The Bargain was first published in issue #2 Spirit’s Tincture.
It’s a drabble, a story that is exactly 100 words long.
Mirabella stood tethered to the pole, throat clogged with sulfur. The cavern yawned before her. Behind her, villagers crouched, trembling with anticipation.
The yearly bargain was underway.
A roar. Earth-shattering footfalls. Talons scraped the earth. The dragon closed its wings about the pole; a stream of fire sent the villagers scampering.
In their wake, Mirabelle sighed.
A single talon sliced the ropes. She pulled a key from her bodice, worked it into the shackle around the dragon’s ankle. He bowed his head, in agreement, in gratitude.
She straddled his neck, clutched him tight, and together they rose into the air.