The great beast shuffled to the cliff edge, pointing her front claws over the precipice, rear-claws gripping the stony ledge behind. She stretched out her broad, leathery wings in the last of the afternoon sun; flexing her neck and enjoying the remnants of warmth on her wizened reptilian scales. Lifting those wide capes of skin, she stretched out her arms, giving an experimental couple of flaps, loosening the joints before tucking them neatly beside her once again. She surveyed the vista, looking from side to side; unblinking black eyes taking in the mountains that surrounded her, the river slicing the valley below and the clear, dark skies above.
The dragon sniffed the air, sensing a thermal. Slowly she leant forward, raising her tail at the same time as opening out her sheets of leather to the breeze. She hunkered down, those massive powerful haunches storing up power. Suddenly, she catapulted herself out into the void. So large, so unwieldy, it seemed impossible that such a creature could ever be airborne.
But then she flapped her wings in a strong downwards scoop. Once. Twice. A third time and she caught the upward drift of the air’s current. Circled and rose. In huge open loops she moved, beating down against the atmosphere, pushing above the cliffs and lower peaks. Up, up, and up again, in those wide arcs, growing smaller in the sky. Until, like a speck, an eagle or maybe just a sparrow, she was lost in the twilight skies.