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Best of 2014 – Men Are Not Dragons

We’re throwing it back almost to the first story we published in 2014. This story had such a nice sense of scale — despite taking place almost exclusively inside a small cave — that we fell in love with it immediately. We also like a story that puts enemies in unlikely circumstances, forcing them to interact and see the world in a new perspective, which this story does with grace.

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

Men Are Not Dragons

By Stephen V. Ramey

In a cave high above the kingdoms of man, the last dragon awaits a boy’s awakening. Smells surround her: sulfur, humid tears, gas from a horse flank decomposing in her belly. Breath rumbles down her throat to return as smoke and a rain of fine ash.

Where am I? The voice is weak and so very young.

Her throat clenches. Overlapping scales rasp the sword wedged into the base of her neck. She feels pain.

Why am I here? Why is it dark?

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