Jesterly Challenge Month – November 9th

John asked me to write a fairytale for the Little Prince, with dragons, magic, trolls and lots of Camelot style language.  Give it a read and let me know how I did in the comments.

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“Absolutely no correlation whatsoever,” the Little Prince mumbled while peering into the murky depths of the cave.  Stalagmites and stalactites jutted ominously from ground and ceiling at the farthest reaches of where his sight could penetrate the darkness and humid air breathed in and out of the entrance.

“What did thou sayeth, sire?” Belle, one of the Little Prince’s duo of steadfast and loyal knights, queried as she advanced to stand next to her liege.  Only a step behind, Sara, the other knight, took up position on the opposite side.

A groan beneath their feet stalled the Little Prince’s response.  The ground shivered as something large moved at the bottom of the cave, and the next out-pouring of air was tinged with the smell of fire and death.  They had finally found the home of the dragon which had been spreading its curse across the kingdom.

When the Little Prince finally spoke, without turning to acknowledge the arrival of his knights, his words were delivered purposefully, “It is a pep talk I received from my father years ago, meant to encourage careful analysis of any situation and decipher fact from fiction.”

“What dost thou mean?”  Sara’s penetrating green eyes turned from the cave to her sworn lord.

“At the moment, it means that the fearlessness that controls my spirit and wishes me to rush into the cave and meet our enemy cannot be trusted.  It would be foolish to face yon beast in its lair and so I, so we must be patient until the right opportunity presents itself.”

“Given the commotion beneath us, I can’t imagine we will have to wait very long.  Anon, I think the dragon knows we are here and it is coming to greet us.”  Belle unsheathed her daggers as she voiced her opinion and stepped sideways into a defensive position.

Sara mirrored the movement and the Little Prince took a few steps away from the entrance.  He had no visible weapons, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t prepared to battle.  The Little Prince had years of experience honing his innate magic and possessed strength and cunning beyond his age.

When the beast, a streak of orange fire scales and red leathery wings, burst from the cave, the speed of its appearance and its enormous size caught the Little Prince and his knights by surprise even though they had been anticipating the attack.  In truth, though all three had seen the damage the monster had caused none of them had believed the rumors that it was a dragon.  None of them had ever seen a legend come to life before.

Stumbling backwards from shock, the Little Prince managed to maintain his feet and regain his composure before the dragon could land a fatal blow, and digging from the deep well of his energy, he let loose a magical scream that pierced everything in its wake.  The air faltered beneath the dragon’s wings and it crashed to the ground.  It’s foreclaws scrambled to cover it’s ears and block out the agonizing wail.  Its own tormented cries were drowned out by the Little Prince’s counterattack.

Then, before it knew what was happening, Sara and Belle joined the fray.  Stabbing and slashing, their dexterous and coordinated assault furiously circled the dragon, probing for weaknesses in its scales and tearing at the tendons and membranes that would allow it to take wing and flee once their liege’s spell ended.

The dragon, unused to being attacked at all and having severely underestimated his foes, was unable to regain a footing in the battle and with a final desperate cry its heart exploded within its protected breast.  Head, limbs, and tail of the mighty beast collapsed lifelessly to the ground and Belle and Sara scrambled to avoid being crushed as they disengaged and reconvened at the side of the Little Prince.

Gasping for breath, hands on knees, the Little Prince silenced his scream, but never let his site waver from the downed beast.  “That was too easy,” he said between gulp of air.  “Be on guard.  With the dragon falling so quickly, I suspect something else is afoot.”

As if called by the Little Prince’s words, the ground lurched menacingly under their feet and all three lost their footing and fell to their backs.  Though the ground continued to shake, they quickly managed to regain their footing.  The Little Prince shouted his earlier command again, “Be on guard!”  But, his two knights needed no prompting to take up defensive positions again.

Their perceptive eyes swept the landscape for any sight of what was coming next, and when Sara spotted the crack widening lengthwise away from the cave’s entrance, she pointed it out to her lord.  “Look, sire, the cave is breaking open.”

A thundering voice, partially garbled by the layers of soil and rock it rose through, reached their ears and asked, “What have you done?”

Sara and Belle exchanged glances before urging their lord to retreat further to safety.  “My lord,” Belle stated first, “the opening is widening, we need to move back or verily, we shall be sucked into the hole.”  “Yes,” Sara implored, “we must move back.”

The Little Prince considered their words and weighed it against the renewed rush of fearlessness coursing through his veins and alighting his soul with mischief and eager adrenaline.  Before he could come to the conclusion to heed their advice, the mouth of the cave burst apart and the face and shoulders of a giant troll emerged.

Boulders and chunk of the hillside rained down around them and the Little Prince grabbed Sara and Belle to his side so they would be protected by the magical charms that always kept him safe.  As the most damaging rocks settled into their new homes, he released his knights so they could scramble backwards as they had requested.

“What have you done?”  The troll’s concussive voice hit them like claps of thunder.

“The dragon must hath been its pet,” Belle hissed over the ringing in all their ears.

“What are we’st to do,” Sara asked as she took up rearguard, placing herself between the giant troll and her liege.

With smiling eyes, the Little Prince halted their escape and turned to face their new adversary as it extricated itself completely from the earth.

It towered over them.  The corpse of the dragon, a beast they had considered enormous only moments before, only rose to the troll’s knees.  A wild shock of orange hair sprouted from its head.  Its arms and legs were spotted in warts and gnarly hunks of rock which had clung to it as it pulled free of its dwelling.  A mighty club was grasped firmly in one hand, and the other was clenched in a fist.  “You shall’st pay for your transgressions,” it spat at them behind broken, jagged, and yellow teeth.  “You shall’st regret killing my dragon.”

The Little Prince’s smile spread from his eyes to his lips and Sara and Belle knew what was coming next.  Their liege liked nothing more than defying odds, and proving he could do things he’d been told he couldn’t.  “Oh?  I’ll regret it, shall I?”  His voice was calm and his heart was true.  Sara and Belle took up their customary positions and prepared for the coming battle.  They didn’t know how they would survive, but they trusted the Little Prince would see them through to victory.

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