Challenge #00224: Tea and Scales

Ever read the Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Forest books, starring Princess Cimorene and Kazul the Dragon?

Cimorene and Sara seem very similar people, I bet they’d get along like a house on fire. *hint hint*

[AN: more books on my to-read list. I still have yet to get through The Ocean at the End of the Lane]

“Ah, hello,” said a wall. “Would I be in trouble if I came out of hiding?”

Cimorene paused in her cooking. She was just poking at the stew to see if it needed anything, and suddenly the walls were talking to her.

No. Not quite the walls. Something very close to the walls and attempting them to use them to hide. And, since the hider was on the civil side, Cimorene was prepared to not reach for her knife. Yet. “You’d certainly be in less trouble if you remained hidden,” she offered.

Part of the wall revealed itself as a young woman with not very much in the way of clothing. She was covered in greenish-blue scales where she wasn’t covered in an awful khaki thing that hardly covered anything at all. A mop of unruly, short, brown hair made Cimorene suspect that someone had happened to her.

“Thank you,” said the green girl. “Only I faded in and there was this dragon, see…”

“Yes, that’s Kazul. I work for her.”

“Ah. Well. Generally, I’ve found that caution is advised with dragons. Thought it best to make sure.” She offered a hand. “Sara Louise Adrien, not from this dimension.”

The princess met her gesture. “Cimorene. Princess and Dragons’ assistant. You’re… not some wizard trick?”

“You expect an honest answer to that question?” said Sara. “And I’m not familiar with the burden of proof in this realm. Do you have technology here? Electricity? Computers?”

She shook her head. “Those last two words made very little sense…”

“Damn. Conceptualizing multiple realities usually goes hand-in-hand with electronica. Nevermind. For everything we can imagine, there is an equal reality where it actually happens. And the world goes on even if the story finishes.”

Cimorene thought about some of her favourite books. About what life must be like for the poor people trapped in that kind of reality. “That’s horrible.”

Sara shrugged. “To some extent, yes. For all I know, I’m the fictitious pet of some mad creature fueled entirely by theobromine. One who gets bored a lot, I imagine.”

“Sorry, but this is making my head hurt. Why are you here?”

“I was a guinea pig in a trans-dimensional experiment and none of us have been able to make it stop,” said Sahra. “I usually fade back after an hour or so. If I have everything I came in with. Which can be a bother when people mistake me for a demon, a goblin, an orc, a thief, or, in extremis, lunch.”

“Well Kazul’s fine unless you wake her from her nap.”

Sara pointed. “See? That’s why caution is advised around dragons. They’re quick to anger and humans are tasty with apple sauce.”

Cimorene boggled.

“Not personal experience. Promise. Let’s just leave it at ‘someone with authority on the matter’, shall we?”

“I’ll still pass it on to Kazul. She might laugh.”

“Nice to know there’s at least one dragon with a sense of humor…”

“You know other dragons?”

“One little one. Lockheed. He’s Kitty’s dragon. Or she’s his human, it’s not exactly that clear. Plus he’s not that coherent. Intelligent, yes. But communicative… we’re working on it.”

They had tea and a chat over the most interesting things. Sara had quite the labyrinthine chain of topic association when she got going.

And it was so nice to spend some time with someone who didn’t have an agenda.

It was almost a shame to see her go.

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