Our prompt from the Odd Prompts writing challenge this week came from Cedar Sanderson was: “The very friendly tabby cat twined around her ankles just as the dragon opened his mouth.” We got far behind on our posts, so this is going up late, but we hope you’ll enjoy it anyway.
The Dragon’s Dinner
Joy trudged up the path, fussing at her cat over how far she had walked. “I’ll already be tired when we get there.” The cat just looked at her, blinking slowly. “You’re going to be all dusty. It will take forever to get out of your fur.” That got more of a response from the cat, who looked disgusted in the way that only cats can. It felt like they’d been walking for hours, although in reality, it had been more like 45 minutes. Joy continued to complain to the cat as they tramped ever upwards, the cat looking ever more martyred, and Joy seemingly enjoying the challenge of coming up with new and more creative complaints.
Despite the complaints of dust, nothing seemed to have much of an effect on the light brown robes Joy wore. Whether that was due to some intrinsic property of the wool itself or something Joy had done to the material was in question, since she carried a wizard’s staff that stretched far above her rather petite frame. The cat, in fact, looked much more impressive, with a crisp striped pattern that seemed to repel dirt just as effectively as the robes, and a rangy height that only emphasized the tufted ears and long, silky tail, the tip of which remained remarkably steady as he trotted up the trail.
In between the now rather formulaic complaints about the dust of the road and the long hike upwards, they both glanced frequently at the cavern near the peak. It looming and ominous presence overshadowed them as they drew ever closer, wending their way higher and higher up the mountainside, through switchback after switchback. The peak and accompanying cavern loomed threateningly in the waning light of the summer afternoon, black against the deepening blue of the sky.
When they finally reached the end of the road, near the mouth of the cavern, they moved confidently to the right, past the opening and around an outcropping to find a smaller, much more prosaic (albeit large and sturdy) door set into the rock. Joy rapped sharply on the door with her staff, creating a booming knock all out of proportion with the strength of her blows. “That’s new,” she said to the cat, “I hope you’re ready, because he can’t miss hearing the noise.”
As the door began to swing open, revealing a ten foot tall red and green dragon, the cat’s aloof attitude suddenly changed. The (suddenly) very friendly tabby cat twined around her ankles just as the dragon opened his mouth. Joy looked down, a wry smile twisting her mouth and laughter in her voice as she pointed out, “You aren’t fooling him. He knows what you’re like.” The dragon burst into laughter as the cat reacted to this statement by acting as aloof as ever, pretending that he hadn’t just been playing the part of an affectionate lap cat.
“Hello, Tourmaline. Thanks for inviting us. I hope we’re not late. It’s a long walk.” Joy smiled brightly at her host, now hearing the buzz of voices from beyond as the cat squeezed his way through the opening past his host, trying not to get any closer than strictly necessary, a ridge of fur along his spine standing on end as he drew close.
“Of course not, Joyful Expression of a Magical Dawn! We could never start without you!” rumbled from the chest of the dragon, accompanied by trickles of white steam from his nostrils.
Our Outgoing Prompt
The lucky recipient of our prompt this week was Cedar (we traded), who got the prompt, “The sun was red, peeking through the drifting smoke and ash-laden air. I stared up at it, wondering what to do next. This changed everything.” Head over to her page and check out what she did with it.
Like what you saw? Why not hop over to More Odds Than Ends to see stories from other members of the group? There’s new stuff every week. If you happen to enjoy writing or drawing, you could even join in. We can always add another chair to the table. Don’t want to commit on a weekly basis? Not a problem, grab a spare prompt and create.