7th February, Story #38/366. This is the 6th in a series of super-short stories. You can enjoy it as a stand-alone micro, or if you'd prefer to read them in order (they're all very quick!) then *skip to the end* and I'll link them there.
"You can't let Dad take him, Mum. He'll die!"
"You nearly died!"
The bones of my hand protruded from where it should've connected to my wrist. Flesh scalded and chunks missing where the dragonling had feasted on it. Hardly any blood at all, though.
"It will have been for nothing, won't it, if Dad..." I couldn't make the words. I was tired, my arm hurt a spectacular amount, and I wasn't completely sure that I wasn't mad, or dreaming, or dead.
If she'd been sympathetic, if she'd hugged me, I think I'd have melted into a streak of snotty tears on the front of her dressing gown. But she didn't. She nodded, her mouth thin and hard. At last, an ally. She dialled 999 and asked for an ambulance.
"Fire as well, Mum. In the forest." Trembling, she relayed the message.
My legs wobbled. I sat.
When Lex set to munching on the thumb of my cut-off hand, I saw Mum's cheeks bulge. She put her hand over her mouth and turned away, then wrapped the hand in a teatowel and put it on the other side of the kitchen. I didn't think then, as a child, what it might be like for a parent to see that.
"He needs to eat," I said weakly.
"I'm not letting him get a taste for human flesh," Mum snapped, "Least of all yours!"
The room was literally swimming, solid surfaces becoming wavy lines. My tongue turned to a dry, heavy lump in my mouth. "Meat burnt on the... outside. And fire. He needs... fire..."
I was only vaguely aware of the flashing lights and sirens, and then everything faded away, the kitchen tumbling upward passed me, and sleep a cool, welcome embrace.
I woke in the hospital, feeling woozy. I pressed the call button for the nurse, but painkillers couldn't touch the pain in my hand. Because it wasn't there. The ghost of it screamed, and the bandaged stump throbbed.
I wondered where Mum was, and if Lex was OK, and when I could go home.
A man and a woman, their suits both aggressively smart, were moving towards me. My heart sank. This can't be good.
Word count (excluding note): 366
Submitted on 7th February at 17:48
*Quick Author's Note*
Thank you for reading! Please leave a comment so I can reciprocate. Your thoughtful engagement is appreciated. If you enjoyed this, the best compliment you can give is to share it, or read another.
The story behind the story: This is story #6 about this dragonling. Here are the first 4 in order, if you prefer to read those first:
1. The Baby
3. The Return
4. The Mother
5. The Handicap
If you're joining me on this "story every day" madne adventure, please leave a link to yours in the comments. Whether you're on a creative bent, like me, and writing mostly microfiction/stories, or whether you have your own, self-imposed criteria, I'd love to see what you come up with for today. I'll try to come back and edit this to link to your piece at the bottom.
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