A Trophy Dragon's Trophy Treasure

A skittering city-
A wildlife reserve-
Nothing normal-
Dragons everywhere-
and a stag.

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3. 3- She

There was nothing separating the black of the haven she called her home base, which to a dragon’s eye was perfect.

The hills and oceans of bright yellow gold striped with silver swords and glittering jewels rolled on peacefully- the poor man’s dream- until the great oak doors to the entrance of the forgotten and plundered ancient city of Caraeim led to another world inside a solitary world hidden on the world.

Arched bridges criss-crossed from everywhere to anywhere, with rusted and corroded steel lines running across and below to support the huge structure, remembering their youth when they were gleaming and tended and did the job the best. The grey tumbling ruins were huge, the size enough to house a dragon comfortably, with glittering crystals and pools of red and orange bubbling magma used for the cleaning of scales and for a drink rather like hot chocolate to a dragon’s belly for a winter’s day.

A blue white clear waterfall snaked and cried as it drummed the pebble smooth pool it ended up in- only to be shot back by pressure and a geyser pointing to the very top, coming inside the Dragon’s Keep mountain from the outside river. That flow of water  was dubbed ‘the Benign Giver’.The name Gala did not like because of it’s stale water when outside the mountain, but nature came through and purified it as it crashed down below, and when it froze no ice castle could rival the shine and the curves of the fall.

She had inherited the lair from her late grandfather, Remulin the Elephant (for his great size and gray skin with leathery pebbly scales) when he ran to the East to the aid of the unicorns and never returned alive- or returned at all.

With the taking of her mother Cascada and her father Ranus in the late Dragon War III, her making into the world was too early-she had been a hatchling who had not even mastered the art, the power, the freedom of flight. All the gold they possessed together, which had been expanded upon by raids and inheritance had fallen upon her.. but Gala’s pity story was nothing compared to those who had had been tortured or slaved or broken or executed on the spot or had all relatives slaughtered or taken tame or left with nothing or had been open for the wolves to tear at alive.

She slithered like an immortal glorified serpent goddess walking into the mortal world, a flight of fancy seen once in the life of a comet, into the rough and ragged hole of her den, her cave, her safe haven. Where she could look like a mule but not be jeered at, where she could break a glass orb and no one would think her a clumsy galoot, where she could slip and fall and be most ungraceful and be untouched by embarrassment and shame.

Gala looked back over her shoulder as her tail unwrapped around the thing, leaving it quietly beyond the entrance of her place with an ‘stay here. you have no liberty to come inside’ like a vampire-wary human. She started to trot on,five hesitant beams of light barely streaming through the entrance as if afraid to enter. It was the home and pride of Gala- t’was only fitting to be the joy of darkness.

 

She took a gallop through and leapt over one of the higher piles of treasure, flapping her wings once, twice, and took to the air gliding like a vulture over what she owned, the high, hollow mountain ringing with the tinkling sound of her joy, her legs curled underneath. Gala closed her eyes and pulled herself to point straight up at the general location of the sky, rising a bit before stopping and free-fell- nosediving towards the ground slowly and building up speed until at the last moment she righted herself, with her wings cupped and feeling stretched to their limit and landed with a pomf amidst the angry scrapes and clinks of coins rubbing together.

She wriggled under the weight of the rain of thousand falling ancient minted coins as they pooled on her scales and rubbed the few patches of bare skin on her belly.

It was as if they were all giggling- a laughing spray of gold and silver and jewel encrusted rainbows dancing ‘round. There was enough pennies and wealth so that when the vixen stopped moving it still rained and covered her slowly- but- gradually- like the gentle hands of a illuminated immortal river until she could no longer be seen.

Clink.

Someone dropped something!

 

The fury of a terrible grizzly beaten away from her only cub to be taken to hell- or the Zoo- may have been an adequate match for the disturb the young dragon harboured at the misplaced sound. All of her happiness and luxury darted away in the shadow of this new threat- and she forgot that she had been purring in the heart of the hoard.

Dragons can be like that. They can be terrible first- then lovable and puppy-eyed next in the span of a few seconds, or for the imaginative, a couple of jiffies. They are more moody then a two year old- this and their soft bits and the vanity are the ultimate losing combination. No matter how they may breed they cannot suppress something so deep rooted and stubborn- especially a habit.

The unearthly creatures and humans are similar in this way- bad habits and emotions.

 

The vibria’s vision focused, her scales rippled as a rolling tide, the gold plates on tops copied the motion and a slight chill swept down the side of her muzzle- and as a glittering goddess flew out from the covers like the wind- a paper caught in a storm. Her wings unfolded fully and the quiet air rushed forward to buoy her up.

“ HRAAAAAAAA!”

 

 

 

She only took a quick glide in a high arc. As the ground rushed up to meet her, Gala stuck out her large hind legs like a kangaroo coming back to earth and landed so heavily that coins flew and daggers ran away and jewels skittered from the center of the impact as if she was entering water. They splashed outwards as a sea wave and engulfed the thief who was catching the rays of light in a pearl.

Gala watched with a curious satisfaction as it crashed down, her claws burning from the heat produced by it’s friction  against her gold.

 

 

The gold did not move.

Did i kill it? Gala did not want a dead rotting hard to extract thing rusting her treasures with it’s dirty red blood. Copying the cat’s move to flip over an object to observe it with a haughty air, she dug a paw in the gold and turned it over.

It was an animal. Not really just any animal- a male deer, or rather her prisoner- a stag with budding fuzzy horns and silken velvet fur which formed a slightly thicker collar around his neck and a white belly extending to it’s tail, which was long as her claw- rather long for a deer. Judging from it’s horns, the vibria guessed that it was 13 in stag years.

She pushed it onto her snout so that it hung limply,and snorted. Why was the stag coming in on her lair and staring at pearls? Deer did not like to venture near her mountain.Stray farm animals- goats, cows, and chickens- and rabbits and squirrels and great fat birds were oftener comers.

Swans. I like swans.

Gala blinked. There was something very light, but prickly - like a shafted hair- tickling her nose, which twitched, and-

SHHPISHOO!

With a very ungainly din, the young dragon neatly launched herself backwards tumbling head over paws as her Roman coins squealed and clacked in disappointment.

Stop! This is AGAINST THE LAW!

She was on her back, her pale soft tummy exposed, which understandably puts any dragon on high edge. So not much of a wonder when something brushed against her very sensitive foot, instinct told her to kick and- dragons being a creature of wild habits- she obeyed.

Unfortunately, it dodged and whinnied (say what now? oh, it’s the stag) at her lack of skill in her paw and cantered to her side, peeped over at her- little green eyes.

“Rrrrr,” she growled.” Go away.”

It shook itself like a wet dog, paused, then swept it’s head from side-to-side a couple of times. No.

The vibria rolled back onto her feet in a more dignified position which prompted the stag to twaddle back on it’s tiny hooves- which reminded her ridiculously of those stupid pointy shoes jellybrain female humans love to wear, with the itsy bitsy teeny weeny tiny widdle stick on the heel bit.

And the deer did something silly- it made that pose that a dog does when it wants to play, with it’s head on the ground and it’s tail wagging and big puppy eyes sticking out of it’s head.  Gala was sure that this was a trick sort of thing, because these animals are skittish and stupid, not naive,natural and unaffected; innocent and playful like that. She stuck her nose in the air and turned away like a haughty kitten.

It promptly dropped the pose placed itself at her side, sitting catlike, mirroring her pose except with patient eyes and wagging tail with a head turned towards our dragon. Who still did not acknowledge him, so he turned to the only measure he could think of- poke.

Now Gala really did catapult backwards, landing on her tail painfully- but this time she didn’t think of being undignified- only very mad that this stupid animal had dared- dared- to touch her belly like that when she was at her weakest! This was all just an act of backstabbing!

So now she could act correctly as intended! Gala scrabbled hectically to her paws and whipped to the deer with a threatening pose (one paw raised, front legs bent and wings cupped), which was doing that silly useless pose again like a puppy!

A puppy...

The vixen was distracted. She had  met a chocolate Labrador when she was an newly orphaned bleeding hatchling dragging herself away from the War down a garbage alley, who took her in it’s elderly human’s house and raised her for four years with her own litter of all male puppies. At first Gala was bewildered by how they treated her like a fellow sibling, but she grew to it, and being the oldest always had to solve fights and protect them- like the burglar who came to steal that steak at midnight but instead met four angry dogs and a dragon.

The worst sadness she had in her life was when the humans both died. The puppies were not puppies any longer at the time, but fledged dogs, and Gala twice as tall as any of them. Their mother (Gala considered her to be her mother too) had passed a year earlier. They had had a conference- and made a decision- to travel in a thick group until everyone was adopted (including Gala, who also thought herself as canine).

They got taken in on the first mile- but Gala was taken with two authorities to the Dragon Mountain Forest Reserve stating that she was a wild critically endangered Red List species and it was against the laws to keep her. Gala was completely fine with her brothers, but she could not subdue the armoured humans- although she did bang them up with burns and deep wounds- and has been locked up ever since.

Gala stared at the stag- forgetting what she was supposed to be doing.

She copied the deer’s pose, eyes now unhostile, and barked. It made a queer noise in return- possibly trying to repeat the sound- and it’s long tail wagged and Gala’s twitched- and she jumped with her paw outstretched.

But she wasn’t real serious about catching it, and it got a head start, prancing away and made that funny sound again, walking a little then stopping and repeating. The vixen leapt up without hesitation and started chasing the deer- barking all the while.

Of course, even the muscle- bound flighty dragon cannot keep up running joyfully through tinkling jewels for so long, and she slowed to a walk and finally slumped in a pile of vibria on a golden hill’s crest. The deer was also tiring, but was determined not to show as to appear weak in front of a female- but when she curled up he also sleepily padded over and lay on top like a warm droopy towel. If it was another creature with a different attitude, Gala would have shown a considerable length of fury.

 

 

 

 

But it could have been a Labrador puppy, for all she cared.

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