what if

The question:

#1: What’s your favorite color? If you could have only one thing in your life in that color, what would you pick?

The answer I picked:

JackiePMy favorite color is purple. If I could have anything in the world that color it would be a pet dragon. (you never said it had to be real) ;-)

Thanks for the comment, Jackie! One of the main characters in a book I’m writing is a purple dragon, so I had to choose this one.

*    *    *

Kathy bought the dragon’s egg for ten dollars. You could pay to have the rock shop cut the bumpy gray-brown stone in half, exposing the crystals inside, but Kathy liked the mystery of the unbroken geode.

The dragon’s egg was oval, big enough to fill her cupped hands, and flattened on one side. She stuck it on a shelf next to her poetry books, and touched the rough, cool surface every time she walked by.

One night, six months later, the geode felt odd when Kathy touched it. She frowned, and picked up the stone. It felt heavier than she remembered, and the surface had tiny cracks radiating from a dent. Kathy ran her fingers over the fracture, wondering how the stone had gotten damaged.

“Nothing to do about it now.” She went to put it back, and heard a scraping sound from the geode.

Kathy held the stone to her ear.

Scrape. Chirp. Chirp.

The stone wobbled in her hand. Cradling it against her chest, Kathy hurried to the toolbox in her hall closet. She sorted through screwdrivers, boxes of nails, and broken measuring tapes, until she found a hammer.

“I can’t believe I’m doing this.” She tapped the stone with the hammer. The stone surface remained unaffected, so she swung again, a little harder, at the center of the cracks.

A piece of stone fell to the floor at  her feet. Kathy sat down on the carpet in her hallway, and pried at the hole with her fingers. As she tugged, she felt something pushing from the inside, and pieces of stone fell faster and faster.

Soon she held a little dragon covered in clear slime. Kathy carried it to the kitchen, and wiped the goo off the dragon before washing her hands. Out of the egg, the dragon looked almost too big to fit inside the shell. Stretched out, it reached from her fingertips to her elbow. The tip of its nose, still crowned with a silly-looking egg tooth, was a deep purple, shading to a bright, rich violet for its body, darkening again towards its feet and tail. Two little nubs rose from its shoulder blades.

“Amazing,” Kathy stared down at the creature curled up on one of her dishtowels. “I wonder what you eat?”

The dragon chirped at her, exposing tiny, sharp teeth.

“Not plants.” Kathy pulled out her phone to research the diets of baby reptiles. After a trip to the pet store, in which Kathy found out far more than she wanted to know about live animals as food, Kathy had a bag of feeder fish, a box of frogs, and a box of mice.

The dragon ate some of everything. Then it curled up in Kathy’s lap, and went to sleep. Kathy stroked the warm scales, and wondered what she was going to name it.

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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

4 responses »

  1. JackieP says:

    Thanks for picking mine! yeah! I so want a purple dragon for a pet. I’m a kid or witch or something at heart. 🙂

    • caitlinstern says:

      I watched a video of crocodiles hatching before I wrote this . They’re kinda cute, but they grow a foot a year. So I decided this dragon never gets that big, or it would eat poor Kathy out of house and home.

  2. Letizia says:

    What a great little story!

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