon screamed. "Tell me why you humans did it!" The young dragon pushed down harder, the boy noticed that the dragon's eyes were wet.
"I am sorry." The boy struggled to say. "I told them it was wrong, but they would not listen." He was starting to feel sorry for the young dragon, even though his life was still in danger.
The young dragon pushed harder and said, "I don't care! I will kill you!" He brought one paw back and prepared to strike, but he stopped. If he killed the boy like this, how would he be any different from them? His father did not attack first. He backed away from the human a few feet and the human sat up slowly.
"Why did you stop?" The human asked.
"Because killing you would prove your leader right, and then they would hunt and kill me just like my father." He said sadly. "They didn't believe my father when he said he didn't want to fight. How would I be any better if I didn't even give you a chance. Did you really try to stop them from...killing him?"
"I told them that your father had not done anything to us, but the chief insisted that all dragons were evil. I am so sorry that I could do nothing to stop them." The boy said sadly.
"Why did it have to be like this? We were trying to escape all the problems." The young dragon sniffled.
"I don't know. I'm so sorry, I wish I could've done something." Vas said angrily, as he clenched his fist.
"But I could've done something. I just sat and hid, I was a coward! It's all my fault." The dragon sniffled while pounding the ground.
"It wasn't your fault...It was my idiot village's. You weren't being a coward, you were being smart. Going out into that maelstrom would've meant certain death. Just a martyr without a cause." The boy said thoughtfully.
"But why did he go out then? Was my father just a martyr without a cause?" The dragon asked, on the verge of a mental breakdown.
"No, your father fought for your safety; so that you could live. He had a cause, one of the noblest causes possible. His sacrificed his life to protect his son." The human responded.
"But I can't live without him! I don't know how to hunt or fish or anything! Why'd he leave me alone!?" The young dragon said, finally bursting into tears. All of his emotions flooded out as he buried his face into the ground.
"Maybe he didn't leave you alone." Vasilis said, as he walked over the the crying beast. He kneeled down beside it and put a comforting hand on his shoulder. The dragon looked up through his tears, and both of them smiled for the first time in what seemed like years.