The dragon was the same size as Aunt Helen’s toy poodle, but much less fuzzy. He had bumpy, scaly skin, big eyes over a pointed snout, and icky-looking wings folded back against his shoulders. He sat on the bedspread, up on his hind legs like a dog begging for baloney, scratching one pointy ear with the tip of a sharp finger-claw.
Nothing happened. Annie sat up and fluffed the pillow behind her back.
“This is a strange sort of dream,” she said. “Aren’t you going to do something?”
The dragon leaped straight up into the air, turned a somersault just below the ceiling, and landed on his nose, bouncing off the blankets onto the floor, then sprang back up onto the bed and spread his arms wide. Annie laughed and clapped her hands. The dragon opened his mouth wide to show needle-sharp teeth, bowed, and sat down again as if nothing had happened.
“That was great,” she said. “Can you breathe fire?”
He lifted a leathery hand and rasped his claws together. A small flame darted up from one of his claw-tips, burning blue and yellow and flickering in the puffs of wind. The dragon winked at her and blew on the flame. She expected a gout of fire, but instead the little blaze winked out.
“Sorry,” the dragon said in a surprisingly soft voice, “I can breathe or I can be on fire, but not both.”
“Who are you?” Annie said.
“Fidget,” the dragon said.
“Why do they call you Fidget?”
“I don’t know,” he said as he gently scratched his belly with one foot.
“And who are you?” Annie asked the fairy.
“My name is Jazzberry,” she said, in a voice that was high and tinkly, like a little girl’s laugh. She twirled in a mid-air pirouette, spinning faster and faster until her skirt stuck straight out, stopping so abruptly that Annie’s eyes hurt. She bowed.