Due to some scheduling issues, I have less time, so I can’t always do heavily researched or insightful blogs. When I must do short ones, I’ve decided to respond to a randomly selected writing prompt.
Today’s writing prompt comes from the Writing Forward website, and this list of 25 writing prompts was crafted by Melissa Donovan in 2014. Because I write about supernatural, fantasy, adventure, and horror, I decided to choose lucky number 13:
And you thought dragons didn’t exist…
The fires in the garden should’ve been my first clue, but the scorch marks were so small, I never would have imagined them to be the result of a dragon.
It started a week ago, when I found the rosebush devoid of all its beautiful blooms. Instead, every bud was blackened. I looked closer, worried that perhaps fungus or rot had infected my favorite rosebush, but there were no indications of such. The stems and leaves remained perfectly green. Only the rosebuds and petals were missing. I suspected those unruly teenagers from down the street had broken into my garden to ruin my roses. They had hated me for years, calling me witch and crone every time they passed. Surely those little hooligans had demolished my roses. I didn’t care what they called me, but if someone touches my roses, all bets were off!
I still had four beautiful rosebushes, so I suspected those little brigands would be back to finish the job. Their parents had never cared before about how their children had tormented me, so I knew they wouldn’t care now. I knew the only justice I would get would involve catching and trapping those little monsters in the act.
While the brats were in school, I placed sticky traps on top of all the fences. No doubt I would catch some of the birds, but once I caught the children in the act of vandalizing, I could call the police and have those punks taken off to jail.
I drank tea in my living room near the window that day during the afternoon as I watched all the teenagers pass in front of my house while they moved toward their respective homes. A few looked at my house tentatively. I memorized their faces.
All night I expected to be woken up by the cries of some poor young child caught on the fence, but there were no sounds.
When I woke up, I walked into the backyard to find my second rosebush had been burned like the first. Rosebuds singed and petals missing, but the rest of the plant was fine. Enraged, I inspected the sticky traps, and with the exception of insects, dust, and three unfortunate finches, there were no signs of anything jumping over my fence.
Could I have been wrong in my accusation? More importantly, if it wasn’t the children, then who was burning my roses?
I removed the sticky traps and decided that if I couldn’t catch the perpetrator this way, surely surveillance equipment would do the trick. A few of my lady friends at the Rotary were whizzes with recording equipment. I called them up, explained what had happened, and they agreed to come over and set up their cameras. They too were interested to know the truth about who was destroying my roses.
My friends told me to let the equipment run its course, and to just do what I normally do every day. I couldn’t stop thinking about who might be attacking my roses, but I convinced myself I needn’t worry, since the cameras would surely solve the mystery.
The next morning I went out to my garden and found that another one of my rosebushes had been freshly burned. The rosebuds were still smoking. Whoever had done it had to be close by, but I couldn’t see anyone out of the ordinary. Right away I phoned my friends, and they agreed to come over for all of us to view the footage.
Why I don’t understand all the technical particulars, the ladies explained that they had set up the camera to record only when there was movement, which they said would save us hours of viewing time. As we scanned through the footage, we saw the culprit.
I say saw the culprit, but I can’t say we believed what we saw.
The footage revealed that the culprit burning my roses was a tiny dragon no bigger than a bluejay. The footage showed the little dragon flying down from a nest in a nearby tree, landing on the rosebush, shooting fire out of its itsy bitsy little mouth, and catching the rosebuds and petals ablaze. It would eat the fiery roses one by one, and when it finished, it flew back up into its nest.
My friends and I stared in disbelief at the screen, uncertain of what we saw. I then hurried outside, followed closely behind by my friends. I went to the shed and pulled out the ladder. The ladies helped me set it up and steadied it for me as I climbed the ladder to look up in the nest that I had never noticed before. There, sleeping inside the nest, was the world’s smallest dragon. I reached into the nest and scooped up the dragon. It opened one eye to look at me, then closed its eye, unafraid, as it began to nuzzle my hand. I brought it down for the ladies to see, and all of us cooed over the tiny thing.
Now it sleeps in the house with me. I buy it fresh flowers to eat on a daily basis, although it doesn’t eat every day. Most of the time it flies around the house and plays with random objects, or it sits on my shoulder. My lady friends from the Rotary thought I should call it Rosebud, because of what it eats, but I didn’t like that name. I’m a traditionalist, after all, so I call it Draco. I’ve been crocheting Draco a harness and leash so that I can take my dragon out for walks in the neighborhood. After all, a tiny dragon pet is befitting for an old woman that everyone calls a witch.
***The artwork of the old woman walking the dragon was found on this page by emilyada11. It is fantastic work, and it is one of the few pics I can find of an old woman and a tiny dragon.