I decided I am going to do my own prompt this time, seemed to fun to pass up!
OK quickly to the prompt...use these ten words in a story/poem. dragon friar binge false teeth king concrete whiskey vegetable flesh alarm
Herrick could not believe it. Being called upon to attend the the King and Queen while they were traveling was quite an honor, but then being called to the capitol to attend to the entire family was more than he had dreamed of when he had attended Montpelier. His mentor there had told him these things happened, but he never saw it coming. To think a humble apothecary turned surgeon being called on for royal service!
He was riding east toward the capitol when he heard a sound that made his flesh crawl. It was a pained and desperate sound but at the same time seemed to come from an otherworldly source. He kicked his horse into a canter.
Suddenly he heard the sound grow louder, and a strong wind knocked him off his horse. As he rolled Herrick was alarmed as he caught sight of his horse being snatched and eaten! The dragon chomped his poor horse in two and then thrashed and howled so loudly that Herrick thought his ears would soon bleed if it did not stop.
The thrashing and noise stopped, and the dragon lay there unmoving. Herrick got up and slowly walked around to his now dead horse, to see if his saddlebags had survived the gnashing. He quietly began gathering his belongings that had been strewn around when he felt a hot breath on his back. He turned slowly to face the dragon, awake and now growling menacingly, with his mouth wide open and steam venting from his nostrils.
Herrick was frozen, he could not run, or even move. As the dragons head moved toward him, the whiff of rot overwhelmed him. He could see from this angle that the dragon's teeth were literally rotting out of his head! As the mouth began to close over him, he grabbed a bone mallet that was lying on the ground mercifully close and whacked the softest tooth he could find with all his might.
Once again the dragon howled and writhed in pain, forgetting to eat Herrick and rolling over and over across the field. By the time he had stopped moving again, Herrick had gathered his things and was moving as fast as he could in the opposite direction.
Looking up with eyes tearing the dragon took two steps, and with a great flap of its iridescent wings landed on the ground right in front of the good surgeon.
“I am going to EAT YOUR FLESH!” Roared the dragon
“I don't think so” Herrick said, cautiously.
“I want to eat your flesh.” the dragon said, a little less sure of himself.
“I am sure you do” said Herrick. “I am also sure you haven't been able to eat much of anything lately.”
“It hurts when I eat.” the dragon whined piteously. “I even tried eating...blech...vegetables.”
Herrick laughed, “Well I am sure that, if you promise not to eat me, I could possibly make it so you could eat again.”
“Could you? I would promise anything to be able to much a nice deer or even a cow! I don't even like people or horses, I just am SO HUNGRY!”
“OK dragon, open up and let me get a better look at that mouth”
The dragon whined and backed up a step
“I promise, I won't hurt you!” Herrick laughed inwardly at the idea that he was calming a dragon.
The dragon, after a moment, opened wide.
“You have been binging on sheep and chickens haven't you?”
“Ungh hunga” said the dragon
“You should know better than that! Everyone knows domesticated animals are bad for dragons. You need to take better care of yourself before you end up on some knights pike.”
“Ungha hun hunga nung ha” said the dragon
Herrick thought a moment. There was a lot of bad teeth there, and they already hurt the dragon. To be able to do this he would have to have services not available in the rural area he was traveling through.
“Alright, here is the bargain. You will promise to fly me to the capitol. Well, right outside the capitol, I don't want to start a riot. I will then go and collect the necessary supplies, and meet you back there, where I will deal with your pain and fix it. First though, I need some gold to buy these things with, so cough it up”
The dragon looked momentarily surprised, but then issued a rumble, then a cough and suddenly there were small piles of gold pieces laying on the ground at Herrick's feet.
“I had heard you dragons had a penchant for gold...I just didn't know how true it was.”
“We use it to help, umm...light the fire so to speak.”
The flight was surprisingly comfortable, after some getting used to the sinewy undulations of the dragon back Herrick soon felt safe and began looking around as they flew in an arrow straight line toward the capitol city. He spotted a set of caves very near the city.
“There, fly to those caves!”
The dragon banked and came down by the entrance of the largest.
“Stay here, I will be back as soon as I can gather all the supplies I need. I saw a lake nearby, go and drink, maybe you will suck some fish up.”
“Well if I can try vegetables I can certainly try fish,”
“Yes, do. Try not to chew them though, you will be sorry if you do.”
“Aqua Vitae sir, I am seeking at least a full barrow of it.”
“I'm not sure what that is, but I think if your looking for strong drink you need to see Belthus. You'll find him over in the church.”
Herrick knocked at the basement door of the large Gothic building. He could hear noises emanating from the interior, then a loud bang and curses. He knocked again, a little louder this time and was satisfied by an unintelligible shout from beyond the door. He heard steps and then the latch was drawn. A large friar, one of the largest he had ever seen loomed inside the door frame. Herrick relaxed when a smile crossed the red-nosed face and a huge hand shot out to grasp his own.
“Aye friend, what can I do ya for this day?” Belthus bellowed
“I am looking for distilled spirits, sir. Aqua Vitae the Romans called it.”
“Aye we have that here, its known by its Gaelic name in these parts, whiskey!”
“I require at least a barrow full if not two, I am performing surgery of a delicate nature and need it for both pain and cleanliness.”
“You have come to the right place friend, but that is an extreme amount for one delicate operation.”
“Do you know of the caves outside of town, off the main road good friar? If you would deliver them there you would see why they are necessary.”
“They will be there first thing in the morning, but there is the matter of the 'donation' to the church?”
Herrick pulled a stack of gold pieces out and the friar almost fell over thanking him for it.
“Friar, is there any construction going on here? I have need of some building materials...”
The next morning Herrick was standing outside the caves as several wagons pulled up to offload the materials he had ordered, and overpaid heavily for the day before. As he was organizing the “building materials” the friar pulled up with four barrows of the distilled spirits.
“Ho friar Belthus, would you like to see the patient?” Herrick said as he was hammering nails in a strange looking form.
“I will admit I have been fairly curious since your visit yesterday. What kind of patient need a barrow of hard liquor?”
“Come see for yourself friar, let your eyes tell you what you would never believe from me.”
The dragon was curled up in the back of the cave, sleeping fitfully with legs and mouth twitching and his tail swishing about.
“God be good man, that IS a dragon is it not?”
“Of course, but he has promised no harm to us. In fact, he does not like to eat us, thinks we taste bad.”
“What is the operation about then?”
The poor beast has not eaten in more than a year. He cannot bite due to a rotten mouth, so in return for not killing me I have agreed to fix his problem.”
The dragon opened his eyes, and a little steam escaped his flattened nostrils.
“The agreement did not cover fat bald men.” he said in a flat voice
“Hush you, he is here to help just as I am so be pleasant will you?”
“Alright. By the way, fish are not half bad. I did not chew them, but I let them swim around a bit before I swallowed them...was a rather strange but not unpleasant sensation.”
The friar had not said a word since the dragon awoke, so Herrick looked over to see him pale and wide eyed.
“Friar, he won't eat you I promise. If he tries just smack one of those teeth and it will prostrate him.”
“Dragons speak?” said the friar in a shaky voice.
“Well man, I thought that part was obvious.” Herrick laughed, and so did the dragon.
Outside, Herrick directed the dragon to a large container he had emptied two of the barrows of whiskey into.
“I need you to drink that, all of it.”
The dragon sniffed it, then lapped up a bit of it.
“This is, hard but tasty.”
“Yes and in a bit it will be easier to drink.” said the friar. “I use a very old distilling method to produce a very smooth and fine blend. It is some of the best in the region. The King himself orders seven barrows a week!”
Herrick was busy putting the forms together with modeling clay he had picked up from the art center in town and got his tools together on a large table he had put together from the materials that had been delivered earlier. The dragon lapped up the whiskey and began talking about how he loved everyone there, and the friar dipped his cup and was talking back to the dragon asking him about how old he was and other sundry things. Before too long the dragon began to swoon a bit.
“Dragon, come lie down her for me please.”
“You know” slurred the dragon “I have a name, and it isn't dragon”
“Lie here and tell me about it good dragon”
The dragon lay where he was told and almost immediately was asleep, as did the friar by the vat of whiskey.
Herrick pulled a large frame around the head of the beast, connected a rope and pulley and lifted the jaw up wide so that he could gain entry into the gaping maw. With a hammer, a bar and a drill he began to remove, one after the other the blackened and rotten teeth that filled the monster mouth. After removal he splashed more of the whiskey into the wounds and began to assemble a mold about the lower half. He packed it with modeling clay and lowered the upper jaw onto the lower, creating an impression in the clay. Removing the mold from the dragons mouth, he placed the molds he had made earlier of the dragons teeth on the top and began to pour a mixture of quicklime and pozzolana with a special mix of ashes and sand. When the mix hardened it would create a hard but flexible concrete that the Romans were using to build their aqueducts, and Herrick figured would last a good while in the dragon's mouth as false teeth.