Errol struggles as his fellow townsmen drag him into the woods, chain him to the Sacrifice Tree. In the torchlight, their faces are sorrowful yet relieved. They've been spared. This time.
Older than dragons, darker of soul than the Devil, the creatures arrive with a great thrashing of their monstrous wings. Errol kneels before their dreadful beauty, weeps for mercy. But their beaks slash, their talons shred, until all that's left of Errol is his scream.
In their silent town, in their empty beds, the men wait, guilt fading. After all, they had no choice.
Their women must be fed.
Author bio: Madeline Mora-Summonte is a writer, a reader, a beach-comber, and a tortoise-owner. She is the author of the flash fiction collections The People We Used To Be and Garden of Lost Souls.
Bound is part of 101 Fiction issue 20.