wallpaper - The ISLAND

The dragon is a myth given veracity by the fossil record that offers dinosaur remains as proof positive of the monsters who had possessed the world, once. The dragon is a monster that carries any burden we give it—terror, wish-granter, lesson. -Genevieve Valentine, Three Dragons (free to read at Fantasy Magazine)

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or poem about dragons.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a mythological creature that fascinates you.

Art Prompt: Dragons

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the mythology of your favorite creature and explain what it symbolizes to you.

Photo Credit: balt-arts on Flickr

2 Responses to Prompt #556 The Symbolism of Dragons

  1. Dragon Catchers
    By Ann Marie R. Harvie

    Nine gaped at the giant, winged creature flying towards his single person space fighter. “That’s a dragon?”

    The calm voice of his teammate Osto echoed in his headset. “Yep, that’s a dragon.”

    Although he was still a good distance away, Nine could see the 50-foot dragon begin to fill his cockpit window. It’s leathery, bat-like wings flapped furiously in pursuit of its dinner. The sun hid behind thick, rolling clouds, but he could see the shine of the beast’s brown scales as it came right for him. And those teeth – Nine wasn’t expecting such large, pointy teeth.

    Nine banked a hard left as soon as the dragon got too close. The instruments in the cockpit flashed several different colors. Alarms began to sound. The special forces pilot was used to a state-of-the-art, five- person warship. Unfortunately, his ship would be too large for the dragon to want to eat. Maldar’s Royal Air Force gave him one of their smallest spacecraft. Nine soon discovered they lent him a piece of junk. The dragon swung around and was right on Nine’s tail. “Are you ready?” he asked anxiously as he flipped several switches to recalculate his radar.

    “Almost,” replied Osto.

    The mission seemed straight-forward enough – capture the dragon the Wardon Empire sent to terrorize the floating Kingdom of Maldar. Now as Nine tried to dodge the giant reptile, it all seemed decidedly less straight-forward. Osto would be flying above the kingdom with the net cannon. Nine drew the short-straw when he agreed to be the bait.

    He dipped the fighter down into the mist and banked left to try to lose the monster. He caught a slight glimpse of the creature’s yellow eyes and gnashing teeth. His blood ran cold. The thick metal of the cockpit and the protection of his helmet could not completely shut out the dragon’s high-pitched screech as it protested angrily about missing the kill.

    Nine zigzagged his fighter towards the Maldarian Kingdom. The white marble structures with various black peaks and roofs sat situated on a large island that floated above a misty abyss protected from enemies. Unfortunately, this enemy came in the form of a dragon. The beast had done considerable damage to the structures, not to mention the population. Nine’s attention turned back to the advancing dragon. His cheeks burned with anger. The dragon was not supposed to be able to outrun the fighter. Another lie told by the Maldarian Air Force. Nine swore under his breath. What else did they lie about? “Ready or not, we’re coming in!” he yelled into his communicator to his teammate.

    “Acknowledged. The cannon and I are in place,” said Osto.

    As Nine reached for the thruster, he felt an impact and a shudder come from behind the fighter. The dragon had the tail of the fighter in his teeth. “Oh come on!” Nine shouted in frustration.

    He flew in jerking motions to try to free the fighter from the dragon’s mouth. Osto’s voice came over the speaker in his helmet. “Nine, what’s going on? My scanners indicate erratic movement.”
    Nine’s temper flared. “That’s because the dragon is eating me!”

    Osto’s voice indicated his annoyance. “I can’t get a lock on the dragon when you fly like that. Stop fooling around and get over here.”

    Nine shut off his communicator and a flurry of swears left his lips as he continued to try to shake off the dragon. The instruments beeped furiously. The damage to the tail increased. He had no other choice. He reached for the thruster lever and pulled back as hard as he could.

    Fire spat from the back of the fighter and burned the dragon. It screeched in pain and finally let go. It dipped down into the mist and disappeared from sight. Nine kept the thrusters on and headed straight for Osto’s position.

    As Nine expected, the dragon reappeared on his radar and once again rapidly approached the rear of the fighter. Nine frantically scanned the area for Osto. He found him on the floating, single-stand cannon. The barrel of the cannon pointed in Nine’s direction.

    Nine turned his communicator back on. He lowered the nose of the fighter slightly to align exactly with the cannon. “I’m in position,” he said.

    “Understood. Pull up on my mark.”

    Nine could hear the dragon screeching angrily behind him. The sound seemed laced with pain and fury now. Osto’s voice snapped him to attention. “One. Two. Three. Now!”

    The special force’s pilot pulled on the controls as hard as he could. Before his cockpit windows filled with clouds, he saw a giant net shoot out of the barrel of the cannon. He leveled out the fighter and hovered over the kingdom to assess the situation. Osto netted the dragon and safely lowered it into a field inside Maldar’s marble walls. Dozens of Maldarians shot tranquilizers into the dragon. It lay still soon after being struck by the tranquilizers.

    “Great job, Nine,” said Osto. “The scientists will take him back, study him and set him free on one of the nearby uninhabited planets.”

    Nine breathed a sigh of relief that the whole thing was over. “Nine the Dragon Catcher,” he said with a slight laugh as he turned his fighter back to base. “I kind of like the sound of that.”

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