Fries with that?

He might have been friendly. On a different day, with a different breakfast, that is. But today the coffee had run out, and all sentences were ending with a light inflection of flame.

“Call this a large?” he accused the waitress, “Lucy” we see from her nametag. She side-stepped the little curl of flame falling from his mouth to the floor. Another sidestep and Lucy ground out the falling ash before it scored the floor.

She checked over her shoulder to see if her boss was watching and answered, “Keep it down. You know the boss has a policy of no flaming dragons allowed”.

The dragon glowered, but politely swallowed the accompanying fire.

“Still,” he said, “really, would you call this a large?” and pointed at a count of five carefully spaced fries.

Lucy sighed. She liked Den (the dragon’s commonly known name) but there were other customers, an irate boss and shoes that pinched her feet.

“You, my dear, are 100% right. I have no idea what’s up in the kitchen this morning but I will get this fixed” she said, picked up the plate, stepped over his tail and went off to see the morning’s cook.

The background murmur of wakening customers was counterpoint to the new cook’s foul mouth tirade.

“Who he think he is? Send my food back! Those are finest fries, I tell you.”

“Yes, yes” Lucy made soothing hand gestures as she spoke. “He loves them, he just wants a full large serving, not a side garnish”

“Everyone wants things” grumbled the man Lucy hoped would quit at short notice, like the three last cooks. “You show me this customer. I show him”, he said, throwing his chef’s hat on the floor and stepping forward.

His bravado lasted three steps into the cafe. There in the middle of the room, at the round table for six, was a dragon – large, green with scales that glistened, eyes that narrowed as they looked upon him and that little curl of smoke floating up past teeth the size of hands.

Time stood still for Con (our cook) as he considered the life choices that had lead to this moment in time. But in a lifetime of bad decisions, from speeding in the school-zone, to returning videos un-rewound, to over-salting his final exam piece at chef school – today he made a good one.

“Sir,” he said, “let me get you a new sidebowl to hold the fries,” and returned to his kitchen.

Lucy waited for him, observing the sweat sheen on his face and uneven breathing. Deciding to give him a break, she pulled up a chair and motioned for him to sit.

“He’s a good bloke, Con,” she taking a new plate and loading it up with fries. “Tips well, and has only eaten one cook this year. The other two left of their own accord – honest.”

Exercise: Envision a dragon. Do you battle him? Or is the dragon friendly? Use descriptive language.

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