Kirk knew nothing about being brave, but he knew desperation. Desperate was how one felt when a dragon narrowed an eye and said, chillingly, “Why, Fire, I believe this young scamp broke one of my nails. I just had them done last week, and now this one is chipped.” Desperation was knowing your only weapon was a broken stick as a pile of perfectly good swords taunted you from just feet away.
People do strange things out of desperation. Kirk chose to throw the stick into the dragon’s nearest eye and run for it. He did not stop running until he was on the far side of the meadow. Behind him, the dragon roared indignantly and shouted something about the price of having one’s nails done.
Kirk stumbled to a stop. The dragon was still at the cave mouth, biting one claw distractedly while making strange moaning sounds to itself. Still glinting in the morning sun, the pile of swords beckoned. If he had been quick and brave enough, he could have grabbed one….
Well, before he was incinerated.
Maybe he could still get one while the dragon was distracted. His father was counting on him, the dungeon was waiting, and he would never be able to face Lidea again if he failed. He had no choice. He had to go back….
This is an excerpt from A Chance Encounter of Two, a short story I wrote a few years back. It’s available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Kobo… and really anywhere Smashwords distributes it too. Which means it’s available on Smashwords as well.