Having grown up with 12 sisters, Spontaneous Bucket was no stranger to unexpected phenomena. Still, the sheer magnitude of the beast took even him by surprise, ‘Wow. I mean. Wow.’
The dragon sighed, ‘I see that human is still synonymous with dung beetle.’
It was always difficult to seem sensible once someone had established that you were an idiot. Spontaneous gathered up all the pieces of his face into something that resembled an apology, ‘Forgive me, oh glorious one, I was just a little surprised, given the size of the mound and the size of… Surprised. Yep.’
The dragon rolled its eyes and burped out a flame, ‘Let’s just get it over with shall we? Fortune, women, turnips.’
‘I beg your pardon, oh mighty lord of confusables?’
‘It’s always the same. Fortune, women, turnips.’
Now you didn’t have to be a knight on a quest to get that it didn’t pay to be sarcastic with giant, mythical beasts, ‘I am but a stupid human, I beg your indulgence.’
‘Would you like me to stamp out how many is three on your fetid companion?’
‘Look,’ the dragon sat back and picked at a nostril roughly the size and texture of the bonfire they had built the last time a Witch Finder had come to town, ‘This whole process is about natural selection. Whoever cuts open a dragon egg and releases a dragon before the expulsion, also releases three wishes as a reward. Is that clear enough for you?’
A rumbling, furnacy sort of noise emendated from the creature’s throat suggesting a whole different kind of expulsion wasn’t off the cards, ‘If you ask me one more stupid question I shall have no choice but to raise this whole continent to the ground.’
Spontaneous Bucket may have been a medieval man, but it paid to know about continents. Soup was a pretty bland thing when cabbage was the main ingredient, ‘And if we don’t take these three wishes?’
‘WHAT!?’ Lucian scrabbled from behind the tree.
Spontaneous smiled apologetically at the dragon and backed away, dragging a drooling Lucian with him, ‘I know it sounds great, but you can’t trust dragons, even the village idiot of Nosoothsayershere town knows that and he’s only had half a head since the great, balance a scythe on any body part, fayre.’
‘But three wishes!’ Lucian’s eyes glittered, ‘Fortune, women AND turnips!’
‘So it is agreed?’ The dragon wound itself around the tree and obliterated the sun.
‘Wait!’ Spontaneous grabbed at his friend’s arm, ‘We want to hear all the details first.’
‘The details are, that you say Yes or you say No.’
‘Then I say n…’
‘Hey nonny nonny!’ Lucian squealed, pushing Spontaneous aside, ‘Yes. He says yes. Yes. Absolutely, yes. Not a No to be seen. Just yesses. We all love yesses here.’
‘Good choice pungent human.’
‘Right, okay then, well probably best to start with the fortune,’ he nudged Spontaneous chummily, ‘because those turnips ain’t gonna care for themselves, eh?’ Then he laughed nervously because the dragon was grinning at him like he’d just ticked the terms and conditions of a cess pit cleaners contract without reading them first.
‘Just one small question,’ the dragon tapped out a thoughtful tune, ‘Did I at any point stipulate exactly who was getting the wishes?’
The might beast scrolled open its wings and yawned, ‘I shall take my fortune in gold if you please, the turnips, feel free use your imagination, for I and not a monster.’ It grinned again because it actually was, ‘Oh, and you have until nightfall to bring me my first woman.’
Lucian was breathing through the top of his head, he bowed and scraped and curtseyed his way back around the other side of his companion, ‘By all that’s holy, we’ve been tricked by a dragon, what are we going to do?’
Spontaneous was deep in thought, ‘Does that sun look purple to you?’
‘And it is a Sunday.’
Lucian was horrified, ‘You can’t seriously be thinking about deploying Collateral Colin? He’s only had the witch part of his training. He’s not learning how to be a virgin until next year.’
‘I think being a virgin is pretty straightforward, he can wing it.’
‘Me crazy? No,’ Spontaneous looked over at the row of pus mound, he was already calculating their number and dividing by the amount of nearby villages, ‘but mad has a nice ring to it.’
‘No, no, no, no, not again,’ Lucian backed away from his companion, ‘not after last time, you promised.’
‘Come on, promises aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.’ Spontaneous Bucket reached down for the knife stick, ‘Besides, we’re talking about mutual assured destruction here, those ground to air marrows we sold to everyone are gonna be so last century.’
Should you have inexplicably missed them, you can read parts one and two here.
©2017 Jac Forsyth