The Dragon that Delivered Her From Grace
The Dragon of Lost Hope glided smoothly over the water, concealed by a cold and heavy fog which darkened the hearts of the most innocent of children. This summoning had been particularly alluring, and the Dragon knew that it would feed well.
Grace was an unusual name for a hurricane, and those who lived in her path felt the lash of God’s own hand as she swallowed them into its maw. No one would ever get an accurate toll of the dead, and many of the survivors viewed them as the lucky ones, so complete and wanton was Grace’s wrath.
Mariah and Benji were the only people left from their village, which two days before had been a warm and boisterous hub of the local fishing trade. They walked over barren ground, as the majority of what had been their lives had been blown miles out to sea. No Red Cross food trucks were going to make it to this devastated a place any time soon, and the sea was still too roiled up with debris and death to release its bounty of fish.
Benji broke first, as the reality of what had happened to his family burst through the protective layers of disbelief his mind had created, and nothing Mariah could do dislodged him his internal darkness. Faced with the prospects of dying in this place, her stomach eating itself from the inside while her only companion howled silent tears at nothing, she did what her mother’s mother had taught her to do.
Mariah knew that Benji would pose an irresistible lure for the Dragon of Lost Hope. Beings of its kind rarely got to feed on ones so young. The old, beaten down by years of worldly abuse, gave up easily, and the inherent optimism of youth released a particularly potent elixir when it was crushed so rapidly.
While feeding, the Dragon would be distracted.
Like any good fisherwoman, Mariah stepped to the water’s edge and set her hook. Grace had sent her to hell, but she would ride to the future on the back of a dragon.