Greetings once again, adoring aberrations!

     Our story today will cover the fang-chattering continuation of the reason behind my hatred of anything icy, frozen, and frosty. Geldrin had once insisted I fill out some “general preferences” lists, including my likes, dislikes, and hated things. In the hated list I simply put the word “snow,” mostly because I figured this would be a universally loathed matter, but Geldrin urged me to expand on my animosity.

I had been exploring the icy north as a youth, freshly free from my father’s clutches. Upon seeing another dragon, this one being white, I had attempted a bit of fraternization. To my surprise, this ferocious beast immediately and unprovokedly attacked, pummeling me into the side of a mountain. Apparently, I had encroached on the white’s territory, though completely by accident. One quick fight and a burst of the bonehead’s frosty breath, and I had been nearly frozen solid.

Satisfied with his apparent victory, the white turned out to the icy wastes and let out a ferocious roar. I watched this foolish display from my glacial prison, consciousness draining from my mind, when I remembered a most poignant (and obvious) fact: fire melts ice. I mustered what nearly extinguished inferno I still had in my belly and began slowly melting the ice around my maw. Seconds later, my head was freed, and I began hurriedly thawing the remainder of my frozen form.

I had just broken free from the last bits of ice when the white turned suddenly and bellowed his fury at me. In return, I bellowed my fire at him! A wash of my immolating breath struck the beast, immediately searing his pale scales.

     “NO! YOU DIE NOW!” he spat, recoiling from the heat.

     “No, YOU die now!” I retorted, finally deciding on how to handle this aggressor.

I had tried being cordial at first, not knowing how another dragon would react to me, but the only thanks for my friendliness was an aggressive reaction. If this was how the world was, then I would just have to meet violence with violence.

I lunged at him, my stiff joints beginning to free again from the warmth of the fire pouring from my mouth and the reactive rage I was feeling. Together, a fury of claws and teeth tumbled down the mountain, fire and ice pouring from our battling maws. We plunged like this for far too long, neither one of us willing to give up, and at some point, our battle encroached on a group of wintery trees. We hit one, sprawling away from each other in a torrent of splinters and blood. After slowing down enough to take in my surroundings, I spotted the white a few paces away, already beginning to pick himself back up.

He looked battered, loose scales scattered about in the blood-soaked snow. As difficult as I was finding it to gather myself after the violent melee, the white seemed to already be back up and heading my direction! Through countless scrapes and wounds, he was already heading back toward me, pure rage written plainly on his face. To this day I still think this brute was just too stupid to realize how hurt he was. It was at this point that I realized I would be in a bit of trouble if I did not come up with a clever plan. However, fate brought about my salvation. As the furious dragon closed the gap between us, the trees began to shake as the mountain began to rumble its own displeasure.

An ocean’s worth of snow was rushing toward us at an incredible rate, proving that two huge dragons tumbling down the side of a snow-encrusted mountain can’t hope to do so without disturbing the delicate balance of nature versus gravity. Quickly, we both attempted to take to the sky, with my adversary being able to struggle barely aloft above the approaching wave of icy death. I, however, was not so fortunate. I beat my mighty wings, and to my horror, I found that they had been torn by the white’s gnashing fangs.

I realized that I could do nothing but attempt to outrun the approaching avalanche, and outrun it I did, by quickly swallowing my pride and sliding on my belly down the freezing slopes. This way and that I slid, weaving between rocks and trees in a surprisingly graceful show. I was making good headway against the snowy torrent, when a blast of ultracold ice hit the back of my already-freezing head. The karshojwyrm was flying over me, BREATHING his foul icy breath on me in an attempt to slow me down! Say what you will about the dullness of these brutes, but sometimes their ferocity gives them brief moments of tactical genius.

     Editor’s note: “Karshoj” is draconic for a very nasty word. I will do you readers the favor of not translating it here.

In between frosty breaths, the beast continued to heckle me—

     “YOU DIE HERE NOW!” he jeered, followed by another blast of frigid breath. “DIE NOW!”

     “Come off it, will you?!” I retorted, spitting out a mouthful of snow. “LEAVE ME BE!”

But he did not. Seconds from being crushed to death by one thousand elephant’s-worth of snow and being harassed by the most idiotic creature at the top of the food chain, it did not look good for dealr ol’ Grendel. Yet fate had one more favor to provide me on that day—a few hundred yards down the mountain I spotted the opening of what appeared to be a cavern.

I folded my wings and limbs in on myself in an attempt to gain as much speed as possible and directed myself entirely at the mouth of the cave. Did I make it in the cave, or have I been a dragon popsicle this entire time? Only I know, and next week I will finish up this story. There is one last element to this chilling tale, but you, dear readers, will have to wait till next week to read the exciting conclusion of my horrible snow adventures! Until next time, continue to season your beautiful minds with (hopefully warmer) knowledge!