Flash Fiction: Some Like Bones

I was looking at other people’s cute dogs on Twitter before writing this.

Some Like Bones

by Heidi C. Vlach

What the dragon couldn’t figure out was why humans insisted on running from him. He bore the magic of Everytongue; he spoke words that perfectly matched human chattering; why, then, did they flee even when he uttered words of peace?

After some thought, the dragon asked one of the misshapen wolves guarding a human town — dogs, they were called. This dog hackled and growled at first, but melted into tail wagging once the dragon spoke a bark-like greeting and allowed his scales to be sniffed.

“I thought humans were friendly,” the dragon asked. “Why do they run from me?”

The dog tilted his head. “Humans are friends! Dragon is friend. Why …” He harrumphed and scratched at his floppy ear with a back paw. “I don’t know. Ask humans.”

“I’ve tried that,” the dragon repeated.

“Oh.” The dog continued thinking, only briefly distracted by a passing fly. Eventually, he decided, “You need to be a good boy.”

It sounded simple enough, this riddle. The dragon asked, “How does a creature be a good boy?”

The dog opened his mouth in a wide grin. “I can show you!”

It turned out to be an absurd practice, full of grovelling, tail-wagging and biting back his fire. But after some weeks of practice, the dragon got it right.

——

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