Enion poked the wad of Christmas lights with a claw. “What is it?”
“It’s pretty!” Pimkin snapped her silver wings out and jumped onto the tangled wad of bright colors and dark green wire. She landed on top with a toothy grin. The ball pitched her forward, wiping away her triumph as she thumped on the table. Flapping her wings to escape, she found them snared by the wires. All four legs had wires wrapped around them too.
“I’ll save you!” Enion plowed into the tangle. The devious wires seized his head, wings, and tail. They slid across the table in a clump to stop at the edge. One end of the wires fell off the side and clattered on the linoleum floor.
Both tiny dragons wriggled and squirmed to escape, pulling the wires tighter around their bodies. The ball quavered on the verge of falling. Enion noticed and froze.
“Stop! We’re going to fall.” He shoved one foot through the wires to the table and scraped his claws on the table. Its plastic coating foiled his efforts to dig in.
Pimkin tried and failed to fold her wings in. “Why is this pretty thing so mean?”
“Then we must defeat it!”
Enion pulled his neck back only to have the frill of tiny horns around his head catch on the wires. He snapped at a wire, sinking his sharp little teeth in and grinding. The soft plastic coating gave way to metal underneath. Electricity jolted through his body until he let go.
Not knowing which way was up anymore, he slumped. His weight sent the tangled ball over the edge. Enion and Pimkin both shrieked until the wad hit the floor. It bounced, cushioning both dragons from the fall, then rolled until it hit a kitchen cabinet.
More ensnared than before, Enion gasped.
“No more pretty lights!” Pimkin thrashed her tiny legs in frustration.
“It’s evil,” Enion agreed, his words slurred.
Pimkin gave up with a heavy sigh. “It wins.” She sagged in the wires.
Ready to also admit defeat and wait for a human to find them and fix everything, Enion gave one last heave. He caused the ball to roll far enough for him to put all four clawed feet on the floor.
Now facing up, Pimkin noticed one foot fell through the wires against he body, leaving it free so long as she didn’t move it again. She tugged gently on her other foreleg and discovered she could move it a tiny bit to the left, then pull it through. Suddenly, she had two legs free.
Enion sank his claws into the linoleum enough to gain traction. He dragged the ball away from the cabinet. “Not giving up yet!”
“Wait. Stop.” Pimkin eased one back foot free, then the other. “If you move slow, you defeat it!”
Pausing in his trek to the living room, Enion looked down at his raised foot. He’d lifted it to take the next step and only now noticed it had come free of the wires. With a step onto the wires instead of the floor, he lifted his other foreclaw and freed it also.
“Hurray!” Enion looked up and saw Pimkin’s wing near enough to reach. If he bit the wire around it without trying to chew through, he could loosen it.
A few minutes later, both dragons stood two feet away, glaring at the ball of lights attached to the wall socket by an orange extension cord.
Lee French is a member of the Edgewise Words Inn staff. She has published several fantasy and science fiction novels. Enion will appear in her next book, Backyard Dragons, due out in mid-March.