Trina wandered around the dragon enclosures with pursed lips and dull, bored eyes. She’d been to the dragon park so many times that she hardly blinked when she heard the strained roar of creature behind her. She didn’t think dragons were all that interesting. Short of terrorizing villages in the wild and eating hunks of barbecued meat in captivity she didn’t think the beasts were worth gawking at, but here she was forced to follow her brother around the park so he wouldn’t tattle about the boy he saw her kiss a few days before.
Trina was daydreaming about that boy, William. She was remembering the feel of his hands on hers. It was her first kiss; she was rather ecstatic that the wealthy innkeeper’s son had sought her out. A shadow edged over her, he was taller than her and she imagined his shadow blocked the sun from her face. She felt his warm breath on her face and giggled at the way it danced over her skin. His lips were just about to touch hers when she finally heard the screaming around her.
Trina froze as she opened her eyes. She saw a scaly brownish-green tail with dirty yellow spots. She held her breath as she watched it twitching back and forth. She couldn’t move and she couldn’t scream, but as the monstrous neck began to turn and the eyes rested on her she wanted nothing more than to have wings of her own. She didn’t dare move, but now the powerful slender body followed the neck and was turning in her direction. This dragon was wandering around the park and he didn’t look as though he was particularly friendly.
Out of the corner of her eye
Trina she saw her brother. The look of terror on Brody’s face was alarming. They both knew she was in a lot of trouble; but suddenly she had bigger problems than Brody tattling on her about the kiss. She needed to find a way out. Trina quietly hoped this would teach Brody not to play games and try to negotiate deals with her the future. She could just imagine the tongue lashing and shame he’d have to endure if she died. He’d be sorry that he made her come to this stupid park.
Trying to find the will to turn and run, Trina heard the beast breathing in, a low guttural and sticky noise escaped between the razor like incisors. She wondered if she could run fast enough to save her life. Suddenly, the nose of the dragon was in front of her. Trina pinched her eyes closed and whimpered. She knew this was the end, she was about to be roasted alive. She took a deep breath, held it and tried not to cry, this was it.
Something hit her face, her arms, and her legs. Trina opened one eye slowly at first, then opened the other and looked at her armsand legs. She was covered in a tar like, smelly, sticky mess. The thing had sneezed on her. She heard a low chuckle nearby as the dragon soothersarrived andgot the beast under control.
“Just a mud dragon with a head cold. He’s been sneezing all day. ‘Parently someone forgot to securely shut the door….” Someone in a uniform was prattling on to the crowd that had surrounded her.
“Oh wow, Trina; the look on your face. You must have been scared to death.” Trina turned her head. Of course it would be William. He moved closer to her, eyes squinting in defense against the smell that now radiated around her. “And now you smell worse than death.” He laughed loudly, but brought his handkerchief from his pocket, wiping her face.
“Yeah, thanks I know. I’m the one dripping in this goo.” She glared at him, but the smile playing behind his eyes was slowly melting that icy glare off her face.