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Flash Fiction: Hungry Dragons

This is another story about my Feather-Blessed Dragons.  I hope you enjoy it!


________________________

The light in the sky lingers
The clouds shining pink and gold and yellow
Are they reflecting light from the sun?
Or from the two dragons
Swimming under a darkening sky?

Stella looked at Grace mournfully. Tiny sparks dripped slowly from her eyes. “I’m hungry.”

“Me too.” They had agreed to swim to the other side of the lake. Grace was swimming easily but Stella floundered until Grace asked the water to help her. The other side of the lake bordered on a national park; Grace hoped that once they got past the campgrounds there would be some wilderness to hide in. “Come on, we still have to find a spot to hide.”

Grace ignored the tasty-smelling fish she found along the way. Helping Stella to swim took a surprising amount of her attention, and the water was too deep, here, to risk taking her mind off her friend. She also tried to ignore the sparks of light that dripped from Stella’s eyes like tears. First they needed to find some place far away enough from people that two huge dragons wouldn’t be spotted. Getting put in some cage or circus wouldn’t help them at all. Though she supposed if people caught them, they would feed them.

Although that begged the question of what dragons ate. The book was awfully ambiguous about that.

They drew close to the far shore, and lifted their heads to see if anyone was nearby. Stella urged them toward the south, saying there were people to the north, though Grace could neither see nor hear anything to support that.

“Look!” Stella’s voice lit up, and the sparks around her eyes flew upward, turning red.

“What?”

“An apple!” Stella lumbered out of the water, heading for a picnic table. She was nearly there before Grace spotted the fruit, laying in the grass underneath it. Casually, Stella leaned down, moved the table with one hand, and picked the apple up. It looked tiny in her new hand, smaller than a cherry. “It looks like a Gala—they’re my favorite!”

Grace rolled her eyes. All apples were Stella’s favorites.

Stella popped it into her mouth and chewed noisily, a big grin on her face—then spat it out. “Gluph!” The lights around her eyes were dim and chaotic.

Grace raised an eyebrow. “Gluph?”

“That was terrible!”

“Was it spoiled?”

“It didn’t taste spoiled. It tasted—like it wasn’t food. Like cardboard, or styrofoam.”

“Ewww.” Grace moved to put her arm around Stella, but Stella pushed her away, collapsing to the ground and starting to weep.

The sparks from Stella’s eyes were faint now, pale grey tear-shapes. “No more apples, ever. And I’m still so hungry.”

Grace’s stomach rumbled too, and she remembered the fish. “I—I’ll bring you some fish, all right?”

“I hate fish!”

“You have a different tongue. You’re a dragon now. There’ll be something you like better than apples. I’m sure of it.”

“You think so?”

Grace nodded emphatically. “I’m positive. We just have to find out what it is.” Her stomach growled again. “I’ll bring some fish. If that’s not it, we’ll try something else.”

Stella nodded, and her eye-sparks gained a hint of color, though they remained tear-shaped. “All right. I’ll try fish.”

“Lie low until I return.”

Bright lives in the water
Dance in a complex pattern
Rash invaders see the huge stranger
And are drawn, like moths
To a magic too bright to resist

The water welcomed Grace, and she swiftly found dinner for herself. It was as if certain fish offered themselves up to her.

The fish were wonderfully tasty. As satisfying as cake and more delicious than chocolate. Obviously, it had been silly to worry about what dragons ate. Much cheered, she swallowed a few more fish whole.

Once she felt satisfied, she grabbed one more fish in her mouth, and swam back with it to find Stella.

Stella was stretched motionless across the campground, legs and wings outspread.

Grace dropped the fish. “Stella—are you all right?”

Stella didn’t move.

Grace rushed to her friend. “Stella?” She prodded her with one foot. Stella felt cold. Panicked, Grace shook her. “Stella!”

“Hnnnh?” Stella cracked an eye open. “Soo tirrred.”

Grace let out a huge sigh. “I brought the fish.” Without thinking she snagged it with her tail and brought it to Stella’s mouth.

Stella’s eyes opened, and a single spark of light appeared between her upper and lower eyelids, propping them apart. She sniffed at it dubiously. “It smells like that apple.”

“It does not!”

“It does to me.”

“You said you’d try it.”

Stella stuck her tongue out and licked the fish, then shuddered. “I can’t.”

“But—“

“It tastes worse than the apple.”

“So what will you eat?” Grace remembered passing fish on the way here, how their scent—their very taste—in the water had called to her. “What sounds good?”

“I don’t know. I think of all the foods I’ve ever had, and they all sound dreadful.”

Unwilling to let it go to waste, Grace ate the fish, then tried bringing Stella things—frogs and insects, leaves, flowers, seaweed, even pebbles, but nothing tasted like food to Stella. Finally, Stella fell asleep again. Grace tried to gather her friend in her wings, hoping her own body heat could warm Stella. But covering her, even a little, made her thrash and moan. Finally, Grace crawled underneath Stella’s wing, trying to warm her body from the side. She meant to stay awake, but snuggled under Stella’s wing, she soon dropped off to sleep.

The crescent moon rises
Showers light down upon the land
Upon the pale dragon, wings spread wide
The dragon stretches, and starts to warm
And smiles in her sleep

Grace woke with light shining through her eyelids. She opened them cautiously to see light cascading off of Stella, too bright for her eyes. “Ow!”

“Hnnnnh?” Apparently Stella didn’t wake up any faster as a dragon than she had as a human.

“You’re too bright. You’re hurting my eyes. Can you tone it down a little?”

Stella cracked an eye open. “It’s pretty”. Then she sat up. “But it’s not likely to help us hide, is it? Her glow dimmed substantially, and changed somehow, until she looked more like sunlight sparkling on a distant lake than like a dragon.

“That’s pretty too, though it’s a bit disorienting. Grace’s stomach rumbled. “I have to go get breakfast soon.” Then she remembered her useless search the night before. “But you—what will you eat?”

“I—I think I did. I’m not hungry any more.” Stella smiled, sparks shooting from her eyes happily again. Even her teeth glowed.

“But I brought you everything! Even bark and sand from the beach. You couldn’t eat any of it. So what—?”

“I had the most wonderful dream last night. I was camping out, and I reached up to the Milky Way, and it filled my favorite mug, and I drank the starlight. Then the moon poured itself into my palm, and it was better than apples—even better than berries with ice cream!” The sparks from her eyes flowed together as she spoke, then exploded into little exclamation points.

“You eat—light?” Grace cocked her head to one side.

“Put that way, it sounds really weird.”

Grace stuck her tongue out into the sunlight, but nothing happened. “Huh. Well, no wonder the book was vague about food, if every dragon eats different things.”

Stella wrapped her wing around Grace. “You should go catch your breakfast.”

“And you?”

“I think I’ll float on the water and see what sunlight tastes like.”

The next story is here: A Wordless Call.

___________________________

Let me know what you think!




Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
ysabetwordsmith
Apr. 10th, 2010 05:40 am (UTC)
Wow!
These are awesome! I want to read more.

Must go pimp now.
wyld_dandelyon
Apr. 10th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow!
Thank you! I appreciate it.
tuftears
Apr. 10th, 2010 05:53 am (UTC)
Lovelily whimsical!
wyld_dandelyon
Apr. 10th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and welcome!
miintikwa
Apr. 10th, 2010 06:40 am (UTC)
So fantastic! I love these tales!
wyld_dandelyon
Apr. 10th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you're here!
miintikwa
Apr. 11th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
Me too. :D
red_trillium
Apr. 10th, 2010 08:05 am (UTC)
That's a nice story. I raelly like it. Thank you for sharing.
wyld_dandelyon
Apr. 10th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome. :-D
jolantru
Apr. 10th, 2010 09:26 am (UTC)
Beautiful. :)
wyld_dandelyon
Apr. 10th, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I still want one of those lizards! Or better yet, a breeding pair, though I'm in the wrong part of the world to release the babies to the wild. I guess I'll have to content myself with wishing them well. :-D
sythyry
Apr. 10th, 2010 12:46 pm (UTC)
These are wonderful! Speaking as someone who writes dragons all the time.
wyld_dandelyon
Apr. 10th, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC)
You sure do! I miss having time to read them.

Did you see the dragon icon I drew for you? If not, I'll go through my journal and find it, one of these days, and send you a link.

I'm glad you're enjoying these!
sythyry
Apr. 10th, 2010 05:31 pm (UTC)
I haven't managed to write any lately: I was pretty sick (and got better), and my mother-in-law was considerably sicker (and didn't get better). And my wife and I have been prepping the first storyline of Sythyry for a print edition.

I haven't been reading LJ much 'til the last couple days either, so I'm afraid I missed the dragon icon. I'd love a link if you can find it -- or I'll take a look when I'm done with Mount Laundry and Mount Cooking, which might be,um, Wednesday.

I think that's the second Wednesday in July.

2015.

Anyways, thanks for some dragons!

wyld_dandelyon
Apr. 10th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
Well, it's several pages back in my journal now. There's some cool stuff in those several pages, though.

http://wyld-dandelyon.livejournal.com/88623.html
seekerval
Apr. 10th, 2010 01:02 pm (UTC)
See? I knew you'd write more about these dragon girls. I feel vindicated.

Oh. BTW, I'm still loving this story. Great twist to have each one so very individual as to even take sustenance from different things. The images of Stella's feeding were tres cool, although I must raise an eyebrow at the idea of anything being better than something with ice cream.
wyld_dandelyon
Apr. 10th, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
I admit it, I was bribed--er, patronized! (Hm. That doesn't really sound better, does it?)

I admit, I was tempted anyway. It's just that I'm writing so many different things right now, and working full time, and a girl's got to sleep too.

So I'm still not promising more stories unless the current ones are sponsored. That may change once Fireborn is finished, and at least one of the continuing stories I'm doing on tornworld.net is finished too. But I'm keeping in mind the promises I've already made before making new ones.
seekerval
Apr. 10th, 2010 09:18 pm (UTC)
Thou art wise and wonderful in thy wisdom.
wyld_dandelyon
Apr. 11th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
I doubt that. But it alliterates nicely!
kelkyag
Apr. 12th, 2010 07:32 am (UTC)
But it's still not done!
wyld_dandelyon
Apr. 12th, 2010 12:33 pm (UTC)
Well, once I put them into the situation where the magic "ran out of gas" so to speak, stranding them with less than the full knowledge and skills needed to get to their new home, the only short ending possible is having the magical folk from the new home come and rescue them. And I really didn't set that up.

Besides, do you think that would be as satisfying as the girls rescuing themselves, or at least having the chance to try?
kelkyag
Apr. 13th, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
So you're asking whether I'd rather see a better story or a finished story? Unfair! :)
wyld_dandelyon
Apr. 13th, 2010 04:25 am (UTC)
I could spend more time writing if I had thousands of people subscribing to my stories.

But I admit, I do put stuff that's bringing in money, even when it's not much money, ahead of stuff that's not. It's the best way I have to say thank you to my patrons.
(Deleted comment)
wyld_dandelyon
Apr. 11th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Tasty
Thanks for taking the time to comment!

I should go let my skin "taste" some sunlight now, while it's still up.
ext_233472
May. 15th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
Hungry Dragons
I'm really enjoying this series of stories - it's wonderfully imaginative, and there's just no way of working out what's going to happen next! I love the way the poetry intermingles with the prose, too, giving it an extra sense of magic. I hope Grace and Stella get safely to their new home soon, but preferably not before they've shared some more of their adventures with the rest of us!

I've been trying to post this using OpenID, but the preview suggests that isn't going to work, so I'm going to sign it - Aislinn O'Connor (Aislinnye24 on Twitter).
londonbard
Oct. 6th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
This feeds my hunger for good fantasy and is nourishing. (I felt really concerned about Stella.)
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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