The dragon looked down at the human with lazy amusement.
“I’ll tell you a story if you let me go,” the human said.
“You’re not the first to try to appease me with stories. Alas, your human stories are all the same.”
“Mine will be different,” the human said, “I’ll tell you the story of a cloud.”
“You can try,” the dragon said and rested a head on a pile of treasure next to the human. But not too close, least the human took the chance to attack.
“There was once a cloud in the sky,” the human began, “It was a lonely cloud, because it was the only one in the clear, blue sky. It floated above a mountain that was tall enough to be covered in snow but low enough for plants to grow.”
As the human spoke, it stepped little by little towards the exit. The dragon pretended not to notice and let the human ramble on about white petals fluttering in the breeze and the single birdsong in the empty air.
Then right before the human stepped out of reach, the dragon slammed a tail down.
“I’ve heard better, but good effort. I’ll let you leave, but only if you return my treasures.”
The dragon huffed a mouthful of hot smoke at the human.
“Nothing!” The human dropped the stolen treasures. The dragon lifted the tail from the exit and the human dashed out.
With the tip of one claw, the dragon raked the treasures into a pile.
How troublesome these humans were. Greedy, yet foolish. If not for an agreement made with an old friend years ago, the dragon would have let the humans keep all the cursed treasures they tried to steal.
With a huff, the dragon stretched comfortably over the piles of treasure, ready for the next foolish human who would sneak in.
Genre: slice of life
Nothing was impossible for her mentor. He knew everything, could do anything, always had the perfect advice for everything, and if he didn’t know something, he could find out. He was an imposing figure, untouchable and perfect in every way, with the patience of a saint.
He was on the floor, gasping for breath.
“What do I do?” she asked.
But he couldn’t reply.
“I’ll find someone. I won’t be long. Just… just stay here.”
By the time she led a doctor to her mentor, he no longer breathed. Fortunately, the doctor she found was an excellent one, and he snatched her mentor from death’s door.
She sat vigil by his bedside, watched the paper pale skin and the way he still gasped from the after effects of his heart attack. For the first time, she looked past the pedestal she had placed him on and realized.
He, too, was only human.