The editors at Kasma Science Fiction have decided to put "The Dragon's Lesson" up right away. Back when it was first published in Time For Bedlam, Romie Stott at Reflection's Edge said it was "worth Time For Bedlam's cover price alone" -- and now you can read it for free!
Here's how it starts:
Child, why are you crying? Your first bleeding came this morning, and how many gifts did I give you to mark the day -- black stone bracelets carved smooth, and a silver necklace so fine a spider might have woven it. Yes, and now you have your own house, as a sister should, walls woven tight against the wind. What reason do you have for tears?
Ah, I see. No, it is no shame -- even a lion feels the bite of a fly, as we say. But you must understand, this is not a time for tears. Let me tell you a story -- no, you have not heard it before; it is not one of our stories, but was told to me by one of the Dead Men. Of course not. They wear veils to face their gods, as we do; only their god is the sun, and he is everywhere, so they must go veiled whenever they are outside. Beneath they are as alive as you or me. Some are even handsome -- and better lovers than our men, I can tell you.
Do not look so shocked, child. You are a sister, now, and must learn to deal with men. In truth the Dead Men are not so frightening; they are more like sisters than our men are.
This story is of a man named Ramaad...