“I’ve just got to grab my sweater,” Suzy said, running up her front steps, “I won’t be a minute.”
I followed after her, walking in through the front door before she realized I was behind her.
Turning and almost running into me, she gasped. “You can wait outside.” she said.
What had gotten into her? Suzy and I had been friends for years, and now she didn’t even want me in her house? Before I could decide whether I should say something or just wait obediently outside, a sound from the other room distracted me. It was a strange scratching noise, coupled with a soft whining like that of a dog.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“What’s what?” Suzy looked at me with wide eyes.
“You don’t hear a noise like a dog scratching on a door?”
“Oh, uh, that’s just my puppy,” Suzy glanced behind her, towards the hall, then back at me, “He doesn’t like being shut in.”
“You got a puppy?!” I barely refrained from clapping my hands together. “I want to see him!”
I was taken aback by the shortness of her tone. “Why not?”
“Um… he gets nervous around strangers. He might bite you.”
“I don’t mind. I just want to see him.”
Suzy opened her mouth to say something, but was interrupted by a loud growl—unlike anything I’d ever heard from a dog.
“Was that the puppy?” I asked.
“I think he’s hungry.” Suzy bit her lip, “Look, maybe we should go to the movie some other time. I should really stay home.”
“Can’t I help?”
“No, no, that’s ok. If you want you can go to the movie without me. I didn’t really want to see it anyway.”
“Suzy, what’s going on?”
There came another growl from the bedroom, and Suzy broke down.
“Oh, Evy, you’ve got to help me!” she cried, grabbing onto my arm, “I don’t know what to do with him!”
“It’s, um, not a puppy.”
Without further explanation, Suzy led me down the hall. She stopped before a door, behind which was the source of the noise.
Slowly, Suzy reached out a trembling hand and placed it on the doorknob. For a moment, it seemed that was all she could do—she just stood there, hand outstretched, unwilling to open the door. I was beginning to be frightened. What was in there?
At last, Suzy got up enough courage to turn the knob. She pushed open the door and jumped backwards.
Out of the room trotted… the most adorable little puppy I had ever seen. He had floppy brown ears and a white nose and big dark eyes.
I let out a squeal of delight. Then I turned on my friend.
“So… what exactly is the problem?”
Jaw slack, eyes wide, Suzy stood for a moment apparently in shock. Then she sank down on the ground. The puppy hurried over and licked her face.
“Help.” Suzy said.
“What is it? He’s just a sweet puppy.”
“Evlyn, I swear that sweet puppy was a--” Suzy stopped, stared at the puppy for a moment, then squeezed her eyes shut, “I swear that earlier it was a dragon.”
I would of course have thought she was completely insane for saying this if it weren’t for the fact that, as she spoke, the puppy sort of shimmered and then, in a pop!, he turned into a dragon.
I couldn’t move. Where there had been an adorable floppy puppy, there was a scaly lizard with large, fleshy wings. It was grey/green in color, and only slightly larger than the puppy had been. Still, in spite of its diminutive size, it was rather frightening, with sharp teeth and smoke curling from its nostrils.
“That’s a dragon.”
“You see it too?”
“You see it too?”
“I told you it was a dragon.”
At that moment, the dragon lunged at me, biting into my shoe.
“Owe!” I kicked and the dragon crashed against the wall. It did not look happy about this.
“Run!” Suzy shouted. I helped her to her feet and we scrambled down the hall to the front door, the dragon hot on our heels.
Today's Novel Idea Prompted by: "A friend's unusual pet." Courtesy of Fantasy Writing Prompts.