THE COLOR RED
A Tale from The Lotus Chronicles
“I’m bored.” Red squatted next to the wall with Shiro. The afternoon desert heat had driven most everyone into Fort Bainbridge’s keep and the few shaded places around the courtyard.
Shiro looked up at the clear sky. “I’m sure we’ll get our orders to go back to the front soon.”
When Red didn’t speak for several moments, he looked down to find her contemplating two stable boys who were napping behind a stack of haybales.
“Don’t.” He warned.
She bounced up and turned to him as if a scorpion had stung her. “Do you know what my favorite color is?”
The woman clasped her hands behind her back and took a step backwards. “Yes. But what’s my favorite shade?”
“Blood red.” Shiro took a step toward her.
She spun in the afternoon sun, her flaming tresses twirling about her. “Did you know dragons have a sheen to their blood that makes it look like liquid jewels?” She leaned to look around Shiro. “Oh, hi, Jerry.”
Shiro turned to the ware-dragon, as he did, he reached out and snatched a fist full of Red’s russet curls before she could run to the stable boys.
The general’s secretary handed Shiro a folder, his white eyes wide with Shiro’s near miss. “The General figured you might be restless.”
Shiro took the folder from his friend and read over its contents. “Thanks, Jerry.”
“What color is your blood, Jerry?” Red batted her eyes at the albino dragon.
Jerry adjusted his spectacles with a trembling hand and slowly backed away. “Wh… White. It’s white.”
“That’s disappointing.” Red stuck her lower lip out. Once Jerry had left, she leaned toward Shiro. “It’s red, I checked.”
Shiro closed the folder. “Come on. Looks like we have some raiders to deal with.”
She clapped her hands with a squeal. “Oh yay! I haven’t killed raiders in ages.”