Bone Valley Dragons

Submitted into Contest #160 in response to: Start your story with the whistle of a kettle.... view prompt

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Fantasy Funny Fiction

Kettle screamed its readiness. Without much fanfare, its silver whistle flipped off as the old black cast-iron kettle moved itself onto the cool wooden chopping block by the hob side. 

Mother Harper always enjoyed the late afternoon. “That’s enough, Pug; you can take a breather.” She especially enjoyed it when everyone wasn’t doing dumb stuff that would end up in a trip to her hospital. Sometimes the population of Bone Valley used their brains instead of splashing them about.

Pug, the smallish dark green dragon who lived below the witches’ hob plate, snorted quietly, then settled down back into his nest, munching peacefully on a dried pig’s ear.

Kettle carefully poured some of its boiling contents into the overly large ceramic cup waiting patiently to be filled; a little water splashed on the hob, causing it to hiss. 

“Mind how you go, Kettle, don’t wet Pug; he hates baths at the best of times.”

Her mug presented itself. “I hope you put in tea leaves this time!”

The cup shimmied its confirmation. 

“Good, I won’t be holding with having fancy dried dandelion petals, just straight old boring tea does the likes of me.”

Mother Harper eyed cup, who quivered as she picked him up from the edge of the hob and took a sip. “Ahh, just lovely. Thank you, Cup, Kettle and Pug.”

The front doorbell dinged and danged loudly down the flagstone corridor of Mother Harpers Home for the Injured and Pregnant. 

“Cross ya legs and don’t cough; come in through the courtyard; I’ve just mopped the floor”, was shouted out by a resentful witch.

----

“Oh, it’s you!” Mother Harper wasn’t one to mince words or hide her true feelings.

Torren blushed deeply, “I have an explanation for my last visit.”

Beatrix bustled past the frowning witch, “She means me.” 

The old wooden door bolts in the courtyard were lifted and locked out of harm’s way. “Here you go, bring him in.” Beatrix continued to ignore the old witch, who stared with steel-hard blue eyes at the blushing Torren. 

“Aren’t you who needed the cream for your nether regions? And I remember something about you and homemade soap!”

Sighing, the young man paused. “Yes, the cream worked wonders, and yes, I burnt myself with lye when trying to remove the dragon smell. The wound was not on my privates as everyone keeps on saying; it was on my arm, and you dressed it and put some green goopy stuff on it, which made it heel under three days.”

Sally walked forwards and in doing so presented Sir Dri AsaBone’s “private side” to Mother Harper as she closed the wooden doors.

“Why is he slung over that bony horse, and why does he have no pants on? And why pray tell me,” Mother Harper patted Sally as the old grey mare ambled past her, “does everyone feels they need to share their excuses for their dark history with me? What you gets up to in your own bedroom is a mystery to me, and that’, the way I’d like it to remain.” 

She then slapped poor Sir Dri Asabone’s bottom as he was carried past her and into the centre of the paved courtyard rendering the man into another flood of tears. “So, Ricky, what’s happened to ya tooshy?”

“Good woman, I plead of thee do not touch my nether region with such a calloused hand. I seek your tender womanly administrations to ease my suffering.” Sir Richard couldn’t stop the shivering. The cream Torren had lent him seemed to be evaporating along with its calming nature. “You gave my man some cream to aid him from the results of one of his anti-social hobbies.” 

Torren rolled his eyes at Beatrix, who held up a calming hand. 

Sir Richard continued “, I am in desperate need of more of this such cream as I feel my private positions are beginning to glow coal red.”

Mother Harper lifted the little blanket covering Sir Richard’s private areas. “Good Gods, man, what have you been doing? Did you try to bobsled down the main street in summer and have a bit of a tumble?”

“No, my good woman, I did not.” 

“Oh, so it’s running through thistles and brambles to prove you’ve got a big set then!”

“No, my good woman, I did neither.”

“Hmmm. Let me guess; the other knights decided to let you into their secret little society, the one where you have to ride a dragon in the nuddy!”

“No, my good woman, that is not the case at all!” Sir Richard began to whimper as the last little bit of cream gave up its relieving powers.

“Right, well, that only leaves the fact that like the pretty young boy over there with the sweet green eyes, interesting scent, and lack of personal confidence, you like him, would have had…” she looked at Sir Richard’s bottom end again with a discerning eye. “Oh, about half a bottle of Monks plonk then!”

“Yes, my good woman, that’s the one. Is there steam radiating off my tooshy?”

“If you call me good woman once more, there will be my size nine hobnailed boot radiating off it!”

“Can you help, Mother Harper?” Beatrix looked down at the grey cobblestones.

Both of Mother Harper’s eyebrows acted like a public disseminator of her mood. One rose halfway up her forehead whilst the other narrowed to a sharp point. “Why don’t you help him… witch!”

A blush as red as a pomegranate spread across Beatrix’s face as she stammered. “I. I. You. Well. I. I’m not very good at potions.”

“Have you tried?” Mother Harper's courtyard seemed to darken around the trio as Beatrix continued to stammer away under pressure.

“I. I. Well. Its. Difficult, kind of to, just, that I find, when I’m.”

Torren stood in disbelief as Beatrix seemed to cave in on herself under the older witch’s gaze. Where was the haughty, confident, knight slapping woman who’d been logical and calm in his garage? Here standing next to Sally, running the edge of her black cloak through her fingers like a desperate squirrel, was nothing more than a nervous flailing child.

“Ahh, young man.” Mother Harper turned her gaze upon Torren, who was steadfast; no witch was going to intimidate him. 

“You’re wondering what’s happening to young Missy Britches—supposed to be a witch, they says. Supposed to be the future of witchdom, they says. Plucked out of a carpet shop when she was seven by Mother Heggerty, her sen. The child showed more potential than I my sen when I was but a child. And I,” Mother Harper stood by Torren and sniffed at him deeply, “I set a whole village alight when the local lord tried to punish my father for kill’n a deer. But her.” She nodded towards the cowering Beatrix, “her potential has withered and faltered under her own fears! She’s no more a witch now than you a hero!”

The shadows of Mother Harper's courtyard deepened to chard black as a wicked smirk traversed her features.

“Did he?”

“Did he what?” 

Torren smiled calmly, “Kill the deer?”

Mother Harper’s steel eyes gazed into the clear crystal green of Torrens as a headache brewed behind them. 

“Ha!” The shadows disappeared as sunshine radiated upon Sir Richard’s twin white moons, “He surely did! My ol’ Da’ was a terrible poacher, but we were starving, so all bets were off!” She smiled a complete set of white teeth at Torren.

“Where did the villagers go after you burnt all their houses down?” Torren wasn’t one to get into a physical fight, but a war of words, an intelligent cutting statement… well, yes!

A grin marched its way over the wrinkled features of the elderly witch. “Oh well, pretty eyes, that’s where I showed my true value. Easy enough to burn a village, but it takes real talent to unburn it!”

A slight shadow cast its presence once more as she leant closer to the dragon night cart man. “If I was you,” she sniffed him, then smiled like a loving grandmother, “I’d be damn sure not to tell anyone else about the wine or the bottles. Keep that one very close to your heart.” She poked a bony finger into Torren’s chest, “Ooo”, she warbled, standing back and smiling at Beatrix, “didn’t realise he were so muscley under all that leather and lump bumpy jumper. Maybe I should have looked closer at where he needed the cream.”

A pomegranate blush covered Torrens features as Mother Harper turned and bellowed at no one in general, “Get Ricky the lightning bug off ya horse and bring him in. This is going to need more than just a bit of cooling balm.”

August 24, 2022 07:06

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1 comment

Debra Styers
23:12 Aug 31, 2022

Hi Kelly - Harry Potterish. SMILE!

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