Bigmost the Suicide Dragon sneezed earnestly at passers by. They didn't even notice his polished marble bedcase or his sweet perfumed cave. The didn't acknowledge the sheen on his hat or the ankle clasp he wore in memory of the nine hundred doomsday servants who perished in December holding their mouths open on the long trip to Denmark. Mousy brown and turnward, a ball of twine lay at his feet and they didn't notice that either. The Suicide Dragon produced a banjo and picked out a faraway melody, tapping his foot on the splintered skull of a government representative. People's ears resonated as they passed, and now and then a man would reach up and adjust his parasitic earphone. The dragon's cave was abuzz with vibes. They reflected and refracted and the dragon acquired a metallic sheen and was henceforth called the Metal Banjo Dragon. The vibes plastered themselves to the walls and the whole dragoncave took off and entered a special orbit, not colliding with the six layers of space junk that were the legacy of Old Humanity.
The dragon was a master of control, and just as he had learned to control his emotions and the weather, he soon learned to control his orbit, darting up and down between the six layers of space junk like an opportunistic abacus bead computing some sickening formula. Sometimes when the dragon's spacecave flickered past, a diligent hobo would wake for a second from his air bubble nestled amongst the iron rails and bent decalcifiers and lock his gaze with an expression that said, "Oh. You too. Why you, space-dragon? All this and now you."
Earthbound scientists were not content to sit out. Hundreds of horn-rimmed telescopes combed the sky that night, their probing masts tracing out old and holy gardens in the air. Numbers poured forth from their stochastic pens, and for every number that was crossed out six more rallied in a calculator until it filled up, and they busted the hatch and ran out into the fray, hooting and screaming.
The space dragon knew as little of this as he did of the crooks and pundits waylaying his words on national TV, saying six things at once and talking at the same time as one another, saying the first thing that came into their heads. The space dragon imagined a thought, struck like a pinball by the vast, whirring flywheels of habit, rebounding off brightly coloured models and concepts, funneled naturally and idiomatically down rails of steel cognition, and finally spewing chaotically out of one tenth of a percent of the surface of a large iron sphere.
One person who wasn't thinking about the Space Dragon was Charlie Ninepence, chief little boy of the little boys' tree-climbing team. The little girls had a fountain-bending team and a toy surgery team, and a car denting team and an acorn picking team, but the little boys had a tree-climbing team and Charlie Ninepence was captain of it. Jumpy Spencer was vice-captain, but he jumped into the air whenever anyone trod on a stick. Sometimes Fitzy Dimmock would tread on a stick when he was around, just to see him jump into the air. But he didn't care because he was vice-captain of the tree-climbing team. Nobody liked Fitzy Dimmock anyway; one time he got mud on his ear and a crow pecked him. He didn't care though, he was in with the captain and vice-captain of the tree-climbing team. Someday, twenty years from now, when the rest of the world was arguing over axe handles and volcano people and space dragons, little girls and boys from the animal shelter would swarm him in the street, and eat his clothes off his wretched bones, all the while shouting "Here's Fitzy Dimmock! We found Fitzy Dimmock!"
Then the driving city rain would wash his bones away until he was nothing but a fine chalky deposit on the flagstones and a lingering thankful closure in the air.
The space dragon didn't deviate from his plan. He isn't going to tell you his plan, because it would be difficult to put into words and no-one would believe him. By now he had installed a cannon in his cave to shoot dictionaries at passing mole rats. This was not part of the plan, but cannons are cheap. Talk and cannons. Both cheap. What's not cheap is results, and soon the space dragon would be getting them, and firing those out of his cannon, high into the air, and they'd explode in crystal clarity and eighteen colours. It would be a spectacle so great that the TV repair pundits would gasp heavily and talk one at a time.
Somebody who would benefit from such an explosion would be Tommy Tailspin, the wacky headmaster. He didn't often benefit from explosions, so he would be surprised at first. But as the benefits slowly wormed their way into the foundations of his life and began to gnaw away at his insecurities with their little worm teeth, he'd grin languidly and his eyes would uncross as he experienced the sublime epiphany of a lobotomy patient.
Tailspin's ward would go to ruin but humanity as a whole would be better off, at least according to Snailtooth the amber scientist. He was best friends with the Junction Master, who was married to the lunch lady and knew nine hundred words. The lunch lady had a vast network of friends on the bus who would each tell four shiploads of sweaty tourists who would in turn gorge themselves on fish. If even one of those people ate a funny fish and realised the inanity of discourse and the true nature of directions, it would have all been worthwhile. But alas, this was also not part of the Space Dragon's plan.
The most important thing to him right now was an eleven-sided triangle, without which he would be unable to shape the destiny of even a small unpopular ant. He picked up the phone, the phone in his cave, and dialed uproariously, hoping against hope that he would be connected despite not having any wires or phone sockets. It was okay though, he was connected, and he spoke with a fairy. The fairy swore at him and made glistening noises, but she had a tiny little voice so it wasn't intimidating for the dragon, who laughed a great booming laugh that shook the foundations of time and altered several physical constants.
This alone had been the dragon's plan, though even he couldn't have known. His calculations by way of plane-dodging had been correct, and he watched happily as Big Sisterman's mouth fell off. The world was saved, at least for now, but he still needed that eleven-sided triangle. He dialed up his blood brother Sponky, whose fingers he had thrown into a volcano one hundred years ago. Sponky answered and the Space Dragon heard Sponky's voice echo in his sixty-foot drawing room, grandiose fragments of speech returning from distant granite artifices so distorted they became a harsh ethereal music. The Space Dragon shed a tear as the music described to him a squad of angels beaten back by an advancing wave of tigers, as the sky scrunched and weaved, ripped and bloomed in colours above them.
Sponky knew of many triangles. Triangle Hill; Bronson's Triangle; the woman with a triangular face; Dim Steely the triangle-master; the triangular eleven-sided coin used by the pighorn tribe of pighorn island to buy and sell pighorns; even his own most prized artifact, the holy four-sided triangle which sat on a bed of checkered bulls on the highest story of his stone stave cathedral, eleven floors above him as he sat now on his diligent throne, phone in hand and hand in glove. A five-sided triangle had been rumoured to exist, but Sponky's men had searched the moon and the stars and had found only blood and dust. An eleven-sided triangle was out of the question.