To Court A Dragon

A short humorous story, put out under one of my many pen-names. This is the first chapter, with more to follow.

The Dragon.
The princess called on the dragon. He was a most civilized dragon and, therefore, he invited her into his cave and served her dinner rather than served her as dinner. As she entered the cave, she removed her cloak revealing a buxom body in a jeweled bikini. It left little of her figure or ability to put it to good use it to the imagination. The dragon ignored it and produced dinner instead. Roast mutton always tasted better with company, even if it had the sulfurous overtone from dragon fire.

After they had eaten, she complimented her host on his shiny red scales, deep yellow eyes, and fearsome teeth. He smiled at her. “Do you know how to charm a dragon?”

“That’s why I’m here.”
The princess stroked the dragon under his chin. He purred.
“Can you turn it down? I’m going to go deaf.”
He stopped, “What’s wrong Princess?”
“Can’t you shape-shift?”
“What’s so important about shape shifting? Every damn princess I’ve met for the last century has asked about it. Here’s a penny for your thoughts.” He flicked a small ruby from his hoard to her.
“I thought all dragons can shape-shift.”
“I can’t, won’t, at least not for you.”
“That’s a shame.”
“Well, you know.” She pouted. “Things. It’s been a while.”
“What do you mean?”

She rubbed his brow and pressed her soft body in his face, “I’m hot.”
“You’re not wearing much. Not that I’m complaining, it becomes you, but how can you be hot?” He snorted, and the flames singed her hair.
“That’s not what I meant.”
“I know.”
“But aren’t you able to change shapes, become a prince?”
“Why should I want to become such a tiny weak thing as a human prince?”

She continued to stroke his chin, then she said, “Don’t you wish to love me?”
“I’d love you better roasted.”
She stopped, “No, I mean as a female.”
“You’re puny.”
“I am not.”

“Yes, you may be a buxom brunette human female. You might be well-endowed for a woman, but you’re puny for a dragon. Besides.” The dragon came as close to blushing as a dragon could, “I’m better endowed as a dragon than a man. I have two of them.”
“Two hemipenes. Each is as big as your arms, at least. At least that’s what I think. I’m always too busy when they’re out to measure them.”
He rolled over and showed her his underside. “Down there, on the sides of my cloaca.”
“I don’t see anything.”
“They’re inside. Are you a dragoness?”
“That’s why they’re inside. Unless you’d like to put your hand in and feel.”
The princess blushed and said, “No thank you.”
“Oh well, you don’t know what you’re missing. In the season, we have quite a ball.”
“When was the last season?”
“A long while ago, there aren’t that many dragonesses left.”
“There are a lot of princesses, even some with-” She pouted and then produced her best seductive moue. The one she’d been practicing for years. Her teacher said it was the best he’d ever seen.
He ignored it. “I know. They taste good when they’ve been roasted. Although, I have to admit, I prefer sheep. Tenderer and less gamy than princesses.”
“So you won’t shift, will you?”
“Then I’m going.”
“Suit yourself.”

The princess stood and walked out the front of the cave. The dragon reminded her, “It was warm, almost summer weather when you came in this morning. It’s winter weather now, up here in the mountains, and you’re not dressed for it.”
She turned and faced him. Then she said. “That’s my problem.”
“Just don’t forget your cloak. You’ll catch cold and then where will you be?”
When she walked out of the mouth of the cave, she called, “Wizard Bloom I’m out.”

A few moments later a blue ball of light appeared. She stepped in and a minute later stepped out into a room full of wizard stuff, and things. It was a veritable trash dump of magical arcana. An old man with a long grimy white beard accosted her.
“What went wrong?”
“He doesn’t want to switch.”
“Dragons are liars. Why didn’t you push the issue?”
“I did. As hard as I dared.”

While they chatted, a blast of flames came out of the mountain on the distant horizon. It was followed by a flying dragon. He shouted, so loudly that all the windows in the village rattled, “Where’s that princess? I’m hungry” She was nowhere to be found, so he scanned the farms, and looked for sheep. A fat ewe would do for dinner in her absence.
The Wizard looked at the princess and said, “See what happens when you fail?”
“I failed?”
“The idea was for you to trap him with your womanly charms, that magic. Bind him to human form so we can eliminate him.” The wizard paused, “as a threat I mean.”
“He’s not interested in humans. We’re too puny, and I don’t blame him. Imagine two of them and as big as my arm.”
“That small. Poor fellow.”
“He’s extremely nice. For a dragon, that is.”
The Wizard paused, “Well since you’ve been trained in your female magic, how about a go?”
“Get lost creep.”
Outside, in the distance the sirens of the Valley fire department could be heard. The dragon, had, in his hurry, set a barn alight.
“This is what is going to happen every night until you bind him with your enchantment, your delicious enchantment.” He reached for a squeeze. She slapped him silly. “How many times do I have to tell you, it’s not for you creep. I’m not an apprentice any longer and don’t have to put up with your lechery.”

The Wizard charmed up an ice pack for his face, then said, “He’s the only dragon left, you know. The rest have all been charmed or killed.”
“There aren’t any dragonesses?”
“No. In a way, it’s a pity. But if you’re not going to charm him, then I’ll have to talk to the prince. He’s been itching for a fight with a dragon.”

She was stunned; this was an aspect of her charge that she hadn’t considered. “You mean – if I don’t charm him, then he’ll be hunted down and killed.”
The Wizard nodded his head, then winced. The princess packed one heck of a punch.
“He seems to be afraid of shape-shifting. Said he can’t, then said he won’t.”
“What a wimp.”
“He’s a very nice dragon. Polite and elegant.”
“Still, a dragon that won’t shape-shift. What a loser.”
“I think he just needs to be shown that it’s safe. Can you teach me the way?”
“What’s the price?”

The wizard reached out to take a squeeze and once more was slapped. He charmed up a fresh ice pack for the other side of his face. The princess packed a punch with both hands. She said, “Sorry, I’ll find someone else. Maybe the Witch Elmira.”
“She’ll want payment too.”
“Greedy lot, you wizards. Don’t call the Prince yet, I haven’t given up on my dragon.”

Early the next morning the wizard was woken by someone banging on his door. When he finally stomped downstairs and opened it, grumbling all the time about his lazy good for nothing servants, one of the local farmers was standing outside. He barked at the farmer, “My visiting hours are this evening. What are you doing raising me from my slumbers at this unheard of hour?”

“Mr. Wizard, Sir,” the farmer respectfully saluted, “My barn’s been burned down. That dragon last night.”
“What do you want me to do about it?”
The man sheepishly showed the wizard a ruby. “He left this for payment. Can you spell the barn back, or-”
“Or What?”
“At least make some change for me? The builders can’t break it, and it’s worth 454 marks, three shillings, and a pfennig. That’s too much for the builders, and I need some of it for the replacement livestock.”

The ruby awakened the wizard’s interest. He was suddenly friendly, “Come in young man, come in. Let me see what I can do.”
A feminine voice called from upstairs, “Bloom, what’s going on?”
“Nothing princess.”
“Nothing my shapely derrière.” She came downstairs to see what was happening. She had changed from her dragon hunting clothes to a nightdress. It was silk and carefully embroidered with silver and gold thread, but still just something to sleep in. Its elegance took the farmer’s breath away when he saw her. He bowed and saluted, “Your Highness.”
“You trying to think how you can stiff that farmer out of his ruby?”
“No Princess, but it would be interesting to know how he came by such a valuable stone.”
“Sir,” the farmer bowed again, “honestly. The dragon left it after he burnt down my barn. Said it was an accident. He’s good about that you know. Always pays for his mutton.”
The princess asked, “Is this the dragon that lives in that cave in the Grey Mountains?”
“The one up the cliff with all the broken armor at the base?”
“Yes, is it that one?”
“Of course, there aren’t any others ’round here, are there?”
The princess glanced at the wizard, and said, “That settles it Bloom. I’m searching for a dragon master. This dragon is too nice to turn into burger meat.”

Wizard Bloom eyed the princess. This one, like all the rest, had finally gotten too uppity for his tastes. Elmira could deal with her; she had a taste for pretty young things like the princess. He called a yellow orb into being and said, “Princess, the Witch Elmira is a specialist in shape-shifting. Go!”

The princess stepped into the orb and was gone.
The wizard turned back to the farmer and said, “What cretin told you this stone was worth that much? Maybe a hundred marks tops.”
“Get bent old man.” The farmer said, “If you’re not going to help me, then I’ll-”
“No, no, I didn’t mean that at all. Now let me see, a spell to rebuild a barn. I think I can find one. It will cost you though.”

Author: rharrisonauthor

International man of mystery. Well not really, although I can mangle several languages and even read the occasional hieroglyphic. A computer scientist, an author and one of the very few people who has both an NIH grant and had a book contract. An ex- booktrope author and a photographer.

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