The red and white missile careened out of control, wobbling from the weighted rudder that was aerodynamically unstable. What was a straight targeted trajectory was far from the deviated wanderings of the missile cut large loopy swaths in the sky as it progressed towards the target that had to continually compensate for the erratic tumbling, slides, and shifts in order to be hit perfectly.
The red wing flipped out then retracted completely as the targeting synapses adjusted to the growing range configurations of the inbound missile. The body rotated in a lazy split second roll that was immediately partially reverse, then rotated back to the original as the wings fully extended at a position of full stop, as the claw snapped out in the backwards roll, snatching the candy cane out of the mid-air.
“That’s 10,” Boomer exclaimed, as his brother high overhead folded into a fluttering death fall called the “defeated dragon”. Also known as “the one who had not caught one of the important candy canes” dropped by Skth, even farther above.
The points had been eight to nine, and Tink needed that very important drop as being the one player with the lesser score, placed him higher in the field of the drop and therefore first chance at the dropped candy cane missile. In his rush to snag a claw into the hook of the cane, he had created a shockwave of air that had spun the hook away from his extended claw, as he felt the smooth cellophane wrapper slide past his claw too fast to turn his claw into a grip and capture the treasure.
As Boomer raced around in a victory circle lap many feet above the pasture, Tink clenched his fist in mock outrage and vowed to ‘get you next year’. Merrily he was undershot by another kind of missile as an ice blue streak hunting stooped from high above, and looped under him as Skth rocketed down from above.
“Dear,” Q’Nt cozied up to the much larger black and red dragon and softly hummed, “could you please use your impressive voice to inform the children that the coco is ready.” The larger now nuzzled her neck and snuffled, as his mate giggled like a young dragonet. The pixie, Duff, giggled at their antics as she strolled the makeshift picnic table distributing small marshmallows into each of the mugs of hot chocolate.
H’n, now finished polishing his nose in his mate’s neck, stepped away as Q’Nt covered her one ear against the shrill blast she knew was coming and looked to Duff. Duff, seemingly ignoring the impending ear hurting noise went about her duty as the points of her ears calmly curled back into themselves and stuffed the opening as the large black and red dragon split the air with his shrill keeling cry that sounded like a whistle.
Four smaller dragons fell from the sky as if shot. At lower altitude, and threat of hard landings in the frozen pasture, they all leveled off into a flat pancake of dragon fleet formation in an all-out race to the traditional Christmas picnic goodies. An assortment of strange delicate tastiest bite-sized of pieces of different cultures and species that had become known as Q’Nt’s Celebration Picnic in the Pasture.
As the four smaller dragons rocketed by in an aerial tribute, Dvork, hunkered his wings to protect against any errant wind, delicately flamed the Japanese tempura batter to a golden brown while leaving the frozen tiny balls of mint tea ice cream still frozen in the center. Pu’s flame, after a secret night of eating a lot of sweet sugar cane, became syrupy sticky caramel glue that held the traditional puff pastry fish balls of northern Norway in a tree shaped stack half as tall as the large Sea Chameleon M’Ree as she set out piles of fresh baked fudge, brownies, and other chocolate finger or claw delights.
A warm gentle hand came to rest on M’Ree’s shoulder as a Navy Admiral gently leaned in to the large dragon whose cheek wings were now slowly turning as red as her glasses and red agate chain. “M’Ree, you temptress, there aren’t any dangerous calories in all that chocolate that I shouldn’t have, are there?” The officer asked as his left hand snuck a small Dragon Pop, as he continued to get closer and kissed her cheek where the small canard wing attached, and her most delicate sensitive area. The result was an immediate soar in her body temperature, a flustered mind and much redder cheeks. “Merry Christmas, M’Ree.”
As the larger blue dragon Q’Nt surveyed her private patch of the pasture. She smiled warmly as she looked about the many dragons that worked at Paw’s & Claw’s Atelier custom picture frame shop where her son Tink worked, as well as the human friend of her son Boomer, the pixie who had become everyone favorite friend, the three gnome Neffeler brothers who supplied her with forest grown herbs and greens. Here and there were an assortment of birds, fairies, a rodent or two and many other forest folk who over the past couple years had become friends and family through the extended friendships of her two sons. What had started many years before as only a few and almost all dragons had grown to many dozens of attendees representing a dozen or more species that she never thought she would ever even meet, much less consider family or at least close friends. She leaned against her mate and hummed quietly in content.
H’n placed his large upper arm over her shoulder and across her breast cage and pulled her closer in a hug, “It’s a grand celebration this year my dear; grand indeed.”
“Did someone say food?” A deep rumbling voice boomed from the edge of the last of the forest as a large bear dressed in a festive Hawaiian shirt and red rubber clogs stepped out as an ice blue dragon flew overhead, and a man with slicked back white feathery hair and refined features dressed in all black followed.
“Guff, Twill and Macklin,” Q’Nt squealed in delight and clapped to see the last of the invited arrive.
“Happy Holidays, everyone,” Macklin cried with open arms, “and I do mean every last one.”