“Dragon’s breath,” Granny called it, the searing west wind that shrivelled the garden by May. She pointed at the sun, low and red. “His child.”
“Let’s go kill it!” Tommy said. Stupid. But I went.
Struggling over steep hills, past dead houses. Softened asphalt dragged my feet, hot air burned my lungs. The dragon’s breath dried sweat to salt.
“There!” His voice croaked from the hilltop. I peered into the painful wind. Flames ate the downed city. No dragon: only fire, glowing stone, jagged buildings’ remains.
Granny pressed damp cloths on my burned face. “Was.”
“Dragon’s child, now.”
Author bio: Environmental scientist Odessa Cole writes science fiction in New Mexico.
Breathe is part of 101 Fiction issue 4.