Friday, 3 February 2017

Treasure Hunt - Shira Glassman

When the Empress sends her Imperial guards Vasily and Aleksei into the dragon's cave to steal treasure, they doubt the existence of the dragon and take advantage of the time alone in the dark to drink vodka and fool around. Little do they know, the dragon is watching Vasily's expert domination, and he likes what he sees!

This story features a sentient but not human narrator.

Moving in slow motion so that I wouldn't make noise, I crept through my piles of coins and gems, my crowns, and my art from forgotten civilizations. I could see in the dark, and I wanted to keep an eye on these two, as well as an ear.
I peered over the top of a ledge that overlooked the clearing they would reach if they kept following the water. Nothing yet, but the footsteps were getting stronger.
The glare of lanterns, dancing against the walls as they walked, heralded their invasion. When they came into view, I studied the two intruders.
They were dressed in the uniforms of the Empress's imperial guard. A smart black jacket with a flared skirt and a high, stiff collar accompanied black trousers and sturdy black boots. Hanging from each man's side was a sheathed dagger. Of course my eyes went straight to the shiny silver buttons that held the jackets closed...I like shiny things. Don't look at me that way, what else were you expecting?
One of the men was very tall, broad, and generously-stomached, with hooded eyes peering over a beard. His hair was in a short, scruffy ponytail and he filled out the uniform nicely. The other I might call an aging pretty-boy, with wavy hair and a sculpted, clean-shaven face. I guessed that he was probably the whiny one, Aleksei. When the conversation started again, I found I was right.
“Still no dragon—and still no treasure.” He swung his lantern around in an arc, and I ducked into the shadows briefly.
“No, just a nice, peaceful chamber to sit down and eat our lunch,” said Vasily. “Unless you're afraid the smell of knishes will attract dragons.”

Shira Glassman is a bi Jewish violinist living in north central Florida. Her books have been shortlisted for the Bi Book Awards and Golden Crown Literary Society Awards.

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