Breath of the dragon

The city is a dragon, aware but dormant with its callous eyes watching over avenues and cul-de-sacs. It watches over treasures kept in vaults and pockets.

Every banker, every beggar knows and sense the dragon-scent of high-cuisine and garbage, they hear both jack-hammers and violins.

When October comes to stay the dragon sighs, retracts his claws and knows that he can rest cause darkness, fog and falling leaves subdue the citizens. It marks the time when beggars hide and bankers only care to count their fortune. October is an ally, mist-cloaked with his pale hands reaching up from sewer and from sky to grab the liver of prostitute, the butcher’s gut and the tailor’s heart and keep them tethered to the somber streets.

The dragon-city sighs, drops his thunderbolt to set another factory ablaze. The news-reports will later state: “Electric fault took the lives of hundred thirty two — a tragedy”.

At night October waddled through the streets calling out that all was good knowing well that in his wake the hearses drove to fill the morgues with yet a harvest for the pestilence of fall.

I sat in my apartment, coughing, listening to twelve tone music, which fitted well my mood, when suddenly city speakers came alive.

October’s voice was blunt but soothing, telling us, both residents and squatters:

“Dear friends, with me you’re safe. I have the antidote, a potion strong enough to cure… “,

I could hear the rodents in my walls. Running.

“… the price is nothing more than what you can afford… “

A crow was cawing from a bough outside.

“… I only crave you soul…”

I coughed and saw the blood-stains on my pillow. I left my squalid quarters to seek the streets outside, and they were lit and soft.

We were thousands upon thousands walking to meet the dragon and his knight. When I reached his lair I saw how much it seemed like home. A friendly nurse with amber hair received me with a syringe in her hand.

It was over, we had been branded with the dragon’s mark. October welcomed us, and we received a simple meal of cabbage cooked in lard.

Sated and subdued, I had been fed ambrosia of dragon’s teeth.

Breath of the Dragon by Jacek Yerka

A piece of fiction for Poetry United

October 6, 2019

15 responses to “Breath of the dragon

  1. This is deliciously dark and brooding, Bjorn! ❤️ I especially like; “October is an ally, mist-cloaked with his pale hands reaching up from sewer and from sky.” I feel there is truth hidden in your words 🙂

  2. WOW! The city as dragon, the coughing with blood, the slow march to the lair, the nurse with the syringe…..this is an amazement of a piece! A post-apocalyptic march over the edge of things.

  3. Today, walking towards the subway on my way home from a convention, I saw a homeless man sleeping on the sidewalk right next to a drain (for warmth, I think), there was a bottle of something amber by his side, and a pigeon pecking at his shoes. I got to the end of your piece, thinking, I bet that man lives here.

    Dark and terrifying, with all sorts of things conjuring shudders.

  4. I am sure some cities are in that club with its ugliness masked in daytime to a certain extent but as evening approaches the beasts of the night emerge.

  5. October was pretty tough, not a friendly dragon. I’ve lived some of the life of your hero, ratrs running across exposed wall studs, noisy streets, all night, rooming houses, a lot. Too bad here, October is a nice month for me, the 30th is my birthday.
    But as I read, I count hardly wait for the next episode.

  6. The third paragraph is gripping and my favorite! The rest I shudder to ever see…

  7. Oi! Such a grim picture of October yet painted skillfully and vividly. You have managed to transport the reader from the familiar to a totally different world with your gripping story.

    In fact, your stories are unforgettable. I can only imagine how fascinating a dystopian novel by you could be. A reader can always wish for such a treat!

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