Today's story is the first to be prompted by reader suggestion. Ms. Wiles commented with the suggestion below on April 27th, and this idea came to mind immediately thereafter.
It's set several months after the events in Right of Succession, but I don't think anything in it would classify as a spoiler.
“It’s never a good idea to startle a sleeping dragon.”
Chantal jumped and spun around. Teshari grinned at her. Roggsha’s quiet snores filled the room from where she was curled on her pallet. Chantal blushed and looked down at the floor.
“Come on,” Teshari whispered. “I’ll get something for you to eat while you wait for Roggsha to wake up.”
“Yes ma’am.” Chantal followed the Yekaran woman into her simple kitchen. At Teshari’s direction, she clambered up onto the smallest of the cushions tucked under the gigantic table.
Teshari moved into the cooking area. Sunlight trickled into the room through large windows and glittered off Teshari’s light, blue scales. Chantal marveled at the control Roggsha’s adoptive mother displayed as she moved about in silence and sliced the barest bit of roasted meat from the leftovers she’d pulled from a cold box. Yet, when Teshari sat the food in front of her, Chantal was stunned to see it was enough for three portions. It’d looked like almost nothing from across the room.
“Thank you,” she said.
Teshari slid one of the larger cushions out from under the table and sat.
“Don’t you want any?” Chantal asked.
“We ate last night,” Teshari answered. “I’m still quite full, but thank you for asking.” She gave Chantal one of the awkward looking, closed lipped smiles the Yekaran’s adopted around humans. “Is there a reason you’re in such a hurry to visit with Roggsha today?”
Chantal picked at the meat, trying to tear a bit off without the benefit of a knife. “I’m scheduled to leave for training tomorrow,” she answered. “I don’t know when I’ll be able to visit again, so I wanted to say good-bye.”
“That explains your visit, but not why you snuck off to her room when I went to help Tricon.”
Shrinking down in her seat, Chantal mused that all mothers seemed to share the same stern tone. “I wanted to spend as much time as I could with her,” she said. “She’s growing so fast, and no one remembers being a tot.” Chantal trailed off. Her face burned, and she gave up trying to tear the meat in favor of biting off a chunk. Chewing gave her an excuse not to say any more for a time.
“You’re afraid she won’t remember you when you come home,” Teshari said.
“Young Yekaran’s have better memories than human children,” Roggsha’s mother assured her. She lowered her head and regarded Chantal with warm, brown eyes. “It’s a side effect of how fast we mature.” Yekaran body language was lost on Chantal still, but her tone was teasing.
“Besides, Roggsha will hibernate with us when winter comes. By the time we wake, you’ll be home for holiday. Or we could come visit you.”
“I thought Yekaran’s couldn’t fly until they were two.” Fear of Roggsha tumbling out of the sky filled Chantal’s heart.
Teshari laughed. “They can’t,” she said. “But there’s this lovely invention called a cart. We pull. She rides.”
It's not often I get to write these "slice of life" moments in the novels, so I do enjoy getting to use these flash fictions to "fill in the gaps" so to speak. There's not as much conflict within them, but it does provide a chance for fluffy bits of character development or just fun incidents.
As always, each flash fiction is inspired by a first line prompt and is 500 words or less in length. Each week's prompt is taken either from a random first line generator or a reader suggestion like today's.
If you have a prompt you'd like to see done, comment below, send it to my Tumblr asks, Tweet it at me, or leave a comment on any of the audio stories from this series. I'll screen shot it, write it, and post it for you.
You can also find the audio version of this story over on my YouTube channel.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
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