'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 22 November 2013

KBR Short Story: Dragon Earwax

by Zoë Disher

It’s yellow and sloppy. It has to be custard, right? I let some drip from my spoon into the bowl. It goes ‘glop’.

‘Eat up your earwax, Liam,’ says Gran.

‘It’s not earwax, it’s too runny.’

‘It’s dragon earwax, dear. It’s runny because it’s hot. It’ll go hard if you leave it.’

‘Dragon earwax? No way. It’s custard.’

‘No, it’s earwax. Eat up now, it’ll give you lovely golden scales,’ says Gran.

‘Wow!’ says Moira. ‘Golden scales — just like a real dragon.’

We are staying with Gran for the weekend. So far she has served us spider bikkies, unicorn sausage rolls and green frog milkshakes. Now, it’s dragon earwax for dessert.

‘I had a terrible time getting it you know,’ says Gran. And with that she is off on some crazy story about a cave and a sleeping dragon and scraping out its ears with a very long spoon. The flickering candlelight makes her eyes glint. Her arms throw shadows around the room.

Moira listens with her mouth open. She loves Gran’s stories.

‘Dragons don’t have ears,’ I say, waving away a moth that is dancing around the candle.

‘No? Well how do they hear then, smarty-pants?’ Gran chuckles. I know she is joking.

Moira gulps a spoonful of custard.

‘It’s delicious, Gran,’ she says. ‘It’s like eating sunshine.’

I roll my eyes. Moira’s always saying things like that. She says ponies are saying 'I love you' when they whinny. She says rainbows fall from heaven if you’ve been thinking good thoughts. My sister would believe anything.

So far Moira has eaten everything Gran made. She even drank the green frog milkshakes — and they tasted like cough medicine. Gran said they’d give you a tongue like a frog but I know it was green food colouring, really.

‘And I had to run like the clappers down the hill with the dragon trying to roast my bottom.’ Gran finishes her tale.

I’m too old for fairy stories.

I lift my spoon again. The custard isn’t just yellow, it’s so bright it’s almost glowing. It smells funny — a bit like lemon and a bit like banana.

I take a sip. Then a slurp.

It is custard.

I knew it. It’s sweet and warm. I finish the bowl and sit back. That was really nice. A fuzzy glow spreads from my tummy to my arms and legs. I take my jumper off.

I am full. I slump down in my seat and watch the moths. There are more of them now.

It’s funny though, my skin does look kind of yellow and scaly. It must be the candlelight. I scratch my arm. It makes a rasping sound, like dry leaves. I don’t care. The custard has made me feel deliciously warm and relaxed.

Moira looks happy too. She is smiling with a golden shine on her face. A moth lands on her bowl, and she grins even wider.

‘Yum!’ she says, and she flicks out her tongue to catch it.

Zoë Disher writes and daydreams in Newcastle, where she does her best not to be late for anything important. Find out more about Zoë and her work at her website.

KBR Short Stories are a way to get your work ‘out there’ — and to delight our KBR readers. Stories are set to a monthly theme and entries are due in the 25th of each month. Find out more here.