Conversations With The Pervert
«Do you mount-fight my other fiancés?», I wrote to Ythac. I didn’t actually want to talk to Ythac. I was sure I’d end up biting him, probably more than I really wanted to. So I had flown off to a hoven village with a name like Drupe-ek-Kavash, a miserable grubby place except for one nice new blue-roofed building. I was sitting in the yard of a miserable grubby farm, with a small herd of animals that were enough like sheep and chickens so that I’m going to call them sheep and chickens trying to stay as far away from me as they could on the other side. Oh, and some farmers running around with battered semi-automatic guns trying to decide what to do.
«Now and then,» he wrote back shortly.
«It sounded more like a ‘constantly’, from what I hear.»
«No. Not constantly.» There’s no veriception through a language spell, but he sure sounded evasive to me.
I was not about to let him out of my glare. «How many times in the last twelve days?»
«Nineteen.» Once a day, often more.
«Why?» I underlined it about five times.
«I need to train somehow. I won’t win fights against any of them without lots of skill, lots of practice. And I need practice when you’re not watching, I don’t want to look bad in front of you. And they won’t fight me that much without some sort of wager. Mount-fighting is maybe a bit embarrassing, but won’t diminish my hoard.»
I needed to think about that, so I burned a chicken to eat. That’s always a bit delicate. Fire breath wants to be exceedingly hot and spread a lot. Which is wonderful for a weapon, or for melting a mountainside to show how annoyed you are. It’s not so good for cookery. If you’re not careful, you will end up with a chicken burnt on the outside and raw in the middle. And, in this case, several chickens in various states of partial burntness on either side of it, and some very worried farmers with semi-automatic guns trying to decide what to do, more frantically than before.
At least the chicken was fresh and crunchy. The farmers weren’t so happy letting me have it. They argued a bit: “It’s pretty big. If we just wing it, it might get mad and charge. It might hurt somebody.” — “So shoot in the air. The noise will scare it off.” Either their tactics are truly miserable, or they don’t know that I’m intelligent, or they don’t know I already gathered their language. Probably the first one; the other choices are kind of insulting.
«I suppose that makes sense, Ythac.»
«I’m doing it so I have a chance for you. I actually love you, Jyothky.»
Which isn’t something you really expect to hear from a fiancé, especially one who spends so much time coupling with other people and so little with you. Love is for married couples who’ve been together a long time and somehow managed to get it right. We’ve been friends for duodecades, though. Maybe that could do it — couldn’t it?
What is the polite way to answer that, though?
«I suppose that’s fine.» The words looked all unkind in my head after I wrote them. Polite maybe, but not really right. I froze a partially-burnt chicken and took a bite. (Also crunchy, but not as cindery as a burnt one. Too many feathers, though.) I was really trying to put off writing what I knew I really should. The farmers started arguing whether their bullets were big enough to stop me, or whether they’d just make me angry. I hooted “Neither one!” at them, but they didn’t seem to realize that I had spoken.
After the chicken was gone, I persuaded myself to write it anyways. «Shall I fly back and couple with you?
«No, you don’t have to,» he answered.
Which I was just as happy about at the time. And seemed like a good omen really. My husband shouldn’t be pestering me all the time, the way Arilash’s should be pestering her. Also, if I’m angry enough to melt half a mountain at noontime, I probably won’t want to be fornicating at two-thirty.
Then the farmers decided that they had to shoot me. I didn’t really want to have to kill them. So I flapped at them with my hukuchô and made them run away. And then I lumbered into the sky and left Drupe-ek-Kavash, never to return. At least, a bunch of farmers and I hope I don’t return.
I took one of their sheep back to the cave, though. If the drakes are going to have claspers, the dragonesses can do some of the hunting. That’s fair, isn’t it?