Emily Dorffer is a technical editor who proudly stands just half an inch under five feet tall. She loves spoiling her cat and baking with her mom. Her poems and short stories have appeared in Cicada ... [+]

Image of Short Circuit - Short Circuit #03

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Spark's fiery breath wasn't as hot as the other dragons'. No matter how hard he blew, he could never match the intensity of the other dragons' flames. 

While Spark's fire was just hot enough to start a toasty campfire, the other dragons could do all sorts of cool things with their flames. They bathed in hot springs they created themselves and ignited firework displays every night. Their flames were so amazingly hot that they could even melt sand and shape it into glass ornaments, which they proudly hung in their caves. 

One afternoon, Spark saw the other dragons making a menagerie of glass animals together. They had already created everything from chimeras to phoenixes and were just starting to work on the unicorns, each one permanently kicking at the air with crystalline hoofs. Spark tried to melt some sand so he could join in, but, try as he might, his fire only made the sand warm. 

The other dragons laughed and said, "You call that a fire? It's a wonder you can even roast a marshmallow with that!" 

Spark tried to make his flames hotter until clouds of smoke poured out of his nose and soot covered his scales, but he just couldn't melt the sand. The other dragons kept on spewing flames and insults until tears stung Spark's eyes.

Out of breath and struggling not to cry, Spark flew home to his cave. After washing all the soot from his scales, he gathered his baking supplies. No matter how upset he got, he knew he could always count on a fresh batch of cookies to cheer him up.

By the time he finished making the cookie dough, Spark couldn't stop smiling, and it wasn't just because he'd done a thorough taste test of the dough. No, he was happy because it was finally time to bake the cookies.

Although his fire wasn't as hot as the other dragons', it was perfect for baking. Spark heated the cookie dough with his gentle flames. Soon enough, he had a dozen perfectly golden chocolate chip cookies that tasted as good as they smelled.

The cookies smelled so deliciously chocolaty that the other dragons flew straight to Spark's cave to find out what he had made. Drool dripped from their mouths as they watched Spark lick crumbs off his claws. "Can we have some too?" they asked as their stomachs growled.

Spark still had some cookies left over since he hadn't been hungry enough to eat the whole batch, but he remembered the mean things the other dragons had said to him. "Only if you apologize," he said.

"No way!" said the other dragons. "If your puny fire can bake cookies, then there's no way our flames can't." They flew off in a huff, determined to bake cookies that tasted at least ten times as good as Spark's. 

They had no trouble making cookie dough, but when it came time to bake the cookies, their flames were way too hot. Their cookies looked as black as charcoal and tasted like ashes. No matter how many batches they made, their cookies always ended up burnt and disgusting. 

Spark could smell the other dragons coming long before they landed outside his cave. "Are you guys alright?" he asked. "Something smells burnt." 

"We're okay. We just had a bit of a problem when we tried to bake some cookies," the other dragons said, hiding their faces behind their wings in embarrassment. "We're sorry we made fun of you earlier. We didn't realize baking was so hard." 

"My fire might be perfect for baking, but even I had to practice a lot before I stopped burning things," said Spark. "I'd be happy to teach you guys how to get your fire to the right temperature if you want." 

The other dragons eagerly agreed to let Spark teach them how to bake. Of course, there were a few hiccups along the way. Some cookies were burnt, others turned out practically raw, and still others somehow ended up too crunchy in some places and too gooey in others. But by the time Spark finished teaching the other dragons how to bake, everyone had a bellyful of perfectly gooey chocolate chip cookies. 

While Spark took a well-deserved nap in the sun, all the other dragons spent an entire afternoon baking cookies and making glass ornaments. When Spark woke up, he found a huge plateful of chocolate chip cookies waiting for him alongside a dozen glass ornaments shaped like cookies. 

"Thank you so much for teaching us how to bake," the other dragons said. "This was the least we could do for you after you taught us how to make such amazing cookies. After all, your fire might not be the hottest, but your heart sure is the warmest."

"Just you wait," Spark said as he hung his brand-new ornaments in his cave. "If you think cookies are delicious, I can hardly wait to see what you guys think of my chocolate lava cake recipe!"

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