Another month and another Gretchen tale, because who doesn’t want to know what a sandwich has to do with a fiery standoff with a dragon. Hope you enjoy this one!
And so, your August Furious Fiction story criteria are as follows:
- Your story must contain HUMOUR/COMEDY (see below).
- Your story must include the following five words: DIZZY, EXOTIC, LUMPY, TINY, TWISTED.
- Your story must include a sandwich.
Would you Like That Toasted?
Gretchen screeched and rounded a jutting rock in the illuminated cave, the reeking stench of sulphur and singed hair filling her nose.
“Come here, witchling,” the dragon hissed. “It’s been too long since I’ve indulged in such an exotic morsel.”
“Exotic?” Gretchen’s breath came in ragged gasps. “Witches are everywhere! Sure, few are stupid enough to go willingly into a cave, but—”
Fire blasted over her head and she scrambled further into the darkened abyss, the cave mouth a tiny pin of light behind her. If she kept running around in circles, she would only make herself dizzy, but she couldn’t string a coherent thought together, much less a plan. As she launched toward the shelter of another stalagmite, she twisted her ankle and fell. With her breath punched from her lungs, she rolled off the awkward protrusion under her hip.
“You can’t hide from me,” the dragon hissed. “And you’ll only spoil yourself with all that adrenaline.”
Gretchen fumbled inside her pouch for something useful. “Wait,” she called. “I might have something more appetising in my infinity pouch. You ever heard of one of those?”
Gretchen screwed her face up, waiting for the onslaught of flame, but the sound of thoughtful rumbling sounded beyond her makeshift shelter.
“An infinity pouch?” he hissed.
“Oh yeah,” Gretchen’s heart hammered in her chest and she reached shoulder deep into the leather bag. “All kinds of powerful things in here. And you can forget opening it after you devour me. Those talons would split it in two.”
Gretchen could think of nothing suited to tight negotiations with a dragon stowed among her supplies of wart serums and canker balms. Her hand moved to a paper-wrapped bundle, and she yanked it out with a frown. She’d forgotten about her half eaten lunch from last week. With no other ideas, she launched it in the dragon’s general direction.
“A sandwich,” she announced.
Gretchen sagged at the sound of interested snuffling and waited. There was no chance it could work, she thought, and tried to reckon with what explosive compounds she had at her disposal.
“This sandwich is old,” the dragon grumbled. “And lumpy.”
Gretchen rubbed the bridge of her nose, both relieved and irritated. “I can assure you I am both older and lumpier than that sandwich,” she held up a finger. “And not in the right places.”
“Hmm,” the dragon huffed. “Does it have any pickles? Or those fish eggs everyone talks about?”
Gretchen tried to recall what she’d stuffed in between the slices of bread and came up with nothing. “Is that what you’d like? Because I can make more.”
“More?” the dragon asked with more than a little awe. “You’d bring me more?”
“Sure,” Gretchen pulled out a pencil and notebook. “What’ll you have?”
The dragon launched into a babbling list of condiments and fancy cheeses, and after Gretchen jotted the last of them down, she called, “Would you like that toasted?” Blinking, she shook her head. “Never mind.”
I have to admit, having a caveat on humor made me nervous.
Because trying to be funny is decidedly unfunny. But I had fun putting this one together in the end and think its a worthy edition to the Gretchen catalog. Have you signed up to take part in Furious Fiction? You should. It’s plenty of fun and has an incredible group of people on Twitter who come together each month to grumble about criteria and spur each other on.
Looking for more stories? Check out the short stories page.