It is a rule of adventures that they never go smoothly or anywhere near expected. Princess Maryn had warned the dragon about this when they first started corresponding. The fact worried the dragon at first — conflict isn’t particularly its specialty — but if it had known it would go like this, it would have been more anxiety than fear.
The beast should have seen the direction this was all going in when the door out of the caves began screaming loudly and flinging itself away from it and the princess while they were looking for it, That wasn’t altogether unusual, though.
Even the bird smacking into the dragon’s wing and it spinning out as it tries to look and see if it was okay was pretty usual. Its reflective scales tend to draw poor creatures toward it as it flies.
Princess Maryn vomiting all over the side of the dragon, however, was not normal.
“I’m so, so sorry!” The dragon drags its great paws over its eyes as the princess rests, leaning against a boulder.
She rubs her forehead. “Oh, hush. I don’t know why I can handle a boat, but not this.”
The dragon always thought it was the smoothest flier of its family, but it quickly comes to the conclusion that its family are either full of bad fliers, or it greatly deceived itself.
“I just… would you happen to have something to settle my stomach?” Maryn sways, holding her stomach. “I’ve never vomited before.”
The dragon blinks. How can someone never have vomited before? Anyway, the dragon didn’t bother to bring supplies, supposing this was going to be a quick trip by air. Traveling by foot is going to change a few things. “Um… Well, when my stomach gets upset, I like to think of my favorite type of cloud. You know, how it looks spread against the blue sky, what it feels like to glide through it —”
The princess gags.
Maybe talking about flying wasn’t the smartest plan the dragon’s had.
“W-well maybe distraction, then? Once I knew this wizard who could only cast spells through knock knock jokes and…” And that was the whole story. The poor dragon comes to the conclusion it’s in over its head.
“Maybe go to a near-by town and see if they have any bread or something?” The princess does a poor job of hiding her irritation.
Even though her agitation is toward her stomach and not the dragon, the beast doesn’t see it that way and feels even worse. “Of course!” It says before jumping into the air and nearly flinging the princess off the boulder with the force of its wings. It wanted to scream that it was sorry, but was too embarrassed to say so, then deeply and painfully regrets not saying a word as it continues its flight.
They managed to pass over the mountain range since escaping through the screaming door, and before the princess discovered she had a more sensitive stomach than she imagined.
And… there. The dragon spots a small village nestled in a rocky valley. Perfect, it was meant to be.
So the dragon lands at the end of the main street of the small village (it only had one street to begin with), and freezes. Normally people try to go into these sorts of situations with plans. The dragon, however, is neither normal or a person.
“Um… Hi?” The dragon crouches as everyone in the village turns to look at it. “Such a pleasant day today, nice to see you all out enjoying it.” It clears its throat. “So, uh, I’ll be happy to leave you all and enjoy your day, but would any of you happen to have a loaf of bread to spare, first?”
None of them move for a split second. The dragon wonders if this might be a gluten-free village and it just offended the lot of them asking for bread. Then again, a gluten-free village must have gluten-free bread and would assume that’s what it’s talking about. The dragon should have expected something like this, anticipated that the other side of the mountain would be different.
But of course it hadn’t. And entire village being gluten-free is a slightly lubricous idea in the first place (and not at all an accurate assumption), it couldn’t expect that. Though what it could and should have predicted was the first scream to ring out among the people.
It didn’t however, and did the worst possible thing: jumped up, and spread its wings.
Chaos breaks loose. It’s similar to what a person might expect if a zombie apocalypse broke out, except in this case it’s instead caused by a timid dragon. Everyone starts milling around, screaming about finding a loaf of bread, any bread to appease the great dragon. Mass destruction breaks out as buildings start to collapse and a fire breaks out, somehow releasing a bear and an unwanted death boulder. A man catches fire, and then runs from the bear and over a nearby cliff (and yet survives, much to his dismay). One brave soul grabs a sword, but her hands are so slick with sweat from the fire she ends up somehow swallowing it, which does not end well when the action is unintentional.
The dragon was once told by an elder sibling that if it was ever in a hot bit of trouble, spitting on the mess would fix it. Not thinking straight enough to remember the trickster that older sibling was, the diamond-scaled dragon spits a great wad of its ice breath onto the village. It does succeed in freezing the fire — but also in freezing everything else.
“O-oh dear,” the beast whimpers, backing away from the mess as the villagers not trapped in the ice run fare from the village. “M-m-maybe this wasn’t the best choice.”
It takes to the air, flying as fast as it can toward Maryn.
Maryn has settled herself into a far more stable position within the rocks, and frowns once the dragon lands. “What’s wrong? I could hear your scales shaking before I could hear your wingbeats.”
“Er, uh, well…” The dragon takes a deep breath. “I couldn’t get a loaf of bread.”
The princess raises her eyebrows. “That’s it?”
“Ye better believe that ain’t it.” A creature with the lower half of a horse and the top half of a human walks around the corner, her hands on her hips as she narrows her eyes at the two.
Maryn jumps to her feet, feeling much better after her rest, and pulls a long knife out of her cane.
This is all too much for the dragon. It sways for a moment, and much to the princess’s disappointment and the centaur’s amusement, it suffers a case of the vapors and collapses onto the ground. Maybe an adventure wasn’t the smartest idea, it thinks as things go dark. Maybe it should have let Maryn do this on her own; she seems more than capable.
Little does it know that there is a problem that will require everyone’s wits, and grows the closer they get to the goal of their adventure…
FINALLY another chapter. Still very sick when I wrote this so I promise no quality.
And now I’m gonna take an indefinitely long hiatus of this. There’s a lot of reasons, but last year was a crap year and I’m deeply considering whether I should be writing or not, so writing a project so dependent on getting readers and people who care enough to share it (and I’m not to good at inspiring that in the first place!) isn’t really healthy. I LOVE this project and want to come back some day if I don’t decide to quit writing, but I make no promises.
Thank you all so much again for your support!
- (If they find that door) it has a habit of screaming loudly and scurrying away. – thewickedguacamole
- While the two (Maryn and the dragon) are flying, a bird accidentally smacks into the dragon because of how reflective he is. – thewickedguacamole
- Maryn’s cane has a hidden blade in the handle (she did want to go on an adventure). – thewickedguacamole
- There’s a monologue about a favorite cloud. – thewickedguacamole
- A zombie. – Joy
- An unwanted death boulder – starsandskyscrapers
- Someone uses knock knock jokes as magic spells. – Rosiee
- Cowboy centaur. – Rosiee
- Someone is afraid of bread – Rosiee
- “exit, pursued by a bear.” – Sabrina
- A character believes anything can be fixed by spitting on it (including relationships). – Hannah
- Someone swallows a sword, entirely unintentionally. – Hannah
- Someone also catches fire and falls off a cliff, but is entirely unharmed. And all are frustrated by this. – Hannah