Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Flash Fiction: The Dragon’s Horde

 

Flash fiction is a fun genre. They are the shortest of short stories, describing a short scene that needs little setup with an emphasis on the punchline. In a sense, they’re like a dramatic joke, and they often show up in response to random observations. A classic example is “We are like elves to dogs” meme: [Reproduced in text to avoid CoC violations]

In the dog world, humans are elves that routinely live to be 500+ years old.

They live so long .. but the good ones still bond with us for their entire lives.

These immortals are so kind we must be good friends to them.

Now I am old. The fur around my muzzle is grey and my joints ache when we walk together. Yet she remains unchanged; her hair is still glossy, her skin skill fresh, her steps still sprightly. Time doesn’t touch her and yet I love her still.

For generations, he has guarded over my family. Since the days of my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, he has kept us safe. For so long we thought him immortal. But now I see differently, for just as my fur grows grey and my joints grow stiff, so too do his. He did not take in my children, but gave them to his. I will be the last he cares for. My only hope is that I am able to last until his final moments. The death of one of his kind is so rare. The ending of a life so long is such a tragedy. He has seen so much; he knows so much. I know he takes comfort in my presence. I only wish I will be able to give him this comfort until the end.

That’s flash fiction. Short, yes, but like the marriage montage in “Up!” it tells a story so easy to relate to that your mind fills in all the gaps, and maybe even leaves you a bit verklempt. This is one of my recent attempts, based on the image at the bottom.

“Gold!” Sprocket whined, small wisps of smoke rising from his nostrils. “I need gold!”

I sighed. Get a dragon, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. Just a scaly cat, they said. Yeah, well, having a pocket-sized dragon might be useful for mouse control, and he was certainly cute, but where was a newly-graduated 20-something living with her sister going to get a bed of gold coins for her dragon’s horde? And Sprocket had been whining about this for weeks.

Granted, I shouldn’t have gotten an animal I couldn’t take care of properly, but who’d have thought that the little devil would be so insistent! Food, water, attention, training — these I could provide. But gold? Not with prices at $1500/oz; I don’t have a bed that expensive! But I’d had an idea, and once my sister got back from the store …

“It’s okay, Sprocket,” I said, extending a finger to rub him under his chin. “Sissy’s getting you a bed of gold coins right now.”

“Hmph,” he snorted, but accepted my attention and started wrestling with my fingers. He really was adorable, which was the only reason the needy, irritating jerks survived to adulthood.

The downstairs door opened. “I’m home!” my sister called up the stairs. “And I’ve got the gold for the cutest little Sprocket there ever was.” She pulled the coins out of the grocery bag, encased in a plastic mesh bag.

“Gold!” Sprocket jumped down to the floor, yelling the word while jumping back and forth to grab the bag. “Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold!”

She handed over the mesh bag to me. I cut an opening and poured the coins on the table. Sprocket jumped up to my lap and then up to the table, then climbed on the small pile. “Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold!” He stopped, then sniffed suspiciously. “Doesn’t smell like gold …”

Damn it. How does the little bugger even know what gold smells like?

He grabbed a coin, then investigated the edge. He quickly spotted the seam and pulled back the foil.

“Momma, this isn’t gold! You lied!”

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  1. Arahant Member

    Love it.

    • #1
    • January 11, 2020, at 9:24 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. JoelB Member

    Could be the beginning of a new group.

    • #2
    • January 11, 2020, at 9:28 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  3. Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker Moderator

    I have no clue why his name is Sprocket. Just every time I look at the picture. I just laugh and hear a little voice going “Momma! You lied!”

    • #3
    • January 11, 2020, at 9:30 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  4. KentForrester Moderator

    Amy, I love that story about the dog’s view of humans. I was touched. Thanks for sharing it.

    • #4
    • January 11, 2020, at 9:44 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  5. Clavius Thatcher

    This is great.

    • #5
    • January 11, 2020, at 10:28 AM PST
    • 1 like
  6. Arthur Beare Member

    Poor Sprocket. I don’t think dragons handle disappointment well.

    • #6
    • January 11, 2020, at 10:34 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. OldDanRhody's speakeasy Member

    Here’s one from a book I’m currently reading. The narrator is an 83 year old man living in a retirement home in Holland, and having an image of a Canta Cabrio helps:

    …my preference is for a nicely pimped-out Canta. Even if that throws me in with all the other pathetically bad drivers at the wheel of one of those tin cans.

    A Canta plowed full steam ahead into a candy store the other day, coming to a stop in a deluge of licorice and assorted jelly beans, with two fat ladies’ horrified faces smashed against the windshield. Their little dog had gotten stuck under the brake pedal. Truth is better than fiction.

    The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83-1/4 Years Old, by Hendrik Groen.

    • #7
    • January 11, 2020, at 10:44 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  8. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It could be a one-liner like “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

    “Gold doubloons, never eaten.”

    • #8
    • January 11, 2020, at 10:52 AM PST
    • 1 like
  9. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Reminds me of the myth-adventure books. You might enjoy them.

    • #9
    • January 11, 2020, at 10:53 AM PST
    • 1 like
  10. Arahant Member

    Spin (View Comment):

    Reminds me of the myth-adventure books. You might enjoy them.

    My second cousin was Asprin’s college roommate or some such. I don’t remember the details.

    • #10
    • January 11, 2020, at 10:55 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Arthur Beare (View Comment):

    Poor Sprocket. I don’t think dragons handle disappointment well.

    “Dammit, he fewmetted in my shoes!” 

    • #11
    • January 11, 2020, at 12:11 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    Reminds me of the myth-adventure books. You might enjoy them.

    My second cousin was Asprin’s college roommate or some such. I don’t remember the details.

    Oh yeah? Well I once knew a guy whose cousin’s landlord’s grammas mailman who chewed tobaccy and wore tennis shoes once delivered a package to Michael Jackson. BOOM! OneUpped! Like a BOSS! 

    I’m in a mood…

    • #12
    • January 11, 2020, at 12:14 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  13. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    Arthur Beare (View Comment):

    Poor Sprocket. I don’t think dragons handle disappointment well.

    “Dammit, he fewmetted in my shoes!”

    “Hmm… I don’t remember those shoes being black.”

    • #13
    • January 11, 2020, at 12:43 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    That worked well. Nicely done, Amy.

    • #14
    • January 11, 2020, at 1:13 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  15. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Amy should run a contest where she posts a photo or meme or something and everyone takes a run at a fast fiction. Most likes wins…like a foil wrapped chocolate or something.

    • #15
    • January 11, 2020, at 1:42 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  16. KentForrester Moderator

    He was the last man on earth. Then he heard a knock at the door. 

    • #16
    • January 11, 2020, at 1:51 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  17. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    He was the last man on earth. Then he heard a knock at the door.

    Alas, it was the tax man. 

    • #17
    • January 11, 2020, at 2:15 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  18. Arahant Member

    Just read the story to my wife. She enjoyed it, too.

    • #18
    • January 11, 2020, at 5:43 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. Arahant Member

    Spin (View Comment):
    OneUpped! Like a BOSS! 

    And you did it so well, too.

    • #19
    • January 11, 2020, at 7:31 PM PST
    • Like
  20. Hartmann von Aue Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    Reminds me of the myth-adventure books. You might enjoy them.

    My second cousin was Asprin’s college roommate or some such. I don’t remember the details.

    I had not read anything by Aspirin for years and was saddened to learn that he had died back in 08. 

    • #20
    • January 12, 2020, at 4:58 AM PST
    • 1 like
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arthur Beare (View Comment):

    Poor Sprocket. I don’t think dragons handle disappointment well.

    You need to be tactful yet firm when you give them bad news.

    • #21
    • January 12, 2020, at 5:23 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  22. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    “Gold? I thought you said gelt.”

    Flash fiction seems like an extension of improv comedy and acting.

     

    • #22
    • January 12, 2020, at 7:12 PM PST
    • Like