(This is an excerpt from a larger work in progress.)
When I went downstairs with a load of laundry, the last thing I expected to find was a dragon with a book between it’s front feet. It was startling to say the least.
“Listen, do you think you could fix that door so it doesn’t squeal so much?” The dragon asked in a rumbling voice.
“Um, sure.” I replied eloquently as I stood and gawked.
“What are you staring for?” It asked me before gesturing to the piles of boxes marked ‘books’. “You have all this knowledge on my kind, I would think you’d be thrilled to see me.”
“I never expected to actually meet one of you, let alone have a conversation with you.” I stammered. “I’m…”
“I know who you are,” he interrupted me in a deep voice. “I’ve been down here long enough that I know all about you.”
“Why have I never seen you before today?” I asked.
“I didn’t want you to.” He replied. “Your clothes won’t get clean if you stand there holding them. But leave the door open, will you? It hurts my ears every time you open and close it. My name is Barroth.” He said as I stood there a moment longer. He was a classic example of a western dragon. He was the size of a large SUV, with back ridges, large head, dark red scales and a long tail. He was laying on the floor with a book clasped in the claws of his front feet.
I finally remembered my manners. “I’m honored to meet you, Barroth.” I gestured toward the washing machine. “Will that bother you?”
“No, it’s just the door, really.”
With some difficulty, I turned away from him and loaded the machine, added detergent and gently closed the lid.
“You must have questions.” He said from the other side of the room.
“Quite a few in fact, but I didn’t want to be rude.” I turned toward him and leaned on the washing machine.
“I suppose I can answer a few.”
“Obviously this is a bit of a shock to me, but I’m thrilled to find you. I thought the only living things down here were rodents.” A shudder raced through me.
“You don’t like them?”
“They terrify me.” I admitted.
“But you’re fine with talking to a large fire-breathing creature.” There was an undercurrent of humor in his statement.
“Yeah, ironic, I know. Can I ask, why my basement?”
“At first, when I was smaller, I needed shelter and the door had been left open. I got bored waiting for the storm to pass and started reading. Long after the storm moved on, I stayed. I read, ate the occasional rodent and got to know you. You intrigued me. I’ve decided you’ll do.”
“An ambassador, of course.”
(As I said, this is but an excerpt. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! You can either leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)