‘I can’t do this.’
‘Yes you can.’
‘But Eliza —’
‘We don’t have time to discuss it!
The young girl throws open the doors to the tavern.
A gust of wind billows her cloak, revealing her dagger, glinting at her side.
She holds firm, gaze unwavering.
The dragon whips around to face her, two pillars of steam shooting out of its flared
‘So you have chosen Death.’
‘I — I —’
‘The young girl isn’t afraid.
She stands tall and strong and confident.’
‘I don’t —’
‘And the dragon Roars!
Steam bursts out of its ears and flames start to lick the sides of buildings surrounding it.
It rears up on its hind legs, stretching out to its full wingspan, and then drops heavily on all fours.
The early morning sunlight flashes off its sharp claws, which it flexes one by one.’
The girl —
She draws her dagger.
Come and fight!’
‘The dragon stretches out one of his arms and checks to see if there’s any dirt under his claws.
He opens his mouth in an approximation of a yawn.’
I’m talking to you!
Are you gonna fight me or not?’
‘It blinks lazily at you, yellow eyes filled with disparagement.’
‘Fighting a warrior as puny as you?
That would be a waste of my considerable talents.’
‘It sits on its hind legs and curls its shining tail around its feet, looking remarkably like an oversized dog.’
‘This isn’t how it's supposed to go.
I command you to duel me.’
‘The dragon sighs.
From behind the young girl, the residents of the tavern begin to whisper.’
‘If you absolutely insist on being annihilated.
I don’t Love having to incinerate children, I must say.’
‘Do your worst.
I dare you.’
‘Oh you Dare me, do you?’
‘The dragon rises to its full height once more.
It stares down the girl imperiously.’
You’d better run.’
‘And the dragon Lashes it tail out from underneath its feet, missing the girl by a matter of inches!’
‘The girl leaps away with lightning quick reflexes!’
She dives behind a stack of empty mead barrels in front of the tavern and, from behind her, she can hear everyone in the tavern gasp.’
‘A close shave!’
‘You’ve got this, child!’
Shout the farmer and Madam Underwell.
‘I’ve got this!’
‘The dragon snarls in frustration, and a stream of flame shoots out from its nostrils.’
‘Get away from the barrels!’
‘The girl somersaults away from the barrels, just as the flame licks the leftover mead and the whole thing Explodes, sending a jet of white hot, alcohol-tinged fire ball shooting into the sky.’
‘It singes her eyebrows, but she’s safe.
The dragon scratches its claws on the stones, furious.’
‘There’s a chain behind him.
If I could just —’
‘If she could just sneak around him and loop the chain around his feet —’
‘He’d be trapped!'
The doorbell goes. They freeze.