I LOVED this story! Hope you all do, too!
(…giggling with gusto…) I’m officially a kid again!!!
In the first hours of morning–almost the first minutes of morning, for the darkness that had been king of the night was only just abdicating its throne–the dragon set down on solid ground once more. Folding flight-weary wings, he plodded towards the opening of a cave. His claws combed the ground as he walked, stirring up the spicy-green scents of tarhoon and reyhan*, mixing them indelibly with the mist-smells of early morning. Low-hanging branches trickled their fingers pleasantly across the scales of his back. Then, with a small step down and a duck of the head, he let the cave-walls close in cool kindness around him.
The dragon sighed, happy to be home. It had been a long night of hunting, and he looked forward to a day spent in sleep.
Something crunched unpleasantly under his feet–a small pile of tiny sapphires, glittering in the half-light. Snorting at them…
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