Originally written for a friend. There’s a crick in my neck, and I think that’s what wakes me—the discomf ...
I was elbow deep in yet another rebuild of my gravitational suspension engine when Kesrie found me. I don’t know how long she’d been watching me work, but it wasn’t unusual to find her smiling at me from the doorway or some other corner of my workroom. I say she found me, but Kesrie always knows where I am. It’s more like she woke me. It usually takes me until I’ve gotten past whatever problem I’m absorbed in before I realize she’s there, but this time her laughter pulled me from my hyperfocused state long before I would normally have surfaced.
She laughed again at my confusion, her eyes brightening with each giggle that slipped from her mouth, while I stared, fascinated. I was always fascinated by her, from the moment I first saw her running around my father’s biogenetics lab, his newest assistant. Now it was practically her lab. And as I stared, one arm quite literally buried to the elbow inside the engine I was tinkering with, it occurred to me I had no idea what my lovely girlfriend had been working on.
Kesrie’s fingers touched her growing smile as she stepped towards me. “Have you got a moment, Amadi? I wanted to show you something.”
The sound of her voice, the lilting precision of her words, captivated me. Again, not an unusual thing. I’ve been known to get lost in the sound of her voice, completely oblivious to the meaning of the words being said.
“Oh. Um.” I looked down at my engine and managed to extract my arm. “Of course.”
Her smile grows, but the truth is she knows I will always make time for her. She closed the distance between us as I wiped ferofluid from my hands. Warm fingers wrapped around mine. I smiled back.
“I wanted to show you something.”
Kesrie’s smile was radiant, more than usual, and it just seemed to keep growing. I forgot my engine, forgot the graviton displacement equations I’d been running in my head. Kesrie, her smile shining brighter than a star, took up all my attention.
She giggled again, and brought out the hand I hadn’t noticed she’d been hiding. Her fingers, held carefully closed, slowly unwrapped themselves.
Revealing something miraculous.
In awe, my eyes tracked back and forth between my beautiful girl and the marvel resting in the palm of her hand. Tiny wings unfurled and shook before folding back up. A tiny tail twitched back and forth. Pinprick black eyes followed my every move.
A microscopic flame snaked out of the mouth of a dragon no bigger than a fist.
Kesrie laughed again, clear and magical, and I looked back up to see a second tiny dragon crawling out from the folds of her dupatta. I laughed with her. “You made tiny dragons!”
“I did. You know your father has been trying build the genetic sequence for years.”
I laughed harder. “Yes, but not for teacup dragons!”
She shrugged, and smiled again. “I liked the idea better.”
“Because full-sized dragons might be a problem.”
“Because full-sized dragons would almost definitely be a problem. As I’ve been telling him for years.”
I shook my head, marveling, as a third dragon lifted its head from the nest it had made in the soft twists of Kesrie’s hair. “You’re amazing.”
“I always thought we were rather well matched.”
The best response I could think of was to kiss her. So I did. The dragons didn’t seem to mind at all.