The Food Chain
By Random Dragon
|Story Copyright (C) By: Random Dragon
2001 - All rights reserved.
Story not to be reprinted, or redistributed,
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The Food Chain ( Part 6 )
There are very few intelligent people in the world. There are even fewer individuals, who at least make an effort to stand out from the crowd, to claim their independence from the swirling mass of humanity. I have met very few, if any, of these people. My existence seems to have been littered with human and dragon sheep, milling about to rejoin the mob of so-called life.
I was a magnet, all throughout my life. Sometimes this brought me an endless supply of food, while other times it brought me unending torrents of utterly annoying bastards. I learned, the hard way of course, that while the companionship helped take the edge off, I would ultimately be pushed over that very edge when I lost them. And, like life was keen on doing, they were always taken away from me. Even still, I was a magnet. I was surrounded by creatures, both friendly and belligerent, and the crowd was always growing. I had vowed never to get involved with anyone else, ever again. But as usual, life decided to toss me into the midst of everyone else's problems, leaving me to figure out the rest.
* * * * * * * * * * *
"Eeeeeerin, where the hell are we going? My feet hurt, and I'm thirsty," Leindurstit whined. Now there's a sound I never got used to.
So there I was. With the little that needed to be wrapped up in my home area, I was free (or forced) to set out into the world. I had no clue where to meander off to first, but the chilly climate of the north made up my mind. So I headed south, to the famous plains of Ixtay. That nagging little voice in my head (commonly known as "sympathy") demanded that I bring Lein along, after regenerating him of course. As you will remember, he didn't end up all that well upon our first meeting. But, as they say, "Hard stomach, soft heart." I brought the little bastard along.
"You aren't even listening to me, are you? Can't we rest or find a better path or go home or-"
"Lein, dear I'll try to keep this as polite as possible. Either shut your fat mouth or you're going to make the rest of the journey in my belly," I said, looking back with a twinkle in my eye. He gritted his teeth and barely managed a frightened nod. That shut him up.
We did eventually rest. After the last few hours of daylight waned, and Lein's bitching and moaning became too much, we stopped for the night in a very small, wooded area. I've always been the mature one, so I decided to try to patch things up with Mr. m'Il Tyrnan. I waltzed over to where he was just laying down, beneath a mighty oak tree, and began to settle myself down next to him. No sooner did he sense my presence did he get up and stalk over to the next tree, his indignant chin raised high. I shrugged and rolled my eyes, then fell asleep. At least I had the last laugh. As I drifted off into comfortable sleep, I noticed him shivering, all alone under the tree. I always said the shrimpy lil' guy needed to get some meat on his body if he wanted to keep warm.
"Look here, you slimy son of an oversized frog. I don't care who you think you are, or who your daddy is, but if you ever speak to me like that again, I'm going to-"
"Des Drrakyn qua u bagre klo'unth," a sudden voice interrupted. Leindurstit and I froze immediately, our eyes going wide. Was that draconic?
I searched frantically for the source, and noticed, just in time, a bush swaying gently back and forth. Glaring at Lein as a sign for him to follow me, I bounded off to the bush, leaping over it and galloping onwards as fast as I could go. After about twenty seconds, and quite a work-out, I exited into an unexpected clearing. Straight through a wall of bushes lay an enormous clean area. The sun shone down on what looked like a small encampment. Statues lined the edges of the clearing, and fires were started all over, in rings of stone. But what caught my eyes was the village itself.
Considering the apparent "technology" of the people (which was, at most, pointy sticks and rocks), the village was quite impressive. There were many huts made of wood, with mud to hold them together. A garden or two took up much space, and there were many tanned humans working the fields. The set-up of the actual buildings was very efficient; it was spacious, but didn't waste any room that could be used for an abode. I realized that Lein and I stuck out like a sore thumb just as a few villagers noticed the same thing.
"It is he! Mor'Inth has come!" the handful of humans shouted in draconic, pointing frantically at Leindurstit and I. (I have translated the draconic so as not to confuse you, be you a human reader.)
Practically the entire village came running for us. Lein began to panic, and ended up behind me. How sweet of him to use me as a shield. I, however, stood my ground and gazed upon them, standing up as tall as I could manage. I waited for the onslaught of spears and projectiles, but none came. When they reached us, the human tribe fell to their knees and lay on the ground before Leindurstit and I. We exchanged puzzled looks, then were interrupted by a frail, yet commanding voice.
"You have finally come to us, O' Mighty Lord! The Tablets have foretold of your arrival, and we have waited for you for generations. Now that you have arrived, we immediately prepare the ritual, for our salvation is at hand!" spoke a man of about forty years of age. He stood a bit behind the worshippers, almost leaning on the statue of a noble, if hackneyed, dragon.
" ..Me?" I choked out, thinking they were talking to Leindurstit or something. A gasp rose from the crowd, and the elder man spoke.
"The God of Wind, the Father of Earth speaks! Pray, Shaman, record his words for all history!" he shouted. Several men and women in grass shrouds bounded up to the area, coming very close to me. They each held a ponderous-looking stone tablet, and a small chisel device.
"Well first of all, what are you doing? Who are you worshipping?" I queried.
"You, O' Wondrous Lord of Life! We have waited for you so long, and now you have come!" the elder replied. I heard Lein stifle a chuckle, and I would have slugged him, if I hadn't needed to keep up the appearance of a god.
"Oh, I see. Well, I think we need to straighten some things out then. My name is not 'Nor'Anth' or whatever. My name is Erinystial, and-"
I couldn't even finish my sentence before the sound of metal on stone drowned me out. I lowered my eyelids in annoyance at the shamans, who were busy inscribing my not-so-impressive words. The elder man by the statue nodded and waved his hands, accepting everything I said as truth. Which it was, but that's beside the point.
"And how did you know I was coming? Why have you been waiting for me?" I continued, after the chisels had stopped.
"It was foretold. Our God-"
"Goddess," I interrupted. Another snicker from Lein.
"Our Goddess was to come to us in due time. After performing the ritual that has been handed down throughout the generations, we will attain salvation at the hands of the God of err, the Goddess of Wind, the Fathe--, umm, the Mother of the Earth," he managed to say, after stopping for corrections. Leindurstit was shaking his head and making "tsk" sounds. Damn him.
"Well then, let's get on with this ritual so I can move on and get out of here," I sighed.
"Ah, yes, yes! We shall gather the villagers immediately. If you would be so gracious as to grant us a moment, O' Marvelous Erinystial," he beseeched me, bowing whilst backing up. After a brief pause, he began waving his hands and yelling again, saying something about The Feast of the Gods. Lein had finally had enough of this false worship, and piped up.
"You're just making up this crazy cult as you go along! This is just a dragoness, barely 200 years old! The last thing she might be is a Goddess!" he hollered. The elder man and shamans exchanged an expressionless stare, then the elder looked to me.
"And who is your companion, merciful Mother of the Earth?"
"Let it be known throughout history that the companion of the Goddess Erinystial was Leindurstit m'Il Tyrnan, the undignified, broken slave of the Divine Beings," I chuckled, quickly making up something that sounded suitably "religious".
Lein had just started to complain by the time the shamans had already begun, and soon finished, inscribing his now humiliating name in the annals of human history. Hey, even Goddesses can be bad sometimes.
"Oh, shut your face or I'll have you for dinner," I spat, glaring down from my silvery-metal chaise they had directed me to, then added, "Twice. Besides, it looks like they've finished. This whole shebang seems important to them, so don't you dare ruin it."
"People of this sacred tribe, salvation has come at last. In the face of death, only purity will remain. Our benevolent God dess, " he stammered, pausing to clear his throat, "has come to us from the Upper Realms. After centuries of waiting, we shall now have the honor and privilege of performing in the final ritual: The Feast of the Gods," the elder man, now also dressed in a grass shroud, spoke. "Let us offer ourselves to the Mother of the Earth, so that we may return to the birthplace of life itself!"
I hesitated. All at once, the human tribe members gathered in a line, or cloud, before me. All of them wore nothing but bright green capes, made of leafy looking vegetation. I raised an eyeridge and turned to look at Lein. He just shrugged and gave me a nasty look. No help from him, I could see. My mind raced for something to do. It looked like I might be the one to screw up this ritual. Perhaps it was my "eatophilia", but I started to catch on. Reaching down, I grasped the first human. He simply closed his eyes and cupped his hands in front of him, as if praying. Working in reverse, I recalled the part about "The Feast of the Gods". Was that it? If not, I would have some explaining to do. So, I let the instincts take control.
I tilted my head back and popped the human in like a piece of popcorn. He moved about, not fiercely, until I looked straight up, closed my eyes, and swallowed deeply. A tiny bulge made its way down my throat. It went rather quick, the snack being so small, and it soon disappeared into my stomach. I heard Lein scoff and make a disgusted sigh, and I immediately thought I had just ruined the whole thing. Looking down, I saw that the next human had stepped up to take the previous' place.
"Do you see? Show no fear, and you will gain final salvation by nourishing the Mother of the Earth. In turn, our deaths will bear us into the Upper Realms," the elder spoke, getting into the line as well. So I was supposed to eat them! Ah well it would be a tough moral dilemma, but how could I deny them what they wanted?
I began grabbing the humans up and dropping them into my mouth like little snack foods. Each one would squirm just enough to give me a sensation, sending a wave of pleasure through my body each and every time, but not enough to make it a battle. I eyed the line as I dropped a woman into my waiting gullet. I guessed there were about forty more people in line. So it was a buffet of about fifty humans, something I wasn't about to turn down.
I began shoveling them into my drooling mouth, completely throwing off the appearance of a goddess. I scooped up three humans in a cupped hand and held it over my mouth. Two plummeted into my throat, wriggling down to my stomach with the others. The other hadn't rolled off, so I flicked him into the air and caught him on my tongue. I could hear his frightened breathing as I closed my mouth, tilted my head back, and gulped him down like it was nothing, as if he wasn't even a person. Looking back, I could be a total bitch sometimes. After the first few humans, I stopped thinking of them as living beings. I completely forgot that they had led lives, full of hardships and rewards. They had friends, families, experiences, memories, maybe even legacies. But did I care? Nah, they were just finger food to me. Just tasty little morsels (literally) begging to be eaten.
Once the crowd had dwindled to about half of its original size, my stomach began to grow bigger. It shifted and bumped around of its own accord, shaken by the struggles of thirty or so human meals trapped inside. When I caught Leindurstit's disgusted gaze, I grinned mischievously and held out a handful of villagers.
"I'm sorry for my poor manners. Would you-" I paused to swallow a man who was struggling more than the others, and made speech difficult, "Would you like some? There's plenty to go around, Leiny."
When my offer was met with a cold stare, I shrugged and grinned once more, popping the entire handful of four or five wriggling humans into my greedy maw. They were all fighting for position, but ended up making the trip down my gullet (which must have seemed like a bottomless pit to creatures so small) in haphazard positions, landing on the humans that had previously made the trip. As the last five humans crowded around my feet, I let my tongue hang out and looked at them uneasily. I spread my legs, forcing them to retreat a little, and let my enormous, twitching belly sag to the ground. It was so large, it seemed like a separate entity, writhing and jumping to escape its owner. With another nauseous glance to the humans, one of whom was the elder man, I laid a clawed hand on my protruding belly, letting out a pained groan.
I just sat there and rubbed my poor stomach for a few minutes, feeling the innumerable, tiny struggles that were going on within me. It looked pretty damn weird from the outside, and Lein proved it by staring. I caught his gaze and gave him a scolding wink, as if he had just caught me bathing. He shrugged with apathy, then chuckled.
"Oh, are we full now? You couldn't possibly be stuffed, could you Queen Piggy?" he snickered.
I just glared at him for a moment longer, then picked up four of the humans in my left paw, leaving the right to massage my aching gut. I smacked my lips to get the feeling back, then dropped them all in. I tilted my head back and swished the villagers around with my tongue, preparing myself for another addition to my gigantic dinner. I was rewarded for my perseverance, however, as the squirming humans sent a wave of pleasure from the tip of my snout to my toes. My head leaned back and I licked my lips feverishly, unconsciously. With my eyes closed tight and my toes splayed, I was beginning to feel a bit embarrassed, having lost myself in such utter bliss while Lein watched. After the feeling settled, I peeked an eye open in Leindurstit's direction. He wore a bemused, if apathetic expression. I was interrupted by the elder man's, the last human's, voice.
"O' Mother of the Earth, Goddess of the Wind, we have appeased you humbly, and we await our salvation! How glorious you are, how beautiful your appearance, how-"
I picked him up between two dainty claws and dangled him above my mouth. I licked my lips, then opened wide.
"Yeah, ok. Whatever " I replied, shrugging. I then dropped the talkative man straight into my gullet. I let him wriggle there for a moment, then swallowed powerfully, sending him to meet the rest of the village in my distended belly.
I laid back in the ritual clearing, fully sprawling out, splaying my toes and yawning. I smacked my lips a couple more times, and stretched out. My titanic belly swayed and squirmed as I shifted. So that was it. Approximately fifty humans, now no longer living beings, but one big meal, rested in my bloated stomach. Being the naughty dragoness I am, the very first thought I had was that Lein might heed my threats a bit more quickly now that he had seen, first-hand, just how much I could devour. Of course, he was right there to comment.
"My god, woman. You certainly are a goddess. A goddess of poor self-control, over-indulgence, repulsive eating habits, and fat," he sneered, his head hovering right next to mine, grinning smugly. "Looks like you won't be moving under your own power for a while, you grotesquely obese lizard."
I leaned over as much as I could, my eyes full of dangerous lust and hunger, and gave a nice, long, tasting lick to Leindurstit's snout, lowering my eyelids in agreement with his flavor, freaking him out as expected.
"Just be glad I'm full, Delicious."