Odd Prompts: Dragon Infestation


This is actually a snippet of a much longer WIP, and roughly from the middle. So if it seems like you’re missing context, I’m afraid that is because you are! Suffice it to say that a bunch of soldiers wind up with small dragons in the local ecology where there would be housecats elsewhere. 

A Summons

Danny looked up as he heard a rap on the edge of the wall of his new office. He had been installed in a temporary expedient field office (1 ea) for the duration. On one hand, becoming a cubicle rat again wasn’t thrilling, on the other hand it was just one more sign that this place seemed to be aligning with a more normal mode of reality.

He was really looking at one of the new troops. He didn’t recognize the face, or the uniform, or for that matter, the insignia. “No, Lieutenant Rosskowski stepped out. I don’t know when she’ll be back. My name is Master Sergeant Pederson.”

“I need to find the lieutenant, Sgt. Williams sent me…” The young troop looked as though he were wound tightly, Danny noted.

“Maybe I can help, soldier?” Danny stood up. Normality was a preferable state in every way to fighting giant bug monsters that popped out of midair, but that wasn’t to say it also wasn’t boring, and he would welcome a break in the new routines.

He followed the kid in the general direction of the kitchen. The vast supply warehouse had altered almost out of recognition in the weeks Danny had been gone. Then, it was a possible to see from one side of the room to the other, or to look from one end of the room until it faded off into indeterminate fog. The fog, thank goodness, seemed to have gone entirely. Since he was assured by the old hands to what they were calling Vahalla that that meant the collective mass of men was imposing their own perception of reality, far reducing the likelihood of bug eyed monsters, he’d take it. Instead of open room piled high with random gear and crates there were rows of neatly stowed gear towering high in the racks and even separated off rooms in cubicle areas. Like his office, which adjoined with several others.

Only the small anteroom where they had found McCoy and his illicit distillation results remained much the same. It had become the improvised canteen when they first started work here, and other than the addition of the rack where you could put trays back, the walls remained much the same: nearly empty with just a couple of tables. A giant coffee urn that dated from an era of Danny’s grandparents stood on one of these, steaming gently. It was when they entered this area of the soldier finally spoke again.

“It’s Lieutenant Rosskowski’s dragon, S-sergeant.”

The boy stuttered a little on the title, Danny noted. As though he’d started to call him Sir, recalled being dressed down for having referred to an NCO as Sir, and then stopped himself.

“Her dragon?” Danny hadn’t seen it since Lucky was trying to tame it, and Jackie had been feeding it choice little bits of meat. It was still trapped in a crate at that point. He wasn’t surprised at the thought that she had made it her pet,  she had been rather enchanted with the little winged lizard.

“Well, not really her dragon. It’s the babies.” The boy shrugged. “They…”

He was interrupted, and became rather pink in the face and completely tongue-tied, as Sergeant Williams burst through the store room doors and into the anteroom.

There you are! Oh! and Master Sergeant Pederson.” She looked a little flummoxed at Danny’s appearance rather than Jackie’s.

“Rosskowski wasn’t available, and the troop seemed to think it was urgent.” Danny felt apologetic that he hadn’t been able to produce Jackie. Sergeant Williams had that effect on him. 

She put her hands on her hips, a look of frustration on her face. “It is not urgent, so much as chronic. An infestation of baby dragons in the kitchen is… “She stopped as her voice started to go higher in pitch and louder. With a look of frustration, she took a deep breath, visibly calming herself. “Really, the nursery would be a far better place for them.”

“We have a nursery?” Danny had not seen it, but then again he was still learning things after his return. “Do you need help catching them and getting them out of the kitchen?”

“Oh, they won’t be hard to catch. They tend to spend a lot of their time on the range hoods soaking up the warmth.” Her shoulders dropped a little.

“Are they soiling the food?” Danny asked, curious.

“No, no, they always leave their fewmets in their little box. A fastidious creature, these dragons.” There was an approving note in her voice.

“So, if they are not making a mess, and they’re not underfoot, why do you need them out of the kitchen?” Danny was remembering the rodent infestation that they had found when they first started work in the kitchen. The dragons had done a capital job of keeping that down since then. Less likely to shed in the food than a cat.

“They don’t make a mess,” she drew herself up to her full height of at least a head shorter than Danny, and looked down her nose at him. “But they are a distraction.”

Danny, who had 30 years of experience in watching his fellow soldiers make pets out of anything and everything… He still shivered at the idea of all the camel spiders that had been kept, although to do the troops credit, those were more about staging fights than they were petting. He thought he understood the problem she was having in the kitchen.

He nodded at her. “I’ll talk to Lieutenant Rosskowski,” he started. Then he stopped as she started shaking her head firmly.

“Lieutenant Rosskowski has enough on her plate.”

Danny blinked in surprise. “But you sent the troop to get the lieutenant?”

She smiled brightly, “and providentially, Sergeant, I got you. I think this is far more appropriately handled by the NCOs, don’t you?”


I was prompted this week for Odd Prompts by Fiona Grey with “As it turned out, an infestation of baby dragons was not something to wish for after all.” 

I prompted ‘Nother Mike with “A letter shows up. It’s addressed to you, and it starts out like the person knows you and your situation. But you don’t recognize the name, and some of the news in the letter is very strange indeed.” 

If you’d like to find out more about the prompt challenge, read the prompt responses, or even take part in it yourself (there is no minimum wordcount, and it doesn’t have to be fiction, or even words! It’s simply meant to be a brain spark) then proceed to More Odds Than Ends and read all about it. 



6 responses to “Odd Prompts: Dragon Infestation”

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard Avatar
    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Like! 😀

  2. […] where moon casts shadow of object or ghost invisible to the human eye.” My suggestion went to Cedar Sanderson, that an infestation of baby dragons was not as desirable as one might […]

  3. John in Philly Avatar
    John in Philly

    A baby cat is called a kitten, a baby dog is called a puppy, and what’s really the name for a baby dragon?

    I’m not yet seeing the down side of the baby dragons.

    Once you tell me, “Chief, fix this problem.” Don’t cry about the solution.

    1. John in Philly Avatar
      John in Philly

      But dragon down wouldn’t be fluffy, it would be scaly.

  4. Please miss, may I have some more?

    Looking forward to seeing the rest of this.

    1. Eventually this will be a full novel. It’s coming along!