Written for The Hailsham Festival 2020.
At thirteen, Rupert thought he was the unhappiest boy in the world. He had no friends, his parents were far too busy being busy to even remember they had a son. Materially, he wanted for nothing. He had nice clothes, designer brands only. He had the latest technology, and the biggest television ever.
What he really wanted, however, was a little attention. He wished for a different, better life, not one filled with possessions, but one filled with love. But it wasn’t going to happen. Dad was a filthy rich stockbroker, and his mother, a stuck up socialite, flitting from one fundraiser, charity event or cocktail party to another.
One morning, after his shower, he was just about to get dressed when he caught sight of his back in a mirror. It seemed very lumpy as if the bones were sticking out a little, and his spine seemed to protrude out at the base, almost like a small tail. He thought nothing of it, perhaps his recent growth spurt had extenuated his bones, though, it wasn’t evident around his ribcage, where he had what looked like a scaly rash. He wouldn’t bother telling anyone, no one would be interested.
A week later, it was worse, and his shoulder blades seemed to be more prevalent than usual. He shrugged, said nothing and just carried on as usual.
Another week passed and mother was hosting a party of her own, marquees were erected in their two-acre garden which stood inside their seven-acre wood.
“You boy, what’s your name again?”
“Rupert, I’m your son.”
“Yes,” she said, “I knew that, make yourself scarce, the guests arrive soon.”
Rupert didn’t argue, he just slinked off indifferently towards the woods. Unlike the manicured lawns which made up the garden, the woods were unmanaged, truly wild and almost impenetrable.
He waded through the thick bracken and jumped over a fallen tree, as he leapt, he caught his shin on a broken branch.
“Oomph!” he exclaimed, as he did so, a little puff of smoke blew out of his mouth. He looked down at his torn brand new Versace jeans and let out a howl of disgust. A long column of flame came from his lips, scorching all around him. He closed his mouth and put his hand over it as if to stop the flow. His hand, it was green and scaly like a lizard, his jacket began to rip as wings unfurled behind him, he was turning into a…
“Dragon!” he exclaimed.
He launched upwards and circled round the crowds below, now he would show them. He swooped, belching fire onto the canvas marquees, setting ladies hats on fire and burning the Daimlers and the new Maseratis parked in the drive. He carried on torching everything he despised so much, house and all.
He rolled over and opened his eyes, his smiling mother stood by his bed.
“Bad dream love?” she said, stroking his hair, smiling.
“No mum, it was the funniest.”
©joseph r mason 2020.
Picture of Green Dragon ©Green Dragon Comics 2020.