The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Her name was was once her grandmother’s–Morgrim–and, like her gran, she was a dragon breeder from the Highlands. The Riders looked to her to outfit their stables with the best dragonflesh rubbats could buy.
Morgrim’s speciality was in matching Dragon Riders with their life-long scaly companions. She had a sixth sense that allowed her to pair up just the right Riders with her dragons.
Her lesser talked about speciality was in vanishing bodies. Dragons needed to eat and humans didn’t generally volunteer to be meat. The political unrest made sure to cause wars that kept her in business. Eventually, Morgrim would get more meat than her dragons could handle.
For now, she had control but one day there’d be too many bodies. She tried to get out of the business when the Vice-President of Grendhem came to her after killing the President, in order to secede from the Grendhem-Norshing Pact.
The VP told his story; how he was adamant the Pact was affecting their trade with the rest of the world but the President did not agree so, he killed her and brought the body to Morgrim for feeding her dragons.
To her credit, she did not let it faze her. She asked the VP what he planned to do and was told it wasn’t her concern. All he wanted from her was for the dragons to eat the President’s corpse.
“Very well. Put her over with Bran, he hasn’t eaten this week.” She pointed to the stall.
“How often do they eat?” Nervous, the tall man swiped sweat out of his eyes as he dragged the President to a pen marked with a bright red sign reading, Bran, and shoved her inside.
Loud tearing and crunching noises soon followed the squeak of the hasp and the clang of the stall door closing. Morgrim noted the man didn’t seem disturbed by his former boss being eaten so loudly.
“Once or twice a week. Luckily, I have thirty seven dragons here and am equipped to deal with emergencies. But, please note, this can never happen again. If you want to bring me a body you must go through proper channels,” she kept her voice cold and stern, like a teacher lecturing a student.
“I will bring you what I want, when I want!” He grinned, and there was a hint of madness to it.
“I do not work that way and I suggest you give me the respect I deserve, boy! More bodies than the dragons can eat is a bad thing for all of us!” Fire flashed around her body, like a snake winding around its owner.
He wheeled backwards, his eyes widening in awe. “A pyromancer? That’s not possible, there hasn’t been one since The Great War!” There was a smidge of terror hiding behind his obvious excitement.
“I know. They put my whole family to death; I survived. Now, boy, you go do what you need to do, but know that if you show up unannounced again, I will feed you to my babies.” She gave him an icy glare and flashed the fire again.
“Is that why they listen so well to you? Did you show them your fire?”
She shook her head, no.
“They listen to me because I hold my place with them. I treat them well, feed them regularly, and give them the love they deserve. That is why they listen to me; they know I respect them. You might do well to follow my example.”
“Well, now you all can work for me. What do you say?” he grinned. It reminded her of an old poodle with bad teeth and an even worse perm.
“I say, sorry, I’m self-employed. I did ask you to leave nicely. Told you to give me the respect I’m due; you brought this on yourself.” She flashed her fire out to him and fed him to her flames.
Her dragons weren’t fond of cooked meat, but, they’d eat him. With the President and the VP dead and on their way to digested, Morgrim chuckled.“I hope your successor treats me better.”
Fiction © Copyright Jaime Johnesee
Image courtesy of Marge Simon
More from Jaime Johnesee:
When a serial killer begins leaving remains of victims in hotel bathtubs all over town FBI Agent Samantha Reece makes it her business to stop him.
This detective’s got an ace up her sleeve in the form of her ability to shift into the guise of a were panther. As she tracks down the cold-hearted murderer she also has to contend with an anti-shifter group determined to destroy her.
Not to mention the black jaguar who turned her decides to come sauntering back into her life.
About the Artist, Marge Simon:
A writer-artist since the mid-1980’s, Marge Simon has illustrated numerous poetry collections for Sam’s Dot Publications/Alban Lake; as well as multiple print magazines. She illustrated covers and interiors of every issue of Niteblade (Rhonda Parrish, editor). Currently she illustrates for Lorelei Signal, Carol Hightshoe, editor. Check out her art galleries at www.margesimon.com
Marge is also one of the Ladies of Horror who writes for this challenge.