FAIRY TALE FLASH - Love Conquers All by Laura Theis

The dragon was a problem.
Everything else up to this point had gone according to plan.

The thorny vines with their poisonous blossoms, those hadn’t been a match for him and his trusty sword: he had slashed them into submission.

He had braved the moat, scaled the castle walls, not without effort or injury, but certainly with unwavering confidence.

Somehow, he had expected things to be easy once he had managed all that, once he was inside, once he was standing in front of her enchanted bed, lips puckered.

Kiss the sleeper, break the spell, wedding bells.

Now, however, there was the dragon.

Dragons live to guard things. It’s their destiny. People have used them to guard treasure for centuries. This one was only a small, scrappy thing, thin and long, its scarlet scales impenetrable like chainmail. It had curled up on the sleeping girl’s pillow, and it had apparently decided that its job was to guard the girl’s innocence with its own eternal life.
Of course he had tried to stab it, that was his primal instinct - which was also why he no longer had a weapon, his sword shattered into pieces at the first attempt.

Then he had tried to bribe the creature with gold coins from his pockets. The dragon had only stared at him, its golden eyes unblinking.

Now he was trying to simply ignore it, and go in for the kiss regardless.

But this was the worst strategy of them all, because now he had made the dragon angry.

It hissed and bared its fangs in warning, and when he did not back off, it spewed a scorching cloud of green fire in his direction. The heat and noxious fumes were enough to make him scramble into the corner of the room. He tried to still his racing heart. For the first time in his life, he didn’t know what to do.

He did not cry, because no one had taught him how to.

And he did not change his mind and go home, because that was not a thing one was allowed to do in his world.

He had come to kiss the sleeping girl, this stranger, this was his quest, and he would die rather than give up.

The small dragon was not one to suffer fools, and it knew what you have to do if you are small and vicious and in love. So it did.

When what once had been a prince and a hero was a mere wisp of smoke and ashes, the sleeping girl smiled without opening her eyes. She reached out a hand to pet the dragon’s scaly head. It nestled back against her soft skin, draped its tail around her slender neck and sighed, as they both drifted back into timeless sleep, happily ever after.
Laura Theis grew up in a whitewashed house in Waldperlach’s Fairy Tale district, where each street bears the name of a mythical creature. Today, she is an award-winning singer-songwriter and her short stories, radio plays and poetry have been broadcast and published in Germany and the UK.
She is the winner of the 2017 AM Heath Prize, holds a Distinction in Creative Writing from Oxford University and has twice been nominated for the Tassilo Award. She lives in Oxford with her partner and a scruffy black dog called Wodehouse.
You can find her music on badasssnowwhite.bandcamp.com

Cover: Amanda Bergloff
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  1. Wonderful story, I really love the ending!

  2. Great story! It reminds me of the Shrek movie (one of my favourites). Poor knight, though - it wasn't his fault, he didn't know better.

  3. Terrific tale, beautifully descriptive with a wonderful twist to the standard story form.

  4. Minerva CerridwenJune 11, 2018 at 7:37 AM

    Cute! That's my kind of fairy tale ending :D


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