You hated generic fantasy stories. The one where dragons were evil. The ones where dragons were executed in different ways.
What could you say? You were a Dragon fanatic. The idea of magnificent winged creatures was thrilling. To bad they were only real in the imagination.
Kicking a seashell out of your way, you continued to trudge down the beach, trying to calm down.
Your boyfriend really got on your nerves. He knew your point of view on dragons and often teased you about it. Scratch that, he tormented and bullied you about it. It was amazing you hadn't kicked his ass yet.
You let out a low curse and rub your forehead. You had run straight into one of the poles that supported the boardwalk. Your forehead began to throb.
You turned to walk back the way you came, when a low whine stops you.
Pausing, you turn, head tilted. Something under the board walk. Taking slow steps, you creep under the wooden structure.
Okay, it was a stupid move, but it really sounded like an animal in pain. Or a person.
You looked back at the beach. No people within screaming distance, great.
You took a few more steps, then stopped. A large shadowy shape was curled up in the sand. A very very large shape.
It couldn't be. There was no way in hell!!
But it was. Crazily and impossible so.
It was a dragon.
A brown dragon, it's wings folded tightly around it's body.
The giant beast lifted it's head as you crept closer. You freeze, staring at the giant twisting horns on it's head. Brilliant emerald eyes studied you quickly, narrowing. With a rasping cough, it turns away, laying it's head back down on the sand. You noticed that the sand near it's mouth had been turned to glass.
You inch even closer, reaching out to touch it's head.
Up close you saw that it's scales weren't all one shade brown. Mossy greens and several shades of brown, mostly chocolaty colors, color the scales.
Before you can touch one of the giant, glossy horns, it lifted it's head again. You freeze, hand out stretched, eyes wide.
"Sorry." You manage to squeak out, "Um I just.....Cause you're a dragon......you know..."
Trailing off you stared awkwardly, letting your hand fall. The dragon snorted, it's lip twitching into a smile. Showing it's extremely large and sharp teeth.
Moving it's head, it pressed it's snout against your palm.
You let out a yelp.
"Oh my god!! You just spoke. In my mind!!"
A pleasant chuckle rippled through your mind.
You stared. It was like a frickin' dream come true. You would have jumped around and squealed with joy if you weren't under a boardwalk.
A growl rumbled through the dragon. For a second, you though it was growling at you, then realized that it was it's stomach.
"Are you hungry?"
The dragon looked away, as if embarrassed, then nodded quickly.
A stupid request. Because if it came out from under the board walk, everyone on the beach would go in to primitive screaming-running mode.
Running up onto the boardwalk, you sprinted for the food booths. Slapping money down on the first one you panted and looked at the food.
"Um, gimme as many tomatoes as possible."
The man behind the counter stared, his amber eyes wide. Reaching behind the counter, he picked up a basket and filled it with ripe tomatoes.
"Here-a you go......"
Thanking him you ran back to the dragon, hoping it hadn't been a dream.
It was still there, head lifted.
"Um, I dunno if Dragons can eat tomatoes. But they smell way better than the fish at the food booths.....so yeah."
You panted, placing the basket by it's head.
It blinked, sniffed the basket twice, then downed everything, basket and all. Snorting contentedly, it twisted, pressing it's snout back on your palm. The warm breath from it's nostrils tickled your hand.
"No problem....Um.. are you really real?"
You blushed slightly, knowing how stupid the question sounded. A warm chuckle burbled through your mind, followed by a sigh.
'I am as real as you are.'
You grinned at the dragon. Feeling slightly braver, you patted a hand across it's brow and over it's horns.
"What's your name?"
The question seemed to stub the dragon. It was silent for several moments, the large, spiny tail flicking slightly like a cats.
'I think I used to be called Antonio..... I can't remember.'
A mournful note crept into that thought and you felt saddened for the great being.
"Well I'm _______!"
Three weeks had passed. You and Antonio had become friends. Sure he was 9 feet tall (and according to him, that was small for dragons.), but to you it didn't really matter. He was fun to talk to, telling you about far away lands and creatures not found in books.
"Toni!!" You chirped excitedly, peeking under the board walk.
He was gone, the only indication he had been there was a large dip in the sand.
"TONI?!" You looked around, dropping the basket of tomatoes you had been holding.
'Calm down chica.'
You whipped around, gasping.
"Toni it's daylight!!! Someone will see you!!"
The dragon flashed you a toothy grin, you couldn't help grinning back.
'Wanna fly chica?'
You gaped, then nodded quickly. Antonio reached out, gently picking you up by the neck of your shirt, much like a mother cat and her kitten. Twisting his neck, he set you gently onto his back.
'Hold on chica!!'
Opening his wings, he crouched. You curled your fingers around one of the spines on his back. Then he jumped, wings beating furiously.
It was exhilarating. A euphoric feeling of being weightless.
Antonio, swirled and looped through the air, letting out a few bursts of green flame. You laughed giddily, then coughed as a bug flew into your mouth. Spitting it out, you sputtered, then laughed again.
Antonio laughed in your mind.
'Unless you can blow fire chica, it's wise to keep your mouth shut.'
Antonio kept flying until you had become frozen. Flying without a coat in the thin atmosphere was really not a good idea.
Shivering, you slid off his back as Antonio crawled back under the boardwalk. He flashed another toothy dragon grin, motioning with his tail for you to follow him.
You complied, your steps slightly wobbly. Sitting down in the sand, you leaned against his side and grinned.
"That was awesome Toni!!!"
Petting his scales, you smiled. Toni made a low purring sound.
'I'm glad you liked it _____.'
You nodded, wrapping your arms around your knees. Antonio was silent except for the rusty purr of his breath, turning the sand around him into glass.
'You know those places I told you about? and the creatures that inhabit them?'
You nodded, turning slightly to look at the dragon. He flashed another dragon grin, his slender forked tongue flicking out of his mouth.
'Wanna go see them?'
A grin slowly spread across your face. Wrapping your arms around his neck, you hugged the dragon.
A happy chuckle rippled through your mind. Before you could react, Toni had shot from under the board walk, you still clinging to his neck. He flew close to the ground, allowing you to clamber onto his back.
You sped past frightened tourist and locals. Flying over a peculiar smiling man with a bow tie and the redhead standing next to him.
Laughing in your mind, Antonio climbed up through the air, spiraling over the air currents.
'First stop, Spain!!'