Sunday, August 6, 2017

Everyday Dragons

On the outside, I sit quietly at the table, sipping at my tea. My dress is a bit funky, but classic, my presence polite and demure.

But in my mind, I've just felled four beasts and a demon with my mad ninja skills. My hair is chopped crudely, tied into braids to stay out of my face. The right sleeve of my shirt falls in tatters where a close call almost claimed my arm.

On the outside, I smile politely at passersby, blush a little at the cute boy who winks my direction.

Inside, I sharpen my sword as the dragon horde circles around me, jeering and taunting me to fall.
My eyes narrowed in determination, I take a deep breath and bellow, “Who's next? Have you no champions, no brave creatures to best me?” and I laugh.

I laughed at what the boy just did; making a spectacle, obviously wanting attention. Silly boy, I think, Doesn't he know he could just say 'Hi'?

“I!” Roars a powerful voice, and the great dragon himself charges forward.
For a moment I am daunted; I did not expect him so fast, so soon. But I have called this battle out, and am determined to see it through. I take my ready stance as he beats his wings upon the ground, terrifying, intimidating.

“Sorry if I distracted you,” The boy smiles from the table beside mine.
I smirk, shaking my head lightly to myself at his antics.
“Oh no,” I say, “That napkin holder clearly had it coming. Mine's been giving me the stink-eye too.”
“Wait, yours has eyes?” He asks in feigned shock, “They're evolving!”
And we share a laugh.

His eyes spark with inner fire, and I raise my shield to ward off the imminent blast. This dragon is huge. How will I beat it?
“You puny little knight. I can snap you up in the space of a spark!”
“So you say,” I taunt back. “Yet here I stand. Don't tell me you're all talk. I'm disappointed!”
He looses an angry roar, and in that second I see my opening. I drop my shield.

“I'm Anna, by the way,” I extend my hand, offering him the opening he was looking for.
He tells me his name, his eyes warm with triumph as he takes my hand. “So what do you do?”
“I'm a writer,” I say, gesturing to my papers and notebooks, and explain a little of what I do.
“You write adventures? What about romance?”
“Oh,” I glance away shyly, “A little of that too.”

Unhindered by my shield, I rush straight for the beast, even as he lowers his head to snap me up, as promised. I kick on more speed.

“So what do you do for fun then?”
“writing isn't supposed to be fun?” I arch a curious brow, watching his neck turn red.
“Well, other then that,” He laughs politely.
I give him my short list: music, dance, art, kids, video games, etc.
“Oh... so, do you have kids?” The 'oh crap!' light flares in his eyes, and I hide my disappointment behind a wistful smile.

At the last second I jump, going headlong into the fiery maw of the dragon. His teeth snap shut, and the sound of his gulp resonates over the shocked horde.
First stillness, and then rejoicing as the riot of foul creatures celebrate the demise of another knight. It goes on for long minutes as the dragon drinks up their praise. All is going his way, at least until-

“No, not yet,” I say and watch him relax an iota. I wiggle my bare ring finger. “Kids aren't in the cards just yet.”
“Ah,” He says with a frown, not sure he wants to pursue the topic. How unfortunate.
I gather my notebooks and tea.

Inside the dragon, I thwart the sting of fire and bile, shoving my blade toward the esophagus wall. I rip it sideways as a roar vibrates my painful cocoon. Focusing through the pain I force the blade around, cutting a way out, gouging my foe.
His roar fills the cavern, echoing even after he falls slain.
I fight my way out of the remains.

“It was nice talking to you,” I smile as I leave my seat. “Good luck with the napkin holder apocalypse.”
“Uh, yeah sure. You too.” He smiles uncertainly.
I head outside to my bus.

Using my sword, I pull myself to a standing position. Acid eats my skin, dripping from what's left of my clothing. I blink stinging eyes at the horde, staring them down as best I can.
“Who's next?” I growl.
Their knees quake, their eyes roll, then I hear the thunder of feet as they claw over each other to get away.
A solid, if painful, victory.

I ponder my day as the bus pulls up to my street. Poor boy. He was nice enough, I suppose. Just not up for the adventures I write.
Paws scrabble behind my front door, and whining ensues as I try to push my way inside.
“Hi baby,” I pat my dog on the head, as he gruffs and snuffs a greeting. Heaving a sigh, I set down my burden on the entry table. My dog cocks his head at me.
“Well, that was an adventure,” I tell him. “How was your day?”