Apr 232015
 

Happy Saint George’s Day! Here be dragons!

Saint George’s Day is the national day of England and the feast day of Saint George. Saint George was a soldier, and later an officer, in the Roman army. When the Emperor Diocletian issued an edict that all Christian soldiers in his army should be arrested and half of them executed as an offering to the Roman Gods, George objected and spoke up for his brothers of faith, thus securing his own execution and his veneration as a Christian martyr. Saint George is most famous for freeing the town of Silene in Libya by slaying the dragon that dwelt by the lake.

So, how do the English celebrate Saint George’s day? Largely by going about their normal business completely unaware of the relevance of the day. A poll by British Future found that only 40% of English people know the date of Saint George’s day, while 71% know the date of the US Independence Day, and 42% the date of Saint Patrick’s day. It also found that the English felt more patriotic towards the Union Flag than the Saint George’s Cross. By contrast the Welsh and Scottish were far more likely to show patriotism towards their flags – The Red Dragon and Saint Andrew’s Cross – than the Union Flag. What’s an Englishman to do? Quote Shakespeare of course:

The game’s afoot;
Follow your spirit: and upon this charge,
Cry — God for Harry! England and Saint George!

Here’s your photo prompt:

Photo Credit: Liline sur Flickr via CC.

Photo Credit: Liline sur Flickr via CC.

The Judge

Judging this week’s contest is N J Crosskey, winner of MB1.27. Read her winning story, and what she has to say about flash fiction here.

What?

A story of between 90 and 110 words starting with GEORGE and ending with DRAGON and incorporating the photo prompt.

Who?

Anyone, but especially you!

Why?

Why not! Because it’s fun. Because it’s a challenge. Because the winner will receive their own winner’s page, their story on the winning stories list, a ‘who is the the author’ feature to be posted next week, entry into the ‘Micro Bookend of the Year’ competition, and a copy of this year’s winning stories compilation.

When?

Now! Get your entry in BEFORE 5:00 am Friday (UK time: http://time.is/London).

Where?

Here!

How?

Post your story in the comments section. Include the word count and your Twitter username (if you’re Twitterized). Don’t forget to read the full rules before submitting your story.

Anything else?

Please give your story a title. It will not be included in the word count.

Please try to leave comments on a couple of other stories. It’s all part of the fun, and everyone likes feedback!

Remember, only stories that use the bookends exactly as supplied (punctuation is allowed) will be eligible to win.

  161 Responses to “Micro Bookends 1.28 – GEORGE [micro] DRAGON”

  1. Did they Blowtorch it?

    George loved their beef in black bean sauce with noodles. That was the plan for later. They made it mouth-burningly hot. Sizzletasticly so. Did they blowtorch it? He set off for town, the flag around his shoulders. An evening of beer, laughter, beer, singing and more beer. Celebrating something or other. Things were a blur beyond that. He was sprawled on the pavement with a blistered mouth, a pocketful of crushed prawn crackers and the flag wrapped round his feet. A face flooded into focus above him. Enormous nostrils, iridescent tangerine scales and sad eyes. Ashy, soy sauce breath warmed his forehead. Of course. The takeaway had its own dragon.

    110 words
    @SalnPage

  2. There is some corner of a foreign field

    George and Matthew stood side by side, looking out on the impossibly blue Aegean sea. “Remember the poem, son, remember the poem?” George said, too emotional to look at his son. He’d read Rupert Brooke to Matthew so often. Proud to be English. Now he and Matthew were near to where Brooke had died, not in Flanders Fields but in a French hospital ship off the coast of Skyros. “Blood poisoning, son”, David’s voice cracked. “And only 27 years old.”

    Father and son went back to the white house and sat under the bougainvillea, silently watching the steam wreathing from their coffee, like the last breath of an English dragon.

    110 words
    @CathBarton1

  3. what’s hidden …
    (w/c – 107)
    @koebnig

    George was a quiet girl. A gentle girl. Both helpful and respectful. At least on the outside. Inside she was a very different kind of monster. Inside she was loud, ferocious and belligerent. But she kept this side of herself hidden. She had to. She didn’t have a choice. She couldn’t let them see her real face. Who she really was or what she liked to eat. So every morning she would play with her breakfast then kiss her mother as she dropped her off at the local nursery school. However, George wondered how much longer she could keep it hidden; her black heart of a dragon.

  4. George Slays the Dragon
    A.J. Walker

    George expects. Then time and time again he’s disappointed.

    “I’m not going to bother this year.” He says. “No flags, no fuss. And definitely – categorically – no expectation.”

    Patrick and Andrew nodded. They never had his problem – they could always just enjoy the football tournaments for the football.

    Weeks later:

    “England against Argentina! The old enemy.”

    Andrew looked to the sky. “Thought we were the old enemy? You look a tit draped in that flag.”

    “Like a Farage!” Patrick interjected.

    Two hours later England limped out of the tournament not even plucky losers and George had thrown his flag to the ground.

    “Sod this, give me another pint of Copper Dragon”

    (110 words)
    @zevonesque

  5. (104)
    @Viking_Ma

    Gorgeous George

    George Gorge suffered endless teasing about his name. It didn’t help that he actually was gorgeous, with icy blue eyes and a moody scowl. The girls fell at his feet, which made him a target for the boys. They would beat him up and pelt him with flags in the playground.
    Poor George, it was to get worse. A teacher fell for his considerable charms, grumpy old Mrs Flagfoot. She was a heavy smoker, and wore a shiny green suit. Her bright red hair fell over one eye, and when the whispers hit at dinnertime, the kids howled laughing at George and his dragon.

  6. George the Dragon
    (110 words)

    George crawled under the bush, whimpering from the Caretaker’s lashing all the boys had received for their rebellion. Together they’d obtained their objective, but George had won the toss to become the sacrifice.

    George licked his palm where the greenish-blue scales showed the transformation from drinking the fairies elixir had begun.

    George ripped off his shirt, giving his newly-formed wings room to unfurl.

    George belched out a fireball, testing his abilities limit.

    George flexed his talons, his grin revealing razor sharp teeth.

    George ate the Caretaker. The red and white cloth of his office floated to the ground.

    George’s transformation complete, he bellowed out the triumphant roar of a dragon.

  7. Knight of the Rock
    @hollygeely
    108 words

    “George wouldn’t have taken so long,” Jacob said.

    Sir Samuel stopped wrestling with the pole and threw down the flag. He whirled on the ungrateful squire.

    “Sir George is no longer your master, I am. I have claimed this land. Why do you complain?”

    “You’re incompetent. You only won this battle because the goblins were ill. You can’t tell the difference between a troll and an ogre. You can’t even put up a flag.”

    “Enough!”

    “Oh, and Sam -”

    Sir Samuel!”

    “If you were really worth your salt, you would have already recognized it.”

    “Recognized what?”

    “This rock we’re standing on? Not a rock, Sam. It’s a dragon.”

  8. Word Count 93
    @susanOReilly3

    Welcome

    George is my new pup I got him from the pound
    He’s an adorable hound
    So far he is sound

    I walk him around the park
    We have such a lark
    He’s wrapped himself in a flag

    I accidentally dropped his lead
    I swear I’ve never seen such speed
    Devouring space with greed

    He was gone like lightning
    It was quite frightening
    my chest tightening

    I walked around, no sign, hoarse from begging
    just home all energy resources flagging
    He’s at the welcome mat wagging his tail at the now raging dragon

  9. A Fear of the Unknown
    (110 Words)
    @iskyhaggarty36

    George quivered in fright as the words his father told him a fortnight ago circled ceaselessly in his head.
    Loud roars.
    Sharp claws.
    Metallic, scaly hide.
    They were coming, and they were coming soon.
    George’s father had left to protect their home, to prevent a massacre.
    He remembered vividly the last thing his father told him;
    “Son, take care of your mother. You’re big and strong. You’re the man of the house now.”
    But as the ironclad monsters rode over the hill on their four-legged beasts, his father’s carcass in tow, crumpled banners held high, he realized he wasn’t big and strong.
    He was a small, lonely, scared little dragon.

  10. Foy S. Iver
    @fs_iver

    WC: 110

    Crash Landing

    George’s Fish and Chips, the sign read.

    Prisoner E212 tested it, “geee-orge, gee-orge.” Its vocalizer smoothed out the sounds, reducing them to 130Hz. “George.”

    “Can I help you?”

    Prisoner E212 spun, newly molded hands reaching for its weapon. Gone. It scanned its data base for culturally relevant information: Britain > April 23, 2015 > Holidays.

    “Happy Saint George’s day.”

    “What?”

    “Happy Saint George’s,” it stepped from behind the dumpster.

    “Good god,” the woman threw a trash bag up, shielding her eyes. “Where are your clothes?”

    Prisoner E212 looked down at its body. Was it wrong?

    “Never mind. Here,” she snatched a discarded cloth from the alley floor, “cover your dragon.”

  11. George and the Dragon
    110 words
    @donnellanjacki

    George was found, roughly folded, on the pavement.

    He’d spent his life trying to fit in. Exam grades straight off the middle shelf, and then a career as a soldier. Uniform. Proud.

    An Englishman’s home is his castle. But when George returned home, none of his memories of war would fit inside. Too dark for the bedroom; too revolting for the kitchen.

    So this George had no castle. No shield.

    He tried to fit in, to the end. Bent and scrunched on the pavement, you might not have even seen him.

    But you might have seen a discarded flag, on a stone-grey scale, on the back of England’s slain dragon.

  12. The Road Less Traveled

    George dragged his feet everywhere.

    Where colleagues took hi-speed trains to work, George took the fairy.

    An hour after his date rolled her eyes and left, George was still goblin his meal.

    The entire local (showered and properly cologned) community choir refused the earthy George admittance due to his overwhelmingly strong ogre.

    When the whole world started posting selfies, George posted selkies.

    “Why don’t you try harder to make friends?” said his supervisor.

    “You’re making people uncomfortable,” said the HR Director.

    But George only lifted his flag higher.

    The world’s prosaic eyes couldn’t see George wasn’t dragging. He was dragon.

    100 words
    @postupak

  13. Night Terror
    Word Count: 106
    http://www.realmommaramblings.wordpress.com

    “George! Come on, we are going to be late!”

    “I’m coming.” George grabbed his bag and crumpled cloth from the ground.

    Elya pulled on his arm to hurry him along the path. As they ran, George thought about the quickest route to get back. Dusk was almost upon them. They had lost track of time and if they didn’t hurry they would be caught in the dark. The price for breaking that law was steep. They pushed forward, crashing through the trees, when Elya hit a root and fell.

    “Are you ok?” George reached down to her, her eyes widened in horror at something behind him.

    “Dragon!”

  14. CHRIS AND MIKE vs THE CHAMBER OF FLAMES

    Brian S Creek
    105 words
    @BrianSCreek
    #FlashDog

    “George says it’s this way,” said Chris as they entered a cavernous chamber.

    Mike hoped so. They’d been following this mysterious spectral knight for several hours; this pale guide with his glowing cloak. And somewhere out there a maniac was still hunting them.

    Mike joined Chris who was looking up. High above he could just see a tiny shaft of daylight.

    “Freedom,” he said.

    The knights cloak dropped to the ground. The air shifted and a deep growl danced across their chests.

    Mike raised his torch. “The wall’s moving.”

    A sudden jet of flame illuminated the chamber.

    “That’s no wall,” said Chris. “That’s a dragon.”

  15. The Paper Princess
    (Word Count: 105)
    @iskyhaggarty36

    George was a paper princess.
    He sat dejectedly in a damp, dim tower, watched by stony guards that never slept.
    He was fed bad poetry and stuttering dreams weakened by a day’s sunlight, wrapped in dirty, wet cloth.
    He ate on the flagstones of his quarter, caught betwixt disillusionment and disorientation.
    He dreamt day in and day out of his paper prince who never came.
    He thought bitterly that it would be just dandy if they made a moat around his prison, too. So they did.
    And to guard that moat, they added solitude itself to keep him company.
    A paper dragon.

  16. @stellakateT
    110 words

    There’s something in the garden shed.

    George hated it when asked “where’s your Dragon?”
    He’d just shrug and mutter under his breath “dead”

    Majestic must have been very old when he came to live in George’s garden shed, he thought Dragons lived for ever. Maybe Maj was doing what cats did before dying, hiding away. The first time George opened the shed door and disturbed Maj, Mrs Danvers fence got singed and he nearly had a heart attack. He had some serious explaining to do! It was an omen when he found the flag on the pavement, a sign that he needed a new friend. Elsie Danvers, the widow next door, now she is a Dragon.

  17. Emily Clayton
    @emilyiswriting
    107 words

    Flying Under the Influence

    George fell out of the sky one Sunday morning at 10:11:12. He’d timed it that way. He just never factored in the possibility of failure.

    Under the gloom of a murky red sky, passersby prodded George’s body, his cheeks, peeled back thick waxy eyelids.

    Pools of red and silver ink flowed out from beneath his white jumpsuit, staining the silken fibres. A tiny girl crawled closer. “Is he supposed to leak like that?”

    At the hospital, the doctor shook his head. “This was set to ‘land.’ Oh, George. Everyone knows our wings are just for show.” From out of George’s pocket, he pulled a miniature autopilot dragon.

  18. Stand up and be Counted

    110 words

    @el_Stevie
    #Flashdog

    George stared at the registration form; it was the same old problem. His was the nationality that dared not speak its name, to do so was viewed as tantamount to racism.

    In the bar he could hear his Welsh friends already indulging in a rousing version of Calon Lân.

    The flag that had remained unfurled at the match now lay trampled at his feet. He knew how it felt. Enough. He was fed up with having to deny his own heritage whilst the patriotism of his Celtic brethren was celebrated with misty-eyed approval.

    He was English. It was time to stand up and be counted, to reclaim the White Dragon.

    • Good little tale!

    • Adore the title! And the story. Though by heritage I’m partial to the “Y Ddraig Goch.” 😉

      • Thank you! It’s representative of how I feel actually, my husband is Welsh and proud of it and our kids support Wales in the rugby – I have to remind them they’re half English but they just pull faces! (NB The Ddraig was a local of mine when I lived in Wales.)

        • Awww, I don’t blame you for speaking out. 🙂 I felt similarly when in Spanish and would overhear the US bashed – usually by other American students- Hey, that’s our home country! Can’t we all just get along?? 🙂

  19. Sorry, George!!!
    94 words
    personalvapes@gmail.com

    George glares at me from within the gilt frame, the silvered glass vibrating with his anger at being separated from humanity by an old, simple, mirror.

    The fires of hell and damnnation burn in his eyes – the promise of death, torment, and suffering in that whithering gaze. To accent this eventuallity, he drags the red & white flag from his prison’s reflected wall, rending it slowly to shreds with his nine-inch, blood red talons.

    I’m still not sure how I, a bumbling apprentice wizard, could catch in this sloppily-enchanted mirror – the last dragon.

  20. What came first?

    106 words @geofflepard

    George hated football but the pickings were usually good: whistles, hats and flags. As he bent something rolled out. A ball? No, it was an egg. As big as a football.
    No one noticed George slip it in his road cleaner’s cart. It had to be worth something. Brenda would know.
    ‘Take it to Mr Hartmann. He’ll know.’
    Mr Hartmann inspected the trophy. ‘Mrs Jones at the museum. She’ll tell you.’ He wouldn’t say how much it was worth.
    ‘Mrs Jones smiled. ‘Who were England playing?’
    George shrugged. He never asked.
    ‘Probably Wales,’ she said as she pulled on her rubber gloves. ‘Given it’s from a dragon.’

  21. Dragon Milk
    Ollie James – @TheOllieJames

    “George never slayed a dragon,” Peter sneered, as they left the school gates.

    “That’s Saint George,” Leia said.

    “What do you care?” Peter said.

    “He’s my great great… something great Grandfather,” Leia said. “That’s his cloak, he must have dropped it,” she added, pointing to an England flag on the ground.

    “Very funny,” Peter said.

    “You don’t believe me?” she said. “He took actually took the dragon home!”

    “No.”

    “Do you wanna meet him?” Leia said, as they reached her house. “I should have mentioned, dragon milk keeps people alive for a loooong time.”

    And then she fed Peter to the dragon.

  22. — Full English —

    George waves away her smoke and reaches for the ketchup. Sunlight bounces off the dog tag but the cat’s seen it all before.

    “Mind your uniform, George.”

    “You know me.”

    He’s already changed his shirt after tidying last night’s empties and ashtrays.

    “I made lunch.”

    “George, you’re a saint. Your father would be…”

    Her fingers trace the familiar embossing on the metal ID hanging from his neck: name, service number, blood group.

    Glancing down, George sees his yolk submerged in red gloop.

    “Mum, shut up and eat. You know what you’re like if you skip breakfast.”

    “I know. I turn into a right dragon.”

    109 words
    @edbroom

  23. Neighborhood Dragons (108 words)
    @howdylauren

    “George sewed it from an old flag,” Sheila stood her ground, determined not to show fear in the face of the notorious neighborhood bully. His latest target had been her homemade dress, her brother’s shallow guise at creativity to mask poverty. 

    “Piece o’ work it is, just like your bat crazy mother!” Oliver stepped deliberately forward, his grimy hand marring the loosely stitched white sleeve. A gruff tug was all it took for the faults in George’s handiwork to be revealed.

    Digging her heels into the ground, Sheila refused to run. His mouth may spit fire, but she was no stranger to a fight with a dragon.

  24. Hooliganism

    George wandered down the street, weaving erratically amongst the other pedestrians, beer burps interrupting his train of thought. One pint too many. If he was honest with himself, it was more like the last three pints or so.
    “‘Ere we go, here we go, here we go!” he mumbled.

    The enormity of what he’d done was starting to hit home. He’d never had a day off work (apart from sickness of course) yet here he was, playing hookey. For a football match! At his age! Micheal would understand, he’d smooth things over at work. But what would Ethel say? He trudged home, reluctant to face his dragon.

    105 words
    @davejamesashton

  25. Come On You Reds!

    ‘George! Hurry up, boyo! We’ll be late for the coach.’

    I hated my name. The fact that I had been born on 23rd April made it even worse. I was named after my English mother’s dad but I was born in Llangollen, north east Wales. I was passionately Welsh, especially when it came to international football matches and even more so those against our old nemesis, England.

    My dad took me to see the Home International match between Wales and England at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground on 17th May 1980. A day I’ll never forget.

    Wales 4, England 1! The flag of St George torn to pieces by the Red Dragon!

  26. FANTASY
    109 words
    @ecjlewis

    “George. What have you brought home this time?” Mother stands with arms folded, disapproval shadowing her eyes.

    “It’s a flag. I found it. Outside” As ever my voice is strangled by her glare and I ball up the flimsy cloth in my hands so it’s hidden from her. I can’t move until she does.

    Eventually she turns away with a sigh, as if she’s given up. I’m not worth it. I retreat to my room. On the floor I spread out the flag and trace the design with my fingers. It’s unfamiliar; just something someone made up. A green-gold dragon, spitting bloody flames.

    I wish I was a dragon.

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