The Food Chain
By Random Dragon
|Story Copyright (C) By: Random Dragon
2001 - All rights reserved.
Story not to be reprinted, or redistributed,
If you wish to use the stories, or
The Food Chain ( Part 5 )
Life, like everything in existence, is a blessing and a curse. Blessed with the power to think and feel, to live, we are cursed with the power to think and feel, to suffer. Life, the most dangerous of all double-edged weapons, is a tool that no one can master. Despite what we may think, we stumble through life as children, constantly reborn as a child with each new day. Our experiences, our thoughts, our emotions, do little to comfort and empower us later in life.I have no expectations of gaining your pity, reader, be you human or beast. As I have pointed out on many occasions, the life I have led is far from perfect, far from noble. But I must record all the events of my life, to keep this recording constant and accurate, even if you care not to know such facts. When one leads their life at a whim, bound only by desires and passion, they are in perpetual danger of the inevitable whiplash, of having everything they love, everything they find meaning in, ripped from their grasp like decrepit dolls from a childhood long past.By that point in time, I had lost my dolls.
My soul was dead. The very essence of my passion, my driving force, my very spirit had been rent upon the barbs of reality. I had suffered the ultimate whiplash, the cruel price for leading a life that served only to pleasure me, to put my needs and desires above all others. A selfish heart is its own price. Yes, my soul was dead. It had died with dearest Derekin, and sweetest Lucas. Lucas was dead. Derekin was dead. My soul was dead. So, I figured, why should I be dead as well?And this was the thought, the burning message, that fueled my self-loathing, gave me the tainted strength to climb Mt. Isena. Now that I stood ready, on my precipice of earthly release, other thoughts crowded into my battered, exhausted mind. All of the worst scenarios had come true, and there was no point in continuing if this was how life had decided to treat me. I looked down, and I could barely make out the destination that awaited me, the cruel stone at the foot of Mt. Isena, that both promised and threatened an end to my suffering. My view was clouded, thankfully and regretfully, by the recurring memories that would never leave me, so long as I lived.
When Lucas didn't return to me immediately, once spring had overtaken winter, I began to worry. It wasn't like him to be late. In fact, it wasn't even like him to be on time, for he had always come earlier than usual, saying he just had to be with me. I felt the same way, and no objections whatsoever to his speedy return. Embarrassingly enough, however, the first time he had returned early, I had been half-asleep in the hot springs, lounging vulnerably in the steamy waters. Let's just say there were many red faces to be had by all when Lucas showed up a full two days before he had told me. I had gotten him back, though, by eating him. Of course, it wasn't much of a punishment to him.I had forged a dubious friendship with Raytan, Lucas' good friend who worked as a co-owner at the humans' bakery. (Yes, the one who supplied my love with the generous helping of vanilla frosting.) And I use the term "friendship" loosely, for our relationship was one more based on fear than common interests. I kept telling him I wasn't going to eat him (unless he wanted it, of course!), but he always seemed on edge around me. Ah, I digress, yet again. Anyways, I came into contact with Raytan one night, for he lived, thankfully, in a ramshackle cottage on the outskirts of the village. He was more than a little surprised and frightened to see a plump, voracious dragoness show up at his household around midnight. The strained pity that lined his eyes, however, should have been my first hint that something was wrong."I.I'm sorry, Ms. Erin. Luke always talked about you, and from what I could gather, you had quite a friendship. If.if there's anything I can do for you." Raytan began, his voice cracked with exhaustion and sorrow.
Another hint. He sounded like a man who had been crying for days.
"Wh-what do you mean?" I stammered. "Why are you referring to my Lucas in the past tense?"
"You haven't.heard? He-"
"Enough," I choked out, unable even to offer tears. "H-how is it that this has come to pass?" I demanded, my angry tone directed at the man who had done nothing, but was having to suffer for it. After a full minute of slow breathing and staring at the ground, he looked up into my eyes. My heart snapped in half under his gaze.
"He was publicly executed, three days ago, after being found guilty of 'conspiring against the government'. The rumor of his involvement with dragons escalated, until they finally drug him off, under the Governor's orders," Raytan spoke softly, pausing to catch his aching breath. "The bastards didn't even give him a trial. The Governor's words were his death sentence, and they put him up for all to see, and lopped off his-" Raytan continued finally, his eyes in his sleeve, dampening the cloth.I didn't hear the rest of the story, nor did I care to. By then, I was in the air, and moments later, I set down in front of the Governor's estate. My enormous size, and flagrant use of lanterns around the gate, brought bout my immediate recognition, the few guards scrambling to call an alarm."DRA-" began the first guard. A pity he could not finish, though I can understand how hard it is to speak when you're being rammed into a vengeful dragoness' throat. With a single swallow, caring not for his taste, only for his death, I sent him to his fleshy prison.
The other guard on the gate had almost made it to the bell. Before he could reach it to alarm the others, however, I reared up on my hind legs, towering above the spiked fence, giving me full access to the parapets. I brought my right paw back, then let my paw, my hammer of claws, ram into the poor man's side as violently as possibly. He flew for a good 100 yards, stopping only when he slammed into the wall of a market. Mercifully, however, he had been dead since the impact of my hate-filled paw. With a mighty swing of my tail, the entire front gate was leveled, sending dust and dirt into the atmosphere with the raucous clang of uprooted metal. I'll spare you the details, for the majority of this ordeal is lost to me. The only clear thing was the successful conclusion to my intent. Upon finding the Governor's quarters, my claw-lined paw destroyed half his wall, and yanked his struggling body out to meet me. "Wh-what have I done?
What have I done to deserve such horrific treatment?" he pleaded, nothing more than a toy in my cruel grasp. I sneered and squeezed tighter. He would have screamed, if his lungs had not been crushed.
"You've destroyed a life. You've destroyed lives. And you're about to learn, my good sir," I growled, bringing him up to look into my eyes, burning with the hate-fueled flames of revenge, "that payback is a real bitch."
Again, not even I wish to recount the horrid details of what followed, but let's just say he wasn't in one piece when I finally decided to chew him up and eat him like the animal he was. In my vengeful rage, I eventually destroyed half the village, including the Governor's mansion, and the buildings nearby that I decided I could take out my blind anger on. The death, the destruction, the blood, the fires. All outward reflections of what I felt within myself.
As these images swirled into one encompassing mass of pulsing hatred, they finally melted and subsided, leaving me back where I was; leaving me standing on the edge between life and death, gazing down the side of Mt. Isena. So much. Too much. I spent that time pondering whether life was worth it, reworking the delicate equation, the balance between joy and sorrow that life had to offer.
I'm not sure, once again, whether it was a blessing or a curse, but Derekin's death was far more removed from me, and didn't have as much of an impact. I still mourned, mind you, and spent my last "sane" moments weeping until I could weep no more, before making the journey to the mountain peak, to meet, to welcome my own death. A few days after I had finally gotten a hold of myself, after going through the severe trauma of Lucas' death, I received word from those who had returned from the battle. There were very few survivors, as the attack on the kingdom had failed. Derekin was not among the survivors. The Kingdom of Badenthal still stood, in a far off land, drenched in the blood of fallen dragons.
I believe that was the final thought that drove me over the edge, literally. The haunting images of dead and dying dragons, brought to the end of their lives by cruel reality, their noble bodies robbed of dignity by Death itself. If such a fate awaited so many of us, why bother going on just to meet it? I couldn't bear myself anymore, couldn't bear life. It was over, and I didn't care. Or perhaps, I cared too much.
As my quadruple-vision came into focus, allowing me to see the world for what it really was, a lone rabbit was perched in front of me, whiskers twitching in silent curiosity. I did my best to growl, to regain some confidence by frightening a creature weaker than I. The pain in my lungs let me know that at that moment, I was the weaker one. Instead of scurrying away, the rabbit, the creature that I would have eaten in a heartbeat if I had been able to, came closer. I cursed it silently for mocking me so, but the oddly sympathetic gaze it gave me calmed my rampaging emotions. A pitiful creature such as this, which up until now I had considered nothing more than a hopping appetizer, sat in front of me, pitying me, pleading to the powers that be to heal my broken body, quietly wondering why life had to be so cruel.
I wondered the same thing as I lost consciousness.
You must accept and forget the fact that I am a living exercise in contradiction. I keep saying that every detail counts in this recording of my life, yet continuously leave out detail after detail. I wandered across the land, too ashamed to return home. In fact, if memory serves me, suicide was the most dishonorable way a dragon could die. Once, a small group of majestic looking dragons soared above me, keeping a tight formation, as if to remind me of the nobility and honor a dragon should have. It was better to have them think me dead, than return to a life of perpetual exile.
I promised myself I wouldn't get caught up in the affairs of another living creature for as long as I lived. No matter how fulfilling they may be, any relationship of any kind always end in utter pain; suffering at its purest.
As usual, I never listened to my own advice. I hadn't eaten in days, which was an incredibly tough ordeal for me. I was used to being fed three times a day, at the least. My stomach had been violently protesting the entire journey, begging and threatening that I provide it with nourishment. My prayers were dubiously answered, one humid afternoon in spring.
I happened upon a running river, which I deemed sanitary after a quick study of the water's surface, and hurried over to it. Listless and exhausted, I wanted nothing more than a long drink of cool water. A nice, live meal would have been nice too, of course, but this was a very welcome alternative. I hesitated at the water's edge, gazing at my dirty reflection in the slow-moving water, then leaned down to take a drink. Reality, however, was cruel as ever, and was intent on keeping me from my desires.
"Out of the way, filthy creature!" was the only warning I got, before being roughly shoved to the side by an unseen force. Sprawled on my side, on the brink of tears from frustration, I peered over to the river's edge, my eyes resting upon a dragon of a deep blue. With my head hung low, already feeling bad enough about myself without his intervention, I padded slowly over to the bank of the river once more, leaning my dainty head down to partake of the cool refreshment. Again, a violent shove.
"Horrid, insolent hag! Wait your turn, lest you desire your own death!" he spat at me, his green eyes flaring jealously, huddled over the river like it was a rapidly diminishing source of rare nutrients.
"It's just a river. I simply wish to have a drink myself, and then I'll be on my wa-" I began, though I should have known he wouldn't wait for my sentence to end.
"You may do so when I say you can, wretch," he said, without even looking up, continuing to lap at the water, which seemed to taunt me with its hushed babbling and gurgling, rushing over smooth, wet rocks.I sighed, not wanting to press the matter further, and slinked over to a patch of shade offered by a high tree. Settling down, I watched the arrogant, yet handsome, dragon drink his fill. An odd realization settled over me as I studied his features. He was smaller than I, barely large enough to be considered a "mature" dragon. I couldn't help but raise an eyeridge in contemplation as I let my eyes wander around his body, looking for other signs. For one, his scales were larger, which meant there were fewer of them needed to cover his body. This was the tell-tale sign of a very young dragon. An indignant anger tightened its grip around my heart. Who did this guy think he was?
"I, poor girl, am Leindurstit m'Il Tyrnan. I am the only son of Rata'Iek m'Il Tyrnan, Lord of the Wroistek Clan," he answered my thoughts, sauntering over to where I lay in humiliation. He paused in front of me, waiting for a response, as if I should care who he was. My silence indicated to him that I did not.
"Hmph. Then may you die a lonely death beneath yon tree, apart from those that love you," he began, raising his chin with a haughty tone. "Assuming anyone loves you."
The ball of hate, the melted and collected mass of destruction that I craved, which lay deep within me, shattered inside me, shattered outwards. I was immediately on my feet, back arched and head lowered. I let out a slow, steady, guttural growl as I narrowed my eyes to barely visible specks of blue. Handsome or not, this guy was food now.
"I appreciate the life story, 'Lein'. It's a pity, however, that you've pushed me too far. Now, your life story ends here," I said through a petulant sneer. My words, formed from pure, seething hatred, ate at him immediately. His garrulous smirk vanished in a heartbeat, his eyes widened ever so slightly, and his caustic comments were replaced by the sudden intake of breath, as he realized I wasn't kidding. Just to prove him right, I sprung at him, claws outstretched. He barely made it out of the way and began galloping into the plains, with nothing to hide him but the ankle-high grass.
All my life, I had been used to food crawling down my throat, literally. It's an indescribable experience to feel the thrill of the chase, to hunt down your own food, which clings to its own life so desperately, you almost feel pity. Almost. I was immediately hot on his heels, matching each stride of the frightened young dragon with a larger step of my own. The world whipped past as I sped after him, intent of teaching the upstart a lesson.
Oh, how I wish I could fit a description to the pursuit. His panicked, panting breath, his nervous glances behind him to see how long he had left before he was at my mercy, his overzealous, wobbly stride. All of it gave me a sadistic pleasure, the likes of which I had never experienced. This was what it meant to be a predator. Body against body, will against will, hunger against preservation. I wanted nothing more than to devour his body, and he wanted nothing more than to avoid that very situation. It was a fleeting hope, however, as even he began to realize that I had been steadily gaining on him the entire time, and his own gait had begun to slow considerably. When my demonic desires had been fulfilled, when I felt his fear was at its peak and he would soon shatter from the sheer terror, I reared back once my right hind leg hit the ground, and used my momentum to propel myself forward, soaring towards his back.And it was over. I placed a claw to his back and gave a tiny cut, to remind him I had won, and he was my toy now, my food. I moved the claw to his neck, and turned him slowly to lie on his back, keeping the claw that could end his life within his line of sight the entire time. He gulped deeply, failing to rid himself of the inevitable butterflies in his stomach. I, however, was relishing the moment until I filled my own stomach with this charlatan.
"Mmmmm," I uttered softly, leaning down close to him, as if to kiss him softly. I had learned that emotions were heightened when passion was involved, even if it was faked. The absolute fear that overwhelmed my prey, however, was not fake. His entire body quivered at the thought of what would undoubtedly come next. He dreaded what I desired, and soon it would be done. Keeping with my slightly cruel demeanor, I wasn't one to turn down an opportunity to play with my food.
"You're quite the feisty one, aren't you, dear?" I whispered, licking my lips with mixed hunger and lust. "Fear enhances the flavor of the meal so beautifully, little one, and I believe you're going to be a simply enthralling experience, a truly scrumptious meal to be savored for as long as possible," I continued to tease, half-closing my eyes as our snouts practically touched, letting my hot, anxious breath wash over him.
"Y-y-you can't.can't do this! A d-dragon eating one of th-their own kind!" he stammered. His feeble mind raced for another excuse when he realized the previous one hadn't fazed me. "D-do you even know who I.who I am?!"
"Dinner," I breathed sensually, leaning down to lick from his upper chest all the way up to his chin, a wicked grin on my face the entire time. I could swear he went from a dark blue to a light, almost white, hue. He was absolutely lost in the terror that ripped him, in the passion that gripped us both. I reached out to hold up his chin with a single claw, forcing him to gaze into my ravenous eyes.
"Now don't you go anywhere, delicious," I teased, beginning to creep down his body, keeping a close eye on any attempts to escape he might make. Not surprisingly, he didn't. I let my body slide slowly against his, over his chest, vibrating with rapid, panicked breaths, over his entire, shivering body. When I reached his tail, I sat up and snatched up the tip of his tail. With a hungry, taunting wink, I let him watch as I began to thread his tail between my lips, into my warm mouth, into my waiting throat.He just watched in shocked horror, as if separated from his own body, as I slowly devoured him. I can't imagine what it's like to actually watch yourself being eaten, to see your body disappear into another's mouth. I can, however, tell you how utterly delightful it is to be doing the eating. I rolled his tail around with my tongue, moaning as I reached the base of it. The tail, the appetizer, had ended, and I was faced with the prospect of his firm, young body.
I closed my eyes, overwhelmed with the pleasure of consuming such an impudent, yet tasty dragon, full of youthful flavors that enticed me on every inch of my meal. I pulled him halfway into my lap, so as to work his legs into my maw. I did so, after a bit of working at it, and finally had him up to his waist in my drooling cavern of a mouth. He seemed to regain control of his body at this point, for I could feel his legs muscles tensing, struggling helplessly against my appetite. I stroked my dinner gently, trying, unsuccessfully, to calm it. A part of me wanted a meal that was "easier to swallow", but another, more primal part of me wanted him to struggle until the very end, wanted to feel his wriggling body slide through my throat and into my growling belly.
By the time I had reached his armpits, "Lein" was in a full panic. My dexterous arms moved with a delicate, yet sadistic grace, moving from each and every part of his body, correcting positions, allowing him the easiest entry into my waiting mouth. A quick pull and swallow and his right arm disappeared from the outside world. His breathing was so fast that my entire gullet vibrated. I giggled with a cruel glee, which only caused him to panic further. The bastard swung his right fist at me, trying to actually harm lil' ol' me. My tail, however, had other plans. It shot out and wrapped around his wrist, keeping it firmly in place. With a satisfied moan, mostly just for show, I gulped in his right arm with the help of my tail.
So there I sat, my throat full of lovely, scrumptious dragon. The only thing left was his head, poking out from between my lips. Quite an amusing sight, I must admit. My own quivering body was wracked with pleasure, begging to be allowed a break from the ceaseless massage from within. His own terror was heightened by the fact that his demise in such a fashion was giving me more pleasure than making love, and I absolutely adored seeing such a look on his face. His wide, naïve eyes gazed longingly into my own, questioning why this was necessary, why he was to serve as nothing more than a nice, squirming dinner, packed into my deprived stomach. My only answer to his life's last question was a wink; a lustful, teasing, satisfied wink.
And with that, Leindurstit no longer existed. With a last, sensuous gulp, the only thing that existed anymore was a meal that had once been the haughty, young morsel. He wriggled during the entire journey through my gullet, and didn't stop once he reached his destination. My throat lost its swollen look, just in time with the distension and bulging of my belly. It felt so good, such a slice of utter bliss, to have a living, squirming meal in my stomach once again. Oh, how I had missed this feeling, this basking in the afterglow. I spread my legs to the side in my sitting position, allowing my stuffed belly to rest on the ground, my flavorful dinner still wriggling around hopelessly. I let my head flop to the side, licking my satisfied lips free of any remnants of his taste, laying my right paw on my rounded gut, giving Lein a last little rubdown before he fulfilled his role.
They say you can't keep a good man down, and I had no problem keeping a bad man down.