Magdalena and the Dragon

Peter Morrison

There is nothing so restorative as a nice cup of tea.

“This is really quite strange tea,” Magdalena offered in another attempt to encourage the dragon to share the pot. But with the arch of a red, leathery, oh, really? eyebrow, the dragon declined. “I mean in a good way!”

Magdalena sipped at it delicately in order to illustrate that the beverage was quite drinkable, even if it tasted just that little bit odd. As though there was some kind of spice or herb mixed with the leaf the tea had been brewed from - something unidentifiable, but full of promise. The dragon shrugged eloquently, puffed smoke into the air. Well, she had offered, which was the polite thing to do and the dragon really did seem quite content.

Magdalena had found an advert on the notice board of the University’s student union. She’d taken one of the tear off strips and the Magician’s response to her email had included a map to this café. On arrival she’d been directed to the table with the dragon and encouraged to help herself to the tea.

They had been sitting at this table outside the café for quite some time. The dragon wasn’t much of a conversationalist. So far, not one word had been puffed forth. Rather, she was the recipient of funny looks. Hugely demonstrative funny looks, to be fair. On every attempted topic, she was under no illusion as to the dragon’s opinion. But Magdalena was a young woman who desired action, sitting in silence was not her style.

Perhaps it would have helped if they had provided a biscuit to go with the tea? A sweet little nibble of some sort, at the very least, it would have been common decency. The waitress had apologized, assuring her they were all out and hadn’t been seen since. Magdalena sighed. The dragon sighed too. Magdalena drank more tea. The dragon puffed more smoke.

Magdalena made a production of looking at her watch. The dragon was attentive in her appreciation of the drama. Playing up to the audience she exaggerated the huffing and sighing: mouthing 2 o’clock and gesturing at the watch face. It was now coming up for 3 o’clock. But it made no difference; her expression of epic restlessness did nothing to conjure forth a magician eager to lead them on an adventure.

Magdalena was starting to feel a bit off - too much tea with nothing to eat - probably not a good idea. She took a sip anyway, she couldn’t help herself. She sat back and puffed some smoke. It took a moment but upon consideration she found this to be a little surprising. She turned to the woman sitting beside her to express her sense of would you look at that?

But. Wait a minute. The woman smiled at her. Where did the dragon go? She looked at the cup propped on her red scaled hand. Bugger, she thought, with enthusiasm. But did not say, finding that she had been rendered incapable of speech.

“Thanks,” the woman smiled. With a nod, she got up and walked away. Magdalena knew then that the tea had been stranger than it really ought to have been. She’d been set up - something of an adventure indeed!

© Peter Morrison 2016 All Rights Reserved

Date and time of last update 14:16 Wed 24 Feb 2016
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