The fog which settled over the field of corpses was unnatural.
From its depths slid the great wyrm, Nidhogg.
I was as surprised to see him as he was to see me standing on the gently rolling hill in southern Virginia. There was no need for me to fire upon the Wyrm. My weapons would have been useless. As he coiled and moved restlessly toward me, I waited, wondering if our interaction would go as poorly as it had the first time we had met in the late 1690s.
Nidhogg brought himself up to his full height and towered above me, glaring down as his forked tongue snapped out, tasting the rank stench of death on the air.
“You’re still alive,” the Wyrm stated, my ears struggling to comprehend the sibilant Scandinavian spoken by the creature.
Nidhogg snorted. “I am surprised no one else has tried to eat you yet.”
I patted the knife on my belt, and the creature shuddered.
“The memory still pains me,” the Wyrm said, lowering his head slightly. “I am still displeased.”
“You shouldn’t have tried to eat me.”
“I was bored.”
I chuckled and shook my head.
What passed for a smile flickered across the Wyrm’s face. He glanced from side to side, the dull-white scales upon his body nearly melding into the color of the fog.
“There has been some disagreement about how much more I should eat,” he offered up after several minutes of silence.
The Wyrm nodded. “My siblings, they have been feeding well too of late.”
He looked back at me. “Am I allowed to eat here, Duncan Blood?”
It was polite of him to ask, and I had no choice in the matter. Not really.
“Yes. Any young ones, though, I would appreciate it if you left their bodies.”
He glanced back at the corpses. “What for?”
“Do they eat their young?” he asked, surprised.
“No,” I chuckled. “But they do like to bury them.”
He snorted and rolled his eyes. “Fine. The young shall remain. Despite their flesh being far more tender. Be well, Duncan Blood, and keep your knife sharp.”
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