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Image Credit: Esther Vargas

Dragon spit went global just after midnight on the 23rd January 2016. It wasn’t intentional. Tam Duncan was playing about on Twitter when he came across a photograph of a cute cat and a Game of Thrones character. He’d had a few beers, and he posted what he was thinking.

@tamd See that #GRRM – I bet he drinks #dragonspit

The response was immediate. He had ten Twitter replies and five Direct Messages in as many seconds.

@thehoundsgirl #GRRM Please, what is #dragonspit?

Tam was feeling playful.

@tamd @thehoundsgirl #dragonspit – a pool of spit big enough to drown #GRRM in

Just minutes later, Tam’s Twitterfeed exploded with abuse; his mailbox filled up with threats of castration and death and his telephone started to ring—constantly. Luckily the cyber attack didn’t last long, as his PC was hacked a minute after that, a particularly nasty Trojan virus settling in for a long stay that would keep Tam offline for days.

But the damage was done. A new user appeared just as Tam went dark.

@enterthedragon @tamd was right. #GRRM needs drowning in #dragonspit

The backlash started immediately from the Twittersphere and beyond as Twitterers and fans responded to the perceived slur on their idol. But the @enterthedragon user proved ready for it.

@enterthedragon Bring it on, kids. The #dragonspit apocalypse is coming. Prepare to drown.

The newcomer proved resilient against all attacks. Both the #GRRM and #dragonspit hashtags trended worldwide, and @enterthedragon went from zero to ten thousand followers in the first hour. As if emboldened, the first picture of a pool of smoking spit with someone drowning in it was posted at 1.00am. It was also cross-posted to Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest.

@enterthedragon Here’s a wee photie of #dragonspit for you. #GRRM

@enterthedragon’s follower count stood at thirty five thousand by the time the first video went up on Youtube.

@enterthedragon Check it out/ http://tiny.pr.1847ly. #dragonspit

The video showed a youth staggering in the street, spitting in small neat puddles in the gutter, all perfectly orchestrated to a hard dance beat. The puddles smoked. The first copycat video arrived from a Newcastle club less than an hour later. Massed ranks stood, line-dancing style, pretending, or not as the case might be, to spit and dance at the same time.

It went round the world in a blink. By the next morning there were a hundred new videos from pubs and clubs. The general public caught on when it featured on CNN.

@enterthedragon hit a million followers on Twitter faster than anyone in the history of the site and the video shot past ten million views on Youtube showing no signs of slowing.

@enterthedragon Not long now until #dragonspit apocalypse

What with the abuse from fans of the show’s celebrities who were being mocked, and new fans of the dance craze that was sweeping everything before it, @ enterthedragon became a worldwide celebrity, in name at least. But no one, even the most ardent of hackers, could track down the owner of the account.

@enterthedragon They seek it here, they seek it there, they seek that #dragonspit everywhere.

@enterthedragon’s photographs of cats drinking smoking spit took over Facebook for a week. More videos of the dance craze turned up on Youtube and were eagerly lapped up by an ever-more obsessed population.

The real impact started to be felt soon after that.

@enterthedragon Here it comes. #dragonspit apocalypse

At first the puddles were ascribed to a practical joke. Some news sources hinted that the appearance of smoking spit at so many sites across the planet was proof that the whole enterthedragon phenomenon was a carefully orchestrated publicity stunt that had gone even more viral than the wildest dreams of whoever had thought it up. They cited the fact that the spit being discovered was of a singularly uniform color, being almost jet black.

Even while speculation was piled upon speculation, the dance clips on Youtube passed a hundred million views and @enterthedragon got his two millionth follower on Twitter.

More pools of spit were being found worldwide. No one saw how they were formed; they appeared overnight, in remote places at first, and small, but as time passed, so the puddles grew every larger and deeper, The smoke rose in a noxious fume worse than the worst pollution.

London woke one morning to find a smoking, jet-black Thames flowing past Parliament.

@enterthedragon Oh my God. It’s full of #dragonspit

A video of a dam bursting in Nepal and unleashing a wave of smoking spit half a mile wide onto an unsuspecting village went viral as soon as it was posted. Later, no one was able to vouch for its authenticity, but that scarcely mattered. All of the attention pushed @enterthedragon to the very top of the list of Twitter and YouTube celebrities.

@enterthedragon I’m on top of the world, Ma. ROFLMAO #dragonspit

Almost everyone online was now connected to @enterthedragon either through a social media channel or by having been sent a link or email from someone else. And that’s when it happened. The oceans and lakes of the planet turned black, the rivers ran with spit, and the rain fell-smoking, dark and bitter. The great Dragon emerged from behind his social media identity.

@enterthedragon. Heeeere’s Johnny! #dragonspit

@enterthedragon. I’d like to teach the world to spit. #dragonspit

The first sighting was in Paris. The city, the old tower and the new financial centers burned to crispy ash in seconds as the Dragon’s shadow passed over, leaving only smoking spit behind.

@enterthedragon Look on my works ye mighty and despair!

@enterthedragon Who’s next?

end article

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William Meikle

About William Meikle

Scottish writer now living in Canada, with twenty novels published in the genre press and over 300 short story credits in thirteen countries.