Monday, 11 March 2013

Here be Dragons

It wasn't really Derek's fault. Well it was, he'd done it but it wasn't his fault he was the person he was. Not really up to full 'Bull in a China shop' standard but certainly if the proprietor of any such establishment saw him coming he would have at least tensed up and held his breath. Imagine an enthusiastic Great Dane pup and you'd be close. All arms and legs with not quite full control over any of them. His Uncle really should have known better than to leave him in the room with something he valued so much but he tended to think the best of his relatives and it had been that many years he assumed Derek would have grown out of it. Derek had really done no more than nudge it but as he stood there open mouthed and heard his uncle's hand turn the door knob he knew he'd be getting the blame but somehow it seemed unimportant.

Jesus Christ what have you done” was all his uncle managed as his jaw dropped to match Derek's.

The old globe had been in the family so long nobody could remember where it had come from. It stood (had stood) in the corner of his uncles study about waist high and had acquired a patina of age rendering it nearly the same colour as the Mahogany frame that had contained it. It blended in perfectly with the study which was lined with old books and smelt of pipe tobacco and library quiet, a study which even the great Holmes himself would have approved of. The edges of the continents, such as they were thought to be all those years ago, had still been visible on the globe and some of the words. Most noticeably and to the delight of children in the family down through the generations the disclaimer, common in those days for unexplored areas, “Here be Dragons”. This had been the starting point for many childhood fantasies which involved plenty of plank walking, pieces of eight and as much “Arr Jim lad” as young throats could stand. Derek couldn't ever remember being able to turn it in it's cradle though as it had always been somewhat misshapen which he had assumed was due to age, though had he asked his Uncle he had never seen it move either.

Well it had moved now, tragically, the frame lying on it's side and the globe itself smashed all over the floor. The pair of them stood, open mouthed staring at the remnants whilst a small dragon of some two feet long stood amongst the shards, hiccuped, belched an apologetically small jet of flame and stared back at them.

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