I suppose it’s an understandable mistake but I’m still offended at their lack of basic knowledge. True, the peasants find me in an undead cavern, covered in blood and carrying a corpse but that doesn’t prove I’m a vampire. I could be an innocent victim. After all, the liquid substance dripping from my mouth is the result of a bitten lip. And the blood staining my flesh comes not from Alexis’ dead body but from the shallow slashes across my arm.
The ones I used to summon the demons.
So I’m not an innocent victim.
There’s a dragon watching me when I wake up.
And I know that shouldn’t surprise me. Not on Meldin with its fairy-tale castles and laser canons. Not on a world where the sun rises and sets on a circling horizon and shadows only happen at noon. Since coming here I have run from spirit-tipped arrows and travelled in lifts made of light and air and the bones of the dead and a single dragon shouldn’t make me question my sanity. After all, my father told me—as we crawled through a tunnel of shadows towards this world he claimed was my own—that Meldin had four different types of dragons. (Five if you counted his half-brother Myrann.)
It’s just that I’d collapsed in Yarum. And Meldin’s largest city, with over two million people, wasn’t where I expect to see my first dragon.
Indoors. Eating an ice-cream.
I watch this mythical creature—the unnatural union of hunting-cat and lizard: all silver-black scales and deadly menace—scoop out another mouthful of berry-red cream with an elongated tongue that is slowly turning pink.
And it’s about then I wonder—again—if I am going insane.