‘I can’t.’

‘Are you sure?’


‘I don’t believe you.
You can.
The girl opens the door —’

‘No she doesn’t!
She runs behind the door and puts her back against it.’

‘What are you doing?’

‘It’s too big!
We’ve got to hide.’

‘The farmer and Madam Underwell exchange a look.’

‘Don’t look at me like that?’

‘I thought you were a warrior —

‘Madam Underwell says, raising an eyebrow.’

‘I — I —’

‘All of a sudden, there is a commotion at the windows.
The ruffians who’d been fighting over who got to look out suddenly scuffle back, falling over themselves.’

‘What? What is it, you fools?’

‘One of them, a particularly red-faced one with snotty little rags tied around his wrists, points a shaking finger out of the window.
The young girl scrambles over to see what’s going on.
The dragon stares directly at her, its snout mere inches from the frosted pane.’


She —’

‘She scrabbles back, falling over.
Her cloak falls open and she catches a glimpse of the dagger at her side.’

‘I —
She holds it out!’

‘Hands shaking a little.’

‘Everyone get to the basement, quick!
If you don’t want to get burned to a crisp?’

‘And one of the crusty old ruffians pipes up —’

‘Why should we take orders from you?’

‘Just do it you fool!
Follow my orders if you want to live!’

‘And grumbling, the tavern’s occupants pick up their tankards of mead and start ambling towards the basement.
There is not much of a sense of urgency.’


‘Alright, alright, keep your hat on.’

‘Madam Underwell ushers them along.’

‘Davey put Down that pasty, you think I don’t see you?’

‘The dragon blinks outside the tavern.’

‘A whole town’s worth of cowards, I see.’

‘I’m not a coward!’

Do prove it.’

‘The girl takes a big, deep breath.’

‘Here we go, I suppose.’

‘She raises her dagger, and —’



‘Who is that?’

‘I don’t —'

‘What’s going on?’

‘Just shush a second.’

‘Is she part of the / story’

‘Be quiet.’

Did I hear someone?
I don’t mean to be —
I just wanted to check in.
Are you there?

I don’t know if you —
If you need me to take the girls for a few days —’

‘Take us??’


‘Just tell me what you need.
And um —
I’ll see what I can do.’

‘It’s the lady from next door.

‘I know.

‘She wants to help.’


‘We should reply.
She could help us find the maiden.’

‘Just stay quiet.’

‘But —’

‘Is there someone —

‘She knows we’re here.’

‘No she doesn’t.’

‘We should reply!’

‘No, we shouldn’t.’

Choose your path

45North Transparent white


Taking risks to challenge our ideas of self and the world in which we live.


Studio 44

Hackney Downs Studios
London E8 2BT
England, UK