Enter the Dragon
“Do I really need to go through this?” Francis said. It was already confirmed-then-affirmed thrice before, but he wanted to make absolutely certain. That there wasn’t a shadow of a doubt.
He was sitting with Eve in the back of her limousine. Not any normal limo, either, but a metal-plated limo, painted cobalt blue. He never saw one like it before her. Rather, he never knew that there was a difference between a stretch and a “regular” limo before her and even then he called bullshit. Still. The only difference between it and a regular car was a separator for the driver. What about backward-facing seats? Weren’t those supposed to be standard? What about a mini fridge? There wasn’t even that much more room in comparison! He still needed to curl his legs in. Not as much nor as tight as a normal car but still.
Eve’s answer remained the same: A small hum with an even smaller nod while looking down at her phone. That wouldn’t change, either, even as Francis continued to glare. His left eye twitched, those amber slivers growing as his pupils narrowed with each passing second she hummed, mulled, and swiped her French-tipped bronze digit on that touchscreen. Smoke rolled from his lips, followed by a fresh growl, bubbling deep down in his toned gut before it rose and was given its full timbre. He gritted his teeth, the four sets of canines nipping and ripping at his gums, too worn to give another ounce of blood.
Four, harmonious squelches sung in the cab, resonating from his bulk, quivering with them. The black dress-shirt he wore, pressed flat with its copper buttons polished to a shine, was ripped away by the fins on his shoulder blades and lower arms. They had five digits each, ending in sharp, tapered pricks. Yellow membrane stretched in between, complementing his copper tone. The ones on his back were sails in their own right, forcing him to hunch further towards Eve as they scraped at the leather interior- ah! That got a reaction. Eve sucked on her lip, shaking her head… but that was it.
“Well?” He exclaimed, nigh a roar. The car, its glass and metal shuddered under its strength. The springs squealed, compressed hard enough to hop. Fortune was on their side (or was it against Francis?) as they were on the hillside instead of the highway. It was several miles back, their speed at a crawl as they rolled towards the bridge to Paradise, West Virginia. It was a small town, nestled in a valley, with its claim to fame erected the furthest from the bridge as it could: Vereor Nox Academy.
It was still so far, though. There was still time. Eve could see sense, understand that this was a horrible idea and turn the limo around and return to the estate. Any moment-minute-SECOND NOW. The windows were smoked, both in the tempered sense and the literal. Francis was spewing more smoke than a chimney, but that wasn’t all. His jagged mouth frothed with flames, lurching out and licking at the four spikes that made his “beard”. They never dared touch his sleek black hair nor its “awesome” white stripe. It was forced into a ponytail that day, yet it fought against its four bands, wound six times over to keep it contained. Fat chance; it used to be seven bands, the end flared out and tickling at the small at his back, relishing freedom.
Yet it was the only freedom that would be tasted that day. The car lumbered across the bridge. Falling in line with the others. Fools, sycophants, opportunistic sheep; that’s all higher education ever attracted, and Francis wasn’t any of them. He didn’t belong here! HE SHOULDN’T BE H-
“Hello!” He blurted, snapping his fingers around Eve’s face. “You in there?”
It took several rounds, but she finally showed something different. She blinked twice more than she had been.
“Hmm?” She uttered, double-tapping on the phone. He knew better; that wasn’t Eve acknowledging. If he learned anything the last few months, once she was absorbed into a topic there was no breaking those slate whites away from it. Shame it wasn’t a topic that pissed her off (yet). Her bronze body pulsed blue when she was agitated –which the faint trails and flutters were surprising at the start, when he first experience.
But that was then, what felt like a lifetime ago. Now? He wanted a full light show. Especially through that blue dress. She was on the smaller side, dainty, very tomboy when it came to her feminine wiles, but seeing those pale tips ignite underneath her garb, like a pair of torches, always brought a tear to his eyes.
He broke her trance, though. That meant something. She could try to dismiss him, continue to her utter her mantra, but the snapping would not relent. At last she looked up from the phone. And huffed.
“You’re still here?” She said, nodding to the door. “Go o- we’re just reaching the other side of the bridge? More traffic than usual- yes you do. Now quit whining.”
As she spoke Francis pestered her with his question, with his request. He groaned receiving the chastisement, and slumped his shoulders, his fins receding inside once more.
“But do I really need to?” He grumbled. “Truly?”
“It’s part of the program-”
“Yes yes. ‘You must follow through with it. You must do everything by the book-’ I’ve already been in this place twice. I was lead from top... to bottom… back to top again THEN TO THE VERY BOTTOM. Why do I need some egomaniac to stroke himself in front of me just to be shown it all again?”
“Dixie is in charge today. She’s sweet, and is using this to help with her anxiety with public speaking-”
“Jilling herself off, then. My bad.”
“Francis Ulrich Conner, are you arguing with your ‘PO’?”
She picked up her purse. It was made of some... creatures’ hides... and deposited her cell into it before reaching out with her left leg. Those legs made up most of her body, long... slender... deadly as she flicked that stiletto on it against the door’s handle. It clicked and flew open. All in one motion. When it did, the sounds outside flooded in. Gasps, screams... then whispers. All for and about Francis.
“You’re close enough,” she continued. “You’re no stranger to ‘hoofing it’, are you? Go take the tour and attend your first day of class. Then we’ll get you set up in your dorm.”
“Great. Lovely. Thank you.” He rolled his eyes, and, with one last, deep, rumbling breath, clambered out of the limous and stood before Paradise, West Virginia and the monolith at its end. The moon was full this night, shining upon its turrets. He could make out four of them, but each one was fanned by eight wire boxes. Crew was flitting up to them, with fresh brick being lain, matching the old, Gothic stone that made the castle. Its staircase was draped in blue velvet, with yellow runners that lazed from the new handrails, cutting off at the platform at the bottom and its wrought iron gates, flung open. They were struck deep into the stone that ran the perimeter and against the mountain it resided upon and loomed over all in that valley.
But Francis wasn’t there. Not yet. There was a town in between, and he really wasn’t there for it. He didn’t want to be there at all, but he had an... obligation. The car was still stuck in traffic, which rumbled and bounced under with his nails, rapping away, matching stride as he continued to drink in the Academy’s exterior. However, it never got any better. In fact, the more he saw it, the more cliched and tacky it appeared. A Gothic style castle to teach monsters while a dark underbelly is making a profit of the monsters’ suffering; he could think of forty other stories off the top of his head that matched it. And none of them were good.
And neither were the voices. Oh, so bountiful around.
“Is that a real drachen?”
“Should we be here?”
“How could they let something like THAT in?”
“I need to go.”
“Take me with you!”
Ah, but he could only drink in the sight so much before the peons, the ants around him and their chittering needed acknowledged. It wasn’t only the cars, either, windows rolled down so they could lean out to get a good look at him (slowing traffic even more), but those that came by foot, by hoof, by wing and by shadow. He could feel their eyes upon him, all of them. Vermin, the lot of them, their beady little eyes wide and wild, as if they saw God, Himself, descend from the Heavens and grace them with His Majesty. No... if He did, Francis would have been the first in line to give Him a thorough prostate exam with his size-nineteen boot. ALL THE WAY to the knee. If not the thigh. Both feet if they continued to stare.
Oh, they talked as well. How they talked, and it was only about him. Never to him, thus their opinions mattered as much as the muck-then-stone under his heels, stomping through the town, his eyes locked on the gate then the stairs. He would let it slide, let it all go. Just as Eve ordered him to do and treat them as. It wouldn’t have been so hard, either, if they didn’t freeze and get in his way. He hoped they would come to their senses when he drew close, but no. They got worse. Especially the harpies. Those mile-high specialists would squawk and take to the sky. His hope then was that they weren’t like real birds- which was proven wrong. Wholly.
A fresh growl brewed as he looked to his right shoulder, seeing the stain upon it. It was even white. Flames threatened to spill forth, but a light went across his eyes, stifling them. Instead he began to chuckle, turned to a rumbling cackle as he reached the steps. The cacophony was always four steps ahead, and reached the double doors before he burst through them, letting the Academy rumble with his laughter. The pair of crystal chandeliers in the entrance jingled and danced to it while all other motion came to a dead stop. And even more eyes were upon him.
Francis sighed, rubbed his gut, scratching at a rather scaly spot, a scaled spot as he tore the skin off. Fresh growth was always annoying, but he barely felt it anymore. That didn’t stop him from continuing to be annoyed, though, by the multiplication of those damned eyes.
Oh, how he yearned to reap those buds around, but he had to “play nice”. He lumbered into the sitting room on the right. Cleared as he entered, leaving him spoiled for choice. Did he choose the seat in the corner, the other seat in the corner, the seat in the other corner, or- ah! He knew. He’ll take one of the couches, in the middle. At least he could stretch out his legs- three inches short. On a seven-foot long couch... granted that was from arm-to-arm and they were pretty plush but-
“My God, they weren’t kidding,” something said.
Francis groaned, and leaned his head back onto the arm of the couch. He locked gazed with a less female Fang. It didn’t have tits, but given its slender physique he couldn’t imagine it had a penis in those sealed-on leather pants. It wore a bright yellow shirt with... “graffiti” sprayed over it, all centered around a Fang’s skull without its lower jaw. How fitting; if it didn’t back away, the Fang would be a spitting image of it.
Alas it wasn’t alone. Four other Fangs flitted to its side, which all were quite clearly more feminine. A shame the others didn’t show first. He would have enjoyed ogling those curvy beauties in their dark catalog of colors. They almost all looked exactly the same on the bottom, all in yoga pants (a wonderful curse), but all had different colored shirts. If Francis had his way… Well, first he would move two and four to their respective slots. Then they would have been organized by bust size. One was the smallest but still had a nice set. Easily C’s. From there they escalated, with four being so large he couldn’t see anything beyond her lovelies at that angle. One of his favorite angles, and she was in puce.
The thing in the center, though! The first to arrive. It dared snap its fingers before his face, reminding Francis that it even existed.
“Hey! Fuckface. I’m talking to you,” it said.
“When?” Francis said.
“Ah! It’s retarded. Should have figured from being this big.”
“I don’t get it –rather I don’t care to get it.” Francis sighed, and tried to nudge it away, gesturing to the others to come closer. “If you don’t mind-”
The thing, though, slapped his hand away, hissing.
“You dare sully me with your retarded ham hands?”
“Ham hands? Who even says that anymore? And what about my size made you think I was retarded?”
“Everyone knows the bigger you are the dumber you are.”
“Wow. Okay. And you lot put up with this?”
Big-D scoffed and backed away, revealing their face and showing that lovely body belonged to... a bitch! Who knew? Her face was very similar to the thing, yet was both more masculine and feminine. Leaving the question just what was that thing standing before him?
“You are a retard” Big-D said. “You have the slightest inkling to whom you are speaking to?”
“No! Do you pay attention to the shit crusted on your shoe?”
“In this case, sadly so,” the thing said. “I would sooner scrape you off outside, but you already tainted the couch with your presence. The entirety needs to burn!”
No sooner than he finished when the ladies around flitted. They grabbed the couch, dragged it outside, into the parking lot, and set it on fire. With Francis still on it, just beginning to rise. He didn’t even notice the couch was moved until he was slammed into the asphalt, given a crash course.
He picked himself up, dusted off his front, and looked back at the flaming couch. The Fangs chuckled, clapping, jeering… but were panting. They tried to hide it, but their hearts raced in their chest. Their legs quivered and shook. Too much strain?
“Real mature,” Francis said. The fins on his arms ripped free again. Fire sparked and crackled off his jowls, glaring down the thing before him. Unblemished. “Let’s start from the top, shall we? What are the name of the corpses before me?”
“I think you mean dragonslayers,” the thing said, muffled as its lips squelched and blood dribbled down its face. Its perfect row of chompers were hidden behind a fresh row of daggers. As were the other fangs’ mouths. “Filth like you really should know their place.”
“You think you can take me, hermy? I know the bitches around you stand no chance, but I might be merciful and just make you a cockring as I fuck them senseless.”
“Hermy? What?” It shook its head. “The name’s Tyson, and my Family run this school. If you think you can waltz in here and just own the place-”
“Bitch, please. I’m just here to go to fucking class, get some fucking class, fuck some classy ass, then get my ass outta here. If I could just pay it a twenty to fuck off, I would, but no. It’s one of them clingy types. It demands commitment.”
“Yet you strike me as the committed type. Who did you sell your ass to so you could get out of prison? A ‘tough’ guy like you must have had plenty of friends behind bars.”
“Keep blabbing. Loosen that cock holster real nice. Your sister’s going to love it when she feels it when I bottom out in her. What’s your name, Big-D?”
“Tina,” the sister said.
“Well it’s nice to meet you, Tiny. Name’s Francis-”
“Like that retarded villain?” One of the other Fangs said.
“Art imitates life,” the hermy said, tittering. As did the others.
“Yeah, like I haven’t heard that one before. I can assure you: I’m no dish soap.” He snorted, and a bit of flame shot out of his nose. “You gonna do something already or just get me horny? Either way, I’m good.”
Tyson... scoffed, and turned away.
“You aren’t even worth our time. We have class... Be careful around school. This time of year? The halls are a treacherous place.”
The others laughed, but faded as all of them disappeared in a flash.
Francis sniffed, and sighed as he flung himself back on the couch... waiting. He continued to wait. How he waited, looking up at the sky, at the stars-
“What are you doing out here?” Eve said. The car finally found its way into the parking lot, and was resting in its reserved space near the front. “Already burning a couch?”
“Not my choice I assure you. Some of the locals gave me a warm welcome.” He huffed, and let his head drop, looking her in the eyes. “I ask one last time-”
“Yes, Francis. You must do it.”
He sighed, a heavy thing, and pushed off the crumbling couch. His once-pristine attire was now tarnished, but knew that first impressions didn’t matter anyways. It was pointless to even try.
But, since Eve seemed hellbent on futility, he’ll see this trainwreck through. He gave her a small salute, and lumbered back up the steps. Eve joined him until the entrance where she took a left instead. Towards the faculty offices. Francis, meanwhile returned to the sitting room, occupying a fresh couch. His head fell back, taking in the ceiling instead of the sky as he waited once more. He looked over the craftsmanship of that polished redwood that made the interior of the castle, but it wasn’t the original wood. No... from the nails he deduced that it was… six months new, replacing... mahogany? A shame. Mahogany was much nicer than redwood. Especially with how it brought a room together. Though if he had to choose a wood for interior, he would much prefer an aged ceder or oak or-
“Where the hell is she?” He said, and slumped forward, growling... If he was allowed a phone, he would be staring at it so hard. Instead, he counted the planks on the floor –easier said than done. Carpeting really threw off count. He didn’t know if it was an extended piece underneath areas or if they were two, smaller boards. For all he knew, they were being changed right before his eyes –which this pudgy pig girl wasn’t helping any! He growled, bolting to his feet, looming over the peach-toned girl. “Do you mind!”
“W-what?” The girl squawked out, and the snort at the end was what annoyed Francis the most. How her wide, flat snout twitched. How those beady... blue... eyes... She had a nice curve to her, hindered- no, butchered by her black dress. Such a shape being marred by cloth was a stain upon life, itself. She even tried hide the top of those pink melons with a yellow jacket, saved by his outburst. The top busted open for her startled bust, allowing them to breathe, the bright freckles on them to be seen by the world, to be admired by it... Sadly she “fixed” it as she cleared her throat, smiling at him. “You must be Francis.”
“Nope. I’m Dawn. Dawn Dishliquid.” He leaned further, growling into her right, piggy ear. “Though you can call me whatever you like later.”
She recoiled, but tried to hide it with a laugh. Her smile looked so pained as she twirled a bit of her black hair, a forest of curls. Another bitch, then.
“You sure do have a personality, don’t you? Eve... told me... We were waiting for you for a while in the left wing-”
“Yes. There are others here for orientation... I’m sure Eve told you, but I am Dixie. I will be showing you around the school and, if there’s enough time left, will be taking you to your first class. Now, do you have any questions before we start the tour?”
“Just one: Is the one line from the Deliverance considered offensive or a form of flirting?”
“I’ve... never seen that movie, but most media portrays orcs in a negative light. So we’ll assume it’s offensive.”
“Even if it ends up being true?”
“I still don’t know what you meanlet’s getstartedshallweletsyesgo!”
She turned around and hurried to the other side of the hall.
Francis followed, but was slow to do so, watching after that round, bubbly... jiggling... woman. It didn’t help that her stride made her spiral tail bob and raise and show off her more of her delightful form. Given how this day started, he knew this wouldn’t lead to where he wanted. His will be done, after all.
“Let the show begin,” he said to himself, and finally lumbered after.