The Princess and the Dragon

The princess watched helplessly as the white knight approached the fire-breathing dragon. The knight was fearless and brave as he hefted his lance and drew his sword. Amabeth didn’t like it.

She knew he would get hurt, but, from high up in her tower, there was nothing she could do to stop it. All she could do was watch from the slit of a window as the battle raged on below.

The dragon reared back and blew a billow of flame. The knight dove behind a rock to safety.

The dragon snarled and bared its terrifying teeth, and the knight leapt forth and dove his lance into the soft underbelly of the dragon. It howled and lurched forward, the lance stuck fast in its flesh.

Another plume of fire gushed from the dragon’s mouth and again the knight dove behind the rock. The dragon snarled and broke the end of the lance off with its mighty front leg.

But, to do this, it had to rear up again, and the clever knight rushed forward and plunged his sword into the fearsome beast. It howled and staggered back.

The knight, seeing his opening, surged forward and stabbed his sword into the soft underbelly again and again until the dragon finally fell backwards, dead.

The knight, triumphant bent and took a knife from his belt and sawed off one of the dragon’s horns. When his work was done, he removed his helmet and raised the bloody horn high above his head.

“Princess,” he called in his deep baritone. “I have slain the dragon. Fear not, I am on my way to you now.”

Amabeth moved from the window. His features were striking and his face handsome. And, from the moment she saw his face, she knew. He was her destiny.

He was the man who would change everything for her. He was now her very reason for being at this moment. She knew where her life would take her from now on.

He was the first man she would ever kill.

While she waited for the knight to climb the stairs to the highest room in the tallest tower, she changed into her best dress and fixed her face. When the knight burst through the door, at last, he crossed the room in three short strides to her, his arms open wide.

Amabeth smiled coyly and cocked her head to the side, pushing her bosom forward. The knight face split with a lecherous smile and took her in his arms.

“Princess, I have saved you,” he said. “I demand a token of your affection.”

“Then hold me tight,” she whispered.

He did and she filched the knife from his belt and plunged it into his back, finding the chink in his armour. She withdrew it and plunged it in again, finding another chink.

The knight crumpled and fell from her arms to the floor.

“You slew my dragon,” the princess spat. “My parents abandoned me to this castle for not being born a man. They left me in exile to die. If it hadn’t been for my dragon, I would be dead.”

The knight tried to speak, but instead only gurgled and blew little bloody spit bubbles. His eyes glazed over and Amabeth continued.

“When I reached my third day in this castle the dragon came, and I admit, at first I was afraid, but when I saw that the dragon brought with him food and water for me, I knew he was my saviour.

“My dragon was my only companion in this hellscape; my only constant. And, now you’ve killed him. I swear on his memory that I will slay every knight whoever harms a dragon in anything other than true self-defence.

“Dragons are not the enemy, man is.”

Amabeth looked down at the lifeless body of the knight with nothing but contempt. He and his ilk would pay for what they did to her dragon.