Watching Dragons by Philippa Bower

This month’s exercise was to write a short story about dragons.

Watching Dragons. 500 words

Ricky’s hobby was watching dragons. Pretty little blue ones that danced; big, red, fierce ones and sky dragons that swirled in the blue. There was an old abandoned house on the edge of town and Ricky knew that there were many dragons trapped inside, waiting to be released.

One evening he walked to the house, a bottle of petrol in his knapsack and a box of matches in his pocket. The house stood waiting for him, backed by trees and over-grown shrubbery. The setting sun shone in its windows so it looked alive.

He walked up the path to the front door. It was locked but a couple of kicks made the rotten wood give way. A musty smell greeted him as he went inside – nobody had entered the house for years. The floor boards groaned as he walked up the hall. He looked around. Chunks of plaster had fallen from the walls revealing wooden lathes beneath. There would be dragons aplenty when they were released. He felt their eyes upon him as he anointed the hall with petrol.

“Welcome, my beauties,” he cried as he stood in the open doorway and tossed a lighted match inside.

Whoomf! The hall was filled with little blue dragons, hopping and flickering as they danced. Red dragon leaped from the flaming floor and walls.

“Stay and play with us,” they roared.

But Ricky was frightened by their power. “No, I am just a watcher,” he cried and backed away from the house. He climbed one of the trees so he could gaze at the dragons without being seen when the fire brigade arrived.

With what joy the dragons danced and played within the burning house. Ricky looked through the windows and watched the red dragons race through the rooms, burst the windows and lick the outside walls . Behind them squeezed the sky dragons, yearning for freedom from their long-time prison.

Crash! The roof collapsed and at last the sky dragons were released. They poured out of the building twirling and swirling upwards into the darkening sky. Their scales were lit by sparks, brighter than any jewels and Ricky was awed by their beauty.

As he watched, the wind changed. The sky dragons turned to fly towards Ricky. He felt their hot sparks burn his face. He turned away and saw little, blue dragons dancing in the leaves around him.

He must climb down, but already a red dragon barred his way.

“Dance with me,” roared the red dragon.

“No, I must go.”

But the red dragon reached out and embraced him. Hot claws raked his flesh, flaming breath filled his lungs. Oh cruel dragon. Why must you devour those with whom you dance?

From below came the sound of sirens, but Ricky did not hear them. He was dancing with the sky dragons, twirling and spinning up towards the sky until his soul evaporated into the ether.


About Rosemary Noble

Writer, author, amateur historian and traveller
This entry was posted in Exercise of the Month, Story and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Watching Dragons by Philippa Bower

  1. indigomember says:

    Beautifully written. The only sentence that jarred on me and sounded a little archaic with the rest of the piece was “Why must your devour those with whom you dance…” What do others think?


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