Twenty-five year old Mary Steele paced her living room floor in front of her best friend, Lilly.
“First, it was the quarters that I laid on the desk. Then, the change that I left on the counter a week ago went missing.” She had been gesticulating wildly but now faced her friend and stood still. “Last night I set out some pennies on my desk, and in the morning they were gone.”
“You set change out? Like a trap?” Lilly raised a hand to her mouth to cover the smile growing there.
“I can tell you’re laughing at me, but I’m not crazy.”
“I never said you were, Mary, but it seems like a big deal to make out of some change going missing.” Lilly watched with amused blue eyes as her friend paced back and forth once again.
“I know I didn’t move that change, or use it, and no one else was in my house. What do you think is happening to it?” Mary turned her desperate gray eyes toward her friend.
“What do you think is happening?” Lilly raised her eyebrows, waiting to see what sort of response Mary would come up with.
“I don’t know, but…”
Mary let out a frustrated sigh and plopped down on the couch beside Lilly. “What if it’s something serious?”
“Like what?” Lilly rolled her eyes when Mary wasn’t looking.
“I don’t know, Lilly. What if it’s some sort of stalker? What if he’s doing it to get inside my head before he finally strikes?”
“Oh, come on, Mary. A stalker? Don’t let your imagination get the best of you again. That’s ridiculous.”
“Fine! What is it then?”
“You know, I have heard that trolls steal your change sometimes. Maybe you have a troll infestation under your house. Have you had pest control here lately?”
Lilly burst out laughing and laid her head on Mary’s lap. “I’m sorry; I just couldn’t resist.”
“It’s not funny.” Mary hit her friend with a pillow but found she was unable to stop a smile from forming.
Mary glanced up from her book and saw the dark room around her. The only light was from the lamp beside her bed. She clicked her phone on and gasped when the numbers two-thirty appeared on the screen. Quickly, she placed her bookmark inside, set the book on her nightstand, turned off the light, and buried herself under the covers.
Several minutes later, a noise startled Mary from her sleepy state. Her eyes were wide open, and her muscles tensed. Her breathing came quick and heavy, and she tried desperately to even it out and listen. Minutes went by, but she didn’t hear anything else. Slowly, she crept out of her bed. Careful not to make a sound, she made her way out of her bedroom and into the hallway. She heard nails skittering across the floor and her own heart pounding out of her chest. Goosebumps raised on her skin as thoughts of giant rats flitted through her mind.
“I can do this. I can do this.” Mary turned on the lights and let out a squeal.
There! In the middle of the kitchen floor, she had caught the…the what?
“Dragon? Dragon!! Ooohhh my gosh, it’s a dragon.”
Mary squinted her eyes at the statue like creature. It swiveled its eyes to look at her but then turned them forward once again.
“What is that in your mouth?”
The sky-blue dragon slowly and guiltily turned its head towards Mary. She gasped and took several steps forward, wagging her finger at the dragon.
“I knew it! Bad dragon! How dare you take all of my loose change.”
The sky-colored scales turned a deep blue as it blushed in embarrassment, dropped the quarter from its mouth, and let out a sorry wail.
“Oh, stop it. There’s no need for that. Just show me where all of my money is.”
The little blue dragon, now restored to its normal color, picked up the quarter once again and headed out of the kitchen. Mary followed as it headed for her ill-used storage closet. The dragon nudged inside, and behind stacks of junk that Mary was embarrassed to see sat a large pile of shiny coins.
“You little jerk! That’s probably a hundred dollars worth of coins! Did that all come from me!?”
The little dragon nodded its head at Mary and let out another remorseful wail. It curled around her feet, its tearful blue eyes gazing up at her. Mary crouched down and picked the little dragon up to bring it to her eye level.
“Ok, here’s the deal. I’m taking all of my money back. You are free to play with any and all loose change you find in my house as long as you return it when you’re done. Is that understood?”
The dragon perked up a bit as it nodded eagerly.
“Are you a boy?” A shake. “A girl?” A nod. “Ok then. Let’s go get some sleep.”
Mary began walking back to her room with her newly acquired dragon snugly tucked in her arms. She pet the warm scales as they went down the hallway, and the dragon let out a contented humming sound. Mary climbed back under the covers as the dragon circled around trying to find a comfortable place to sleep.
“Hey, what should I call you?”
The dragon stopped its search and came to sit beside Mary. It leaned its head to one side like a puppy, waiting for Mary to make a suggestion.
“What about Sky?” The dragon scrunched up its little face and looked at Mary doubtfully. “I know, it’s not original, but look at you, what else would I call you?”
Sky looked down at her baby blue scales, and after a moment of consideration, nodded her consent.
“Perfect. Now, let’s go to sleep, Sky,” Mary said as she settled into her pillow.
Sky stared at her for a moment before darting under the covers. Mary lifted her head to spot where her new companion would settle for the night, but soon felt a warm presence against her stomach. She lifted the covers and saw Sky snuggled tightly beside her. Mary placed a hand on the blue scales and so the first night of many passed with the two curled together in the warmth of friendship.
Well, I hope you guys liked this new addition in my prompt stories with Cassie. If you would like to see the prompt that inspired this story and read my friend’s interpretation, click HERE.