I figured I haven’t written fore the blog in a while (been writing a lot, just trying to get them published which means I can’t share them yet). This one works both for the Terribleminds Flash Fic challenge, and for A to Z. Had to use a dragon in the story, and title it something beginning with F.
Fang and Fire
Felix held the vial of orange powder between his thumb and forefinger. Almost looked like taco seasoning, or maybe the contents of a sugar straw like he snuck from the corner store. But this, this was Dragon. Made you strong, powerful like you had a fire inside, and your breath sent up billows of smoke.
He’d been selling the stuff for almost a year now. Even when he lost a few clients to the side effects, he was still raking it in. He even broke his ‘don’t sample the product’ rule. It was too new and different not to. The boost it gave him, he never went into a dangerous situation without it anymore.
Special stuff like this, there was so much potential being wasted. His supplier, the only source of Dragon he knew of to exist, only sold tiny amounts at a time. Felix was going to change that. He was ready to move up in the world.
It had taken two months to even figure out where this supplier had their product hidden. The research complex confirmed Felix’s suspicions that Dragon was lab-made. That was fine. He’d take some pics of the setup so he could make his own lab. This stuff just begged to be prime time. It took all the money he’d saved up to convince some low level security guy to get him a key card. All of it would be worth it to see how Dragon was made. He’d make that money back a hundred fold.
Tonight was the night.
Felix slipped the vial of Dragon into his pocket. He grabbed a backpack for the rest of his gear: wire cutters, binoculars, spray paint, all the useful stuff. His dog Ben whined next to him as he packed.
He ruffled Ben’s ears.
“Don’t worry. I won’t be gone long. Take care of the others while I’m out. K, boy?”
The dog barked. It was a good enough ‘yes’ for Felix. He put out dinner for Ben, made sure the birds, rabbit, and turtle were okay, then left.
At first glance, nobody could tell the research complex was still in use. The big company that owned it went out of business five years ago. Nobody seemed to notice that one building still had lights on sometimes. Felix’s contact promised him the place would be deserted tonight. That security guy was the one supposed to guard the building tonight. It didn’t take much extra monetary convincing to get him to stay home.
Getting in wasn’t too hard. Felix had broken into much tougher places before. Wire cutters for the fence, spray paint for the two cameras he saw, and the key card for the door. The first few rooms were empty. There was evidence that Dragon had been stored there, but it’d been moved.
He wandered deeper into the building, using his phone for a flashlight. He hoped for some kind of office, a place they might keep instructions on making the drug. It didn’t exist. Or, if it did, it wasn’t here. Felix couldn’t even find a lab. It was all just these small rooms. They were all the same: barren except a table in the center with leather straps across it, cabinets full of pliers and drills, and drops of blood on the floor. He felt like he’d walked into a dentist’s office from Hell.
Felix clicked off a few pictures. The sound echoed down the hall, followed by a scratching noise. Felix spun around.
Scratch, scratch. Then a muffled whimper. Didn’t sound like any guards, but he couldn’t ignore it either. He went back out into the hall. He’d checked almost to the end. The noise came again, and this time he saw it was from a stairwell. He had to know what was downstairs. It sounded so… sad.
It was a lot darker down there, and the hallways were narrower and mazelike. Felix figured nobody would see if the lights came on in the basement, so he flipped the switch. When he did, the whimpering grew louder. A few somethings growled and hissed. It was like nothing he’d ever heard before.
He followed a hallway to a room with long tables full of medical equipment. Felix took photos, but this wasn’t anything like what he was prepared for. Was Dragon alive? He shook his head. Couldn’t be. Maybe the company was testing their product on animals. Not cool, but better than thinking he might be consuming a living thing to get high.
There was a shelf full of vials. Not Dragon like he knew it. The vials held orange bits, Like long stones, or woodchips, but they looked like… A hissing howl distracted him. He could check the vials later. Something was up ahead and it sounded like it was in pain.
That was when he found the lower level’s main room. It was stacked floor to ceiling with cages. This was the source of the noise. Each cage contained a creature. They were a mix of reddish orange fur and black scales. Their eyes blazed yellow.
One of the little beasts was trying to chew its way out. But, it had no teeth. Looking around, none of the animals had teeth. Their gums were bloody and raw where fangs should go. The vials. Dragon. It was teeth? He thought he might be sick right there. He couldn’t become a supplier. He couldn’t deal Dragon. Couldn’t use it either. How could anyone?
Looking at those poor beasts, he knew what he had to do. He took pictures of everything. Then he found a transport crate along the back wall. He carefully transferred one of the animals into it, locked it up, and ran.
Felix jumped into his car. He had a frenemy, an old cop that busted him a few times but that Felix knew was trustworthy. The weird, lizard-fox-beast went on the passenger seat. He looked at the creature sympathetically. Oh how plans change.
“I’m probably going to jail because of you.”
No more Dragon, or the money that rolled in because of it. He was going to get this whole thing shut down before this supplier did exactly what Felix was going to do and take this enterprise nationwide.
The creature gummed the wire mesh of its crate. It was kinda cute, in a freaky way. Felix caught himself wondering if it could be tamed. And if his other pets would like a little brother.