Caught by Sylvia Baxter


I am the dragon. I am the bee fairy. It was my kiss that turned the taste of ash on your tongue to honey and gold. My nostrils on fire, my sting sunk deep into the land, I tore free only to die in your arms as you weep over me. I drown in your tears. Why do you cry? I am the salamander tossed into the smith’s forge to temper the sword. This is where you found me, feeding on red hot coke, dazed and delighted. The smith long dead, a charred corpse in the corner, forgotten. I donned my pretty eyes, my smart eyes, and you loved me. Your hands blistering when you took me. Carefully. Hesitating not for the pain but anxious not to hurt me when I was brittle as charcoal, tail swishing madly in bliss. I changed in your hands then and opened those blisters with my sting. If ever there was a lovely fairy it was me, a siren of bees, a queen Loreley, a river daughter. You loved me then, I could see it in those eyes I wanted to open like blisters of pus. You held me and fed me embers and coals and never asked for the wishes, the three wishes I owed you. How I hated you. I spent days, weeks, months hating you while you kept me and fed me and I grew fat in your hands. When you slept, I scorched the lands, killing your people, burning them, eating them, making them plead. Some I let go so they would ask you to make a wish. Carefully instructed, I send them to you, hobbling on one limb or none, carrying the carcasses of their dead children, to wake you and beg you to make your wish, your first wish. I am the dragon, I boiled ponds, lakes, even the sea so the mist never lifted for weeks. And never you wished for relief. So I struck you with sickness for I am the worm that hatches from the dead. As you lay feverish you wished for water but everyone knows that wish does not count in the eyes of the fae. So finally I darkened the sky, I devoured the planets and stars for I am the Black Hole. When I swallowed the moon, all hope vanished from the face of this world. Hunger and fear and disease was my name, and war. There are no four riders, there is only one steed and you rode me and you cried for the world but then you laughed as the stale wind tousled your hair. And thus it was when you made your wishes: That you should love me and that I should love you and this moment should last forever. And so you caught me in this barren desert of a world with your three wishes and I love you and hate you for I am the dragon, the bee fairy, but I know now your name.



Sylvia Baxter is a writer of poems and short fiction. Sometimes, weird stuff like this pops up in her mind and she wonders, hey, where did THAT come from. A growing collection of peoms is published on




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