Feeding The Dragon

“Harry?  Have you fed the dragon?”

“Hmm?”

“I said, have you fed the dragon?”

“Yes dear.”  Harry refocused his eyes on the book that had lain open at the same page for the last half an hour.

“Harry?”

Harry sighed and settled deeper into the armchair.  “Okay, no, I haven’t.  I’ll do it in a minute.”

“No, do it now, otherwise you’ll just sit there in front of the fire till it’s bedtime.”

“I’m right in the middle of this grimoire, my darling.”  He looked up at his wife’s face.  “No, right, I’ll do it now.  God forbid anyone else in the house should do it once in a while.”

“It was your idea, Harry.  It wasn’t me that said it would be wonderful to have a dragon guard our hoard.”

“Well, it is.  You know Pete?  He had his hoard stolen by some gang of dwarves.”

“Pete?  What, Joan and Pete?”

“No, Pete.  You know, Pete the Golden, Grand Wizard of the order of the five-pointed star.  Lives on the edge of the enchanted forest.”

“Patchy beard?  Smells of fish?”

“No, that’s Phil.  Pete is – well, that’s not the point.  The point is, he had a hoard, no dragon, and let’s just say he’s not Pete the Golden anymore.”

Esmeralda frowned.  “And what’s that got to do with you not feeding the dragon?”

“What?  Nothing.  No, the point I was making, my little nest of scorpions, was, um.”  He frowned as he tried to remember what the point was.  “The point was, having a dragon is a good idea.  If we didn’t have a dragon, any wandering prince or Neanderthal hero with a magic sword could just waltz in and take our hoard of gold.”

“It would take more than a sword.  He’d need a magnifying glass too.”

“Don’t.”

“Don’t what?  I’m just saying, if you wanted to guard our hoard, you needn’t have summoned a dragon, that’s all.  You could have settled for something easier to care for, something cheaper.  A troll, perhaps.  Something proportionate to your hoard.  Or a gecko, even.”

“There are some good pieces in that.  Some heirlooms and whatnot.  I’ve a good mind to take some of it to the Antiques Roadshow.  It’s quality that counts, you know.”

“That old record?”

“What?”

“Size doesn’t matter, is that what you’re saying?  I told you that wasn’t true when we married, and anyway, it’s what you do with it.  You just leave it in its hiding place.”

“Well, it would be a lot bigger if you didn’t keep digging into it.”

“Wait, are we back to the hoard again?”

“How many pointed hats do you need?  There are hats in your bedroom I’ve never seen you wear, ever.  And ruby slippers?  Ruby?  Honestly?”

“Oh, and succubae are so cheap.  Don’t give me that innocent look.  I’ve seen the page you leave your spell book open at when you’ve been ‘working late’ in your workshop.”

“Well, maybe if the bedroom was a little bit more welcoming I wouldn’t work late.”

“Oh, so this is my fault?”

“Let me put it this way.  Sometimes the bedroom feels so cold the light comes on when I open the door.”

Esmeralda threw her arm out, the tip of her finger vibrating with fury as she pointed to the door.

“Just get out there and feed the dragon,” she hissed.

“Yes dear.”  As Harry prised himself out of the chair he muttered just a little too loudly, “Bitch.”

“What?”

“Witch, I said witch.  And what a wonderful witch you are too.”

He opened the door and looked out.  Then he turned back to his wife.

“Where are the virgins?”

“Where they always are, chained to the post.”

“No.  We’re out.  Did you forget to get any?”

“Forget?  I distinctly remember asking you on Saturday if we needed any more, and you said we had plenty.”

“But you didn’t check?”

“Silly me.  I should have learnt by now not to trust a word you say.  Here, let me see.  You couldn’t find your own backside with both hands if I didn’t tell you where it was.”

She walked over to the door and looked out.

“No, look, there’s one there, cowering behind -”

Harry shoved with all his generous weight.  Esmeralda screamed as she pitched forward and he slammed the door shut.  He leant against the wood as from the other side came a muffled roar and the scream was suddenly silenced.  After a pause Harry cracked open the door and peeked through.

“Sorry, boy.  I know you’re used to better fare, but the amount of action I’ve seen recently, she might as well have been a virgin.”  He closed the door and looked around the room that somehow seemed so much bigger now he was the only occupant.  For a moment he considered the future, empty of a permanent companion, then his eyes fell on the grimoire, open on the page for summoning the succubus of your choice.  Shrugging, he picked up the book and made his way towards his workshop.

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About snodlander
Snodlander is the nom de plume of Bob Simms. He is an IT trainer, but it's not as glamourous as it sounds. When he's not enthralling classes with adventures through SQL Server, he writes, draws and drinks his own home-brew. Buy his novel on Amazon Kindle at The Young Demon Keeper, It's 74p, for crying out loud!

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