Intro: A beautiful Blue Dragon, Slug, leaves its lair in a struggle to survive.
Slug was a beautiful Blue Dragon. His front pair of angelic wings stretched for more than ten times his width and ended in tendrils, short and parallel to the sides, long and perpendicular at the ends. Another set of wings set further back, a smaller version of the first pair. The last set splayed out towards his slender tail like sharp-pointed angel wings. Slick and glossy, a thick heavenly blue band ran down his belly, surrounded by a pitch black. The wings were a firework of color, bursting with blue and white, fading into the dark shades of the end of each tendril. A mixture of fish and dragon, the Blue Dragon was a sight to behold. He sank into his soft and stringy home.
The Blue Dragon made his home in a largely uninhabitable lair. The strands in which he nested were dangerous to all save a deadly handful of other creatures. The lair itself was a living creature though it had neither heart, nor brain, nor blood. After sapping the life from a victim with its stringy tentacles, it could pull the creature up and feed the entire lair, its tentacles, digestive system, reproductive system, even its floatation system. Yes, the lair itself floated .
The Blue Dragon was immune to the toxic tentacles. In fact, as the motion of the Blue Dragon’s wings came to rest, he began to feed on the long stringy strands that comprised his home. But he did not use the teeth of his mouth, because he had none. Instead, his spiky tooth-laden tongue, his radula, slipped out and licked the tentacle to pieces. The tentacle felt and tasted like a nine-volt battery. The lair served also as his major source of food. He rested there in his viny home. The many tendrils of Slug’s wings gripped the tentacles of the lair. The Blue Dragon rested for long moments.
Stirring from his and her repose, for Slug was both male and female, he muscled his way to the edge of his lair, to the limit of the tentacles. He dove from the side, dipping further down and twirling round and round. Then he straightened, and swooped back upwards, beating his wings against the current. The Blue Dragon naturally floated up, and finally reached the top of the Caribbean Sea. He flopped from his milky grey back to his beautiful blue underside. Slug blended into the water, and from above, the seabirds could not spot the Blue Dragon’s ripple-like belly. Slug remained close to its lair, as if it were examining it. The thin and translucent top of the lair, with a twinge of purple, looked like a fat and clear slug with a purple Mohawk, though it had been named after a battleship. Yet, despite the vibrant look of it, its top drooped and Slug could tell its home was dying. For the rest of the day, and slightly past the fall of night, Slug laid eggs upon the soon-to-be corpse of his lair. Slug attached string after string containing three to eight dozen eggs. By the time night had fallen, the Blue Dragon had laid nearly nine thousand eggs. Soon the eggs would hatch, and the baby Blue Dragons would eat their first air, storing it in their bellies to float thereby.
Returning to its stringy lair, Slug rested and took his last feeding. He knew he must leave the lair and find a new source of food. He knew that it meant leaving the eggs, but he knew he must survive. Slug waited until the creeping dawn slipped over the horizon and caused the top of the waters to sparkle like wine. Then, Slug took flight.
Slug was starving. He had not come into contact with anything for days. His lonely existence promised death. He flapped his wings in the darkness of night.
But there, in the cold and dark night, Slug felt a slimy creature nearby. Another starving Blue Dragon. The tendrils of their wings clashed and a battle ensued. Slug, the larger of the two Blue Dragons, whipped his long spiky tongue at the other, tasting bits of her slimy hide. She writhed in pain and twirled about, flailing Slug with the tendrils of her wings. She ran her sharp tongue over the end of one of Slug’s tendrils, devouring the flesh and poison with it. Slug clasped his tendrils about the other Blue Dragon, and began licking her head. Within moments, the other Blue Dragon lay limp in Slug’s grip. Still floating along in the current, Slug continued to feed on the corpse.
More days passed, and the corpse waned thin. Slug sensed the eastern wind blowing him towards danger. He took his last feeding from the dead Blue Dragon and began fighting against the wind. But, over several hours, the wind proved the greater, and Slug was blown away from his moist habitat to an arid and barren land. Finally, he landed on the barren ground and it soiled her soft wings and back. The land sapped the slime of his body and the air sucked dry his heaving belly. Slug could not take flight again. The dryness was painful. He was dying.
Along the beach, strange and huge creatures with two legs began to gather. They wore cotton turtle shells. They were thousands of times greater in size than the Blue Dragon. They played, throwing the Blue Dragon lairs at each other, in a game they called a Bluebottle fight. Incidentally, one scooped up Slug and tossed him through the air. His slimy body landed on scaly and dry skin. Fearing for his life, the Blue Dragon attacked the strange creature, releasing the nematocysts of his tendrils that exploded venomously. Even as the being screamed and flailed, he pumped his poison. Then, something gave him such a blow that his air bubble was released and his insides exploded. Involuntarily, he released his screaming victim and fell to the ground. Moments later, Slug was dead.
Who knew that a tiny slug could be so beautiful? View Slug
I dedicate this first short story to Anthony Vicino (http://weaklyshortstories.wordpress.com), for his inspirational short stories.