“Tell me a story,” she says, her eyes bright in the light of the campfire.
“About a pirate ship with crimson sails, billowing in a gale…”
“Theirs is a hard course,” I reply, “set for them by so ancient a whale,
As boggles the imagination. As old as the sun and stars, it steers them
Through shoals of comets, luring them to certain doom
Like a siren. It is an unhappy tale.”
“Unless you’re the whale,” she observes, edging closer to the flames.
“Tell me a story,” she says, batting her long lashes.
“About orcs and trolls on calliopes, and pterodactyls on the wing…”
“They caravan to war together, in service of so dread a king,
That mountains quake to hear his name. Slighted by a raging angel,
He’s doomed to test his mettle against the furnace of Hell
And Heav’n combined. It is a fraught thing.”
“Oh, but the songs folk would sing,” she murmurs, her gaze enchanting.
“Tell me a story,” she says, wrapping her coils around me.
“About an errant bard and a bronze dragon, on dark and stormy eve…”
“He sought shelter from a blinding tempest— ”
“Nevermind,” she says, and licks her lips. “I know how that story ends.”