(or how I got burned by cooking oil)

 By: Wyley Myers

I was still a day’s ride from my destination and had spent the night on the disused trail that led to my destination, the lair of the Cast Iron Dragon. I was up before the sun and was waiting for my pan to get hot over my freshly stoked fire, when I heard a call in the distance. It was a bird, but not like any I had ever heard. It was more metallic, and like something was imitating the sound that was described to them rather than a sound it had heard. The oddest thing was that I hadn’t heard a bird for a few days since I crossed into the desecrated realm of the mad beast.

It was this distraction that was needed for the Cast Iron Dragon to attack. While many dragons shoot bursts of fire or ice, this dragon disgorged flaming oil at its victims. With an instinctual reaction I tried dodging to my left but stumbled over my pack and the oil scorched my arm and leg. But through the pain, I recovered charged the dragon and wrestled the creation of magic and artificer machinations.  The artificial creature burned me, but I had no other option.

It is fortunate that the mad artificer did not build his creation to the size of an actual dragon, but the battle was a near thing. Using my burned hand, I retrieved the dimensional door amulet I had bought for this purpose a shimmering door to the Outside slid open as perfectly as if I was opening a door. With a massive heave, I threw the dragon through the rift between worlds. Shattering the amulet, I collapsed to the ground. That was it, I had won.

I took stock of my injuries. My arm was a mess of puffed skin and red swollen burns, and my leg was not much better. My belongings were burning, and I suddenly felt exhausted. Hopefully the Banner Clerics would sense that the dragon was no more and send aid, but for now, all I could do was wait.


So, I obviously did not actually fight a dragon to receive my burns. But the real story is not nearly as fun.  I got distracted by a phone call while I was heating up oil to cook hashbrowns. By the time I remembered the oil, it had burst into flames, and I tripped over my trash can while I was trying to get the flaming oil out of the house. I spent four days in the Banner Burn Unit and eventually had to get a skin graft about half a month later. This has been a painful experience that could have been prevented by not trying to multitask. At the very least, don’t multitask when oil is being heated up on the stove.