George and the Dragon

Georgianna didn’t have time to breath as the scream ripped its way from her throat. The scaled monstrosity twitched its head at her, as if annoyed by the sound. It swiveled its neck, its smoking nostrils pouring black smog.

She was going to die, chained to a rock and screaming. With what she knew was her last breath she cursed her village and their superstitions. To assure the monster would leave them alone, the prettiest maid was to be given. At least that was what the oracle had promised. Georgianna cursed her too. It was ‘for the good of all’ her father had choked as he held her mother. Then they’d pushed her from their front door into the mob’s waiting arms.

The beast opened its maw, its needle filled mouth alone the size of her head. Geogianna’s rage and fear fueled her last scream as she shut her eyes to death.

The monster’s scream of pain joined her’s.  Georgianna flicked her eyes open. A bright red gash marred the creatures ribbed underbelly, and it had turned from her to face a newcomer. A knight, in bright armor wielding a sword stained with the monsters blood, ducked under one of its claws to score another hit. In retaliation the beast reared back, snapping is head forward like a serpent striking at a mouse.

The knight brought the shining sword up to block and the needle sharp maw closed around it and the Knight’s forearms. Now both he and the beast screamed, locked in a vice of blood and pain. Georgianna was silent, eyes set on the monster’s dripping mouth and slow crunching sounds as the Knights armor ground between the thing’s teeth. The beast shuddered once and then again, the sword had pierced through the top of it snout below its eye.

The knight roared and pulled away. She gritted her teeth against the sound of tearing bone and armor. Man and Beast collapsed, the monster twitching in its death throes while its blood flooded the dew covered grass.

The knight curled around his torn arms, one hung limply held to the elbow by sinew and the remains of the silver armor, the other was missing above the wrist. The man groaned and looked to her, craning his neck. His helm obscured his face and it muffled his voice. “Maiden.”

She couldn’t respond as his blood joined the monsters. She just watched him as he pushed himself up, using the stumps of his arms. “Maiden you’re safe.”

Had her wrist not been manacled she would have gone to him, tried to staunch the gurgle of lifeblood from his veins. But when he collapsed again there was nothing she could do but watch the faceless knight breathe his last into the red grass.

She did not know how long it took for him to die, only that the sun set and shadows overtook the combatants’ corpses while she watched, chained to the battlefield.

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