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Short Story: Excitement of the Day

A day at the archaeological dig was many hours of painfully patient excavation for the occasional moment of exciting discovery. And theĀ really exciting discoveries could put the whole site on hold.

Like right now.

Their greatest discovery on the site was a massive dragon structure. Its sinuous body curved around what the experts thought to be the upper boundary of the buried village. Some thought it was a sign of status for the village leader, some thought it was the village god, some thought the dragon was one of many that may have circled the village in the past. Whatever role the dragon played, they were certain of one thing. It used to have eyes.

In a stroke of luck, they had found what they believed to the missing eyes at a charity auction. An agent had won the bid for them, and now the eyes were on the way.

By the time the eyes arrived, everyone had found one excuse or another to be around the dragon. A step ladder had already been prepared, and one of the archaeologists climbed it to set the eyes in place.

They were a perfect fit.

With the eyes, the dragon looked infinitely more alive, as if at any moment…

It blinked.

Once, twice, thrice. With each blink, the eyes looked less like crystals and more alive. The dragon shifted, sending the gathered workers scrambling as earth loosened and fell. This wasn’t a statue. This was a real dragon!

The dragon howled and bucked free of the earth, then smashed through the ceiling like it wasn’t there and flew out of sight, leaving behind only a haunting cry in the wind.

Closer to the ground, a similarly haunted cry sounded.

“My proof!” the head archaeologist cried.

The workers had no such worry. They returned to their work in high spirits.

What a story they would have to tell.

~End~

Genre: fantasy

Check out the related fic Eye of the Dragon.

Short Story: Eye of the Dragon

A dragon protected the village. But now, he stood by as bandits ravaged the village.

Because these thieves took his eyes.

A dragon with no eyes had no life. In their greed, these thieves had doomed them all. But she wasn’t interested in them. She wanted the dragon’s eyes. Once she returned the eyes to their proper place, the dragon would show the bandits theirs.

She crept through the thief’s camp while her friends distracted the thieves, going straight for the dragon eyes’ distinctive glow. In one quick jab, she snatched the bag off the ground and sprinted towards the dragon, her brother right behind her.

Danger pressed in from all sides, from the attackers bent on destruction, from the thieve unwilling to let their spoils go, from the wrecked buildings that threatened to collapse at any moment. She kept her eyes and ears open and pushed through her fear. The sooner the dragon regained his eyes, the sooner he could protect them.

At the foot of the dragon’s hill, her brother shoved her to the ground. Something broke beneath her as her brother knocked the attacker off the hill.

“Sorry,” her brother said and pulled her up.

She looked into her bag in horror. “The eye.”

Instead of two whole eyes, she now had one eyes and two parts of an eye. Could the dragon still move with only one eye?

“One eye is better than none.” Her brother pulled her back to their goal. Together, they continued their run up the hill to the dragon.

Near the top of the dragon’s hill, the undamaged eye broke out of the bag and shot towards the dragon. The massive eyelid blinked and the glass-like eye fired to life.

The dragon launched off the hill and swept through the village like a shadow of judgement. In one sweep, not a single bandit remained. The dragon had saved them once more.

But what about the other eye?

She didn’t know what to do, but the village lorekeeper did.

“Sleep with the eye to your heart tonight. The dragon will do the rest.”

That night, she slept with the broken pieces cradled to her chest. The next morning, it was gone.

Outside, a dragon roared.

~End~

 

Genre: fantasy

Check out the related fic Excitement of the Day.

 

Short Story: The Sleeping Dragon on My Homework

Follows after The Dragon on My Homework.

 

~The Sleeping Dragon on My Homework~

There’s a dragon on my homework.

The tiny lizard nuzzles my book, but otherwise does not look like it wants to set my homework on fire.

This looks familiar.

I settle into my seat. At closer look, the dragon actually appears to be asleep. It… her flank rises and falls gently with each breath. A peaceful sight, but I’m not falling for that again.

I wave my hand through the illusion, only to meet resistance. My brother must have moved on to solid illusions. It’s excellent work. Indistinguishable from the real thing in both sight and touch.

The dragon snuggles against my hand. I automatically run my fingers over her warm hide, rubbing extra hard in between the twin rows of soft knobs female dragons tend to have along their back.

I’m on my second subject when my brother bursts into my room.

“Have you see-ahhhh!”

The dragon jumps to her feet beneath my hand and spits a spurt of fire that chars my exercise book andĀ oh my biscuits that’s a real dragon.

We freeze in a three-way standoff. My brother at the door, the dragon by my hand, and me and my innocent homework caught in between. Please stay calm dragon. Half my grade for this subject is in that book.

Many tense moments later, it’s the dragon who stops the standoff by settling down and burrowing under my hand. I take the hint and resume my patting.

“She likes you,” my brother says. “Perfect! You can keep her.”

“Say what?”

But my brother is already gone.

The cheeky kid. Next time I see him I’m going to tickle him until he begs for mercy. How can he just dump such a rare creature on me like this?

Wait. Where did he get the dragon from?

“Come back here! We’re not done yet!”

~End~

Genre: fantasy

Short Story: The Dragon and The Human

The dragon looked down at the human with lazy amusement.

“I’ll tell you a story if you let me go,” the human said.

“You’re not the first to try to appease me with stories. Alas, your human stories are all the same.”

“Mine will be different,” the human said, “I’ll tell you the story of a cloud.”

“You can try,” the dragon said and rested a head on a pile of treasure next to the human. But not too close, least the human took the chance to attack.

“There was once a cloud in the sky,” the human began, “It was a lonely cloud, because it was the only one in the clear, blue sky. It floated above a mountain that was tall enough to be covered in snow but low enough for plants to grow.”

As the human spoke, it stepped little by little towards the exit. The dragon pretended not to notice and let the human ramble on about white petals fluttering in the breeze and the single birdsong in the empty air.

Then right before the human stepped out of reach, the dragon slammed a tail down.

“I’ve heard better, but good effort. I’ll let you leave, but only if you return my treasures.”

“What if…”

The dragon huffed a mouthful of hot smoke at the human.

“What if?”

“Nothing!” The human dropped the stolen treasures. The dragon lifted the tail from the exit and the human dashed out.

With the tip of one claw, the dragon raked the treasures into a pile.

How troublesome these humans were. Greedy, yet foolish. If not for an agreement made with an old friend years ago, the dragon would have let the humans keep all the cursed treasures they tried to steal.

With a huff, the dragon stretched comfortably over the piles of treasure, ready for the next foolish human who would sneak in.

~End~

 

Genre: fantasy

Short Story: The Dragon on My Homework

There’s a dragon on my homework.

The tiny lizard nuzzles my book, but otherwise does not look like it wants to set my homework on fire.

I don’t know if I should be relieved or disappointed about this.

Anyway, dragons are rare. Baby dragons even more so, and this has to be a baby dragon to be able to fit on my desk.

I cautiously approach the dragon, trying to look as non-threatening as possible. If the dragon is willing to enter my room, perhaps it – I note the non-branching horns – she won’t mind becoming my familiar.

The dragon merely looks at my hand, which I take as an encouraging sign. Here goes nothing. I touch her head.

She vanishes.

Someone giggles outside my door, and I realise too late what the dragon actually is.

An illusion created by my mischievous little brother.

Well, if he wants to use his hard-learnt, world changing skills to play a trick on his precious family, so can I.

I slump in disappointment and use the movement to hide my own spell. In my disappointment, I pull my drawer open to bring out a container of delicious looking cookies and put them on my desk. But…

“Hmm. Need milk,” I say aloud and rise to my feet, giving my little brother ample time to scamper out of sight.

As expected, once I am out of the way, my little brother sneaks into my room straight for the cookies. He curls his fingers around my cookies… and can’t pull them out. He has fallen into my sticky trap!

“Ah hah!” I jump back into my room. “I knew it was you.”

I close the distance between us in a few strides and loom over him.

“Attack!”

With both hands stuck to my cookie trap, my little brother can only squirm as I tickle him mercilessly.

“Will you play tricks on me again?” I pause just long enough to ask.

“Yes.”

I tickle him once more.

“Will you play tricks on my again?” I repeat.

“Yes!”

As I continue to tickle him into submission, a part of me keeps an eye on his breathing while the other part tries to figure out how I can stop without breaking character. Fortunately, my brother gives up first, and it is a relief to release him from his torture.

“So what did we learn today?” I prompt him.

“That I make good dragons,” my little brother says with a proud smile.

“Ok, I’ll give you that. And?”

“Don’t eat your cookies because it’s a TRAP!” He bolts out the room in the blink of an eye.

I shake my head and sigh in exasperation.

That cheeky kid.

~End~

 

Genre: fantasy, family

Check out the related fic The Sleeping Dragon on My Homework.

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