Flash Friday 11/10/2013: Weapon of Choice (Part 7)
It was rare, but definitely not unheard of, for two heroes to meet each other whilst on their quests. Usually they’d find one another within a pub, resting in an inn, or haggling shopkeepers for various enchanted items. Rarely do they actually meet on the fields, which made this encounter particularly special.
It began while Dennis and Edmond walked by a cave. They couldn’t see far inside, but the sounds of a dragon roaring, a male shrieking, and a female telling the male to ‘hurry up and grow a pair already’ came from within. Investigating the sounds, Dennis stumbled upon a large cavern. In the centre was a red dragon the size of a house, standing in front of a pile of various items, most of which were gold. On the top of the pile, tied to a stake, was a long black-haired woman. Standing in front of the dragon, trying to hold a sword straight with a shaking hand, was a familiar face.
“Hello, Samuel,” Dennis said. “Fancy seeing you here.”
“Dennis?” Samuel said. “Thank goodness. I need a friend from back home right now. Part of my quest is to get my head bitten off by a dragon while rescuing a loved one.”
“Oh, yeah,” Dennis said. “I recall something like that when I signed up.”
“Yeah, well…my heart’s really not in my career anymore, you know? I took a degree in martyrdom, ate food to make myself delicious, and even put the barbecue sauce they packed for me on the back of my neck. But now that I’m here, ready to do my job…having second thoughts.”
“It’s understandable,” Dennis said. “I mean, it’s not a career choice I’d choose myself. A career in self-sacrifice goes at a break-neck speed, sometimes literally. I went for the ‘parents die’ one myself.”
“Yeah, well, that’s great for you and everything. Here I am, conflicted between killing this dragon and feeding it, and you’ve already done the hard bit. Now I’ve got this to deal with.”
“I’d rather you stayed alive,” Dennis said. “But I’m willing to support you if you want to have a very close haircut. To be honest, though, I’ve always likened you as someone who heroes save, rather than an actual hero. You weren’t a fighter, you always got into trouble, and–what’s wrong?”
“Someone heroes save,” Samuel said, staring off into the distance. “Dennis, you might have a point there.”
“What? Oh, no, Samuel, I didn’t actually mean–”
“No, you’re right,” Samuel said, clapping his hands with excitement. “You’re totally right.”
“Just a moment,” Samuel said. He made a time-out action with his hands to the dragon, which nodded in agreement. Samuel ran over to the hoard, burying his entire upper torso into the pile. He withdrew a dress and a long, blonde wig, both of which he put on with happy giggles. “See?” Samuel said, turning to Dennis. “Now I’m the damsel in distress. Now I don’t have to fight orcs, or sacrifice myself or any of that bollocks. Everyone knows the damsels gets happy endings.”
“It also means that you’re now, technically, in distress,” Dennis said. “That’s what damsels are before they’re saved, right?”
“Distress?” Samuel said. “What distress?”
The dragon let loose a deep growl, slowly turning his head towards Samuel.
Samuel ran up the hoard pile, clutching onto the woman at the top.
“Please save us,” Samuel whined.
“Yes,” the woman said. “Please save me from him.”
Dennis sighed, rolling his eyes. The dragon turned his head to Dennis, adjusting its legs to prepare for a fight.
“You must be hungry,” Dennis said to the dragon. “Were you expecting to bite Samuel’s head off?”
The dragon nodded solemnly.
“Well,” Dennis said, reaching into his backpack. “While I can’t offer a head, I can definitely offer you something else to eat. How does that sound?”
The dragon tilted its head.
“Here you go,” Dennis said, withdrawing the lollipop. “I know it’s not red for a red dragon, but I figured that a green one would do just as well.”
The dragon moved its head towards Dennis, eying the lollipop with curiosity. It gave him the kind of eyes a puppy dog gives its owner as he eats a steak dinner.
“Open wide,” Dennis said, in a motherly voice. “Here comes the carrier pigeon.”
The dragon slowly opened his mouth, allowing Dennis to spot his target. Yes, it was definitely in range. Drawing his feather, he reached into the dragon’s mouth and tickled its tonsil with it.
There was a sharp cry as the dragon backed away sharply, scurrying off behind the pile of treasure to get away from Dennis, where it stayed to whimper and make an occasional gagging noise. Every so often, his head would poke over the top of the hoard like a periscope, checking to see if Dennis had left or not.
“Consider yourselves both saved,” Dennis said, sheathing his feather like a sword. “We should get out before the dragon’s gag reflex stops.”
“Ugh, thanks,” the woman said, stretching her arms as Samuel undid the ropes around her. She climbed down the pile of loot. “If being tied up wasn’t in my job description, I would have put up a better fight than my so-called ‘hero’.”
“I’m not a hero,” Samuel said with a high-pitched voice as he followed. “I’m a damsel.”
“You’re not a real damsel,” Dennis said.
“Why, because I don’t wear make-up?” Samuel said, batting his eyelids. “Real women aren’t defined by cosmetics, you know.”
“Nevermind. Come on, Edmond. Let’s get travelling again. Looks like we have a harem now.”
“How did you manage to put up with this level of stupidity on your own before you met me?” Edmond said, giving a worried eye towards Samuel, who was having far too much fun spinning around in a dress. “I would have given up long ago.”
“You get used to it,” Dennis sighed, turning to leave the cave. “I hope.”