"Uhmm, Jane? There's a dragon in the living room." Cait's voice resonated with the perpetual tremor of nervousness that had developed in the past year.
Jane didn't even bother to raise her eyes, intent on the computer screen. "I know, her name is Ashlee. We live with her. Remember?" Her fingers typed a rapid fire sequence on the keyboard in reply to a friend online, her mind comfortably in the rational world. A rational world where sometimes it seemed nothing made sense, but that is the way of things.
Cait's face lost some of her fear and grew indignant. "Not that dragon. I know her. I mean a real one. You know, wings, scales, claws?" A microexpression of amusement flashed across Jane's face before settling into pity. She wondered what to do with Cait, who had either finally cracked from the stress, or at best totally lost her sense of timing with jokes. Her muscles relaxed, she put an away message on her computer, slowly stood, pushed her way past the taller girl, and headed for the kitchen.
She froze, stopping short and making Cait trod on the back of her heels. There was a dragon in the living room. A smaller beast than one would expect from proper movie effects, but even a small beast lying on the delapidated couch watching television was surreal enough. It was a hideous creature, rather like the western european conception dragon, rather than the eastern or south american vision. It had a body the height of a slightly short woman, but was topped off with a foot long neck and a wide flat head and a crown of horns. The skin hung in drab wrinkles of mottled olive green, turning to a greyish color at the base of its bat-like wings and horns. Claws, long and pointed like an old woman's knitting needles forged of iron emerged from limbs knobled like an osteoarthritis patient's and wrapped around a small black television remote. Small mean yellow eyes shown in the darkness, intent on the movie of the week. A few feet away lay a facedown cellphone, carelessly tossed aside. A strangled cry rose out of Jane's throat.
The two girls took one last glance at the horror in their dormortory before fleeing into Cait's room for a council of war. But a few last sinister details registered. The dragon's evil little eyes were outlined in black paint, its lashes made more pronounced with heavy mascara, and worst of all, the lips surrounding a mouth of uneven, pointy and yellowed teeth had been touched up to a deep antique plum.
"Believe me now?" Cait's tone had grown decidedly snide. Jane's was hardly more pleasant. Cait flopped on her bed, deciding which stuffed animal to cling to. A teddy bear was tossed aside for not being squishy enough. She looked like a college student with the eyes of a three year old.
"Sure, hold it against me to not believe the impossible." Jane paused. Debated stealing a stuffed animal herself. "Do we get to feed Sarah to her?"
"And have it die of high blood pressure?" Cait's response was that of habit. A cream colored stuffed rabit was pushed away.
"You're mean."
"You would have said it if I hadn't."
"Well, yeah." Jane grinned. "Besides, I was right, the dragon is Ashlee, looks more like her personality now, though. Doesn't she."
"Well, only she and Sarah would wear make up like that. And Sarah would be watching wrestling. Besides, that was Ashlee's cell phone."
"But. I mean, that's no proof. Ashlee never watches her phone or anything. Just leaves her shit all over. A medieval monster wasting crops would be less of a slob. But I guess it's still a valid point. I conceede the wrestling. So assuming mythical monsters don't have keycards or sketeton keys. What are we going to do?" Cait hugged a potbellied purple and jade stuffed dragon to her chest. It looked nothing like the living oddity outside. Nor did any of the other cute, or at least friendly, dragons inhabiting Cait's room. "I mean, the knights are long gone. And I bet they were assholes anyways." She glanced at the faerie knight on her calander. Looks arrogant alright, she thought in passing.
"Hit her hard?"
"That would be therapy, but not helpful."
"Sounds good. Glad I already had dinner tonight. But this isn't going to make 8:30s fun."
"She might be quieter."
"Yeah. Right." Cait snorted.

They stood in the hall, on opposite sides of the entrance to the common area. Their bookbags were held at the ready, over their left arms and blocking their bodies, 'with your shield or on it' style. Hardly Spartan warriors, they held such weapons as could be found. Cait held a hardwood walking stick in her right hand, looking for all the world a poor parady of Merlin. She clenched it with all her might, knuckles pale and figers white with strain. Across from her, Jane held a heavy computer science book in her right hand, ready to use it as a club if necessary.
After a silent count to three, the two rushed out and ran for the door. With their miserable luck, a commercial came on the television and the dragon's eyes wandered. Catching sight of her appartmentmates trying to sneak away unmolested, she bellowed, a nasal battle cry painfully reminescent of Ashlee's voice, then charged. The girls froze a moment, rabbits caught in an open field, but as a razor sharp claw descended on them Cait twisted her staff and managed a passable block, with that extra moment Jane heaved her book at the monster's head. They headed for the door, praying the television would recapture the beast's attention before it could attack again.
Safe outside they took a moment to crow. "Your aim is so much better than mine!" Cait told Jane, meaning to make a larger compliment than she actually did, for Cait's aim was notoriously bad. "Sorry you lost your book though."
"I'll get it back while she watches television. What about your stick?"
"I'm sure I will be back from class in time to retrieve it from the kitchen before she moves her lazy ass."

Another discussion took place that night. "Having a dragon out there really isn't that bad. So long as we make sure we leave while a decent show is on we should be fine. Even able to cook."
"We have to get rid of it. We can't live with it."
"I said that about a week after we moved in."
"It was different."
"I prefer physical attacks to the verbal. And we don't have to listen to her sing."