Sparky was sitting on the table reading the latest edition of Magical Creatures Monthly. He was studying a tempting-looking chocolate cake recipe by a dragon from Wisconsin, when with a loud pop and a puff of pink smoke, a small rectangular object landed on the doormat.
‘What was that, Sparky?’ called Alys from where she was busy cleaning her cauldron.
The diminutive dragon flew down to inspect the recent arrival. ‘It’s a Magical Messaging Machine. How exciting!’ He poked it gently with a small purple claw. ‘Oooh,’ he exclaimed through a shower of excited sparks as the screen sprang into life.
Alys hurried over. The Magical Message Machine pinged loudly and the large friendly face of George the Dragon filled the screen.
Alys and Sparky exchanged glances. Even though George had made a huge mess of Alys’s herb garden when he’d visited, and hadn’t actually turned out to be one of Sparky’s relatives as he’d claimed, they’d felt rather sorry for him when he had to be returned to the Home for Delusional Dragons. It was good to see him.
‘Listen both of you,’ George said, leaning even closer to his side of the screen. ‘I want to make it up to you for barging in on you like that.’
Alys smiled. ‘No harm done, George.’
‘Nothing which Alys couldn’t put right with a wave of her wand,’ added Sparky.
George held up a big blue paw. ‘I have a gift for you. It should be arriving about now.’
There was a gentle thud on the doormat accompanied by a cloud of dust. The retired cauldron sneezed, clearing the dust to reveal a tray containing six silver seedlings in little green pots.
‘Dragon Snaps,’ George explained. ‘Pop them out in your garden. They’ll be ready to harvest in ninety-nine minutes. I’ll call you back then, toodle-pip!’ The screen went blank.
‘Come on, Alys,’ excited steam issued from Sparky’s nostrils. ‘Let’s plant them.’
Soon the little Dragon Snaps were sitting comfortably in the soil. ‘All we need to do now is wait,’ said Alys. ‘What shall we do?’
‘We could make a cake.’ Sparky flew over to the table and brought back the recipe he’d been reading. ‘Looks good, doesn’t it?’
Alys grinned. ‘Let’s do it!’
‘Of course,’ replied Alys. ‘I can cook conventionally.’
Sparky raised a purple eyebrow but said nothing.
The time flew by as they measured and mixed and finally popped the cake in the oven. Sparky glanced out of the window. ‘Look!’ he pointed with a chocolate-covered paw.
The silver seedlings had grown into tiny trees. Hanging from their branches were dozens of strange-looking objects.
Just then the Magical Messaging Machine pinged. It vibrated agitatedly on the table until Alys picked it up. George’s face appeared. ‘Are they ripe yet?’
Sparky took off through the kitchen door and returned clutching a rectangular-shaped pod. ‘Go on, open it,’ said George excitedly.
Alys took the pod and carefully split it open. Inside was a playing card with a picture of a dragon on the front and some numbers and symbols beneath it. Alys turned the card over. The words Dragon Snap Collectibles™ shimmered in silver.
‘There are lots of different dragons to collect and it’s a game too!’ George grinned toothily.
‘Awesome!’ said Sparky through a shower of excited silvery sparks. ‘How many cards are there, George?’
‘It’s impossible to say. They just grow…’ George paused, noticing Alys’s expression. ‘They’re perfectly legitimate. I have a wizard contact who cultivates them in Seattle. He’s given me a license to import the seeds. All I need is somewhere to grow them. There’s no garden here at the Dragon’s Home.’
‘Collectible cards that grow on trees, Alys,’ said Sparky. ‘You were talking about growing the business, weren’t you?’
Alys grinned. ‘Why not, we’ve nothing to lose. They might attract a new set of customers.’ Sniffing the air, she whirled around and snatched open the oven door. Alys sighed and picked up her wand.
George continued. ‘I can supply you with the seedlings, you can to the rest…’
‘…and we can split the profits!’ Excited amber smoke issued from Sparky’s snout.
‘That looks tempting,’ said George, eyeing the cake with its glistening chocolate frosting from the screen. ‘You’re obviously a very accomplished cook.
Alys smiled at the compliment. ‘I’ll send you a piece, George.’
Sparky glanced at George’s beaming face and winked at Alys. ‘He may not be my uncle, but he can be our business partner, can’t he?’
Written in response to a prompt from Susan T. Braithwaite
Genre Scribes Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #45
The challenge this week was partner. Photo credit: clipart-library.com
Sparky apologises for busting the word limit but he didn’t want to leave out the cake