“Dude, we are not asking the dragon for directions.”
Determined and weighed down with chainmail the knight glanced incredulously at his brother in arms.
“Well, there’s no one else around to ask.”
Then he was off, heading down the hill to where the dragon lay, wrapped around a mound of stones and rocks that suspiciously looked like the entrance to a cave, the more he approached.
The second knight, we’ll call him David, chased after him reluctantly, stopping to look over his shoulder as if some other preferable option was going to present itself to him. Maybe they’d be a dame that needed rescuing from some less dangerous creature and a pot of gold as his prize, but oh no, his fellow knight had set his heart on this quest and nothing, not even a twenty-foot dragon was going to stop him.
The first knight cleared his throat as he stood, small, in front of the dragon who was guarding the cave entrance.
The dragon remained unmoved.
“Excuse me.” He asked, extending a finger to tap on the dragon’s scale.
The dragon opened one eye, keeping the other closed. She didn’t like her sleep being interrupted.
Noticing the insignificant creature on the ground she closed her eye once again.
“Excuse me dragon, I was hoping you could point my friend and I in the direction of the castle? We are here to rescue a damsel in distress.”
The dragon sighed and rolled over so it’s head was facing the other way.
Not wanting to give up that soon, the knight rushed around the dragon, his chainmail brushing against the hot steel that covered the front of his thighs.
“Did you hear me, beast?” He asked once more trying to get her attention.
She exhaled a small burst of flames, a warning to leave her alone.
David, red-faced and scared, placed a hand on the knight’s shoulder.
“I think you should stop antagonising the dragon.”
The knight wore a determined frown before stepping forward and tapping the dragon’s nose.
The dragon opened its eyes and raised it’s head so she could see her harassers.
“Look what you’ve done now.” David took a step back, taking in the grandeur of the beast.
“Ah, now that I have your attention, I was rather hoping that you could direct us to the castle. We’re told a damsel needs our help.”
The dragon stared at the knights.
“You realise I could eat you both in one bite?” She hissed.
“Y-you speak?” David stammered.
“Do you not want to help us find someone in need?” The knight asked, placing both his hands on his hips.
If the dragon could have rolled her eyes she would have.
“I’m guarding the castle. It’s underground and I’m one of the only things standing in your path.”
“Oh.” The realisation dawned on the knight, “but why won’t you let her go?”
“Ignore him,” David stated, “it’s his first quest. I don’t think he quite understands the whole dragon and princess dynamic.”
“Yes, I do. But what I don’t understand is what this damsel has possibly done to this dragon to make it so angry that it won’t let the girl go.”
The dragon rested its head once more on the rocks.
“Go right ahead. I’m not stopping her from leaving, I’m protecting her from danger. You’re clearly no danger to her.”
David nodded, swallowing his fear.
“Right then, in we go.”
The knight, not quite comprehending this new dynamic, let David lead him into the cave to find his princess.
NB This was a fun piece to write, it had a surreal Terry Pratchett feel to it and I might revisit it at a later date.
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