I wrote this story with my daughter. It was first written for 52|250: A Year of Flash and then published at Thunderclap! Press. I’m re-posting this here as a part of the Aotearoa Affair Blog Fest’s June/July Blog Carnival FLASH ACROSS BORDERS. It suits the theme, in more ways than one.
Thanks for reading.
Ruby loved dragons so much she talked to them during the day, dreamed of them at night, and learned to ride them like the wind. Hers was a world of scales and sky, feathers and fire.
People said Ruby got her imagination from her mother Agatha, but Agatha knew better, for she was a novelist who had written nothing in a decade. Hers was a world divided: then, now; fiction, reality. Where characters once danced in her heart, a dark space and blank page burdened her mind.
One day Ruby told Agatha about the dragons. “They roam the woods,” she said to a raised eyebrow and a whistling kettle. “They wait for me in the trees.” Two cups. “My favorite is the amphithere – he’s iridescent blue with a golden-tipped tail.” Cream and sugar. “He flies and breathes fire, but his most powerful weapon is his tail.” Biscuits, too. “They say he can strike you dead with one look, but that is not true. I’ve seen his eyes. They don’t carry death.”
Agatha lingered on the warm tea and the sunshine in her daughter’s face. Wished she could remember what it felt like to feel so alive with ideas. She sighed as Ruby drained her teacup and flew out the door.
When she glanced out the window, her eye caught something shimmer at the edge of the wood. Golden leaves? Blue branches? She watched Ruby enter the forest, hand held high in a friendly greeting.
And Agatha’s heart danced.