The Fearful Dragon (Short Story)

For being a dragon, he had a lot of issues.

Drillbits was much smaller than the other dragons. Yet deep down he’d convinced himself that he was just as fierce as the rest.

He would spend his days roaming the forest with his friend Skittles, a corgi who had somehow become lost from his group of fairies. While their friendship seemed unlikely, the two were inseparable. And their personalities could not have been more opposite.

Skittles would wander through the trees absorbing all of the scents and sights that nature had to offer. He tended to be oblivious to his surroundings. He had not a care in the world because he saw everyone and everything as his friend.

Drillbits, on the other hand, was very cautious. Sometimes he was overly wary of the world outside his cave. He was on constant alert fearing a foe was in striking distance.

Where Skittles would stick his nose into any shrub, Drillbits would step back and study the situation. When he was a young hatchling his mother claimed he would seldom leave her side for fear of the unknown. Had his mother not pushed him off her back, he probably would never have learned to fly.

Dusk was the worst part of the day for the little dragon. Things that appeared one way in the daylight would take on a whole different shape as the sun began to fade away. Or so it seemed. A pile of branches in the sunlight would become a hulking predator, as the day grew darker. Skittles was constantly reassuring his friend that the change in light was playing tricks on him. There was nothing to fear. Drillbits pretended to believe him but deep down knew those branches were going to get him.

Noises were probably Drillbits’ biggest enemy. Sudden squeaks, screeches, and even something so simple as Skittles passing gas would send Drillbits running. As he would trot away from wherever the noise erupted, he would glare back attempting to appear ferocious but in realty those noises really bothered him. He wasn’t sure if it was fear or just annoyance. But regardless of the sound, he did not like it.

Skittles tried ever so hard to help Drillbits become more carefree, but he never seemed to succeed. Drillbits was constantly on guard. Still Skittles loved his friend and accepted him.

Even though he was quite young, Drillbits had yet to learn how to breathe fire. But he insisted that one day the world would be sorry when fire would spew from his mouth.

“Just you wait and see,” he would tell Skittles. “I know it’s in there. I can feel it.”

And every day that passed, no fire appeared from within. Though he would try his hardest, he could not even muster a single puff of smoke. But he never gave up trying. One day it would happen.

On a warm summer day the two were playing in the forest. Skittles was chasing bumblebees and Drillbits; well he was too busy worrying about his imagined evils in the trees.

Skittles was jumping about pouncing on bugs, lizards and all sorts of tiny creatures. He never did hurt them, but he simply loved to play. Drillbits followed his friend staring up toward the sky keeping his eye open for anything dangerous.

When he turned his attention back to Skittles, he realized his friend was gone. He’d vanished! Disappeared! Where did he go?

“Skittles?” he called out. “Where are you?” And the only response he got was silence.

Drillbits batted his tiny wings and began to fly making every attempt to find his friend. He flew higher and higher to get a better view of the ground. Surely Skittles’ stumpy little legs could not have taken him that far. But he continued his search.

“Skittles! Stop playing around and come out from wherever you’re hiding,” he yelled. “It’s not funny!”

And yet he still could not find his friend. He glided a little further and then circled back toward the direction from which he came.

Drillbits gazed upward and saw the sky was beginning to turn purple. The sun was starting to fade and dusk began to make its entrance. The little dragon began to panic. He knew he had to find his friend and fast. All the nightly creatures he feared existed would soon appear.

As he swooped downward he heard the faint cry of his corgi friend. Skittles was in trouble and he knew he had to help him.

Drillbits listened intently to his friend’s cries and began to follow the direction of the sound. He dropped a little lower avoiding the many branches that he imagined were trying to grab him from the sky.

Then has he hovered over the creek he saw his friend stranded on a large rock in the middle of the water. As he flew closer he spotted a large wolf pacing back and forth along the water’s edge. The wolf had his friend trapped.

Skittles looked upward, and saw his friend flying overhead. “Help!” he called out.

The wolf paced faster and faster. Drillbits knew he had to do something quickly. He flew upward to get momentum and then dove downward toward the wolf. As he flew closer, he felt a fire growing inside him.

Drillbits circled the wolf and opened his mouth as wide as he possibly could. Then with the largest breath he could muster, he exhaled large orange and yellow flames. The fire grabbed hold of the wolf’s tale and sent the enemy yelping off into the woods.

“Drillbits! You did it! You breathed fire!” Skittles cheered.

The little dragon circled once more and lowered himself down toward the rock.

“I’ve got you,” he said to his friend as he landed on the rock and allowed the corgi to climb on his back.

“You saved me,” Skittles said. “Just wait until everyone hears what you did.”

Drillbits smiled proudly. He knew he would breathe fire eventually. And one day he would be fierce like all the others.

Then he heard something crackling in the darkness, picked up speed and headed home as fast as he could. Maybe he would be fierce another day.

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