A Brief Description
By Betty Adams
“So what are you reading?”
The question burst into her awareness and was immediately flagged as urgent. The dragon who had been drinking from the mountain stream in front of her turned and gave the girl an annoyed glare before it dissolved with the world around it. The crisp mountain air was replaced with the perfume of diesel and human existence of the Anchorage mass transit system. The bright sun gave way to December afternoon darkness and instead of a gleaming golden dragon the girl focused on a rather rumpled old grandmother sitting across the aisle from her. How much did she really mean that question?
“It is a fantasy story,” the girl carefully started to reply as she seized up her audience. Did she want a conversation starter? Or was she sturdy enough to take the full fandom description? The girl didn’t want to drown another random stranger under her eager fanaticism. It was just the two of them up close to the driver of the bus. No one around to annoy and the woman’s round, native face and bright black eyes spoke of either genuine interest or a desperation to talk about something. “It’s about dragons and old world history.”
“Really?” the woman pressed. “That sounds interesting. How does the author work them in?”
A fierce grin split the girl’s face. Detailed questions showed genuine interest. This lady was in for the long haul now.
“Well she starts out assuming that the dragons are really naturalistic so it’s more speculative fiction than fantasy.”
The ride just got a lot more fun.