Fire is a hideous thing.
It is uncontrollable and violent, insatiable, and alive. There is only one thing worse than fire, and that is a creature which breathes it.
In 1923, a firedrake landed in Gods’ Hollow. A short time later, it began to lay waste to some of the farms in the area, and soon a group of us were engaged in a fierce battle against it. We used mostly shotguns and hunting rifles, although some had squirreled away weapons from the Great War.
I had brought home a German anti-tank rifle, a hideous weapon used to punch through the British Mark IVs. It is as dangerous to the man operating it as it is to the armor on the other end.
I had little choice, however.
We were rushing our burned neighbors into town, and nothing we did was slowing the drake down. In a final act of desperation, I brought my colleagues with me to my house, showed them how to load and fire the German rifle should I be slain, and off we went to the old Black Farmstead.
I do not lie when I say that I was fortunate that day. Both shots I took scored direct hits in the drake’s forehead. The rounds split open his skull and blew his brains out of his eye sockets.
Unfortunately for me, firing the weapon dislocated my shoulder.
In the end, we lost eleven men, women, and children to the drake. Its head still hangs in the library at the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University, but it is tucked away, still stinking of fire and brimstone and the reek of burning flesh.
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