If Only

Tyree Campbell

George quailed at the sight of the scaly green beast. All around him fluttered radioactive debris from its Thermonuclear Death Breath. How could he possibly defeat such a monster? But the village expected it. He had to try. What would his father think, if he turned and fled?

But his father wasn't here. He was on his own.

It was an effort to place one foot before the other, but George did so, and approached, clanking. The dragon reared up on its hind legs, and George wet his armor. How they would laugh at him, rusted inside, as rigid as the Tin Man. He cringed in anticipation, not of defeat, but of derision. If only he might gain a victory...a decisive victory. But how?

The dragon's glowing red eyes speared George's very soul. Then it made a fist of its massive right hand and thrust it forward.

George extended his open hand and said, "Paper wraps rock. I win."

"Durn!" said the dragon, and stalked off toward the next village.

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