Dragon on the Roof
(July 20, 2022)
by Jeff Baker
“Hey, Mister Acosta,” the kid in the backwards ball cap and low-slung jeans said as he walked into the shop. “You know you got a dragon on your roof?”
“Yeah, yeah, thanks.” Julian Acosta said from behind the counter. He knew about the dragon. He was losing business because of the dragon.
“Bet you’re glad its one of the purple ones,” the kid said. “The other ones breathe fire.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Acosta said. He knew that too.
“And that this old building’s made out of stone and has that big old stone support in front from like when it was a gas station,” the kid said as he walked out the door, looking up cautiously.
“Yeah and I’m glad at least some of the kids who wander in here buy stuff,” Acosta thought.
The bell over the front door jingled and a tall man in a dark suit carrying a briefcase entered.
“Afternoon,” the tall man said. “I’m Lucinius Drake. Board of Dragons.” He had a slight British accent.
“Hello,” Acosta said. He wasn’t going to buy anything either.
“I hear you have a dragon problem.” Drake said.
“Yup. The one on the roof.”
“Oh. Right.” Drake said. He stepped out the door and looked up. He leaned back in the shop. “It’s a dragon all right. A young one from the looks of it. Luckily it’s a purple one. The others breathe fire.”
“I’ve been told.” Acosta said.
“Well now. I guess I’d better pop on up and see exactly what kind of situation we’re dealing with. Better hope it’s not nesting.”
“Nesting?” Acosta said. “You mean, building a nest?”
“Really using your roof as a nest,” Drake said. “It’s, or she would just use the roof with its bowl shape as a nest. For eggs.”
“You won’t be able to just shoo a nesting dragon away,” Drake said. “They’re ornery. Besides there are rules.”
“Rules?” Acosta said.
“Relocating nesting dragons and all that. Endangered species you know.”
“But then the problem is, when she starts laying the eggs,” Drake said.
“We can’t just haul them off, I suppose?” Acosta asked.
“Dragon eggs are heavy.” Drake said. “Then there’s the problem that they hatch into baby dragons. Each one about the size of a Volkswagen. The roof would be a total loss.”
“Um, so what do I do?” Acosta said, envisioning hauling everything out of the shop under cover of night.
“Just hand me a ladder and I’ll pop up to the roof and see what’s going on.”
Drake hauled the ladder and all his equipment out the door. A few moments later there was a loud crunch.
Drake stepped back into the shop, brushing dust off his jacket.
“Good news,” Drake said. “The dragon’s a male so it won’t be nesting. It should be off your roof in another few days. They’re restless that way. All you have to do is fill out a form or two.” Drake sighed and looked around. “Which I don’t have at the moment.”
Drake sighed yet again.
“The dragon ate my briefcase.”