She picked the picture that I picked because it made me think of her!
Forever GoneI had no other choice.
Under my gloved hand, the claws imbedded in the leather screeched on the stone as I made a fist. Blood pooled and muted the sound. Behind me...no. Not yet. I couldn’t face it.
The lingering heat was uncomfortable but no more than standing by a bonfire of dry wood and oil. The flames lit my path. A rattling gasp from behind made me pause but I didn’t turn. After a moment, I continued to walk. The smell of burnt stone, of sulfur and scorched ground trailed after me.
I gained the edge of the woods where the flames from the middle of the saucer-shaped meadow made the trees dance in the shadows as if they could walk away. But even now, the heat-curled leaves had no life in them. It was their last spring, their final rebirth.
I stopped there, one hand on the trunk of the fire-blasted tree. Under my glove, the rough texture crumbled and rained to the bare ground by the trunk.
Another exhalation from the center of the conflagration finally pulled me around to witness what I had done.
Flames still licked all around it. Boiling greasy clouds hid it from my view. My chest hurt when I realized it was still alive, if only barely. Its one good eye roved blindly as it sought its killer.
With a scream I jerked my sword from the sheath, drew back, and threw it, end over end. As if preternatural, the sharpened point found its goal and buried itself deep into the eye of the beast.
Of the dragon. That took my wife and killed her. And now lay dead surrounded in a bier of its own making. Justice? Maybe. At the end, mercy. Not to end its suffering but to end mine.
It was the last of its kind and now, it lay still. If only my heart and soul did not want to join it.
I love all of your imagery. The heat, the smells, the sights. It's all in here. You still like your fragments! We can feel the MC's pain and even the death of his nemesis doesn't ease it. My only thought is the last sentence could be stronger, but I'm not sure how. Maybe it's the reference to joining the dragon when in reality he probably would rather join his wife?
What are your thoughts?