Friday, August 30, 2019

#FridayFlash - Riddle Me This

Sir James dismounted before the cavern. His charger snorted, disturbed by the smells. Death and blood they were used to, but not the rook of flames and charred flesh.

For the sake of the princess, he would brave the stench of a dragon's cave.

He left the horse tied to a dead tree, drew his sword, and struck an alchemist's stick. Sickly yellow light flared, giving off an acrid smoke, but at least he would be able to see his way. Steeling his spine, Sir James stepped into the dark.

Smoke and blood stained the craggy walls. Bones and armor littered the floor. There was no way to move quietly, but he did the best he could.

~I know you're there,~ spoke a voice inside his head.

Sir James stopped, holding his sword before him. The dusty scent of dragon grew strong, assaulted his senses, and combined with the smoke to sting his eyes. "Reveal yourself, foul beast."

The dragon growled, though it sounded like a chuckle. Leather rustled, rocks tumbled, and the dragon's snout came into view. ~Not the most inventive curse ever to be slung my way.~ Another short growl. ~Shall I assume you're here for that mouthy little girl?~

Sir James pointed his sword directly at the monster's face. "Let Princess Winifred go or I shall-"

~Slay me? Yeah, heard that before.~ The dragon pulled scaly lips back from pointed teeth. ~You can have her if you answer a riddle. A simple one, even. No need for either of us to fight.~

The knight frowned. He believed himself capable of besting a dragon. Why else would he have ridden out here? But there was always a chance to be wounded. Even killed. "It would be in both our best interests to resolve our differences by more peaceful methods. Give me your riddle, beast."

It moved father forward, the light glinting in its eyes. Words formed in his head, harsh and sharp, followed by a snort from the dragon. ~I await your answer.~

Sir James's frown grew deeper. "Answer what?"

~All dragon children learn that riddle. Can't a mighty human do so?~

He lowered his sword. "How can you expect me to answer something in draconic? This is trickery most foul."

The massive creature pulled its lips further back from sharp fangs. ~That's more of a you problem, not a me problem.~ It growled its laugh a final time.

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