DISCLAIMER: This is MINE! Mine, you hear! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! Er... ahem. Yes. This story is copyright © 2002 to me, Mary-Ann Josephina Chapman, otherwise known as Irony-chan. I'm putting it online because I strongly suspect that it is not publishable, but that doesn't mean you can snitch it and call it yours.

I do like getting fanart, though. Yes, that WAS totally shameless, how nice of you to ask.

Anyway.

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This is a story about dragons.

Most people know that medival mythology contains a preponderance of references to dragons... but not just what a diversity of such stories there are. The dragon of myth was seen as far more than a fire-spewing monster. Dragons were great wise creatures who lived to be many hundreds of years old, poets, philosophers, and scholars who kept human 'pets' not out of malice but out of loneliness, their own kind being few and far between. They were guardians of fabulous wealth and masters of sorcery; a skilled dragon could use magic to change his shape and pass unnoticed among human beings... some stories even tell of dragons who fell in love with human women.

Of course, in our modern, enlightened age, we know that none of this is true.

Nowadays, a 'dragon' is a species of large monitor lizard that lives on some Indonesian island somewhere. They do not breathe fire and hardly ever devour anybody (only one person, a German count, has ever been killed by a Komodo dragon... wherever he is now, I hope he feels appropriately privileged). Despite the claims of some badly deluded people, magic -- or psi, or miracle-working, or whatever you want to call it -- doesn't exist and can never have existed... it would violate the rules by which the world works. No caves filled with unspeakable riches lie hidden from human eyes.

The whole thing was a beautiful fantasy... but a fantasy nonetheless. The human race has outgrown its collective childhood and has, for the most part, put away childish things. There is no room in the twenty-first century for dragons.

Indeed, where could dragons possibly fit into a world in which magic is fantasy and trickery, and 'fabulous wealth' exists mostly as numbers in computer memory?

You might be surprised.