With a maniacal laugh the beautiful sorceress transformed into a massive blue dragon. Tilting back her head, she took a deep breath and surging towards him, she sprayed forth an inferno of fire.
Nimbly he dodged to the left, barely managing to escape the deadly flames. He rolled to the edge of the cliff and balancing on an unstable precipice of jagged rock he lifted his magnificent broadsword aloft and gave vent to a bloodcurdling war cry.
He threw himself at the beast and plunged his sword deep into the dragon’s scaly hide. She screamed in pain and writhing terribly she stumbled backwards. She didn’t die; she was only further enraged. Still he did not flee from the fray.
He was a knight like no other. Unafraid he strode across the land, defeating armies single-handedly and slaying all manner of monsters. This was far from his first time fighting an evil witch turned into a dragon.
She came at him again with a sudden burst of speed and he danced quickly out of her path. He kept feinting back and forth in an attempt to confuse and slow the dragon’s vicious attacks.
Then he had a brilliant idea. He lunged for his fallen bow and grabbed an arrow from the quiver strapped across his back. He knew that he’d only have one shot and it had to be perfect. If he was defeated, entire towns would perish before the dragon’s horrible fury.
He ran behind a large boulder, effectively separating himself from the dragon. He put the arrow to the string and pulled back with all his might. She was still busy trying to get around the boulder and fry him. He took a deep breath and courageously stepped out from his cover and faced the dragon head on. She looked at him as though to say, “Do your worst.” Taking careful aim, he did just that.
The arrow sailed through the air and struck its mark. Embedded within the throat of the dragon, all that could be seen was its fetching. Rendered speechless, she began thrashing and then with a tremendous crash, she fell to the ground. She gasped for air and expelled small puffs of blackish smoke from her pierced throat. Her body jerked violently one last time. The evil witch was slain.
The knight stood poised over the body of his enemy. This land was freed from the ravenous jaws of death once more. He reached out and grasping the handle of his sword, he tore it from the carcass.
Suddenly he heard the faint snap of a dry twig behind him. He whirled around, sword at the ready, prepared for battle. A beautiful, young maiden stepped out of the cave that had been the monster’s lair.
Her hair was the color of spun gold and she had eyes of the deepest pansy blue. Her skin was like alabaster and seemed to glow from within. Her elegant green gown screened from his view what was clearly the body of a goddess.
“Oh, thanks be to you great knight! Ye hath saved mine life and defeated this heinous fiend. Thou art truly worthy of praise, for I am certain that you could be no other knight, but Sir Gallant himself. ‘Tis the greatest honor, my lord, to meet thee at last.”
Her voice rang out clear as a bell and soft as a lullaby.
“Think not of it, fair maiden. Be mine duty to dispatch evil and protect this realm, for I hath sworn a sacred oath to do so. I beg of thee, o, fairest one, wilt thou grace mine ears with thine name?”
“It would be right to do so, good knight. I am Lady Centerfold. Thou hast saved me from a terrible fate, sir. Come, receive thy just reward.”
She gave a low, husky laugh and motioned for him to follow her back into the cave. With a decided swing of her hips she disappeared into the darkness.
She’s too good to be true, he thought. Eagerly he strode towards the cave only for it to start fading away before his very eyes.
No! Please, he thought, not yet. A pounding sound thundered in his brain; an incessant beeping intruded on his senses. And then consciousness returned.
Throwing out his arm, he knocked his alarm off the bedside table. The beeping continued. Moaning, he pulled himself up and reached down to fumble with the torture device. Finally, it stopped.
Running a hand through his rumpled hair, he clumsily climbed out of bed. He stretched out his arms and let out a massive yawn.
Today was his twenty-seventh birthday. Smiling crookedly, he walked into the bathroom.
Sir Gallant was only getting better with age.
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