Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Dragon Diaries - C is for Casper - A to Z Challenge 2017 #AtoZChallenge

Dragon Diaries

elcome to my contribution to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2017:


So, what does that mean? Well, each day, I'm going to tell you about a dragon - a dragon inspired by a name that I generated randomly using a name generator (I haven't looked up the derivation of any of these names, I have just run with how they make me feel, their sound on the tongue).

I'll tell you all about my Dragon of the Day, and share some flash fic about their lives. Any genre, any character, any look - prepare to be surprised and (I hope) entertained by my dragonly inspirations :).

~
Previous Posts

C is for Casper

When you’re only eighteen centimetres long and your scales are a gentle pink, it can be hard maintaining any kind of menace, but that has never stopped Casper from trying. He may have lived on Mrs Philip’s mantelpiece for twenty years, mistaken for a faux leather cigarette lighter (that strangely never needed its gas refilling), but Casper gets his own back by leaving the odd strange scorch mark around the living room, just to let the humans know who’s boss.

Casper has thought about leaving, after all, he is an independent dragon, but there are plenty of mice in the old farmhouse to keep him fed and he is rather fond of Mrs Philip’s ginger cake - if he could hoard it he would. From his vantage point on the mantelpiece, Casper is king of the living room, even the cat knows to (mostly) steer clear, so, all in all, he’s happy lighting the odd pipe.

~

The Prize

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Casper paced the length of the mantelpiece as, finally, Mr Philip’s footsteps disappeared up the stairs. He’d been waiting a good hour for the man to go to bed so that he could go in search of the last piece of parkin Mrs Philips had stored in a tin somewhere in the kitchen.

With long-practised efficiency,  Casper descended over the swirls and flowers of the ornately carved fireplace and dropped down onto the hearth. Rearing up over the brass fire surround, Casper surveyed the darkened room, ever watchful for that bloody moggy, who occasionally forgot her place,  or worse, the hound. All was still, so he hopped over the shiny metal and onto the hearth rug. His claws sank into the woollen fibres, making the rug quite hard work for such a small dragon and it was times like these that Casper wished his wings were big enough to carry him, but there was nothing for it but to scamper for the door jar where just a little bit of light coming down the stairs from the upstairs hallway still illuminated his way.

Stealthily, he poked his head around the doorframe to check the hallway. He hissed: there, on the bottom stair, was his enemy, the cat. There she sat, languidly licking her paws, and looking up at his sound. Casper spat a tongue of flame at her and hissed again for good measure. The cat stared at him for a moment. Then she went back to washing her paws.

His message sent, Casper slipped out into the corridor and, keeping close to the skirting board, against the dusky rose of which he was rather well camouflaged, he scuttled his way towards the kitchen. Tick-y-tack-y, his claws went on the rustic floorboards of the hallway as he scanned the enemy territory ahead.

All clear.

Before him was the wipe expanse of the kitchen linoleum, a dangerous place for a small dragon, but beyond lay such a prize! Checking left and right, Casper took a few deep breaths and then he was off. Zigging and zagging, ducking and diving, Casper dashed for the kitchen cupboard over which mrs Philips always hung a tea towel. Even in the dingy room, he could smell the damp smell of dinner’s washing up, and, heart hammering, Capser leapt at it. His claws hooked into the cloth a second later and, gasping with his effort, Casper began to climb.

One foot over the other, Casper refused to look down at the chequered floor that was getting further and further away, instead, he kept his eyes on the prize, the sideboard above. The tea towel was hooked into the unit drawer, so it was a bit of a scrabble over the last inch or so up to the granite work surface, and, puffing, Casper lay against the cool, smooth stone for a few moments.

Yet, up here there were all sorts of interesting smells: bread, freshly baked by Mrs Philips that day; leftover pie that had been packed away only a little while ago, probably now in the fridge; currant buns, Casper sniffed twice for them, they were his second favourite; but then  the distinctive ginger nip of the parkin assailed his nostrils.  Re-energised by the promise of delight, Casper righted himself and began his hunt.

He stalked past the breadbin; the smells were delicious, rich and malty, but they were not what he was after. He dallied a little in the space where the pie had been sitting that evening, his mouth watering at the suggestion of thick, dark gravy, but again, not his quarry, so on he went. Then he saw them, two tins decorated with flowers, side by side, the smells of baking coming from both. Lifting up onto his hind legs, Casper put his nose right up against the join of the lid and the body of the tin, drawing in a long lungful of scented air. Oh was it good, spices and rich fruit, but no ginger. With a little sigh of longing, but not enough to make him lift the lid, Casper dropped back down and then again to the next tin.

One whiff and dragon nose confirmed what prize lay inside: butter, ginger, syrup, nutmeg, cloves - parkin. Practically drooling, Casper put his front claws up under the lip of the tin and, with supreme effort, pushed upward. At first it would not budge as tin clung to tin, but Casper was rather too fond of Yorkshire parkin to give up so easily. Taking a deep, deep breath, he adjusted his stance, and then, shooting out a jet of flame at least three inches long, he shoved again.

The tin resisted, but Casper wanted that parkin, so, millimetre by millimetre, dragon beat metal. The lid burst off, drowning Casper in smell of neat parkin as it clattered sideways and came to rest leaning against the far side of the tin. Hooking his fronts legs over the edge of the round tub and then kicking his back legs, Casper dove into ecstasy.

He landed head first in soft, sticky goodness, instantly taking a bite. The rich deliciousness hit his tongue and, indulgently, Casper chewed. Rolling onto his back, he grinned up at the ceiling and swallowed. That is why he was suddenly blinded when the light came on.

Casper squeaked, but, from years of practice, froze as he heard Mr Philips muttering, “What on earth is going on down here?”

A shadow fell across his tin and Casper’s heart fell as a big face loomed over him.

“How did that get there?” Mr Philips asked, but he was asking himself, not Casper, who could only mourn as a hand came in and picked him up.

He whined as the glorious smells receded from his senses and hoped that Mr Philips would leave him the remaining crumbs clinging to his scales as his prize moved out of reach. Muttering to himself, as humans are wont to do, Mr Philips replaced the tin lid and stomped back down the hall. Dangling upside down from Mr Philips’ hand, Casper gritted his teeth and glared at the cat on the way past the stairs.

The cat looked back and then continued washing her paws.


~

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22 comments:

  1. Poor Casper! Such indignity! I love this. :D
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - Shapeshifters and Werewolves

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  2. Wow you weaved a story so effortlessly... Loved the little dragon Casper... Poor fellow couldn't even enjoy his food properly.

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    Replies
    1. He has to try hard to be top dragon, and even then things don't go smoothly :)

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  3. Hi Sophie - lovely story telling ... poor old Casper caught with his ginger lickin paws stuck in the parkin ... fun - cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/c-is-for-cattle-and-cow-cooper.html

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    Replies
    1. He can't catch a break - or a bite :)

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  4. Yum, ginger cake. That story is making me hungry. Love that the cat doesn't give a darn about a dragon--so like a cat.

    C is for Church Committee: Intelligence Abuses by the CIA

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  5. Poor Casper :( I hope he gets his own back on that mean cat!
    #CakeForCasper #DragonsDeserveCake

    Believe In Fairy Stories: Theme - Folklore & Fairy Tales

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  6. I want a Capser. He'll hate me for this, but he sounds so cute.


    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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    Replies
    1. Yes, he would hate you for it, but you can't deny the truth ;P

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  7. Such a sweet little dragon, I'd feed him all the sweets he wanted! Wish he was mine!

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  8. Poor Caspar. He should get something for trying.

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  9. Casper is really cute. hahaha. (Don't let Casper burn me, please)

    Anna

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  10. poor casper. he is sooo adorkable. i really liked him. he'll prevail eventually.

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    Replies
    1. He'll get there, try and try again, and I don't think he's going to give up if that parkin is still on offer.

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