Prompt: "Are You Ready?"

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Are You Ready?

Sandra made the mistake of glancing down past the roof of their suburban house to the ground three stories below, lit with street lamps.

She shook her head, but it was too late. The dragon was already lifting off, sending powerful winds back with its wings. Sandra clung tighter to her husband's middle. A lurch and a turn. If not for the straps holding her to the saddle, she would have fallen off. She felt like she was going to be ill.

"I can show you the world," Jim belted out.

"Don't you dare!" Sandra opened her eyes then.

Jim's middle shook with laughter, but she couldn't hear it over the force of the wind.

They flew over the nearest park. As far as Sandra could tell it was empty now. There might be some teenagers doing God-knows-what in the tubes of the play structure, but nothing was visible.

They flew to another park, and another. Every park in the city was on the route.

"Not sure what to tell the chief," Jim shouted, "You seen anything?"

"No," Sandra said. She closed her eyes again. The nausea had never gone away, just normalized at a level too low to actually make her throw up. She vowed never to go out on patrol with Jim again. No matter what the books said, riding a dragon wasn't nearly as much fun as a safety-inspected roller coaster.

"Well shit," Jim said, "Hang on, Love."

She did, and they plunged. Down, down, down!

Sandra's stomach traveled up her throat. Spasms rocked her body and she clung to Jim's back with a sporadic intensity as the vomit flew. She diverted her head to the side to try to keep his uniform safe, but there was no real aiming. It would land wherever it landed.

Another jolt. If she'd had anything left, she'd have thrown up again.

Jim unstrapped his legs and jumped down from the dragon's back. How could he walk so steadily after what they'd just done?

"You're under arrest for the murder of [person name]," Jim shouted.

The man ran, and Jim gave chase. He jumped and tackled him to the bark chip covered ground. Next came handcuffs and the recitation of rights. He attached the prisoner to a park bench and pulled out his cell phone to call the station while Sandra fumbled with the clasps on her legs. Finally, she got down off the dragon and stumbled over to where Jim stood. He was beaming, as proud of his catch as a body on his first hunting trip.

"Do you think they'd take me home in a car if I asked?" Sandra said, grabbing Jim's arm for support. It was slimy.

Fifteen minutes later a squad car pulled into the park's parking lot.

"Woah! What did you do to him?" Ron said when he got close.

Jim laughed. "Oh, that? Sandra threw up as we were landing."

Ron glanced up at Sandra, who stood several feet off from the murderer. "Good shot," Ron said, "Jim, you should take her out more often."

Jim laughed again, but Sandra didn't. She sat in the passenger seat of the squad car with the murderer safely tucked away in the back seat behind the mesh bars. That didn't keep the smell from traveling forward. Ron chuckled as Sandra rolled down her window.

Never again.

***

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