Peter L. Barnes » August 2017

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Flights Of Fantasy

“Do you need a lift,” said a growling voice beside Casey, as she walked along the country road, making her turn and jump out of the way.

She hadn’t heard the car draw up beside her, but when she turned it was not a car at all but a purple eyed flying dragon.

“Where are you going,” she asked, thinking it best to humour the scaly monster.

“The hills,” said the dragon, between its huge whiter than white teeth. Trails of smoke drifting out of its wide nostrils.

“There are many hills around here,” said Casey, edging further into the hedge.

“But only one that matters.”

“Why does it matter?”

“It holds my stash of gold.”

“And no doubt the charred bones of unsuspecting maidens.”

“Only the ugly ones.”

“Not the gold diggers?”

“Oh yes, maybe a few of those as well,” said the impatient Dragon, growing tired of trying to make conversation.

“Where do you think I fit in?”

“Well you’re very pretty of course.”

“How would you know. I thought beauty for you would be another lady dragon.”

“Few and far between these days.”

“Dragons or lady dragons?”

“Both. St George has a lot to answer for you know.”

“Yes, bit of a tyrant that one.”

“Yes, he killed my father. Mind you he was a bit long in the tooth.” said the dragon, baring his foot-long incisors.

“Well he was attacking the village, what do you expect.”

“He used a long sword and that wasn’t in the script.”

“There was a script?”

“Figure of speech. Talking of which you do have a fine figure.”

Casey twirled around. “You think so?”

“Yes, so what’s it to be?”

“I prefer to keep my flesh on my bones.”

“Your choice, mind you it would be a shame for people to find your charred remains in a lonely lane.”

“So really there’s no choice then.”

“No, just grab a scale and hop on.”

“I wish you wouldn’t do that.”

“What?”

“Use the word ‘Just’, editors hate it.”

“What’s this, some sort of literary exercise.”

“Much easier than going to the gym,” said Casey.

“You’re just annoying me.”

“There you go again.”

“Stop it, come on I’m a hop on hop off person, I may even share some of my gold.”

“Have you ever done that?”

“Well, no not really but there’s always a first time.”

“Can I bring my sword?”

“You haven’t got a sword, I checked.”

“Yes, but you missed this one here, stuck in the stone.”

“That’s been there for years, no-one can pull it out.”

“That’s just an old wive’s tale.”

“Caught you.”

“What?”

“You used the Just word.”

“Touché,” said Casey, pulling the sword from the stone with an easy sweep and holding it at the dragon’s neck.

“I think I will take that lift to your lair, but on my terms.”

“Are you related?”

“What? Oh, to George, yes my great grandfather.”

“I knew there was something suspicious about the way you were wandering the country lanes. Waiting to entrap an unsuspecting dragon.”

Casey climbed onto the neck of the dragon, careful to avoid a sneaky snort of fire.

“Now then, let’s not get too fiery today, anyway I’ve got my fireproof clothes on.”

“Damn, health and safety gets everywhere these days.”

“Says the dragon wearing a high vis jacket.”

“George and his interfering do-gooders.”

Casey pulled out her crash helmet and strapped it beneath her chin. “I’m ready,” she said digging her spurns into his weak flanks. Soon they were ensconced in the Dragon’s Lair, high in the hills, where Casey descended from the dragon’s neck and set about the next phase of her plan.

“Oh Look! Someone’s stealing your rubies.”

The dragon whipped around searching the depths for would be thieves.

Casey quickly erected a cardboard cut-out of herself made out of old Quaker Instant Oats packages, depicted herself scooping up some nuggets.

She hid behind the immense pile of treasure and helped herself to handfuls of gold and jewels whilst whistling the William Tell Overture. A white drone descended from the roof of the cavern.

“Hey!” said the Dragon. “You can’t trick me like that.” sending a billowing cloud of red hot fire, hurtling to the figure by the gold. Whoosh and the cardboard cut-out was gone in the promised instant.

Casey tucked her bag in her waistband and held onto the drone. “Home James.” Stupid name for a drone really.

The dragon saw her ascending up the ventilation shaft, and despite huffing and puffing could not create another fiery bolt so soon after the first. “Drat,” he said “I won’t get fooled again.”

Back home in her warm kitchen Casey relaxed in her favourite chair and picked up a book. Her husband, Jason, was soon home from making hay whilst the sun shone.

“So, did you get some,” he asked.

“Dadah,” said Casey pointing to the bulging bag overflowing with gold, sitting on the kitchen table.

“Excellent,” said Jason. “That will keep the wolf from the door for another year. So did he suspect anything?”

“No he’s getting old and dragomentia is very useful sometimes.”

“I see you’re reading your favourite Jonathan Swift book again.”

“Yes somehow ‘Gullible Dragons’ seem so appropriate somehow.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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