Little glowing lights.
The small, dragon-like creature sat upon his perch, observing.
Long ago, Gorp had been something of a guardian pet to a wealthy man. He'd sit on the veranda of the man's gated home, chained. Gorp was fed daily, and had a constant supply of water. At first, he was content, his days of hunting were over, no longer did he have to fight over territory with others of his kind. Over time, however, his heart ached for the humid forest he once roamed. The cold, dead creatures his master threw to him were lacking in flavor, little blood, no life.
How can one live without ingesting life?
For years Gorp lived a half-life off of death. His wings and muscles began to atrophy, his neck grew scrawny from the ever-present chain tied around it. Somehow he still intimidated visitors to the house, much to his master's delight. Gorp took no pleasure in it.
Eventually his master took a mate, and they produced offspring. The young male's eyes held no fear for Gorp. As the boy grew, he began to spend time with Gorp on the veranda. A strange bond had formed between them, one that the master found foolish. The boy even gave Gorp his name, where as before, he was only referred to as 'the creature.' In the summertime, it was common for the boy to go play in the fields surrounding the mansion. At night, he would gather little glowing lights in a jar, and show them to Gorp. They were some of the strangest, prettiest things Gorp had seen.
"Look, Gorp, fireflies!" the boy would say.
Gorp grew to love the boy, and always looked forward to the time they spent together. The master, who was a rather cold man, grew jealous of the love his son & pet shared. He had few enemies at the time, and decided that Gorp had to be put down.
The boy learned of his father's plan, and made way to free Gorp. One evening the boy undid the chains and led Gorp towards the fields, alight with fireflies. The master heard the goings on, and emerged brandishing a rifle, and pursued the boy & Gorp, cursing and firing blindly at the fluttering form of Gorp.
His careless use of the weapon had a most terrible price, for some stray shot had struck the boy, who fell. Gorp stopped, he could not leave his only friend behind. The boy was bleeding, which Gorp knew was not well. The master approached through the tall grass, pointing the rifle right at Gorp. The fireflies scattering looked quite pretty to him.
The boy weakly lifted a hand, and his father dropped his weapon, shocked at what had happened. He yelled and charged at Gorp. Gorp did what any animal would do, and defended himself. A few swipes of his talons and a thrust with his horn and the master fell back.
"Run, Gorp, be free!" the boy yelled.
People were running in the fields towards the scene. Gorp was certain he would be killed. He nudged the boy with his nose, and reluctantly flew off towards the trees and mountains.
It had been many years since that night. Gorp never knew what happened to the boy and his father, if he lived or died. He never forgot the boy, though.
Gorp had been sitting atop the pile of stone for some days now, unable to take his eyes from the patch of grass below, full of fireflies. It was the most beautiful thing he'd seen in years.
Little glowing lights.