When last we left, Ben seemed to be getting along fairly well with the dragon (read: not eaten yet). Let’s see if he continues to fair so well.
A chill wind swept through the bar from the massive hole in the wall. A dark shadow flew along the ground in the bright orange light of the rising sun.
Squinting against the sun’s glare, Ben searched for the source of the shadow.
High above, in the dark blue sky, white scales glittered as they caught the sunlight.
“Johnny,” the brown dragon muttered.
Ben’s eyebrows rose. “I thought you didn’t have names.”
“I don’t.” The brown dragon growled. “Your kind named him Jack Frost.”
Ben nodded. “Because of the white scales.”
“And the frost breath.” The dragon jerked its head to the left, pointing with its snout toward the front of the bar, where its tail rested beside the pillar of the ruined door.
Ben crept forward.
The cockatrice on his shoulder warbled.
Ben caressed its beak. He leaned around the ruined wall. A layer of frozen ice crystals covered the grass. A cold wind ruffled his hair. He stepped closer to the brown dragon’s side. Warmth radiated from the dusty scales.
Barty, Wellington, and Crunchy rushed into the bar. Shivering, rubbing their hands together, and stamping their feet, they huddled against the wall and gaped at the brown dragon.
“Colder than a witch’s tit out there.” Crunchy’s knees knocked together. “Came on quicker than lightning.”
The brown dragon snorted. “Johnny doesn’t like humans. Or sneaks. Or dragons.”
“But he’s a dragon.” Ben watched the white dragon soar among the clouds.
“So?” The brown dragon snorted. “You don’t hang around with humans. I assume because you don’t like them.”
Ben wrapped the cockatrice between his hands. “They want to take away…” He gaped at his pet. “I haven’t given you a name.”
The brown dragon chuckled. “You don’t give dragons names. We’re born with them.”
“What about Johnny…er…Jack Frost?” Ben asked.
Barty, Wellington, and Crunchy crept closer to the brown dragon’s side, extending their hands toward its bulk.
“No one calls him that to his face.” The brown dragon squinted an eye. “Well, not anyone currently alive.”
“Death don’t always stick.” Crunchy sat upon a stool at the bar and raised a hand.
The bartender slid him a steaming mug. The aroma of apples wafted into the air as the mug passed Ben.
“Guess Johnny needs to try again.” The brown dragon turned its head toward Crunchy.
“You teased a dragon?” Ben gaped at the old pirate.
Crunchy shrugged. “Seemed like a good idea at the time.”
Wellington shook his head and covered his face with a thin hand. “Tell him how many pints you were already in.”
Crunchy wiggled all the digits on one hand. “Plus a shot of rum for luck.”
Barty rolled his eyes as he leaned an elbow against the bar. “That’s how you died?”
Crunchy laughed. He drained the mug. Cider poured through his jaw, splashed against his ribs, and spilled onto the floor. “Nah.” He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Sassed Redbeard.”
“Gentlemen and dragons, my brother.” Wellington sighed.
Crunchy grinned. “The one and only.”
“Thank goodness,” Wellington muttered.
Ben glanced at the bartender and jerked a thumb toward Crunchy. “Best keep his non-alcoholic.”
“Boo.” Crunchy folded his arms over his chest.
“At least until Jack Frost’s gone.” Ben shrank beneath Crunchy’s glare.
Snow blew through the gaping hole in the wall.
“Well, what have we here?”
The feeling drained from Ben’s legs as he turned and saw a large, white dragon’s snout peering through the doorway.
So, what do you think will happen? What do you want to happen? Was it too short? Too long? Too unfunny?
Yep, that’s right. I’m soliciting comments and suggestions. I may even use them. No matter how wacky, zany, nerdy, or weird. No matter how serious, fanciful, or sci-fi. It’s a choose your own adventure. You choose what happens next
because I’m just not that creative.