The Dragon Slayer – Flash Fiction

Five years. That is how long there’s been peace. No more warring factions. No more grief and pain. Then the dragons came.

I’d always wanted to start a story like that. As an author of fantasy novels, I believe every good story needs a dragon…unless it’s these dragons. Forget Game of Thrones. Forget the Hungarian Horntail. These dragons are a whole new Defcon level of scary.

My father had named them, Black Heart, Forked Tongue, and the Silent Assassin – also known as his mother and two sisters.

Black Heart, my Nan, is turning eighty and Dad in a moment of guilt-ridden weakness agreed to a family dinner at the local leagues club. 

So far the evening has consisted of awkward but non-eventful small talk. Then Dad excuses himself to order our meals – his shout.

I shoot Dad a look begging him not to leave me alone. Forked Tongue’s reptilian eyes catch my meaning and she immediately strikes.

‘What’s the matter? You want to avoid us too? Just like your mother.’

I tighten my grip around my glass of wine, wishing I’d ordered something stronger.

‘Mum’s on night shift and couldn’t get out of it.’ It’s only partially untrue.

‘Hmph,’ Black Heart grumbles. ‘I knew your mother was a bad egg the moment I met her. Got pregnant to trap my boy. Could have dealt with it, you know. But oh no, a good Catholic family they were.’

‘Mum, you shouldn’t say such things,’ the Silent Assassin chastises, ‘the girl doesn’t need to hear that she was unwanted.’

I gulp down my wine.

‘Tell me, love,’ the Silent Assassin offers a thin-lipped smile, ‘are you still playing around with those fairy tales?’

‘They’re novels,’ I say through gritted teeth.

‘So nice to have a hobby,’ Forked Tongue chimes in, ‘My two are so busy with their financial advisory company they don’t have time for such things.’

‘It’s not a hobby. It’s my job and I’m doing quite––’

‘No boyfriend either I suppose,’ Black Heart interrupts. ‘You’ll want to hurry up before those ovaries of yours shrivel up.’

I gulp more wine, draining the glass. I need a replacement. Now! Then the answer comes to me. I stand up and shower the dragons with my politest smile.

‘I’m getting another drink but you really must catch me up.’ I turn to the Silent Assassin. ‘Starting with your son in Kazakhstan. So far away but you must see the silver lining – at 17 he’s so independent that he couldn’t wait to leave home.’ I direct myself then at Black Heart. ‘Just like Dad. Couldn’t get out of there soon enough.’ 

Finally, I lock eyes on Forked Tongue. ‘I suppose your two will be off soon as well. After conning you, Nan, Aunty, and all those investors out of millions, they’ll have to go on the run or risk ending up in jail.’ 

Yes. The only certain way to kill a dragon is to let them kill each other.

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Photo by Magda Ehlers via Pexels.

Kylie Fennell
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