Dragon Mage flash fiction: Biological Clock

Dragon Mage Chronicles

Those of you on my email list may have already read this ultra-short introduction to the Change that spurred on the events of my Dragon Mage Chronicles. If not, I hope you’ll enjoy this peek through Sarah’s eyes…and will come back to visit with her and her dragonets in the subsequent novels.

I was selling clocks door to door when the vines appeared out of nowhere, rolling down the street like a crowd of kindergartners streaming out of school after the final bell tolls. I’ve lost my mind, I thought, squinching eyes shut and smoothing down my pencil skirt.

Perhaps it was hitting forty while lacking all potential reproductive outlets, but everything had started looking like babies lately. So when I opened my eyes, I wasn’t surprised to see that something else had materialized in front of the approaching tide of green.

Yep, that really was an egg approximately the size of my overweight tom cat.

I took a tentative step closer, ignoring the screams that emanated from the other end of the block. A vine crept up the closest telephone pole, ripped wires free to spark against the ground.

I jumped, but stood my ground, staring fixedly at the tiny hole in the side of the golden orb. A beak pushed flakes of metallic shell aside one by one until a line of darkness nearly encircled the blunt end of the egg.

Then a beady eye peered out at me, watery with effort and hope.

My gut cramped with the realization that this was my baby. Okay, sure, so there were scales covering that emerging snout. Claws on the tiny feet scrabbling against the opening. And wings tucked tight against the being’s sodden back.

But, species aside, I was cradling the infant in my arms before I fully realized what I was doing. I was cupping it against my breast, not caring in the least that birth goo was ruining the breast of my favorite blouse.

I expected the dragon to struggle. After all, it was a wild animal…or a wild something. But there was intelligence in the tilt of its head. And as its chilled limbs warmed against mine, I could have sworn an emotion passed between us.

Understanding. Fellowship. Love.

Then fire streaked past my neck, singeing a vine that had crept upward while I was otherwise occupied. Ten more seconds and that plant would have strangled both me and my baby alive.

They were everywhere. Covering the pavement. Latching into my pantyhose. Standing up under their own volition and swaying like cobras as they attempted to reach the dragon in my arms.

I was no botanist, but I could clearly identify mean plants, ugly plants, and homicidal plants. Worse — every single one of those suckers wanted my baby dead.

“How about a little more flame?” I coaxed the dragonet. But safe in my embrace, it had already fallen sound asleep.

An overgrown rosebush took advantage of my distraction to reach for my wristwatch. I was almost out of time.

Time. Wait a minute. The floral invaders weren’t growing randomly. They were fixating on electricity.

Ignoring the grasping tendrils, I knelt and opened the case in which I kept my wares. Simple clocks, fancy clocks…ah, there we go.

Pulling out the device parents loved to hate, I powered it up. Flashing lights and whirling colors promised to teach infants about clockwork. As best I could tell, it mostly mesmerized the young and terrified the old.

Like babies, the vines were stupefied. Taking advantage of their distraction, I cupped my baby closer to my chest.

Then, leaving the destruction behind us, I ran.

Not ready to leave Sarah’s world? Meet her dragonet Zane, all grown up, in Verdant Magic.