Free Short Fiction Monday – Where dragons lurk

Bo rocked in his hand-made rocking chair on the porch of his fishing cabin in the center of the swamp. He came here every summer to fish and relax. The sounds of the water, the birds, the snakes, and lizards calmed him after a year of working. This was the time to get back to his roots. He spat tobacco onto the porch and watched the insects scurry away.

He reached over and picked up a lighter, which he squeeze. The fire from the lighter caught the newspaper in his hands. Bo threw the paper on the grill. It was dark under the trees. It was hard to keep cool when the humidity was high. His wife-beater was darkened with dirt and sweat. When he came home after one of these trips, his wife would make him hose off before he could come in the house.

“You smell like a skunk,” she’d tell him and then send him into the house to take another shower. He liked having this time away from her.

Once the grill began to smoke, he put the lid over the top and listened to the chatter in the trees. He pulled out a cigar, sliced the end, and reached down for another lighter. A tight squeeze and the cigar lighted. He puffed for a moment and then threw the lighter on the growing pile at the end of his porch. Once the pile got high enough he would push the pile into the swamp so the critters could eat the dead meat.

Bo kept his secrets. His biggest secret was the nesting places of dragons. No, not those huge dragons of legend. These were about the size of a cigarette lighter and about as useful.

He reached down into his supplies and pulled out a dragon that was three or four inches long. He gave it a big squeeze and fire burst out of its mouth. Then the little critters eyes grew stony. It quit breathing. He threw it on the pile. Too bad he couldn’t market the critters. They were only one use and they took a lot of feeding to get that one burst of fire.

Bo went to grilling his steak. He needed to look for another nest so he could grill tomorrow.