#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller


Dragon Two

Dragon Two said, when I invited her in for tea, “My name is Victim.” She cries a lot, and sheds wadded tissues like–well, dragon scales.
Things just always went wrong for poor Victim.
Her childhood was rough. When young dragons chose up sides for games, she was among the last to be chosen. She didn’t get asked to the Dragon Prom, and if she did, it was by the wrong boy. The one who didn’t breathe fire worth a damn. She had to settle.
Poor Victim.
She married the wrong man.
Went to the wrong college, or didn’t go to college at all.
(I suggested that she enroll now, and she said she was too old. Life had–sniff, sniff–passed her by. I pointed out–very gently–that I am 56, and what amounts to a freshman at University of Phoenix, but she just looked at me balefully. I knew what she was thinking: That’s easy for YOU to say. YOU have a career. YOU write books.)
The dark litany went on.
She has always been on the outside looking in.
She never gets what she wants.
Well, DUH, I thought, it might be your attitude, but I am Hestia, keeper of the warm hearth, so I must be friendly and welcoming. My job is not to retrain dragons, but simply to listen to them. I couldn’t resist saying, though, after the long catalog of existential despair, with much dragon-sniffling and the occasional plaintive wail, “You are rather tiresome, you know.”
“Everyone says that!” cried Victim, indignant.
I patted her scaly paw in what I hoped was an understanding way, trying to ignore the tissue clutched in it, and goopy with dragon snot. “Then maybe it’s true,” I said.
She blinked a couple of times. I could tell she was grievously affronted, but I didn’t think she would incinerate me with a burst of flame. She was much too soggy for that. Then she got up and left in a huff.
Good-bye, Dragon.
I won’t miss you very much.
Not at all, in fact.

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