The White Tail of the Metal Dragon
The little boy plays in the field outside the city.
He tenderly touches his father’s hand, looking for respite from the gathering of the crops. It has been so long since he rested.
“These are times of war, son. You know we have to gather the crops to feed the soldiers.”
“Yes, father. I am sorry.”
The boy wants to tell his father that he is tired, that he is hungry, that he doesn’t understand why they are fighting a war they cannot win. His nation stands alone.
He hears the faraway rumble. It sounds like the gruff incessant grumble of a dragon sigh. He knows, in his pounding heart, that it is getting louder. The dragon is getting nearer.
Maybe his father cannot hear the coming dragon, or maybe he chooses to ignore it. Father has been ignoring many things since the war started and he was left to tend fields, unable to fight.
The boy feels the vibrations in the ground; they shake through his feet like the pulling of furniture across terracotta tiles. The dragon seems angry.
The boy remembers the coins he stole and knows, with certainty, that the dragon is coming to take him away.
Then he sees it.
High above, it shines like metal button in the cloudless sky. Its two wings are outstretched. The four claws on its wings turn and spin at a speed he cannot comprehend.
He watches the metal dragon leave long and white clouds behind it. At first, he thinks they look like a tail. No, they look like fishing ropes, cast against the blue-blue sky.
Above, the Enola Gay skims the skies of Hiroshima.
On board, another Little Boy.
This boy, born of the metal dragon, breathes hellfire on the innocent. He leaves the eternal ghostly shadows of atomised people on concrete. He leaves unparalleled shadows in history.
In the sky, the white ropes fade away and a new shape cloud appears.
The metal dragon leaves fires that will burn forever.