Never laugh at live dragons
They fly around unnoticed,
but each human has one.
Some are friendly, some are not.
Mine is not.
She follows me everywhere,
and flies too close.
Her dark leathery wings send gusts of air
that knock me off my feet again and again.
She tires easily, but never sleeps.
When she stops, so do I.
I can’t rest because she breathes fire on the ground
and it sears my skin
her scales are coated in razor sharp spikes.
When I try to challenge her, she flashes a grin
with teeth like kitchen knives
and embers in her eyes.
Flames dance across her tongue
and in that moment
we both know she’s won.
We continue our trek, and our pattern repeats
Walk. Stumble. Walk. Stumble.
Never truly resting.
When she gets angry with me,
she gets particularly noisy,
snapping her teeth and blowing smoke at other dragons.
Picking me up with her talons,
only to drop me to the ground.
Her name is Aestus.
But everyone has a beast of burden.
Some are bigger, some are smaller.
But none are truly the same.
The dragons are as unique as their humans,
because the secret is,
we are one being.
We are nothing but beasts wearing human skin.
So we roam the earth like this,
never learning that it is us who control the dragons,
not they who control us.
We are fickle creatures
with poor memories,
so just remember this…
It does not due to leave a dragon out of your calculation,
when your very soul is tethered to it.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.