An Unforeseen Conflagration (and a Fortunate Conclusion)


Avast and ahoy!

One would have thought that the weekend after the festival would be placid and uneventful. But nothing is ever uneventful when one has a dragon in residence.

Overtired and perhaps less than usually amicable towards each other in the wake of the festival’s nonstop activity, Daisy and I got into something of a scuffle over the comparative merits of our favorite books one evening. The debate became rather heated.

“How can you say that Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a greater work of speculative fiction than The Hobbit?” she demanded.

“My dear dragon, in what way is The Hobbit at all superior to Jules Verne’s masterpiece? Not one of Tolkien’s creatures can match the elusive majesty of Verne’s oceanic monsters!”

At this she became quite indignant and, without intending to, snorted several orange sparks onto the carpet, which immediately caught flame.

To her credit, she was duly horrified at what she had done and hastened to stomp out the blaze before a single precious book could be destroyed. With eight tentacles still damp from my afternoon swim, I was quickly able to extinguish the blaze. Be assured, dear readers, no harm was done to either the bookstore or its mascots, though the smoke was enough to set off the fire alarms and bring Winston-Salem’s always-attentive Fire Department to the scene.

The firefighters were relieved to find that the conflagration had been brief.

“The city’s fire codes were not written with the risk of dragon fire in mind,” one of them remarked. “But I trust that this was an isolated incident, and that cultured, literarily-inclined dragons such as yourself would never voluntarily set flame to such an admirable institution as Bookmarks.”

Though she seemed somewhat embarrassed by the incident, Daisy thought to invite the firefighting team back to visit the store on a less frantic occasion. They kindly agreed to come for this week’s story time and entertain the children in attendance with tales of firefighters both real and fictional.


Their story time was so great a success that I must now admit that the benefits of Daisy’s fiery accident greatly outweighed the cost of the large scorch mark now concealed by the rug in the Bookmarks children’s area.

Yours relievedly,

Karl the Kraken


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