Author K.D. Jones not only writes fantastic fantasy novels like “A White So Red,” she also showcases a weekly feature for flash fiction on her website, Let there be Magic. Today’s fic is inspired by a painting by one of K.D.’s favorite fantasy artists, Stephanie Law. Happy reading!
The unicorn more or less stumbled across the dragon sleeping in the wood. Well, tripped over one of its gargantuan, black talons is more like it.
“Excuse me!” said the unicorn as it rather gracelessly corrected its balance. “They really should put a sign up or something… ‘Snoozing dragon! Blends in with scenery.’”
The dragon’s nostrils twitched as a tendril of smoke curled out and upward. It let out a deep grumble of a snore.
The unicorn cocked its head, sunlight dappling its horn and making it sparkle like diamonds. “You know, green is a rather obnoxious color for your scales, considering you’re in a forest. Or maybe you’re obnoxious for sleeping here.” He couldn’t make up his mind which.
The spikes along the dragon’s long, crested back continued to rise and fall as it slumbered.
“Well, this isn’t getting us anywhere. Ahem.”
Deep snores rumbled along the ground, vibrating into the unicorn’s delicate cloven hooves.
It blinked at the dragon. “Hello?” Prancing forward, it nudged the dragon with one of its legs. “You hear me?” Once the dragon didn’t respond, the unicorn sighed. “Just remember, buddy—this is all your fault.”
Lowering his head, the tip of his horn pointed straight at the dragon’s scaly rump, the unicorn charged.
“Ouch!” roared the dragon, leaping into the air with a gust of its mighty—and annoyingly green—wings. He clutched his rear, rubbing at the undoubtedly sore spot as tears welled in his big dark eyes. His bottom lip began to tremble.
“Oh, my,” said the unicorn. “You’re not at all like I expected you to be.”
“And—and how—did you—expected me—to be?” squeaked the dragon between sniffles.
This is pathetic, thought the unicorn. “Well, more fearsome. A real intimidating presence.”
The dragon hiccuped and farted.
Gagging and swishing away the foul stench with its tail, the unicorn rasped, “We are sworn enemies, you and me. That’s what all the legends say, anyway. It is my duty in life to hunt you down and destroy you, as it is yours to hunt my kind down and destroy us. I am light incarnate, and you are darkness incarnate.”
“That’s total bullshit! You should be darkness incarnate—you’re the one running around, poking people in the ass while they sleep!”
“Your point?” The unicorn grinned. “Pun intended. Maybe I should also be cleverness incarnate.”
“I am not mean. I am the epitome of everything good in the world. The legends say so.”
“I don’t think I much care for these legends.”
“I suspect you don’t even know how to read,” mumbled the unicorn under its breath.
“What was that?”
“Nothing. Now, get up, you fat, lazy blob of green scales! We shall duel.”
“F-f-fight? But I don’t want to fight! I’m a pacifist!”
“You’re also a thief. I hear you made off with the king’s jewels yesterday while they were being transported from the jeweler to the castle.”
“I like the shiny,” said the dragon fondly.
The unicorn rolled his eyes. “ ‘I like the shiny,’” he said in a high-pitched, mimicking voice. “If you like the shiny so much, then you’ll love my horn as I shove it—”
“Hold on there!”
The unicorn nearly leapt out of its pearlescent skin as a maiden fair, her golden hair flowing over her green gown, crashed through the bushes and came to a halt between them.
She flung open her arms. “You can’t hurt this harmless beast!”
“Harmless he may well be, but we are sworn enemies. It is my sacred duty—”
“Yes, yes, I heard your load of horsecrap,” she said, waving a hand dismissively while propping the other up on her hip. “Look, unicorn, the truth of the matter is, you’re a bully. Always have been, always will be. The legends paint you out to be some sort of innocent little pony, but I know better, mister. I’m on to you.” She thrust a finger at him as her eyes got all squinty and crazy.
The unicorn gaped and took a step back. “You jest, madam!”
“I do not! And do you honestly believe everything you hear? What kind of simpleton are you?”
“Yeah!” said the dragon, nodding its head.
The maiden turned to the beast. “Where are my father’s jewels, Fluffy?”
“Fluffy!” exclaimed the unicorn.
The dragon looked morosely down at its claws. “I’m sorry if I did anything wrong, princess. I said I would protect the jewels.”
“And you’ve done a marvelous job. I can take them back to my father. I have a carriage waiting nearby to transport them. Unless you’d be kind enough to escort me—and them—back to the castle?”
The dragon grinned at the maiden, exposing hundreds of pointy teeth. She never once flinched and smiled right back. “Sure thing, Cecily.”
“C-Cecily? You’re on a first name basis?”
The dragon knelt. “Sure are,” Cecily said, tossing her hair over her shoulder as she climbed atop her dragon-mount. She gazed down coolly at the gaping unicorn. “You, however, may call me ‘Your Highness’ or ‘My Lady.’ I’m only on a first name basis with my friends. You know, creatures and people who aren’t assholes.”
The dragon unfurled its wings, preparing to launch.
“Sworn enemies indeed,” barked Cecily, right before the dragon’s wings flapped downward and off they shot into the air, up through the canopy, leaving the unicorn staring after them, for once, at a loss for words.
Skip character names unless they have significance. It’s okay to keep things simple in flash fiction. “The girl” or “the bear” will do just fine in micro fiction, unless there is a reason to name a character.
For more flash fiction tips, see K.D.’s post: 5 Tips for Writing Flash Fiction
K. D. Jones is the epic fantasy pseudonym for young adult author Krystle Jones. Krystle was born and raised in the small, southern town of Tullahoma, Tennessee. Reading and writing have been lifelong passions of hers. In addition to writing, she is passionate about information technology, Etsy, painting, and exercising. She believes you can be whatever you want to be if you’re willing to work hard. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband and adopted fur babies.
Learn more about K. D. Jones at kdjonesepicfantasy.com.
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