The Last Firewings by Arash Sayedi

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I'll go first," she said, pulling his hand back.

Elly then stretched her hand out, holding it in front of her for a few moments. She then reached out and gently stroked the hard scales on its neck. It felt like patting a pine cone, but it was warm. Olec then reached and touched the little whelp's forehead before Elly could stop him. He was surprisingly gentle and it didn't seem to mind.

Olec turned to his older brother, smiling as he continued to stroke the tiny dragon's head.

"It's like petting Grumpy," said Olec cheerfully.

"Yeah except turtles don't turn you into char when they grow up," said Hijel who had just been standing there, "we shouldn't be here, lets get back to the village." He was now beginning to get nervous.

"What does it eat?" Olec asked, ignoring his brother's words.

"You, if you keep bugging it," Hijel said.

"Let's get back to the village before it gets dark," Elly said, standing up, "but no telling Grandpa or any of the other kids!" she said, looking sharply at Olec.

"I won't," came his reply, "but can't we stay a little longer? We just got here."

Thunder cracked above them and Elly's concern seemed to have returned. She turned around, holding Olec's hand when she noticed the look on Hijel's face.

"What's wrong?" she asked him.

No reply.

She then noticed Hijel's trousers beginning to get wet.

"Did you just..." she heard the sound of thunder above her again before she had a chance to complete her question. Only this time the sound was much closer, and somehow different. She suddenly turned her head around and faced up to see a huge pair of wings that seemed to cover the sky above them, as she realised what she had heard was not thunder at all.

The monstrous dragon circling above did not flap its wings often, but when it did, Elly could feel it in her stomach. Hijel was still standing there frozen, and Olec made no sound, even though Elly could feel him shaking.

"Don't run," said Elly, "move away slowly."

They had almost reached the top of the hill when they heard a sharp screech behind them. Elly turned around to see the whelp calling to it's parent above. She then noticed the massive dragon suddenly change course and dive directly toward them.

"Run!" she screamed at the boys.

Moments later she found herself carrying Olec and running through the trees, dragging Hijel behind her, when a torrent of leaves suddenly flew up all around them as the massive creature tore through the air above their heads. She instinctively ducked and noticed herself changing direction as she was certain the dragon was coming back.

"We have to head for more trees, where it can't fly close to us," Elly said, her voice shaking.

Moments later they found themselves in the midst of a handful of trees a few yards away. It wasn't much but it was the densest cover they could find. Elly expected an attack any second now but there was no sign of the dragon anywhere. All three huddled together, shaking with fear. Olec was surprisingly quiet but was visibly terrified, and Elly was afraid for him, for Hijel, and for her family if anything should happen to her and her brothers.

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