I’ve been busy lately, working of the first draft of In Numina – the second full-length Felix mystery. Which means that whenever I have time to write, I concentrate on that.
The mind of a writer, however, is a funny thing. Ideas come and go out of nowhere. Some of them can be saved for later, and some just have to be written down on the spot. Not everything goes according to plan.
So without further ado, I sincerely hope you enjoy this flash fiction!
The girl was screaming as the dragon came for her. She had promised herself she wouldn’t, that she would bravely fulfil her destiny as a sacrifice to appease the monster, but when the beast appeared she couldn’t help herself. Tied to an ancient post in a forest clearing, all her family and friends cowering in their huts a mile away, she felt alone and abandoned. And now this monster, huge and green and scaly, was coming down from the skies with wisps of flame trailing from its nostrils.
The dragon landed, and slithered towards the girl. She sniffed, but managed to get herself in order. The sun shone brightly on her golden curls, highlighting strands of hair in shades from honey to silver; her milky white skin nearly translucent, and without a single blemish.
“I am ready for you, to fulfil my village’s contractual obligations, to appease your anger and preserve our lives and our crops from your wrath!” she spoke the ancient formula drilled into her by the village elders.
“Yeah, yeah, heard all that before,” said the dragon, with a slight lisp.
“So will you eat me now?” the girl asked the beast.
“What? Ewww! No,” it replied. “I’m a vegetarian.”
“A vegetarian. I don’t eat meat.”
“So… You terrorise the cabbage farmers, instead of the shepherds?” asked the girl with furrowed brows.
“That is sso lasst ssentury,” lisped the dragon. “I get my organically-sscertified quinoa on eBay.”
“Oh never mind, darlin’. Just you come with me quiet-like, and all will be exssplained in due coursse.”
“So I have nothing to fear from you?” she said, still hesitant to trust a creature known for its lies and appetite for human flesh, yet reaching gingerly to lay her hand on its magnificent reddish-green scales.
“I ssolemnly sswear I shall do you no harm,” said the dragon patiently. “Now, if you’ll jusst climb on top, I’ll take you on a nissce ride to a magical palace.”
The girl climbed hesitantly, and settled on the creature’s back. She found the scales slightly warm, yet softer than she had imagined. She made herself comfortable.
“So I’ll get to be a princess?” she asked. “Did the fairy tales get it all wrong, and you don’t kidnap princesses and lock them up? But take girls and make them into princesses?”
“Well, not quite,” said the dragon as it stretched its wings. It flapped a couple of times and then jumped up and kept airborne. “Thiss sscertified organic quinoa is expenssive, you ssee. But on the other sside of the mountainss are a number of rich caliphss of sspesscific tastes. Those haremss you heard about in stories, they don’t get populated by exssotic prinsscessesssss cheaply.” The beast’s words were growing faint as he flew upwards and started to bear due east, but those who were left hiding in the bushes could still make the last words. “I am what you might call an international import/export entrepreneur…”