Fluttering Arm

“I’ve never seen her before, Master,” Gallos said. The feeble, balding man answered his ruler’s question. The pair of men sat in the town square on a bright, sunny Saturday. Hundreds of citizens congregated to honor the most powerful man in the world: Dragonetti.

The town square was decorated for a festival. Balloons, streamers, food stalls and craft vendors set up. Townsfolk enjoyed the festive atmosphere and wandered between the booths smiling and laughing. As Dragonetti watched his citizens, bright red hair caught his eye. The owner, an alabaster-skinned giantess, stood at least three heads taller than anyone else in the crowd. Dragonetti stood from his makeshift concrete throne.

“I have to have her,” he explained his actions to Gallos, then strode toward the imposing woman. Fear parted the crowd as he walked toward her. Dragonetti was far from being an honorable ruler; he tried to be fair but did not always manage it. The times he could not play fairly, he did not hesitate to use his powers to ensure his preferred result. He wasn’t evil, or even coldhearted; he just liked things his way, and he had the power to make it happen.

“Hi,” Dragonetti said once he reached the woman at a vendor; he had to look up at her despite his own 7-foot 3-inch height. The booth operator immediately bowed at his sudden appearance. The tall woman looked down at Dragonetti and gave a pleasant, if not warm, smile.

“Hi,” she said, then refocused her attention on the assortment of cooked meats.

“My name is Dragonetti. I’m the ruler here and the most powerful man in the world.” The tall woman glanced at him briefly.

“Neat. Keep up the good work,” she replied, then she turned to walk away from him and the booth. Dragonetti grabbed her wrist to stop her.

“You don’t understand,” he said. “Thanks to my dragon tattoo I get anything I want; and, I want you.”

“Dragon tattoo?” she let him stop her and turned to face him. Now that he had her attention again, Dragonetti let her wrist go and smiled.

“I’m sure you’ve heard of me,” he smiled and held his arm up. A long purple dragon touched both his wrist and inner elbow. “I’m the only natural dragon tattoo in the world.”

“Nope,” she shrugged, then turned to leave again. Dragonetti grabbed her wrist again and squeezed harder.

“What’s your name, beautiful?” She stopped and turned again; He released her wrist again.

“If you grab my wrist again, I’m ripping your arm off,” she said. “That’s your warning.” Dragonetti chuckled.

“That’s a horrible name unless you think you actually can,” he said. “I’m pretty much a dragon. I breathe fire, I have the strength and armored scales of a dragon.”

“Scales?” She asked with genuine interest. “Let me see.” Dragonetti smiled; his well-tanned skin segmented and shifted to a sickly green color.

“Oh, that’s adorable,” she said. “Let me try.” She winked at Dragonetti and her smooth, pale skin hardened. A thick layer of beautiful golden scales covered every inch of visible skin. They sparkled like metal in the bright sunlight. Dragonetti gasped in surprise and his scales disappeared into his skin again.

“Who are you?!” he asked. The woman smiled and retracted her own scales.

“Flutter,” she said. “Bye,” she turned around to leave but Dragonetti grabbed her wrist.

“Wait!” he shouted. Flutter did not wait. Dragonetti decided to teach Flutter a lesson. He squeezed her wrist with all his strength and stood his ground. She kept walking while he held her wrist, after a step he roared with strain.

Despite using all his strength, Dragonetti could not stop Flutter. He braced himself but he was as effective as a spiderweb trying to stop a bull. Flutter kept walking and he screamed in pain as his tattooed arm went with her. She didn’t seem to notice.

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