November 19, 2000
Zekmagsak - A Birthday Tale - By Mhordamis
The stalactites were decorated in multicolored
streamers, long bands of paper of red and blue and
pink and purple, that were tied around the stalagmites
below, spiraling down the thick lime formation, and
circling twice around their bases. An oaken table,
looted from Goland's centuries ago, was placed in the
center of the large, spacious cavern, bearing paper
plates and party hats on its smooth, polished surface.
Also on the table, in the center of its rectangular
top, was a gigantic birthday cake, a vanilla square
with chocolate icing and rainbow sprinkles.
Zeksagmak frowned thoughtfully at the scene; it was
his birthday, and right now the people at the party
should be playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey, but the
flaw in that was the fact that nobody had come for the
ruby dragon's birthday. To think, the nerve of these
But it wasn't only the humans. None of his brethren
had come. None of his brethren had even sent a servant
to wish Zeksagmak a happy birthday! Not Zeklia, nor
Sakbokvon -- Or Gothpakgok, Zeksagmak's first cousin!
Wiping a tear from his giant eye, Zeksagmak began to
dismantle the room the party was supposed to take
place in; after waiting more than twenty-four hours
without a soul showing up, he came to the conclusion
that nobody was coming. Nobody cared.
"Let's just see if I show up for YOUR birthday," he
said sarcasticly, vengefully, to nobody in particular
but everyone at once, stepping over the skeletal
remains of mortals who had failed to slay the dragon.
Ripping a streamer from a stalactite, Zeksagmak turned
and gently -- ever SO gently -- blew out the only
burning candle on his birthday cake. The smoke from
the wick slowly drifted up through the exitway in the
roof, leaving a scented rose fragrance behind.
"Do you mean my birthday?" asked a voice.
Zeksagmak whipped his serpentine neck around and
toward the entryway of the cavern, and peered intently
on the figure who spoke. It was just a lavalanche.
"I mean everyone's birthday!" Zeksagmak growled
furiously, smoke trailing out his huge nostrils.
"So my birthday as well then, hmph?" persisted the
"Well, maybe not yours, I guess," surrendered
"Happy birthday, you big ruby lug."
Zeksagmak sniffed disdainfully. "Oh, it's my
birthday?" he said in a very innocent tone. "Why
didn't you remind me? If I'd of known, I would have
sent out invitations."
The lavalanche -- in the way a lavalanche snorts --
snorted. "What's all this decoration in the cavern
for, if you didn't know it was your birthday?"
Zeksagmak turned his head backwards and inhaled
deeply; when he exhaled, fireballs and gales of
swirling flame consumed the room and everything inside
it. He shifted his weight to look confidently at the
lavalanche, an ear-to-ear smile on his face exposing
his shiny white teeth. "What do you speak of, this
The lavalanche -- in the way a lavalanche sighs --
sighed. "Look, Zek, baby, I got you a present. It's
nothing much, but me and the boys all chipped in."
He turned and shouted, "Bring it in, boys."
A small formation of undead crusaders entered the
cavern, pushing a six-wheeled wagon that bore
something... strange and mechanical... on its
"What the heck is that?" Zeksagmask asked rudely.
"Well, Master," said a crusader, "we call it an...
Suddenly, the top of the mechanical device flipped
open, and from the opening, a red-scaled dragon with a
body that had enough smooth curves to make Ikuska
jealous flew out, her wings folded over her chest. Her
eyes were like huge emeralds, sparkling with a
sapphire light of their own. Her legs were long and
sinuous, very flexible and dexterious by the looks of
them, and her talons were shiny, the cleanest
Zeksagmak had ever seen on a dragon! Her stomach was
flat and curved down to meet the short, seductively
"YOWZER!" Zeksagmak screamed.
"Hello, Sexysagmak," purred the exotic dragon-dancer.
"Hul-hul-hul-hullo," Zeksagmak sputtered. "I'm
Aniagok giggled. "I know," she cooed. Slowly, her
wings unfolded, revealing a set of milky white scales
that overlapped each other down to the tops of her
"You sure got a -- a pretty -- you're pretty,"
Zeksagmak stated matter of factly, but in trembling
"You're cute," Aniagok giggled softly. "And very fit,
for a dragon your age."
Zeksagmak sucked his gut in and stuck his chest out.
"I know," he said with ten gallons of testosterone.
"Knock-knock, Aniagok," he cooed, as he began curling
up and around the dragon-dancer.
"Who's there?" she asked.
"Er, no," Zeksagmak said; he was blushing, and very
thankful he had a ruby colored hide. "I mean I was
going 'knock-knock,' because I was coming towards
you, you see."
"So there's no knock-knock joke?"
She pouted. "That's very disappointing!"
"Well, I don't know any," Zeksagmak admitted.
"That's even more disappointing!" she said
"I have a road joke!" the ruby proclaimed loudly.
"Why did the chicken cross the road?"
Her face brightened. "Why?" she asked
"BECAUSE I WAS CHASING AFTER IT! MWAHAAHHAA!"
Her face darkened. "That's not very funny," she
He uncurled his body from around her, and let his
massive head hit the ground hard. "I'm sorry," he said
sadly, regretting that he let his head hit the ground
so hard. "It's just been a very poor birthday."
"What's wrong?" she asked concernedly, wrapping her
wing around his back. He sighed; the force of it sent
dust flying up off the ground. "Nobody showed up. The
boys in the lair somehow managed to get you to come
and do your thing, but still... none of my brethren,
none of the humans. Not even the Gods came over to
congratulate me on becoming so mighty and old. You
would think maybe Vryce would at least send me an
eCard... but he didn't. No one did."
She stroked his back softly. "Well, your 'boys'
didn't forget your birthday, and neither did I. The
other dragons are afraid of your power, that's why
they didn't show up. And every time a human steps into the
lair, you devour him. You've gained a fairly harsh
reputation aboveground, you know."
"I know, I know," he admitted with a sigh. "It's my
own fault, I guess. But still... not a singing
telegram, or a card, or... nothing." A tear streamed
down his cheek. "Phooey!" he spat.
"Say," Aniagok said suddenly, "what do you think
"I think they're overrated and a story should be able
to end wherever it wants to end at."
"Really? I disagree with you. I feel endings should
have some sort of--"
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