Dave sat in a cave. It was a pretty bloody nice one. The sandstone floor was smooth and covered with a huge red Persian rug. The corduroy couch was massive. It had no back, so perfect for a long chunky tail to dangle through. Dave leaned back against the grainy stone. It was slightly damp but that didn’t bother him on this summer day in Sydney. He could hear the faint sound of the surf and smell wafts of coconut oil and salty air. Next to the couch was a small table upon which sat an antique lamp with a purple light shade. He looked closer. Wow, bro. There was a wheel of brie, some dried apricots and some cracker biscuits. Choice.
Dave couldn’t believe his luck. This cave wasn’t on any Lonely Planet guide book. He’d just stumbled upon it on his travels to the North. What a day he was going to have hanging out in this comfy cave, dining on cheese and bickies. He stretched his legs and kicked off his jandles. Out came the rolly papers. Then he fumbled around in the nylon back-pack for the ganja in the aluminium foil. He put the items next to the cheese. Soon he had rolled a huge joint - a dragon sized joint.
Lighter. I need a lighter, he thought. I could breathe on it but it might singe this beautiful rug. He was just about to try and breathe a miniscule amount of fire onto the joint when a rotund looking dragon wearing a purple velvet smoking jacket ambled through the opening.
‘Hello bro,’ said Dave
‘By Jove man, what on earth are you doing?’ said the tubby scaled creature, whose name was Ferdinand.
‘Just stopping overnight bro,’ said Dave stretching his legs and wiggling his six chunky toes.
‘What? This is not a communal cave?’ said Ferdinand, raising his scaly green lip into a snarl. ‘I do not live in a communal cave. You must be one of those obnoxious water dragons?’ said Ferdinand.
‘What’s a water dragon bro?’
‘Ones who are smuggled here on a boat.’
‘No bro. I didn’t come here by boat.’
‘Where are you from then?’
‘Across the sea, bro.’
Ferdinand looked down his nose and adjusted his glasses peering closer.
‘Well I can hear that but where.’ He sniffed the air.
‘Bondi. That’s not across the sea. It’s across the bridge.’
‘What do you mean, no bro?’
‘Bondi is across the sea.’
‘Usually if one says they’re from across the sea, it means they’re from another country.’
‘No bro, that’s overseas then, not across the sea.’
Ferdinand threw his clawed fingers in the air.
‘Sure bro but could you help me first? I need a lighter bro.’
‘You’re a dragon. You breathe fire. Why would you need a lighter? And why would I have a lighter? I’m a dragon too.’
‘I’ve got this joint bro. I want to smoke it bro.’
Ferdinand’s eyes grew wider. ‘I say, old chap! What a rum turn of events! Why didn’t you say?’ He pulled a box of matches from his smoking jacket. ‘Here you are.’
Dave lit the joint and sucked hard passing the slightly salivered reefer to Ferdinand. Ferdinand wriggled down on the huge Chesterfield across from Dave and sucked hard too. Then he took another suck.
‘No double sucking bro.’
‘Golly gosh. Whatever do you mean - no double sucking?
‘It’s polite to just have one suck unless you’re smoking alone.’
‘My dear fellow. You’re in my cave. I hardly think you ‘re qualified to say what’s polite.’
‘Yes bro I’m in your cave so show a bit of hospitality, aye.’
The dragon blew the smoke out and few sparks came out singeing the antique lamp.
‘That is strong stuff,’ said Ferdinand coughing out some more smoke.
A body is flung into the cave. It’s a male, wearing red speedos. It lands face down.
‘Did you order Uber eats bro?’
‘I beg your pardon?’
‘Did you order some Uber eats bro?’
‘I’m not eating that. It’s.. it’s raw.’
‘Raw is way better for you. You get all the antioxidants and vitamins and enzymes bro.’
Ferdinand starting laughing, his green scales tippled down his body as the deep dragon laugh rolled out.
Dave took another toke.
Ferdinand got up from his couch grabbed a cracker and cheese and ate it before flipping over the body.
‘That’s the PM, bro,’ said Dave.
‘The PM would never cross the bridge,’ said Ferdinand.
‘It is. It’s him. I’ve seen him on the tv, swimming and that.’
‘This is not the PM.’
‘It is bro.’
‘It’s not. This is our local member.’
‘Oh. Looks like the PM. Is he dead bro?’
Ferdinand took his pulse.
‘Yes. I’m afraid he is.’
Dave started screaming and stamping his feet up and down. The cool cave warmed with his energy.
‘We’ve got to get rid of the body bro. They’ll think we did it. I don’t want to go to jail bro. You’ve got to eat him.’
‘I certainly am not eating him Sir. Now calm down.’
Dave started giggling. The giggling became louder and louder. Then he let out a dragon fart.
‘You’ll wake the dead with that,’ said Ferdinand sniffing in the fart aftermath.
David stopped giggling. He looked over at the dead body.
‘Do you think so bro?’
‘Heavens above. No. It’s an expression.’
‘Oh,’ said Dave.
They both looked over at the pale body in red Speedos.
‘I think it moved,’ said Dave.
‘You’re hallucinating,’ said Ferdinand, staring at the body.
‘It moved. It did,’ said Dave, ‘Are you sure you know how to take a pulse bro?’
The body turned over. Ferdinand let out a gasp. Dave Screamed.
‘It’s a resurrection, bro,’ screamed Dave. ‘Jesus is here. He’s raising people from the dead.’
Ferdinand clenched his big dragon fist. He was not going to show fear. He was a dragon, after all. Dave sat back on his chair quavering.
‘Jesus is not here,’ said Ferdinand.
‘How do you know, bro? This body has risen from the dead.’
‘He has not risen from the dead. Can you see Jesus here in the room?’
‘No bro but how do I know what he might look like now. He might be a lampshade?’
‘Jesus is not a lampshade,’ said Ferdinand.
‘I think he is bro.’
‘Was that marijuana laced with any hallucinogenic?’
‘No bro. Grew it myself. Over in Bondi bro.’
Ferdinand looked to the ceiling and back at Dave. He let out a large sigh.
‘Burn it,’ said Dave.
‘The lampshade? Are you saying to burn Jesus?
‘You just said Jesus was not a lampshade bro.’
Dave got down on his knees and faced the lampshade.
‘Jesus is not a lampshade.’
The body moved.
‘Look he’s resurrecting. Jesus must be here. He must be a lampshade bro. Don’t they say Jesus is a light, bro?’
‘Probably but he is not a lampshade.’
‘A lampshade is close to a light bro,’ said Dave. ‘It’s opening its eyes bro. It’s a ghost. Let me out of here.’
Ferdinand watched the large eared creature sit up.
‘Back away now,’ said Dave. ‘We’re dragons. We can burn you.’
‘Ghosts aren’t scared of fire,’ said Ferdinand.
The body who belonged to a bloke called Tony rubbed its eyes.
‘Who are you?’ he said. ‘Is this heaven?’
‘Close to it,’ said Dave.’ There’s some pretty choice cheese and bickies here.’
Tony looked at the bickies and licked his lips.
‘Jatz? They serve Jatz in heaven?’
‘This is not heaven. This is my cave,’ said Ferdinand. ‘It is a private cave and one where we wear clothes.’
‘You only have on a smoking jacket,’ said Tony. ‘Am I in heaven? Don’t say I’ve gone to hell. It’s because of the damn carbon tax isn’t it? I didn’t think they’d serve Jatz in heaven.’
‘You are in Manly, Australia, Sir.’
Tony winked at Dave.
‘He winked at me bro. He winked.’
‘Don’t worry that’s his trademark. He winks at everyone. Would you like an onion, Tony?’
The colour started coming back into Tony’s face.
‘Now that is a wonderful idea and I thank you above all for such an idea. Is it an onion you have grown yourself because onions that are grown in this land are delicious especially Tasmanian onions?’
‘What is he talking about bro? He sounds like a real goat.’
Tony continued, ‘Primitive people once killed goats to appease the volcano gods, we are more sophisticated now but are still sacrificing our industries and our living standards to the climate gods to little more effect.’ 1
‘He’s gone into political mode,’ said Ferdinand. ‘Must have had a bump on the head. Sounds like he’s reciting old speeches.’
‘It would be wrong to underestimate the strengths of the contemporary West. By objective standards, people have never had better lives. Yet our phenomenal wealth and our scientific and technological achievements rest on values and principles that have rarely been more widely challenged.’ 2
‘Can I burn him bro? Can I please? He’s really annoying.’
‘No. Not in my cave. If you want to spend the night here take him out and put him back into the ocean.’
Dave got up, threw Tony over his shoulder and waddled out through the cave entrance. Ferdinand waited a few minutes and then rolled a massive stone over the entrance. Sitting back on his lounge he cut a triangle from the brie wheel and popped it onto the Jatz. As if they wouldn’t have Jatz in heaven, he thought.