Written for the 2011 reverse bang round at originalbigbang
, based on a now-locked picture by reapertownusa
At the age of eleven years and ten months, twenty-four days, Joy decided all she really wanted for her birthday was a Fliek’s dragon (“I’m too old for dolls and silly games anymore, Plen!”) and she wasn’t going to let Plen give her anything else, even if she had to make up all the reasons for why it wasn’t a crazy idea (“You could use it to carry stuff into town for Uncle Increase to sell, instead of having to make Faraji do it!”).
Plen didn’t buy any of her reasons (“Oh, so who it was I saw playing ‘tea party’ in the front yard two days ago?” and “Faraji takes things into town for me because Uncle Increase always tries to cheat me because I’m a family member.”), but he did start to think up his own for why it might be a good idea.
“It would get her to shut up, at least,” he sighed to Faraji one evening after Joy had gone to bed. “I thought Mercy was joking when she described Joy in her letters as a demon sent to plague her, but now I’m beginning to see what she meant.” He pushed his empty glass across the table to Faraji in a silent request to have it refilled.
“Compared to some grown women I’ve known, she is the very model of sense and policy.” Faraji eyed the glass and then Plen. “Do you wish to finish the bottle? It’s the next to last.”
“No, I guess not. We can save it for tomorrow.” Plen watched the cork go in with something like regret, but mostly just because he was out of ways to distract himself from the voluble matter at hand. “Sense and policy, huh?” Considering some of the women the two of them had met on their travels.... “Well, maybe you’re right. At least she hasn’t reached the kicking and screaming stage.”
“And I doubt she ever will. Despite her comments to you, your sister did a better job raising her than that.”
“Didn’t Joy spend this afternoon dropping worms down your back?” Plen refrained from mentioning that he’d been watching and laughing the whole time.
“Mere youthful exuberance.” Although Faraji’s serene certainty did seem to slip a little at the memory.
“And then threaten to put honey in your locks?” That hadn’t been funny—the resulting mess almost certainly would have had to have been cut off entirely, and Faraji had been cultivating his locks since before Plen had met him.
“For which she is now forbidden to eat any until the end of the month.” The serenity was now replaced entirely by fond exasperation, though Plen couldn’t tell whether for him or Joy. “She is still a child, Plen, and not entirely capable of understanding the potential consequences of her actions.”
“Which is the issue I keep running into when I’m tempted to just say yes to her!” And really the only issue, if he let himself actually think about it: he could easily afford to buy and keep a Fliek’s dragon, and it would be useful for hauling heavy loads around. They had the space for one, and even an unused shack/shed that could be fixed up to house it. If Joy hadn’t been pushing him so hard, he probably would have done it already.
And Faraji, because he could read Plen’s mind, asked, “And if I had suggested it instead of Joy?”
Plen groaned and put his head down on the table. “We’d have a Fliek’s dragon.”( Read more...Collapse )