Chapter 8

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“Okay, so what really happened?” I asked Alex.

“I told you: we were rescued by a dragon. He breathed fire until all the snow had melted, and gave us a way out.”

“Do you seriously expect me to believe that?”

“Not at all. But that’s what happened.”

“There are two problems with that. First of all, dragons are practically extinct, and any that managed to survive did so by hiding, and not coming out for people trapped in avalanches.”

“…The dragon was in the cave with us.”

A quick feel of his mind revealed that he wasn’t telling me the whole truth.

I sighed. “Fine. Continue your story.” Maybe he was embellishing, maybe he was making it up. But he seemed to like telling it, and it was fairly entertaining, so I might as well hear the end of it. “The dragon finds you. Then what? Did it try to eat you, too? Only to realize it didn’t have the proper seasoning?”

“No. Of course not. He saved us. Got us out of the caves, and even helped cook us all a nice, hot meal.”

“You sure it wasn’t just fattening you up?”

Alex glared at me. “Dragons are intelligent, civilized people–way more civilized than angels, I’d say.”

“They ate people, Alex. And they used magic to force people into slavery. Not what I consider ‘civilized’ behavior.”

His gaze intensified. “They only ate the dead as a way of honoring them. If you ask me, it makes a lot more sense than sticking them in a hole in the ground to rot.”

“I’m sorry, Alex. I didn’t mean to upset you.” I had no idea why he was so offended, but I made a mental note to avoid talking to him about dragons. Not really a topic I like discussing, anyway.

He was wrong. Dragons–despite their intelligence–were vicious, bloodthirsty creatures. The world is better off without them… right?

“It’s okay.” He sighed. “It’s just… why should we be defined by what species we are? Why should we have to serve a higher power just because we’re angels? That’s not the way things are supposed to work. It’s just not right.”

“There’s a reason for everything,” I explained, “Like that avalanche… if that hadn’t happened, you wouldn’t even be here. God works in mysterious ways.”

“You mean like how this chapter is seemingly irrelevant to the story, but it led to a contrived title drop?”

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