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Iridescence (Chapter 2)

Moments before the sun began its ascent through the endless sky, a dark shape streaked through the air, impossible to discern as it descended to earth. It landed silently, its many years of flight obvious in its skill and agility. The creature’s bulk could easily be misjudged by its lean and reptilian form, much resembling that of a lizard or dinosaur. The only sound made was the click of its scales rubbing together as it slinked through the trees. Its scarlet red eyes glowed impossibly in the darkness; the cat-like pupils dilated to intake the scarce light of dawn. Sulfur puffed from scaled nostrils, steam and smoke mixing as unfathomable heat was released from the creature’s scalding insides. The imprints left by its claws in the moss and leaves were left as sizzling ashes, another result of an impossible body temperature. He, yes, it surely is a male, judging by the masculine shape of his head and obvious muscle mass, slid into the almost invisible entrance of an underground tunnel. Buses rustled as he swept past them, then all greenery ended.
The tunnel stretched about half a mile long, and was formed by obviously unnatural occurrences. It seemed to have a dead end, but as the creature continued he pushed himself off the back wall of the tunnel and into another that led directly vertical. He braced himself with his large, bat-like wings against the sides of the tunnel and continued quickly upward. Despite the lightlessness of his surroundings, he knew exactly his whereabouts; it was his own claws and scales that created this unknown route to his lair. After about 300 yards, he leapt from the tunnel into an escapeless cave. There was still no light whatsoever; the fire in him was his only lamp. He stood and flexed his wings, relieving and cramps that may have been caused by their act of a brace. Their span was many times his body length, and as he stretched, the blood circulating through the thick membranes slightly glowed with heat.
Creeping towards a large stalagmite in the center of his cave, the beast inhaled deeply, air audibly rushing through his powerful jaws until his ribs stretched almost to their breaking point. Digging his claws into the sand and rocks of the floor, he braced himself, and then exhaled. A raging inferno of blue, purple, gold, and orange flames blasted from his mouth and onto the stalagmite, heating it instantly and making it glow and sparkle. The glow continued, like roots flowing from a tree along the floor until it lit the entire cave. Closing his jaws and licking his diamond-strong teeth, the beast curled around the glowing stone and closed his bloody eyes. He did not sleep, however, because a feeling of newness suddenly nagged in his belly. Grumbling in irritation, he occupied this sensation and studied it. A vision of light embedded itself in his mind’s eye, blinding, beautiful, and impossibly pure. Everything the beast wasn’t; everything he wished to destroy. He bared his teeth, shook his head, trying to empty it, and tried to sleep.





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