Plugs

Sara Genge’s story “Godtouched” may be found in Strange Horizons.

Alex Dally MacFarlane’s story “The Devonshire Arms” is available online at Clarkesworld.

Read Daniel Braum’s story Mystic Tryst at Farrgo’s Wainscot #8.

David Kopaska-Merkel’s book of humorous noir fiction based on nursery rhymes, Nursery Rhyme Noir 978-09821068-3-9, is sold at the Genre Mall. Other new books include The zSimian Transcript (Cyberwizard Productions) and Brushfires (Sams Dot Publishing).

Wind and Harmony

by Jason Erik Lundberg

On the reedy banks of the River Floyd, the Fellowship of the Little Girl came across a middle-aged man in a rumpled blue suit arguing with a large sinuous dragon. The man was the first human Anya had seen in the Land of Grey Dusk, and so she led her party over to the squabblers.

“But it’s not so far,” the man was saying. “Why are you being so stubborn?”

“On account of this,” the dragon hissed and lightly poked at the man’s paunchy stomach. “You have gotten heavy, Jackie, too big for me. You’ll likely break my back were I to take you to Harmony.”

“John, not Jackie,” said the man, “and this is water weight.”

“Hello,” said Anya. The arguing duo stopped and turned to look at her. The eyes of both the man and the dragon were identical, a blazing green.

“Yes?” said the dragon.

“Hi, my name is Anya,” said Anya.

“John,” said the man, “and Feng here is too lazy to give me a ride to the Land of He.”

“Huh?”

“No, not ‘Huh,’ ‘He,'” said Feng the dragon. “Your pronunciation is atrocious. ‘He’ is Chinese for Harmony, the land that is my home. Jackie used to visit me when he was much younger, and play, and bring me gifts, but then he grew up and had no more time for his dragon.”

“Can you blame me?” said the man. “It happens to everyone. I’m here now, aren’t I?”

“Yes. Here, grown up, and much too fat.”

Before the man could launch another retort, Anya said, “Friend Dragon, you look to be strong enough to carry John wherever he needs to go, but you still feel hurt and abandoned. John, you want to reconnect with your lost friend, but your pride is getting in the way of true intimacy. It seems to me that if you both admit to your feelings, you could stop arguing and both be happy.”

“Hmm,” said Feng the dragon. “She’s right, you know.”

“Yeah, I suppose.” John kicked at the reeds. “I’m sorry I left you all those years ago.”

“And I’m sorry I called you fat.” The dragon lowered itself to the ground. “You ready to go?”

John smiled and climbed aboard. As the dragon was about to depart, Anya said, “Wait!”

“Yes?”

“Can you give me a ride too? I’m trying to reach home.”

“Oh no, my dear girl, I don’t travel to the world above anymore. You will need to consult the Green Empress for passage back to that place.”

Feng the dragon squatted down and then launched itself into the air, twisting and twirling and ribboning through the skies, its passenger whooping and yawping all the while, both man and dragon now reunited in joy.

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Previously:
01: Mini Buddha Jump Over the Wall
02: The World, Under
03: Androcles Again
04: Look Into My Eyes, You’re Under
05: Shiftless, Hopeless
06: Cricetinae’s Paroxysm

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