Fiction Fantasy

It was a muggy summer evening, a few purple clouds dotted the orange-red sky. A girl stood at the edge of a lake, taking in the reflection of the setting sun on the surface of the water. She walked towards the far end of the lake and sat on a rock. She was at the border of her home province, so she decided to take one last look at her native land before she proceeded to a foreign province towards freedom.

The day before...

The girl sat down on a fence post when she saw a horse drawn carriage drive by. The homely nobleman inside the caravan waved and smiled at her in a creepy way. As she walked back to her home she saw the same carriage as before parked outside of the cottage. She snuck under an open window in the cottage and listened in. The nobleman offered the girl's father a rather hefty bag of coins

"I will offer you 500 Treacles for your daughter's hand in marriage to me!" Said the creepy nobleman.

"It's settled. Rina will be married off to you for 500 Treacles." Said Rina's father.

Shocked and deeply hurt by her father's betrayal, Rina skulked away around the back of the house and ran like the wind into the woods. The woods could lead to two other provinces, outside of local jurisdictions, a province to the east and a province to the west. But based on where her town was, the province to the east was closer, so she ran east. Rina wiped a tear from her eye as she watched the sunset from her rock perch. After a few moments, she stood up and continued to walk eastward until she created a hill. From the top of this hill she could see the neighboring province of Korliya, with a small village close to the border.

She headed towards the small village, desperate for a place to rest for the night as the sky got darker and the air outside got colder. She knocked on a door. An elderly couple answered the door.

"Excuse me, but I've traveled a long distance and I need a place to stay. I have coins I can pay with, do you know where I can find an inn?"

The Elderly woman said "I'm afraid there's no inn in this town, but you can sleep in our stable free of charge. I'll have Gil prepare some straw for you."

"Thank you, ma'am! You're too kind to me!" Rina replied.

That night, Rina slept comfortably in the stable until the break of dawn. She asked the elderly couple "Where is the nearest city and how do I get there?" Before setting off on her journey to freedom again.

The elderly man told her that five miles to the north was a large city surrounded by open woodland. Rina thanked the elderly couple for their generosity and walked northward for two and a half miles before feeling hungry. She picked up a handful of edible wild berries from a nearby bush and ate them, then continued walking two miles until she could see the city from where she was standing.

Relieved and delighted, Rina ran to the city as fast as her feet could carry her.

When Rina entered the city, Rina walked looking around at all the buildings and people going back and forth, sometimes with pack mules and horses. A gentleman looked at Rina and said "I don't believe we've met before. You must be from out of town!"

Rina nodded. "I come from somewhere far away from here."

"There's an abandoned house that way!" The man said, pointing to the left. "And that way over there, there's a Pub. Just a word of advice, don't order the sausage pie!" Said the man, pointing to the right.

"Thank you sir!" Rina replied, heading to the right for some food.

Rina sat at a table at the bar and ordered a simple baked potato. When the pub owner brought Rina her food, Rina asked the Pub Owner where she could get a job.

The pub owner said "I'm actually looking for a server. Would you like to be serve tables for me?"

"Sure! Sounds like honest work." Rina answered.

"Great. Can you start tomorrow?" Said the pub owner.

Rina payed for her potato, ate the potato and walked toward the area of the abandoned house. When she found the house, she slept in the corner.

The next morning, after Rina woke up she headed to the Pub to start her new job serving customers.

The day went well. She served customers and earned enough money for a Grilled Fish for supper for herself that evening. The next day, Rina woke up in the morning, walked over to the Pub and began her server job for the day.

Rina was behind the counter wiping a glass down when she saw a wizard opening the door.

The Wizard said "I'd like an Ale, please...."

"Sure. Coming right up!"

Rina poured some fresh Ale into a glass for the Wizard, and presented the beverage to her customer.

"Thank you, Rina." Answered the Wizard.

Rina gasped. "How did you know my name? She asked.

"The noble man that you escaped from an arranged marriage with is searching for you, for he doesn't want that money he paid to be for nothing. He will be here in five days."

Rina froze, the color draining from her face.

The Wizard put the money for his drink on the counter and then handed Rina a potion inside if a vial. "Drink the contents of this potion in the woods outside the city tonight if you do not wish to be wed to the Nobleman. Consider it your TIP...." he said with a wink.

The wizard left the tavern.

Rina looked down at and picked up the vial.

Later that evening, before dusk, Rina went to the woods to the west of the city, potion in hand, walking into a clearing. Rina looked around herself, and when she saw no one in the are, she removed the cork from the vial and consumed the liquid contents within until the container was empty. Suddenly, she felt horribly dizzy, lightheaded and physically weak.

"Oh...oh dear, I...I can hardly stay awake...I think I'll lay here...on the ground..."

Rina curled up on the ground, surrounded by trees, rocks and shrubs.

The next morning, when Rina woke up, Rina stood upright and felt wings on her back. She yawned and realized when she rubbed her face that her hand had claws and her face felt...different somehow. Rina looked down and saw a dragon like shadow on the ground.

Rina gasped. She was a Dragon now.

Rina then leapt up and took to the sky, circling the sky, looking for a hiding place, until she found an abandoned tower at the other side of the river at the field and roosted at the top.

Five days later, the nobleman and six armed guards entered the city.

"Where is she!?!?" He demanded.

"Where is who?" Asked a woman.

"Where is my bride?!? I paid 500 treacles for her and I want this city searched from top to bottom?" Declared the man.

"I don't understand. Who is this bride?" Asked a man.

"Guards! Enter every place in this city until you can find Rina, if anyone tries to stand in your way, kill them and burn their building to the ground!!"

And the six armed guards searched every home, farm, Pub and other place of business, killing at least 10 people who tried to stand in their way and burning their structures to the ground. They returned to the city square to report to their boss.

"Have you found my possession yet??" Demanded the nobleman.

"I'm sorry sir, but we've checked everywhere and she's nowhere to be found.

"You incompetent slackers! She has to be here! I won't allow the money I spent to buy her go to waste!" He yelled.

At that moment the shadow of a massive form dropped down above them, and a stable, thick stream of fire engulfed the nobleman and his guards, burning them all to a crisp on the spot.

The Dragon returned to her perch in the abandoned tower.

The townspeople hailed the Dragon as a hero, building a statue of her.

June 21, 2021 21:27

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