By A.M. Symes
I wish dragons were real.
Some people believe dragons are real and just went extinct back when the dinosaurs went extinct. Or maybe it was after the dinosaurs that dragons were around. That makes more sense, because how would warriors have battles with dragons if it was during the dinosaur time.
So really I wish dragons were not extinct. I could walk through campus at night and a dragon would fly overhead. She would blast out flames and light up the walkway, and I wouldn’t be nervous about walking by myself.
I mean yeah, dragons are kind of scary. More scary than any other animals on campus. We get mostly squirrels, bunnies, an occasional deer.
But a dragon! That would be something.
I mean yeah, dragons are a little scary. And yeah, they would gobble up a student here or there, and that would be really sad. But they’d be no more dangerous than what’s already on campus at night.
Okay, so a dragon flying overhead could blast out a tower of flames from her belly and roast me to a crisp. Or she could gobble me up. I probably wouldn’t even feel it if I was roasted, since dragon fire is so hot. And to be gobbled up? I’d probably die with her first crunch and wouldn’t feel the rest of her teeth shred me to pieces.
Really, getting flash flamed or crunched up is no more scary than the guy jumping out from behind a building and putting a knife to my neck to steal my wallet and cell phone. It’s funny because my phone isn’t worth anything. It’s Grandma’s old phone. I gave it to her five years ago so she could call me anytime she wanted, but she refused to learn how to use anything “techy,” and when she passed away last month I got the phone back. So it’s old, not necessarily used. It’s still not worth anything, but the guy with the knife doesn’t know that, so I give it to him with my wallet. That’s not worth anything, either. He should know college students don’t have money.
A dragon would know that.
Well, probably not. But a dragon would know not to eat the student with the big backpack because the backpack is full of tasteless books. The dragon would know to eat the student running because all that exercise probably makes them tender.
But the guy with the knife doesn’t seem all that smart.
I give him my phone and my wallet and hope he’ll run away, but he looks me up and down and smiles and licks his lips, and I don’t know what that means because he really can’t see what kind of body I have—not enough to lick his lips over—with my snowpants and snowshoes and hat and my blue coat I’ve had since high school that my mom promised I would grow into even though I never did.
But the guy with the knife looks me up and down and licks his lips and shoves me into the little entry area of the campus library and presses me up against the wall. The guy with the knife has a hard time with all the zippers and snaps and fabric of my big coat so I figure this whole thing is not going according to his plan. That’s assuming he had a plan. Or maybe it was his plan all along and he didn’t see anyone else walking, didn’t see anyone else who had less winter gear on, or even newer winter gear that was easier to slip on and off.
The guy with the knife swears and hits the back of my head and shoves me to the ground and swears again because he’s frustrated how long it took to get the blue coat off. A dragon would not like all this winter gear either. It’d be like eating chicken with a lot of tough skin.
So really, dragons probably wouldn’t bother eating students as they flew around campus, and I could just watch them fly and tell people how cool it is to walk through campus and watch the dragons and tell people it’s not scary at all to walk alone at night, that I feel totally safe, because the dragons scare off the bad guys.
And if a dragon did gobble me up then it must have been my time. At least I’d be dead quickly and I wouldn’t worry about never sleeping again because I see the guy with the knife in the corner of my bedroom and always feel his hot breath on the back of my neck and feel his hands rip at my skin. If a dragon gobbled me up, people would go to my funeral and remember how nice I was, instead of abandoning me because they don’t understand why I can’t go out at night—even in a crowd—without freaking out.
I never walk through campus at night anymore. So I guess I’ll never see a dragon if they ever come back and decide to fly through campus.
I wish dragons were real.