Confounded Issue with Pets

Confounded Issue with Pets

A Story by roarke
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An old tale, two lone women harassed by their landlord about their pet.

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The two women kept a pygmy dragon as a pet. Although the tiny beast wasn’t allowed on the furniture, it still had the run of the apartment. The women were long time friends and both spinsters. They spent half their mornings getting dressed in full Victorian satin dresses and wore powdery make-up. The powder usually made the small dragon sneeze. Sometimes his sneeze released a thin jet of flame that once nearly caught doilies in the sitting room on fire. 


The spinsters loved artwork, especially surrealistic paintings of people with insect heads. Their apartment walls were almost completely covered with framed works by various dead European artists. The women had spent nearly all their unused dowries on ornate picture frames for the strange paintings. They tried to match the ornamental frames to the carved woodwork outlining their over-stuffed velour upholstered furniture. Each door in their apartment had heavy mantling across the top and each room’s floor was covered with ancient Persian rugs. Visitors sometimes felt dizzy passing from one room to the other. 


One day, one of the spinsters, the younger woman went to get their mail. On her way to the front door, she stopped to tickle the little dragon under his chin and sneak him a beef treat. The dragon fluttered his pointed wing tips and smacked his lips. After picking the mail from the floor the young woman sorted through the envelopes and then opened one in particular. This post contained upsetting news. She ran to her roommate and sobbed on her shoulder while the little pygmy dragon followed behind nervously flexing it’s wings. 

“What’s the matter dear Prue?” asked the older spinster.

“Oh, Helen, I can’t believe it, it’s too horrible.”

“Now, now, everything will be alright, here, look, little Draco is trying to make us laugh.” 

The little dragon had gotten some dust mites up his nostrils following his mistress’s dress train when she ran through the apartment and was snorting short bursts of flame like a flint lighter that won’t light. Some of his sparks had begun to singe small holes in Helen’s bustle hem. 

“Now Prue, what’s made you so upset?”

“Something came in the mail today and it’s made me so furious.”

“What could we possibly receive in the mail that would fret you so, dear?”

Prue sniffed her running nose and wiped tear splashes from her rouged cheeks. She then presented Helen with a simple envelope, neatly sliced open across the top. Helen held the contents of the envelop to the window light as Prue again buried her head on Helen’s shoulder. 

The letter was addressed to both women. It was from their landlord, a very rich man living on another continent. His communique was a notification that renter’s would no longer be aloud to keep pets in his apartments. Helen’s jaw set imperceptibly. Her left eyebrow raised as she pursed her thin lips. 

“Humph” was Helen’s only comment.

“Oh Helen, what ever are we to do? We can’t abandon poor little Draco…”

“Nonsense.” replied Helen. 


Presently, there sounded a knock at their door. Helen left Prue to crumple onto the settee while she went to answer the knock. Draco scampered merrily behind her. Out in the hallway waited the building manager. He was a Moroccan man, descended from Barbary Coast pirates. He was dark complected, wore a sharp, pointed beard and a traditional bone tunic with maroon waist sash. Helen didn’t hurry to open the door. Being an impatient man, the Moroccan bent over and peeped through the keyhole. He straightened abruptly as the doorknob rotated and the door swung open. 

“Good afternoon Madam, how are you this fine day?” Greeted the manager with as much sincerity as he could muster.

“As well as can be expected. What do you want?” Helen replied without inviting him in.

“Ah, to business then. I trust you’ve received communication from the building owner about the keeping of pets?” 

“Why, yes, only this morning. What does it matter?” Draco peeked around the billows of Helens skirt. The Moroccan man smiled a delicious white-toothed smile and looked down at the pygmy dragon. 

“Ah, I’m afraid Madam, it has been left to me to collect all pets from the residents, so as to  expediently comply with the landlord’s wishes. ”

“Poppycock.” Helen replied raising the level of her chin and narrowing her eyes. Prue chanced a timid peek around the sitting room’s doorframe, tears still spilling from her eyes. 

“But Madam, it is my job, my duty in fact, to carry out the owner’s wishes. You do not want me to lose my position here do you?” Helen narrowed her eyes more before answering. 

“Of course not Mr. Sadi, of course not. But you see Prudence and I are spinsters and our pet, little Draco is all we have in the world that brings us joy and merriment.” 

“I understand, ” Mr. Sadi said nodding his head and forming a convincing frown. “But you see, if it were up to me, I’d let you keep your precious little dragon, but alas, it is not in my power.” 

He lowered his head and shot a quick glance at the small dragon still hiding behind Helen’s skirt. 

“Well, if you must, you must Mr. Sadi. Go ahead then and take little Draco.” 

At that statement, Prue shrieked and ran from the sitting room doorway and grabbed Helen’s arm with a pleading jerk. 

“Prue, please!” 

“You can’t let that man take Draco.”

“We have no choice.” answered Helen with a managed stern look on her face. 

“Alas.” Said Mr. Sardi.

“Go ahead. Take him now.” Helen turned her head and wrapped her arms around Prue to keep her from interfering

“No, oh, no!” Shouted Prue, sobbing. 

“Come here now little dragon, come with nice Mr. Sardi.” The pygmy dragon suddenly realized something strange was going on. Mr. Sardi couldn’t hide a wicked gleam in his eyes as he thought about the price he’d be paid at the market for Draco’s scales and pointed tail. Helen drew Prue back away from the front door, allowing Mr. Sardi to bend down and grab their pet. 

In a brief moment highlighted by intense heat, a blinding flash of light and the strange smell of pot roast, the two spinster women gazed at their pet as he groomed his diminutive wings, cleaning them of soot. 

In the middle of their apartment’s front door threshold was a charred, crispy lump of what used to be Mr. Sardi. Prudence, her mouth open,  blinked twice. Helen smiled and bent down to give Draco an approving pat. 

“There, there, what a good little dragon you are Draco. Good boy. Now Prue, this is Monday isn’t it?  And on Monday’s we always do house cleaning- so dry your tears and let’s get to work.”



© 2015 roarke



Author's Note

roarke
Kinda as if Hans Christian Andersen shared a pint with the brothers Grimm... I said kinda.
they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and that's about what this amounts to. Not serious, just fun.
Critiques and comments most welcome

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Featured Review

I loved the juxtaposition between the spinster ladies in their Victorian clothes and powdery with a dragon and incinerated building manager. The mix of proper manners and the dark nature of humans (like that wicked manager) reminds me a little of Flannery O'Connor. Thanks for sharing!

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I loved the juxtaposition between the spinster ladies in their Victorian clothes and powdery with a dragon and incinerated building manager. The mix of proper manners and the dark nature of humans (like that wicked manager) reminds me a little of Flannery O'Connor. Thanks for sharing!

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Oh, if only it were so easy to solve all of life's problems! This was fun to read. Thank you for sharing!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You've mastered this era & motif, with descriptions & dialogue! The way this reads is so delightful & playful & slightly exaggerated in a delicious way. I knew that dragon was going to fry the building manager, but it didn't decrease the enjoyment of the read. Your little glimpses of foreshadow were helpful in setting up this satisfying end. I love your imagination, in selecting a pygmy dragon as your pet of choice . . . when most people would've gone the more predictable route. So many fun touches like that make this a fun & original story.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

roarke

1 Year Ago

Thank you BG, I had fun writing it so I'm glad you enjoyed the little tale. It's an old yarn, but al.. read more
...i wish someone would come take this damn unicorn....galloping all night...s**t everywhere and the places she sticks that horn......

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

roarke

1 Year Ago

don't forget all the glitter it drops around... lol
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-- the monster killed the monster... haha... this was fun, Maestro Bill... and i really loved reading the details... especially about the paintings which had people with insect heads and grotesque frames... -- for me this was more like Roald Dahl meets classic victorian novel setting... but then that's just my imagination... :p

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

.

1 Year Ago

-- hmmm... i hear you... -- my problems are different but i changed track too today... am very unhap.. read more
terry smith

1 Year Ago

dear Mr. Roarke if you wrote a million words i would read them so much better than any movie i have.. read more
roarke

1 Year Ago

Thanks Terry, appreciated much.
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...
This was a vividly detailed and darling story, Roarke. So much character in your character :) Just for fun it was, and I had fun reading it. You are so talented!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

roarke

1 Year Ago

Thank you Lynn, thankyouverymuch....
From the brilliant beginning, so deft that we assume that pet dragons are everyday things, to the gloriously off-kilter matter-of-factness of the ending, this is simply the goods.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

roarke

1 Year Ago

big smile thanks W.K.
This is a good one, my friend. I like it. A proper story from beginning to end, and expertly written. Got any more of these in you? I hope so. As you sometimes tell me, this could be carried on. "Flames and Old Lace"--yeah, tell me more.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

roarke

1 Year Ago

Now that you mention it Sam, I didn't think of it then, but Arsenic and Old Lace is one of my favs. .. read more
"be aloud to keep pets" - nah, you didn't did you? Grammar and punctuation are sometimes a personal statement as choice and rules do seem to change through the years ...so no digs there.

I love lil Draco stories... again please?

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Chris

1 Year Ago

Chuckling here... its been too long my friend - gawd, I'm glad you're back.
roarke

1 Year Ago

aw, ya just wanna slap me on the rack, I'm too easy for ya. It's strange Chris, I got a notice the o.. read more
Chris

1 Year Ago

BDSM is another subject for a more time unrestricted view... putting the whip back in the rack. Som.. read more

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Added on December 7, 2015
Last Updated on December 11, 2015
Tags: short story, flash fiction, humor, pets, dragons, spinsters, off beat, strange, william calkins, roarke

Author

roarke
roarke

About
Bio I've been a professional teacher, artist and musician for over thirty years and I currently pursue an off-the-grid homesteading lifestyle. I'm continuing life's journey, accepting and creating n.. more..

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