Today I have a flash fiction story for Rachelle O'Neil's Flash Fiction Challenge :D
(Be sure to stop by and check out the other stories as well! I read some of them, and they're really good! :D)
I was given the prompt "Most people would've screamed at the sight of it. She laughed." by Sarah, and I could use it in any form.
Dragon's Girl ended up at 630 words. Enjoy!
Most people would have screamed. She laughed.
Laughed as the dragon streaked across the sky. Laughed as she was swept into her mother’s arms and carried at a panicked, jostling pace. Laughed as the dragon landed in front of them and drew in a smoky breath. The bright, carefree giggles of the infant bubbled out of her mouth and hung in the air.
The dragon paused, staring at the child. It crept closer, moving lightly like a cat across the rubble, eyes alight with curiosity. The trembling mother backed away, but the dragon kept coming.
The woman stepped backwards again and felt the ground beneath her foot give way. Her ankle twisted and she fell heavily on her side, clutching the baby tightly and shielding her with her arm.
The mother looked down. Her ankle lay at an unnatural angle, and was already beginning to swell. She grimaced and looked up into the dragon’s face, her eyes wide and pleading for mercy, not for herself, but for her child.
The dragon stopped walking, but leaned closer. The baby reached out a hand and swatted the dragon’s snout, gurgling happily. The dragon froze and drew back, staring with wide eyes at the child.
“You want her?” A shrill voice cut through the air, laced with panic. The mother whipped her head around to look at the woman approaching, the baby’s aunt.
The dragon swiveled its head to eye the aunt. She took three steps and snatched the baby from her mother’s arms.
“Cecelia!” The mother cried, grabbing for her child and letting out a low moan as her injured ankle betrayed her attempts to stand.
“You want the child?” The aunt asked again, striding towards the dragon and ignoring the mother’s pleas. “Take her! But take your scaly, flea-infested hide and leave us alone!” Her whole body shook as she stood face to face with the beast and said the words.
The dragon looked at the child, then the aunt, then the mother, sobbing from the ground a few paces away. The baby had gone silent, perhaps recognizing the significance of the moment.
Then the dragon scooped the small bundle up in its teeth, surprisingly gently, and leapt into the air.
“Stand aside.” Karna snarled. “She is mine.”
Her brother Mika swung his tail to block her path. “You cannot possibly keep a human child! You want to bring the villagers down on us because you stole a human’s hatchling?”
Karna glared. “She was given to me. It is my right to keep her. Even the village’s elders would not begrudge me that.”
Mika huffed. “Humans are deceitful. They cannot be trusted.”
“You are biased.”
“I am not building a nest on fool’s gold. You’ve lost your treasure, Karna, and I fear it has driven you mad.”
“I am not mad!” Karna roared. “I will raise her and teach her in our ways. She will not grow up to be like the others!”
“And when it is too weak to take punishment?”
“I will take the punishment for her.”
“It will never fly.”
“I will carry her.”
“And when you cannot? What then?”
Karna’s eyes narrowed. “I will find a way.”
“You have no treasure! How will you provide for her?”
“She will be my treasure, and I will find a way!”
Mika’s eyes flashed. A long minute passed before he hissed, “I cannot stop you, sister. It is your right. But when the soft-scale grows up and leads the human armies against us, you will see. You will see that I was right. You will see that you were wrong. And it will be too late.”