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Damia perched on a tall, sturdy tree.  She had been flying for hours.  Granted, she was in no rush.  Even though her pace was leisurely, she still allowed herself a break.

Her belly rumbled.  Knights were gooood, but they lacked the substance she craved.  Too weak-spirited to fill her for long, too lowly of birth to be esspecially tasssty.  They worked in a pinch, and Damia wouldn’t complain about having to wait another day for her next batch of knights to be ready.

She just wanted more and better.

On the prickly top of the pine tree, Damia sniffed deeply.  Over the musty decaying needles and the sharp sap of healthy trees she caught the scent she was looking for: Humans.  Tassty humansss.

She snorted.  Her tree perch caught fire, but the heat didn’t bother Damia.  What bothered her was the particular human scent in the air.  Theeese humans she already knew.  They were a company of knights, with their annoying pointy sticks.  They wouldn’t annoy her much longer.  Already, the air held the first hint of the ssspecial seasoning she liked.  They were sleeping soundly because of her lullaby, slowly dehydrating and starting to decay.

Soon, ssssoon, she would return to feast.

The tree snapped under Damia’s weight.  She unfurled her huge wings and soared up, over the forest.  The wind swept over her scales.  Mist sizzled where it touched her chest.

She sniffed again.  The same smells flooded her smoking nostrils.  Even though no one would hear her, Damia shrieked.  The sound shredded the air for a second.

She spiraled higher in the sky.  She needed to see where she should seek her next meal.  A spot to the south seemed to sparkle.  A castle!

She would go there next.  Castles always had such tassty treatsss.  All that noble blood, strong and courageous little humans surrounding the special delicacy of royalty.  Damia’s stomach gurgled in anticipation.  She would stand at the entrance of the castle and sing them into slumber, then take her time moving from the simple servant hors d’œvres to the sumptuous main course of nobles, finishing off with a royal dessert.

Maybe there would even be a princess!  She did especially love princesses.  Nothing matched their particular flavor of purity and strength.  She would face many legions of pesky little knights with pointy sticks in order to munch on a princess.

First, Damia had to wait for the sleeping knights to ripen.  Then she would swoop toward the castle and celebrate her discovery.

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