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Despite being repeatedly told that all artists drink too much absinthe, cut their own ears off and only make money after they’re dead, I have always wanted to be one. Strangely, I haven’t grown out of it.
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I don't bite, but I will ask for real money.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a dragon in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a dentist.
You see- for all their bluster and burning- destruction and devouring- dragons have yet to invent the electric toothbrush- and consequently have very poor oral hygiene. One point to the humans I say. Indeed it's a common theory that serious toothache is what makes dragons so narked off all the time. Thus it makes good sense to help them out with their gnashers just to ensure they don't get all agitated and torch a primary school.
Dragon dentistry however- is not something for the faint of heart, nor the flammable of composition. It takes a special kind of expertise to look death in the mouth- and then fix his teeth with big tweezers. This is the job of Dr Earnest Pimm & Sons professional dragon dentists. Est. 1813
Here we see routine operation to remove a rotten tooth. Dr Pimm directs proceedings while second son Toby dons the asbestos suit (for safety) and operates the no 4 drill. Eldest son Arthur operates the saliva pump while 3rd son Anthony controls the nozzle. Of course the best way to placate a dragon while operating is to use sock puppets- a job which falls to the youngest Pimm- Maggie- who isn't technically a son but isn't worth changing all the branded stationary for either.
Once the last ray of sunshine had danced itself to darkness and the teal gloom had ripened to pitch black; he flipped the lamps on.
For some moments there was nothing. Just the fresh blackness and the humming of the electric lamps, accompanied by the peculiar noises of the craft itself; like the occasional sound of fingers drumming on a brass bathtub. The porthole was a black disc.
Then out of the gloom a light became visible; just for a second it blinked on- then back to total darkness. Had he imagined it? Surely not. There it was again! Then another, closer this time. The flashes became brighter and more regular as the craft drew close, until finally their source became apparent. Jellyfish. Hundreds of them. Blinking and pulsing in brilliant colours all around him. He pressed his nose eagerly to the glass. He'd never seen anything like it.
But it was not was he was looking for…
They'd been travelling for almost a year now, a long journey through fens and swamps, badlands and scrublands, across the cratered plains where the huge trees grew- nervously watching the skies and scanning the tall grasses. At last they had reached the rift basin. They were close.
Signe waded knee deep through the tepid waters. The heat was sweltering- an oppressive, humid, damp that stuck her clothes to her skin and never allowed a single moment of comfort. Ragna sat high up on the back of Torvald- resting atop the truffle baskets and scanning the horizon with her scope. So far from the colony you could never be too careful.
It would soon be time for them to return, back to the distant frontier colony with their precious cargo of meteor truffles- the vast luminous fungi that grew only at the site of fallen meteors. One truffle could keep the colony going for half a year- lighting, utilities, recharging the energy rifles- it was all powered by meteor truffles. But truffle hunting was dangerous business, there were beasts aplenty, vast and harsh wilderness to traverse, disease, injury and starvation an ever present threat. Many hunters left the colony each year never to be seen alive again.