MY PET DRAGON STORY IN A STORY EXCERPT FROM SERVER
“There once lived a man with a dragon for a pet. The dragon, named Champ by the man’s son, spent his days inside the inner most room of the house. The man spent hours each day, from the time he woke until near dinner in the room with the Dragon. The son wished to spent time with the dragon, but mother said never to bother Father when he was alone in the room, doing his work. Mother always said the word work with a disdain the child couldn’t understand. He simply wished to spent time with father and the dragon.
One night at dinner, with beagles yapping under the table for scraps and affection, the boy tugged at father’s sleeve.
“Daddy, can I tell you what I want for my birthday?”
“Of course, my son,” father replied, rustling his son’s head and pushing the plate to the side.
“I want the dragon to be my pet. I’ve been a good boy, ask mother.”
The man looked at his wife across the table, her face covered with a scowl, closing her eyes for a moment as if to gain composure.
“I’ve warned you about filling his head with this nonsense. Billy, there are no such things as Dragons. Your father is a waiter, not a writer. And you can’t create Dragons anyway.”
“Diana, must you in front of Billy,” the man said, his head drooping a little, a sigh audible, but only to Billy. The male beagle tilted his head as if to express sadness and licked at Scott’s hand. He smiled in spite of the situation and gripped the dog’s muzzle and rubbed his nose with affection.
“Mommy, dragons are real! I heard Champ roar the other day,” Billy said with excitement.
“Enough!” mother said, knuckles white from gripping her knife. “Tell him, Scott.”
“I can’t and I won’t. Dragons are real. I’m sorry you lost your magic, Diana,” he said, voice low and resigned.
“Yes, I want Champ for my birthday,” Billy said, feeding a dog a piece of meat under the table. Mother slapped at his hand, not taking her eyes off Scott.
“There are no dragons,” Diana said, taking time with each word, pounding a hand on the table as if to end the discussion.
Later, when mother paid the television her mind, Billy used the opportunity to sneak down the hall towards the room. Billy had never been inside the room and tonight, he resolved to open the door.
“I will see the dragon tonight!” he whispered with glee to himself. Pressing himself against the wall, he inched a hand towards the knob, trying not to make a noise. He heard a low growl and a hard crunching sound. Eyes widening, he placed his hand on the knob.
“Billy,” mother snapped, grabbing his shoulder and pulling him down the hall.
“Mommy,” Billy whined.
“Dragons do not exist. Never go inside that room. Do you hear me?” she said, shaking his shoulders. He began to cry, tears pouring down his cheek and she pressed his rosy cheek against her chest, rubbing his neck.
“Dragons are real, mommy,” he said.
“No, they are not.”
Scott emerged from the room and Billy attempted to look inside, but his mother shielded his eyes.
“I will not hear of this business again,” she said, leading Billy down the hallway.
Diana settled Billy into bed, reading him a story before continuing into the kitchen and grabbing the phone.
“I can’t take it anymore,” she whispered into the phone.
“I believe in Dragons,” Billy said to himself, hearing Diana in the other room, before slipping back through the door into his secret space."
“If the lady at table twenty-four asks me for another side of ranch dressing, I’m going to stab her in the neck with a fork ...”
Scott Holden lives two lives. In one, he waits tables, enduring an unending siege of abuse from customers, co-workers, and bosses. Invisible to them, he also feels like there’s a target on his back.
In the other, Scott is a writer during furloughs from his working-class nightmare. But the line between his work identity and his artistic one is blurring under the strain.
Is his life filling his fiction with violent daydreams or is his writing fueling the real-life desperation and darkness in his soul?