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The Price of Gold

A fool’s gambit

By AphoticPublished 9 months ago 1 min read
Top Story - August 2023
The Price of Gold
Photo by Alyzah K on Unsplash

Lenny had waited hours for the hen to abandon her nest in search of a meal. Drakes were known for “pumping and dumping” the hens, which meant that he only had to watch for the mother.

Their eggs were fetching millions on the black market.

Some buyers devoured them—scrambled, sunny-side up, balut. One egg was enough to feed an entire village for a week, but those who could afford them thought not about that.

Artists ground the shells into pigments for their paints.

Many attempted to raise the dragons, though never successfully. Most didn’t survive past the hatchling stage—the buyers, that is.

Lenny didn’t much care what his buyers did with the eggs as long as he was paid. Supply never met demand so he always made a killing.

These were unmistakably Garish Golds, the utmost coveted the world over.

This was Lenny’s first time dealing with Golds. He didn’t know much about them, but “dragons was dragons.”

As he hoisted the first egg into his cart, the ground shook beneath him. He looked up, horror-stricken by his miscalculation.

Dragons wasn’t dragons, he learned far too late. Garish Golds mated for life. The drake’s well-endowed maw crushed his every bone.


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Comments (24)

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  • Thavien Yliaster6 months ago

    Well, serves Lenny right. I'm reminded of several different stories for this. The first would be from the "Dragonlance" series in which the gold, silver, and copper dragons had their eggs stolen and their yolks perversed with dark magic. I'm also reminded about the last two dragons from "Avatar: The Last Airbender" since the egg was golden in the scene where Aang and Zuko went to learn about the origins of firebending. Then there's eggs from the "Wizarding World" from the dragon egg that Hagrid hatched, to the Hungarian Horntail egg showed in the movie, and the eggs of Occamy's (their eggshells are made out of the purest, softest, silver). Initially I thought that this story was about a young dragon/drake trying to raid the nest of a giant goose who eggs are made out of gold. Dragons do like to horde nice things, but they also do like extravagant meals too. When I read about the buyers trying to raise the dragons I got reminded of "Fire and Blood" and how the Lannisters tried to be so nice upfront to Rhaena Targaryen and how even the lady Lady Jocasta Lannister tried to guilt trip her into giving Dreamfyre's dragon eggs as a gift as form of payment for Rhaena staying at Casterly Rock for a while (gratitude). Then Lord Lyman Lannister tried to buy them from her. When it comes to dragons everybody either wants to kill them or own them. In the end, Rhaena flew back to DragonStone where they proceeded to hatch. In the end, greed does many a person in. Much like how greed got the better of Lenny. I do enjoy how You still separated the sexes by calling the males "drakes" and referred to the females as "hens." It's oddly fitting.

  • Mackenzie Davis6 months ago

    Oh my God! That ending was surprisingly horrifying. Such a clever story, and to liken ducks to dragons…It made for a wonderful read! I adore this. Also, I couldn’t be more happy that this got TS! I have been wanting older stories to get more attention!

  • Leslie Writes6 months ago

    Ooh. I really liked this one. Glad there is more attention on it now. Congrats on the TS

  • Ian Read6 months ago

    Brilliant microfiction!! Can't say I pity the guy, though... XD Oh, and congrats on a great TS!

  • Jazzy 6 months ago

    Oh my goodness what a turn of events. This was VERY well written! Congrats on top story! 😍

  • Kendall Defoe 6 months ago

    Impressive...and I am suddenly hungry. ;)

  • Paul Stewart6 months ago

    Well now...this popped up as Top Story! Congrats!

  • Awesome 🤩 Fantastic Adventure ❤️👍💯‼️

  • Veronica Coldiron7 months ago

    I had a lump in my throat thinking about these defenseless eggs. GREAT ending! LOVE THIS! 😉

  • Dana Crandell7 months ago

    A complete adventure, so well told, with so few words! Well done!

  • Kristen Balyeat7 months ago

    Such a great little tale! You had me fully invested in this short story from start to finish!

  • Paul Stewart8 months ago old brain...I hearted this, read it and then meant to come back to comment! Love this story. Amazing the amount of detail you fit into 200 words. That ending is fantastic. Sorry for the delay between hearting and commenting!

  • Gina C.9 months ago

    Oh, this is fantastic! I enjoyed this all the way through - such depth and build up, and the ending is perfect 😈 This is truly a complete story, with amazing detail!

  • Madoka Mori9 months ago

    Really like this. I couldn't get any kind of arc going in my 200 words, but yours has a great throughline. Witchcraft!

  • J. R. Lowe9 months ago

    Such great world building is so few words. Really loved the line "Most didn’t survive past the hatchling stage—the buyers, that is" gave me a good laugh haha. Nicely done!

  • Naomi Gold9 months ago

    My biggest pet peeve concerning fiction is any story with dragons in it. I hate dragons. Yet, I love this. I like seeing a thief be punished. Having a father in the home is so valuable, but unfortunately that’s becoming a fantasy like dragons.

  • Cathy holmes9 months ago

    Yay! Go, Mr. Drake. Great story.

  • Leslie Writes9 months ago

    Seems like Lenny got what he deserved! I love the fable quality.

  • Looks like Lenny got scarmbled, lol! Pun intended 🤣 I loved your story so much!

  • River Joy9 months ago

    You've got me fully invested in the dragons in such a short piece and I laughed out loud "dragons wasn't dragons". Really well done.

  • Brutally & grittily told. Harsh economic realities, the cruelty of pure laissez-fair capitalism, the foolishness of hubris combined with greed. With a tiny measure of justice served, but not upon those most culpable who drive the market.

  • Ashley Lima9 months ago

    This is so witty and creative. You can really hear the character and understand him so deeply with the quote "dragons was dragons". Fantastic work

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