the dragon’s keep {blogtoberfest day25}

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His eyes flicked from her face to her hand laying open as it rested on the table between them. Her eyes sparkled as she spoke, and her open hand vibrated gently. There was no other way to describe it. It wasn’t a tremble, or a shake, or even a shiver. But it wasn’t so much even the weird vibration that kept catching his eye, but the odd hint of a shadow on her palm. He glanced again, but now it was gone. The vibrating stopped, and her fingers slowly curled closed, making him realise the glance had turned to a stare, and he looked back up to see her watching him curiously.

“You don’t believe me, do you?” she asked. Not hurt, not surprised. Just matter-of-fact, as if she expected such a reaction.

“It’s not that I don’t believe you, but…” his voice trailed off as her fingers uncurled again, one by one, and she nodded towards her hand. He gave her a little smile and looked back down. The shadow was hiding under the last finger still moving, and then, he watched, fascinated, as her hand flattened out and the shadow started moving, so subtle at first that he wasn’t entirely sure he wasn’t seeing things. Then it moved more, and he couldn’t help but stare as the shadow curled around in on itself and became a puff of smoke tracing lazy circles around her palm. He looked back up at her, stunned.

“How…” he couldn’t even think of the words to ask what he wanted to. She gently lay her other hand on top of the one with the hovering shadow, cupping them gently together, watching him the whole time.

“Do you believe me now?”

“I- you- uh…” he swallowed nervously. “I’m not sure I know what to believe right now.” She rolled her eyes.

“Whether you do or don’t is not the point. That,” she nodded towards her still-cupped hands, “is nothing. A shadow. A wisp of smoke. Enough you could write off as an hallucination. It’s your choice what you make of what you have seen.” His gaze slid from her face down to her hands as he watched her fingers rise, one by one, before they fell again, in the same pattern.

“Then show me something. That will force me to believe.” Her eyes grew dark at his demand, a furrow appearing in her brow.

“What makes you think I owe you proof?” And yet, her top hand peeled away from her bottom, and his jaw dropped when he looked down. The smoke was still there, except now it was coming from a very tiny dragon.

“I told you I was more than you dared imagine,” she said, feigning disinterest as she watched him reach out a finger to pet it. He’d almost made contact when her voice shattered the silence between them. “I wouldn’t do that, if I were you.” The dragon, unblinking as the stray finger came closer, suddenly closed it’s eyes as it whirled, it’s tail curling around his finger and gripping it painfully tight. The dragon spun around again, still with it’s tail around his finger, and sank it’s teeth into the soft flesh of his hands, refusing to let go as he yelped. She stroked the dragons back, before tickling under it’s chin to make it release. “Never underestimate me. Never distrust me. Otherwise, you can leave now” He stared at her, cradling his injured hand, before glancing briefly at the door, and turning back.

“How do I get the dragon to accept me, then?”


A little fantasy/fairytale challenge with Car – I did go a touch over the 500 word criteria, but I hope she’ll forgive me.

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