Tag Archive | Dragon Munchies

Just for Fun: Lord of the Fly

045 Toes lovin' the beach. CC photo by jjjj56cp.

“045 Toes lovin’ the beach.” CC2.0 photo by jjjj56cp.

Lord of the Fly
by Rebekah Postupak

No one expects to watch their ship sink, decks splitting, Lido deck melting, but here we sit. Yeah, that’s right. Postcard-perfect paradise at our backs, cruise ship taking a dive in front of us.

“Anybody’s mobile work?” says Simon. He makes “mobile” rhyme with “virile.” I decide right off that he’ll be our leader. The way he says “mobile” instead of cell? That’s not English. No; that’s the language of Shakespeare. The gods. Benedict Cumberbatch

We obediently check our phones. I sneak a quick glance at Four Pictures One Word while I’m at it; this round’s beyond me. Maybe Simon, being British, is also good at words and can help me, in private, later on. In a vat of chocolate soup, under a glowing Milky Way, somebody playing the violin from a discreet distance.

Nobody’s “mobile” has a signal. Simon scrunches up his face real tight like he’s working on Plan B. Even scrunched up, he’s gorgeous. Probably the British thing again.

An old married couple behind me is bickering about something, in a way that’s sort of cute now but will make us feel like killing them in three or four days. Simon reminds me vaguely of James Bond, at least in the way he talks, and I mentally assign him the task. He will kill them, but in a gentleman-like manner, and he will feel quite terrible about it later.

It will be my job to assuage the pain.

Assuage does not sound like an American word. At least, no American I know has ever used such a word. Simon will doubtless be proud that I know it.

“Maybe somebody should head inland to look for water,” says some random guy without a British accent. “I’m happy to go along, since I made Eagle scout.”

I hear “blah blah blah blah blah I don’t have a British accent” and discount whatever he just said.

Settling back in the sand, I close my eyes and sigh with contentment. To think my friends warned me being Cruise Director would be a bore.

***

Written for the #FinishThatThought flash fiction contest, incorporating a legal modification of the required opening sentence and three of the optional additional elements from a vat of soup, the Milky Way, crayons, Pad Thai, AC/DC, a copier machine, or a word in any language other than English. 

 

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Just for Fun: The Riddle

Diamonds and pearls. CC photo by Rachel Chambers.

Diamonds and pearls. CC photo by Rachel Chambers.

The Riddle

by Rebekah Postupak

 

“It is time to make the announcement.”

“Are you certain this is the best way to save our son?”

The king’s wet, burning eyes met hers. “This is the only way.”

***

The news roared through the kingdom like dragonfire. Three impossible tasks; the prince himself as reward. What girl could refuse such a challenge? Many failed, however, as dreams outflanked wisdom; and many more died in the trying.

I’d be smarter.

Bring the prince thirty drops of blood drawn from both sea and land.

It didn’t take past breakfast to deduce this was (unsurprisingly) less quest, more riddle. Some girls went about picking fights with mermaids shipboard, collecting blood in diamond vials. Others fished for mini-kraken and dragged them on shore before hacking them to pieces. Me, I’d lived on the coast too long to get this one wrong. Pearls were meant, of course, so I strung thirty of them on a silver chain and dropped them off at the front gate.

Bring the prince a strand of hair from a Cloud Walker.

This one was easy too, and I almost spit my pomegranate juice on the envelope when I read it. Cloud Walkers don’t have proper hair, of course. They are made of mixed vapor and moss, and no one’s ever gotten close enough to talk to one. Still, it wasn’t any great secret they lived in the air between the Twin Mountains, and I reasoned Cloud Walkers were surely as decent as anyone else if approached politely. I flung a vine across the chasm to make a sort of bridge through the clouds, and explained things. Sure enough, they were eager to pluck a delicate bit of fuzzy wetness from their heads for a good cause

Bring the prince the heart of the land, split in two.

Ah. Now this task almost needed brain work; everyone said the prince was the heart of the land.

Good thing I was smarter.

“I’m here with the land/heart thing,” I said to the gatekeeper. He motioned me in, and I trotted behind a servant up a back turret.

The prince lay there, pale and still. Dying, it appeared; a fact quite left out of the original announcement. I wasn’t one to shrink at surprises, however, so I shuffled on up and handed him the glass of water.

“What’s this?” he whispered.

“Look in,” I said, and when he did, his own watery reflection stared trembling back. Then I poured half the water into a second glass.

“Look again,” I said, and now two shaky reflections appeared.

This counted, apparently, and the king, queen, and court officials flooded into the room, cheering.

“Such a clever girl,” said the queen, wiping her nose, “and there’s no one we’d rather have for our son.”

“You have saved us all,” the king said, eyes brimming over.

“Brave, clever maiden,” said the queen.

“I’m eternally grateful,” whispered the prince, licking his dragon lips and opening his maw.

Seems smarter is relative.

________

495 words. Written for the weekly flash fiction contest Finish That Thoughtwith a max word count of 500, incorporating the required opening sentence and the optional judge’s challenge elements of an envelope, bridge, glass of water, and beaded necklace. Did I mention the judge was Betsy Streeter? By the way, I totally missed the deadline by a mile. But some stories are so ill-behaved they insist on being written anyway. And who am I to argue?! -Hope you can join the party over there next week, though you yourself may wish to submit by deadline. Just for kicks.

Mommy Dearest

Maria Anunciata de Bourbon-Duas Sicílias & arquiduque Francisco Fernando, 1869. Public domain.

Maria Anunciata de Bourbon-Duas Sicílias & Arch Duke Francisco Fernando, 1869. Public domain.

Mommy Dearest

by Rebekah Postupak

Hers was the last face I expected to see outside the cave door, but there she was, hunched over, greasy hair, warty nose, raven on her shoulder, like the past five years hadn’t even happened.

“Cinderella, tis I!” she rasped, doing a skittish dance with her feet and finishing with a cackle.

“I see you’ve been taking your Creepy Pills, Mother,” I said, sighing and stepping back so she could come in. “And it’s Rapunzel.”

“All you girls look the same,” she said, shuffling past me with a shrug, “you, Cindy, Snow-Whats-Her-Name, Rose-Something-or-Other, Belle, Dusk—”

“Aurora.”

“Aurora? Huh. Well, you try giving unmedicated birth to ten famous princesses and see how good a job you do with names.”

“You’re a marvel, Mother.” I heard my own bright-eyed baby gurgle in the other room and cleared my throat loudly. “So! What brings you to this dull little corner of the kingdom?”

She flopped into a chair and said nothing, instead staring around the room making odd but soft, whale-like screeches.

After spending a couple decades locked in a tall tower by a witch, though, I had mastered patience; so I tossed her a light smile and resumed preparing lunch. It was just little Tenebrae and me today, which meant a simple menu of chicken, ham, and smoked pork loin, capped by delicate slices of roasted lamb. My stomach growled. Only two hours past a glorious breakfast of dried fish with goat’s milk, and already I was hungry. I wondered vaguely if I was pregnant again.

Oh. My mother had said something.

“What was that?”

“Smells good, I said!” she shouted.

“Thank you.” Hmm, what had I done with the leftover pheasant?

“Don’t suppose you have any cabbage to go with it? Any kind would do—I just get this hankering sometimes, for a head of fresh, gr—”

“Mother!”

“What? Can’t a person feel in the mood for some gr—”

“MOTHER!” I slammed the meat fork on the counter and whirled to face her. “Will you please do me the courtesy of not mentioning that word! Or have you forgotten how I wound up in a tower in the first place?”

She studied me curiously. “That was you? I thought you were the one always eating veggies under your bed.”

“That was Pisa.”

“Are you the one who read a romance novel during your wedding vows?”

“Belle.”

“Fired the scullery maid so you could scrub the hearth yourself?”

“Cinderella.”

“Well, shoot. Which one of you is good at dragons?”

For the first time I noticed her singed brows. “Aurora, but she’s—”

She leapt to her feet and hurled herself to the door. “Aurora! Then off I go. Duty and adventure call!”

“But Mother—!” My protests slogged through the air of a now-empty room.

I sighed again and turned back to the food. It wasn’t easy having a deranged mother; rather miraculous, actually, that we girls had survived her parenting unscathed.

(Wouldn’t bacon go great with this??)

***

498 words, written for Alissa Leonard‘s weekly flash contest #FinishThatThought, with the mandatory (customizable) starting sentence and the optional judge’s challenge of including a fairy tale name and at least one each of a land, sea, and winged animal, and excluding color. Now THAT’S a challenge!

P.S. I adore my mother.

P.P.S. This silliness is probably a lot more nonsensical if you don’t know the original Rapunzel tale by the Brothers Grimm; read it here.