A Stranger’s Encounter

“They are the most exotic of pets, bred by wrapping salamander eggs in the fur from a lion’s mane. You bury that parcel in the fresh earth of a virgin’s grave along with a finger from your right hand. They’ll hatch in the darkness of the new moon and be dead by the ripeness of the full. Something so wondrous should never last longer. Only by your own hand can you do this, otherwise they’ll turn on you, devour you alive and then explode into rancid clouds of purple ash. They grant wishes, they cry honey, they cough up lightning and can detect a liar just by the smell, and when they die they make the loveliest of coats,” she said as she struggled to hold on to the squirming litter.

I wondered how often she’d done this but her right hand was buried deep in the bowels of her coat. I could get no closer because I knew the pups wouldn’t like me. Why, you ask? Well I can assure you, in all honesty, that I am very much a liar.

Drawing by Zelda. Little Fiction by Kurt Huggins.