Saturday, 2 April 2016


This is the first Flash Fiction in a fortnight... as Chuck has been crook as a chook (battling the flu) and this week, he gave us 'The Dragon' to write about. Word limit was 2,000 words - but I made it to 1,444. Some of this is true, some of it is made up. The domestic violence and going to a shrink part is true, so is the Anxiety Dragon. However, I haven't let mine out of control. And yes, my little Dragon looks exactly like this one ... he's such a cutie! 


It’s a beautiful morning today. The sun is shining after a night of pouring rain; and that freshly watered smell of Mother Nature is in the air.
Yes, I love that scent – that perfume – that makes me want to go outside into my garden and pull out some weeds before breakfast, after I’ve put the coffee pot on the stove and set the timer.

But I never used to be that way.

I used to have to see a shrink to think straight. My anxieties were dreadful. I could barely get through a night without waking up screaming, running around my locked house trying to get away from my nightmares of … well, let’s not go into that. That’s in my past, and if you want to know about my nightmares, you’re quite welcome to nose around in my Dream Journals (it’s all in there).

Today, I’ve opened the sliding door, gone outside and stepped out onto the lovely wet lawn and started pulling the weeds out by the roots. This is best time of day to get in and really work on them; when the soil is still soaking wet.
A lot of work gets done before the timer on my phone sings out. The pile of weeds I’ve thrown over the fence will be tossed into the bin after breakfast and I’m pleased with the progress of the yard… it’s further than I got last week when I really didn’t feel as though I could leave the house.

Yes, my dragon had returned. It always feels as though the end of world is happening when he’s around. When the anxieties arrive, so does depression – which is just as bad – and both of these things work hand in hand, making me feel like crap.
Usually, when I know he’s about to show himself, I don’t want to get out of bed. It could be hottest morning and I still try to make excuses to stay in bed and pull the covers over myself – no matter how well I slept the night before. And if that’s not a clue, my eating habits plummet.  It eat all the crap in the world, from salty chips to all the chocolate in the fridge. And really, I just skip meals everywhere and just drink coffee all day… yeah, not a great deal of taking care of myself.
And if it’s not my daily intake of food that takes a hit, it’s my housework. I just stop doing it. I don’t vacuum, the bathroom stops getting done and – even though I’ll do my laundry – it’ll just sit in the corner for weeks on end before I actually get in and put it away.

But another bout of my dragon – who is always with me in the tiniest way – is due for a huge visit soon. I can tell. He’s just been hanging around lately, keeping me awake at night, making me eat junk food and recently, I’ve had so many little things go wrong that I’m sure I’m going to crack again… and it’ll be off to the shrink again to settle down my dragon.

I’m not sure we’ll be able to this time.

You see, we all have dragons in our lives (and I don’t mean the Mother In Law), each of us have them… our own anxieties and depressions. My dragon looks a little like JRR Tolkien’s Smaug – but he’s covered in Emeralds and golden gems down his chest. Yes, he’s a brilliantly covered dragon and hard to miss. He made his presence known quite quickly in my life almost twenty years ago when I was in an abusive relationship and it took a long time for me to control him. He’s never left me – he’s not supposed to. I’m his handler, and if I let him get the better of me, well, I’m screwed.
We all have our own image of our dragons and usually it’s the first image you see when you’re asked to ‘imagine a dragon’… your imaginary dragon is your stress dragon (didn’t know that did ya?). Mine’s always looked the way I’ve imagined him from way back when I was little, I just didn’t tell anyone, not until I was asked by my shrink. He thought my dragon was really pretty – yeah, sure, really pretty until the damned thing is standing over you in the middle of the night and you’re freaking out because every single noise you hear is something out to get you.

Before you say that Dragons don’t exist, well, how do we know what they look like? It’s kind of like Unicorns, Pegasus’ and Centaurs, how do we know what they looked like if they never existed at some point in time? Right, now you get it. We know what they look like because at some point in time, they were actually around. I don’t know what happened to them, how they disappeared or why – some of it of legend, some of the stories have been handed down through centuries of bad story-telling and changed to suit the generations – but either way, those creatures aren’t around for a reason. However, Dragons have been used to show imagery and danger. Wales still has one on its national flag (either that or it’s a Fire Drake – a cousin of the Dragon).  

Anyway, I digress.

Like I said, my stresses have been getting to me lately. I haven’t been as happy or good to myself as I normally am. I thought taking a year off from the weekend boutique markets was a good idea, but it wasn’t. It’s made my depression worse and my Dragon more of a presence in my life.
He’s physically damaging me now.
I woke up the other morning with a burn mark on my arm; as though I had been defending myself against something in my sleep. The strange thing is that I don’t remember burning myself on anything around the house and it hurt like hell. So, I had to go to the doctors and get it looked at. Just before I left to go to the hospital, I stopped myself: if I told them a dragon did this, I’d be in the psych ward in two seconds flat! I turned, unlocked the door to my house and treated the wound myself.

Then it happened: I was woken in the middle of the night by him. It was a nudge really and when I opened my eyes, I found him standing over me, his hot air exhaling from his huge nostrils.
“You’re not real, you’re not real…” I started to mumble.
“I’m very real, and you’ve been a bad handler.” His voice shook the room as his ruby eyes blinked slowly, “Amber, you haven’t looked after your anxiety as you have promised me you would.”
“I don’t know what you’re…”
“Shut up!” he swung around, his massive tail taking out my wardrobe, the outside wall and half the palm outside, “I have stayed quiet and been a good little dragon just for you. But you’ve begun to not look after yourself. You didn’t go to the doctors when I hurt you the other night – which was the right thing to do.”
“I didn’t want them to think I was… I’m talking to a dragon!” I begin to cry in the dark as I watch part of the tiles from the roof crumble to the ground below. It’s then my focus looks out beyond that and I notice that the rest of my suburb has been decimated, “What did you do?”
“Just what you expected me to do when I’ve gone unchecked, Amber.” He laughed, “And this is just the beginning!”

“We haven’t seen her leave her house in two weeks, Constable.” Amber’s neighbour said, “This is why we called you.”
He turned to the caretaker, “And exactly why don’t you have a house key?”
The obese man rubbed the back of his neck, “Aaww, well, it’s nothin’ to do with me.”
The policeman turned to the locksmith, “Get it open.”
The door popped open and the police walked in, up the stairs, followed by the ambulance officers where they found Amber in her bed, staring at the ceiling, muttering: “Armageddon. It’s Armageddon… he’s back again!”
The policeman looked to the ambulance guys, “Is she religious?”

One of them looked over at him, “No. Armageddon is a name. She suffers from anxiety and depression; and her shrink got her to name her dragon – or creature – that haunts her. Her creature is a massive, jeweled-covered dragon called Armageddon. I’m afraid, Amber’s had a meltdown. Her world has come to an end because Armageddon had come.” 


  1. Found this through Chuck's blog. I like it.

    1. Thank you. I happy you enjoyed this one.

      I suffer from anxiety and depression due to having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder brought on from an abusive relationship I had over 16 years ago. It took a long time to tame my Dragon (whose name isn't the one in the story - he hasn't told me his name yet; I don't think he will). But my Dragon is about the size of a large paperback book... and it took a long time to get him there as he was the size of a 2-storey house when he first came into my world; and he really does look like the one in the story.