Jane Jago’s Daily Drabble – Three Hundred and Forty-Nine

It’s not easy being different, and Charlie’s bright red hair and mismatched eyes made him a natural target. He could just about ride the jibes and the pointing fingers, but the regular physical abuse was harder to ignore.

All Charlie could do was endure, until Ed moved in next door. He was about six feet tall with hands like washboards and he appointed himself the little guy’s champion.

On the day Charlie plucked up the courage to ask why, Ed grinned and indicated for Charlie to follow him.

In Ed’s bedroom there was a huge poster.

“Ziggy Stardust”, Ed said.

©jj 2019

Weekend Wind Down – The Golden Queen

A short story from The Dragonheart Stories: Fairytales for Grownups by Jane Jago. You can listen to this on YouTube.

True mating is for life: and beyond

The golden queen dragon stretched her talons and moved sensuously against the green scales of the male who had just pleasured her.
“In certain cultures I would eat you now,” she murmured.
He winced and blew a small gout of flame out of his left nostril. She laughed.
“Trick flaming?”
“No. A nervous tic. It’s the thought of being eaten.”
“Oh you are safe enough. It would be a waste to eat you.”
“A waste?”
“Yes. You are far too pleasurable to kill. But leave me now before I get hungry.”
The male scuttled away leaving the queen somnolent and amused.
She slept, and in her sleep she dreamed.

She was making her first mating flight and the dragon who caught her was an entity she had never encountered outside her dreams, his scales were as golden as her own and his eyes as green as the emeralds in the master dragon’s sword hilt. He was magnificent, and her soul yearned towards him. Even as they mated high in the sky, with the lack of oxygen making their eyesight grow dim, she knew this was about more than fertilising eggs, this dragon was the other side of herself but her fear was that she might never meet him in this life.

As always, she awoke with tears running down her aristocratic snout and she sniffed indelicately.

A quiet tap in the door of her chamber brought her back to herself.
“Who knocks?”
“N’a’mma and mine new friend.”
“Come in my darling,” the golden queen’s love for her only female child was evident in the cadences of her voice.

The door opened to admit the still childlike dragonet who was dragging another hatchling along in her wake.
“Mamma, this is S’a’rthyr and he is my friend.”

The queen made welcoming noises whilst studying the young male.

His scales were a peculiar yellowish colour, but this was balanced by a strong symmetrical body and iridescent green-gold wings. He looked up at her, and she was immediately pulled into the sorrowful depths of his grass green eyes. Those eyes had already seen too much of bullying and belittlement, the queen thought, and the hurt that lurked in their limpid greenness made her want to clasp him to her breast and croon a soothing song.

“See,” N’a’mma crowed. “Mamma don’t think you are wrong because your scales is yellow.”
S’a’rthyr bowed his head.
N’a’mma opened her mouth to say somewhat else, but her mother shushed her gently.
“Quietly now, you must let S’a’rthyr speak for himself.”
The young male found his voice.
“I am of the clan of Queen A’u’nti. Sent with the young males for breeding. Sent as a servant. Because of my colour. The Lady N’a’mma seeks me out, but I will understand if you deem me not suitable as a friend for a young queen.”
“Not unsuitable at all, my son. Not at all.”
She nodded to N’a’mma who raised a chubby claw.
“N’a’mma gives her oath to S’a’rthyr. Friends while there is still blood in my body.”
For a moment the youngling was too stunned to move, but he gathered himself together and placed his own taloned extremity against N’a’mma’s upraised claw.
“S’a’rthyr gives his oath to N’a’mma. Friends while there is still blood in my body.”
The queen placed her huge front paw atop both of theirs.
“Oaths witnessed.’

For a moment, the air itself seemed to be still then a single silver note chimed.

The queen smiled at the two hatchlings who stood before her.
“You need to sleep off your emotions,” she said kindly.

N’a’mma led her oathsworn friend to a sleeping platform at the back of the room and they curled around each other before dropping into a deep slumber.

Their mother watched with a single tear running down her snout. She had recognised S’a’rthyr as soon as she looked into his eyes. Her dream lover. Now sworn to her daughter. Why was life never easy?

But she straightened her spine and swiped that tear away with an impatient claw. Her dream of a true mating of mind and heart and soul wasn’t to be for her.

But for her darling N’a’mma there was hope…

© jane jago 

Jane Jago’s Daily Drabble – Three Hundred and Forty-Eight

Hell, she thought moodily, had to be people. 

She looked back at the huge marquee and it seemed to her that noises of the crowd had quite the inconsequence of a braying donkey.

It wasn’t possible to take off the dreadful dress, but she abandoned the satin slippers and walked barefoot to the little stream that meandered along the bottom of the meadow.

Careless of her finery she sat in the fragrant grass and cooled her toes. 

A flash of brilliant blue speared her gaze. 

“Anisoptera.”

She turned and smiled into a pair of eyes as blue as the dragonfly…

©jj 2019

Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV reviews ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

You can listen to this on YouTube.

Mumsie and oneself planned a treat for Adonis. A light supper in a nice restaurant, followed by theatre in the round in the tiltyard of the ancestral home of one of our less distinguished titled families. It sounded so perfect and one’s Hellenic chum was beyond delighted by the prospect. 
We left chez Farquhar in good time, with Adonis expertly piloting Mumsie’s elderly and temperamental Volvo. One sat enthroned at the centre of the rear, buttressed by Macintoshes, Wellington boots, suncream and several bottles of a bright green beverage – consisting one was helpfully informed of White Rum, Green Chartreuse, Fernet Branca, and Dry Vermouth. I eyed the bottles with some suspicion.
It was a drive of some forty minutes, giving one leisure to study Adonis’ glorious profile and to note that not only had Mumsie been over the upper lip with Grandpapa’s cutthroat razor, she had also made a vague effort at throwing some dollops of maquillage at the ridges and craters of her abused physiognomy. Our arrival was unmarred by lateness, unavailability of parking, human tiffs, or inclement weather. Supper being delightful, we were a little late finding our allotted position on the verdant terracing. Fortunately for the health of the gentleman with the northern accent who cast animadversions on the parentage of our party, Mumsie had imbibed sufficient claret to do no more than push her face into his and enquire pleasantly whether or not he would enjoy picking his teeth out of his fecal matter. Adonis dragged her off before worse could befall.
And now. To the play. One was surprisingly carried into the magical world of an enchanted wood where the magnificent horned figure of Oberon sent a thrill through one’s very bones. The other pieces of business interrupting the tale of faerie were an irritant, but one could cope – even chortling a little at the tale of Pyramus and Thisbe. 
But then. Disaster. Of a sudden the sky became black and as it crackled with lightning the power failed and we could no longer see actors, actresses or our own hands before our faces. 
As the rain beat down upon our unprotected heads we ran pellmell for the urine yellow shelter of the Volvo. We may, it is fair to say, have reached that nirvana a little faster had not Mumsie so far succumbed to her potations as to fall into a rapidly accruing puddle and then take physical exception to some persons who were foolish enough to laugh.
As the only non-drinker in the party, the onerous task of wrestling the mechanical Machiavelli homeward fell on one’s slight shoulders. Whilst one drove homeward in the gloom and bouncing rain, one reflected on the play and mentally prepared one’s review of same.

Review.

As much as one saw was enjoyable, and one day one may even make the effort to find out how it ends.

Star rating: Three out of five – mostly awarded for a disturbingly sexy fairy king.

#reviews #parody #humour #humor

Jane Jago’s Daily Drabble – Three Hundred and Forty-Seven

They had been getting away with it for years – savaging the vulnerable and weak, while hiding themselves behind fanciful avatars and pretend identities.

They felt invincible  But nobody can hide in cyberspace, no matter how clever they think they are. 

On the day that a skinny kid in Silicon Valley wiped the tears from his face and vowed to expose the evil bastards who drove his sister to suicide the ‘trolls’ were in the firing line.

It took two weeks to find them, and two hours to show them how it feels to be hated and vilified across the Internet.

©jj 2019

Coffee Break Read – Longest Day

You can listen to this on YouTube.

Arena do Battaglia just before dawn on the longest day of the year. The place is heaving, every seat and every standing space is taken. People are chanting, and screaming, and eating chilli dogs and churros.
The marching band sweats under the arc lights as it plays songs of the revolution and marches in perfect time. Troupes of mostly naked gymnasts prowl and leap and perform feats of near-impossible balance. There are fire eaters, lion tamers, maestre with their estudas strung behind them collared like dogs, and cages containing every form of maimed and malformed human life are being paraded for the delectation of the baying mob.
Oh yes, all of the starry universe is here, but the multi-tentacled monster that fills the seats from stadium floor to the heights from which the arena seems peopled by ants is barely aware of any of it. It is the main event the crowd wants, and, although it waits good-naturedly now, let the battle commence just one second late and the riot will be unstoppable.
Under the banked seating, the elite competitors wait, oiled, half-naked, and sweating in the sultry air. Every province has sent its best: the golden-haired, golden skinned inhabitants of el norte towering over the swarthy smiling southrons with their gold teeth and elaborately braided hair. Where they have a sisterhood, though is in the breadth of shoulder and massive upper body development. That and the multiplicity of scars on their arms, shoulders and ribcages. The softness of their clean carefully manicured hands, then, is all the more surprising.
The light in the tunnel is reddish and dim and the competitors eye each other unsmilingly. They wait in silence.
As the clocks crawl towards sunrise, the tension in the tunnel becomes so magnified that there is a tang of iron in the air that almost smells like blood. Even the hulking guardsmen with their nerve whips seem uneasy, and watch their charges with care.
A deep-toned bong tolls once, and it is as if the crowd in the stadium is turned to stone. The arena floor empties and there is silence. Then the gong tolls twice.
Two massively muscular guardsmen carry a strange contrivance into the mathematical centre of the arena. It is a tall thin column topped with what looks like a ball of gold. As soon as the men have positioned the column the lights in the stadium go out, save only for one spotlight trained precisely on the ball of gold which now looks as if it is suspended in mid air by magic.
The gong tolls thrice and the entire mob holds its breath, watching the golden ball as a snake watches a hummingbird.
Then a great voice filled the air.
“Cinco”
“Cuatro”
“Tres”
“Dos”
“Uno”
The ball falls with an ear-splitting crash and the door to the athletes’ tunnel crash back. As the lights in the arena come back on so brightly they all but blind, a hundred battle-scarred women jog out onto the sandy floor.
The crowd bays its appreciation as the women take out their pointed steely weapons.
La batalla de los tejedores* begins…

*The battle of the knitters

© jane jago 

Jane Jago’s Daily Drabble – Three Hundred and Forty-Six

Tanker walked Ben to the gate and watched him get on the school bus. At home time he was waiting, but the bus never came. Instead Mum came out of the house with her face all streaked with tears.

“Come in, Tanker, the bus isn’t coming.”

Ben never came home. All Tanker could do was feel sad. One day Mum put on his car harness and smiled.

“You wanna see Ben?”

Tanker didn’t believe her. But then in a strange place smelling of ill people, he saw his Ben sitting in a funny chair. Boy and dog cried happy tears. 

©jj 2019

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