Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Dragon Diaries - V is for Valentin - A to Z Challenge 2017 #AtoZChallenge

Dragon Diaries

elcome to my contribution to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2017:


So, what does that mean? Well, each day, I'm going to tell you about a dragon - a dragon inspired by a name that I generated randomly using a name generator (I haven't looked up the derivation of any of these names, I have just run with how they make me feel, their sound on the tongue).

I'll tell you all about my Dragon of the Day, and share some flash fic about their lives. Any genre, any character, any look - prepare to be surprised and (I hope) entertained by my dragonly inspirations :).

~
Previous Posts

V is for Valentin

It’s tough being a Love Dragon when you just don’t feel the cupid groove. Valentin had tried really hard when his scales had turned the burnished red that set him apart from the crowd: he had gone to cupid school and learnt how to breath the fire of passion instead of his normal fire; he’d spent months practising how to read compatibility auras; he’d even changed his name by deed poll to Valentin from Bob, which had been, frankly, inappropriate for his new role.
~
A Little Encouragement

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Valentin plodded into the smokey bar, found a mat in a dark corner, turned around a couple of times and then flopped down onto it. He put his head on his claws and huffed out his despair.

"'allo, Bob,” Mick the bardragon greeted as he plodded over,

“It’s Valentin,” he moaned back.

“Nah, you ain’t that poncy, mate,” Mick sniffed and then snorted smoke for good measure.

“Flaming sambuca,” Valentin ignored his friend, who just shrugged, turned round and shuffled his saggy arse back to the bar.

Valentin was going to sulk some more, but another voice slipped warmly into his ear and made him sit up straighter.

“Hello, lovely.”

Honey Seeker sunk gracefully down beside Valentin, her beautiful rose and red scales making the bar look even scruffier. She nodded at Valentin and slowly blinked her greeting. He swallowed hard at his ex-tutor, because her aura was such that she never failed to raise his pulse.

“Teething problems with the posting?” she carried on softly, but in a way that made him want to answer.

“More like a root canal,” he replied despondently, shaking his head and staring at the matting that had seen better days. “I was meant to be inspiring the first flush of young love in this human girl over in Greenwich, and I made myself invisible, I walked up to her when she was chatting with the boy of her dreams, at least, that’s what I thought her aura was saying, and I blew the passion fire over them both.” He heaved in a sigh. “She hiccuped, he looked like he was going to pass out and then his boyfriend came dashing over to catch him. It was all a big mess.”

Honey chuckled smoothly and made Valentin look up at her. She was waggling her head as she reassured, “If you got it wrong, the effect would only last a few minutes, no harm done.”

“But-,” Valetin was going to object, but that’s when a flaming sambuca in a metal bucket was dumped in front of him.

Mick grunted at him and then placed a smaller, shallower bowl of something bubbly down before Honey.

“Thanks Mick,” she said for both of them and the bardragon wandered off to other parts of his pub.

“It’s like that all the time, though,” Valentin carried on where he had left off and he knew he was whining, but it had been a long day of similar disasters. “I don’t think I can read people at all. Even my name’s fake.”

Honey didn’t say anything immediately, and when Valentin looked up from his doldrums, she was regarding him closely. He could see the thought behind her eyes, and so he just waited.

“I’m going to tell you a secret and this is just between you and me,” she leant in and whispered silkily.

Valentin nodded sincerely.

“My name was Mildred Tumblebee,” Honey told him simply. “I changed it when I was a trainee like you.”

Valentin’s jaw slackened as the confidence hit home. He had no idea what to say to the best Love Dragon he had ever known admitting to not being perfect.

“And it didn’t help me one iota,” she carried on, shaking her crest and laughing before she settled and explained, “What helped me was practice. It took time for me to master all the skills and I made mistakes just like you.”

Valentin found himself shaking his head as that idea did not compute.

“Oh yes,” she replied. “So get back out there and keep on practising.”

Valentin stood up, now un-flaming sambuca forgotten.

“You think I can?” he checked, because he was still unsure.

“Bet my wings on it,” Honey nodded firmly. “Off with you.”

Valentin snorted a little smoke, he couldn’t help it as the secret gave him a little more faith in himself.

“Okay,” he agreed, and Honey blinked encouragingly.

Puffing himself up, he turned to the door and, with a final nod of thanks to Honey, he strode out to try again.

*

Honey watched her young student head towards the door, but turned to look at Mick as he sat down beside her, slurping up the abandoned sambuca. When he had finished, he sucked the remaining liquid through his teeth and then checked, “You give that one the Mildred phooey?”

“He just needed a little reassurance,” Honey replied, shrugging her wings.

“You think that one is gonna make it then?” Mick carried on with offhand curiosity.

“In a few years, about the time he decides Bob is a good enough name, then he’ll be a good cupid,” Honey nodded.

“I keep telling him Valentin’s a poncy name,” Mick finished and then burped.


~

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Dragon Diaries - U is for Una - A to Z Challenge 2017 #AtoZChallenge

Dragon Diaries

elcome to my contribution to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2017:


So, what does that mean? Well, each day, I'm going to tell you about a dragon - a dragon inspired by a name that I generated randomly using a name generator (I haven't looked up the derivation of any of these names, I have just run with how they make me feel, their sound on the tongue).

I'll tell you all about my Dragon of the Day, and share some flash fic about their lives. Any genre, any character, any look - prepare to be surprised and (I hope) entertained by my dragonly inspirations :).

~
Previous Posts

U is for Una

Una is a were-dragon. She’s has plenty of time to get used to it, having been bitten when she was three years old, and she had two loving parents who converted their cellar into a fire-proof romper room for one day and two nights every 28 days.

Una has been living with her parents, John and Eliza, but recently she decided to take the leap and move into her own home. It has taken a long time to find somewhere suitable, with a cool cellar, and then to have adjustments made to ensure a wild dragon could not escape and cause havoc in the pleasant London suburbia round about.

The other big change in Una’s life is dating: her first and only boyfriend, Tom, had screamed and fainted when she had shown him the scales on her arm the day before her full monthly transformation, and he hasn’t tried to find another one since. But, her best friend, Gertie, has persuaded her to try a dating website, and, by ‘persuade’, Gertie meant she’d put Una’s profile up for her. With some whining and cajolling, Gertie has managed to get Una to agree to a date…
~
Operation Were-date

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Una tottered up to the gastropub entrance in her brand new heels, another mad idea from Gertie, and wobbled to a halt as the terrifying ordeal she had agreed to hit her squarely between the eyes. She almost spun right around and headed away, which would have been a pretty dangerous thing to do, because, one, those heels were not made for fast turns, and, two, she knew the ribbing she’d get for the rest of her life if she went home and had to admit to Gertie that she’d chickened out.

Still, she stood there staring at the posh sign of a leek and potato for ages, her heart thumping and he legs wobbling (but then maybe that was the heels). It wasn’t until a young couple crashed past her, laughing together even as they sent Una stumbling into the smart red brick wall of the way in. She glared at their backs, but they did not even notice her, which put things into perspective for Una. Kicking herself, mentally speaking, because in those heels there was only shuffling, she headed into the pub.

The place was pretty full with all tables save a couple near the kitchen doors full of people. Una checked her phone for the picture of her date, Ndale, and then looked around the room again. That is when she saw a man waving. She checked the picture again and realised it had to have been taken a few years ago, because Ndale’s dark, close-cropped hair was now showing a few flecks of grey at his temples. That made Una feel better about her laughter lines and she smiled nervously and waved back.

Una staggered across the room, using the odd chair to give her some modicum of poise, and her date stood up to welcome her to the table. Not really sure what the form was, she murmured a hello and then gently leant forward for a double air kiss. That almost led to a header into the table, so she quickly grabbed her chair and aimed herself into it. She landed a little more heavily than she would have liked, but Ndale did not seem to notice, either that or he was being polite. She continued to smile, because, in truth, there was nothing else in her head, not a single word, so she just took in the view, which was rather handsome. Ndale smiled back, his dark skin setting of his light brown, almost yellow eyes, and it appeared he had been practising, because he managed words.

“I hope you found the pub okay.”

Una nodded, realised she was being stupid, coughed and finally replied, “Yes, thanks. It’s a nice place.”

She wasn’t really sure it was a nice place, it was kind of ordinary, with some ‘homely’ wooden tables and chairs and chalk boards of menus dotted around the room. Ndale nodded back at her, shifting in his seat and glancing around the bar. Then he seemed to remember something.

“Would you like a drink?”

That should have been a good offer, but it kickstarted the thoughts that had been bothering Una since she’d accepted the date. Her mind danced back to when Tom had run for the hills when he found out his girlfriend grew scales once a month, and she didn’t want that, not when she was attached. This had to be faced now, so she fixed Ndale with a look. He settled into his seat and she saw something dawning in his eyes as well. There was nothing else but to get things over with.

“Look,” she began, and Ndale opened his mouth to speak as well.

“I’m a were-,” were not the words she expected to hear come from Ndale’s mouth at the same time she spoke, and they both came to a halt.

Ndale stared at her, she stared back, and a flush of something ran through her that she only realised was relief when she laughed.

“Dragon,” Una carried on quietly and couldn’t help the smile that she could feel playing over her lips.

Ndale sat back, sighed and shook his head and also smiled, and then told her, “Panther.”

“Full moon?” Una checked.

Ndale nodded again. “Two nights, one day?”

Una waggled her head, because all the nodding was a bit silly and then they both laughed. The coincidence was wonderful: no need to explain; instant understanding, and Una felt herself loosen up into her seat.

*

Peering through the window, Gertie saw Una and Ndale relax, and she grinned. Turning away, she took her phone out of her pocket and dialled Ndale's best friend, Ben. As soon as the phone was answered, she announced triumphantly, “Operation were-date is a go!”


~

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