A Knight’s Day
By Jessup Burton
The knight dropped and pressed himself against a boulder to avoid the rich inferno that blazed over his shoulders. He took three quick breaths, recounting his minor successes against the pitch black dragon; three strikes to the shoulders, one to its right wing. A roar shook the debris around his metal feet and the beast smashed the tower with its tail in frustration.
The princess swept away the newly-fallen dust from the table, ‘Another brave knight desperate to rescue me from my obvious suffering,’ she sighed, sitting with a book. It was worn, with wrinkles down its face and spine. She continued reading stories about Greek heroes; Perseus, Hercules, and Odysseus. Next to her red leather armchair sat an ornamental end table with a fresh-baked cake and tea.
Another roar rattled the metal helmet until the knight felt no choice but to close his eyes and shake his head; a mistake. He was slammed by the massive tail into the side of the tower, and he hit the ground hard; small rocks caught in his breastplate, pressing his chest and making it even harder to breath in the broiling air tinged of smoke and smoldering dragon breath.
Humming drowned out the roaring, smashing, and the clashing sound whenever steel met aged scales. The bookshelf’s contents were tipped over, and she was straightening them. Among them was a portrait of her when she was ten. Her parents were on either side of her, and each of them was smiling. Except her father, who had the content academic look where his lips where drawn thin, but yielded the slightest grin to the painter, showing his sense of liveliness.
The sword and shield were beginning to feel too heavy. The sun never relented, and the piercing mismatched pair of blue and green eyes studied him from the other side of the walled-in field. The knight gasped for breath as he stared at the feral foe. The monster’s protective eyes never lost focus, like a mother wolf the knight let go during a hunt, two winters ago; he noticed the thin line of the dragon’s jaws, and he felt drawn into the beast’s presence, nearly lost in the moment when the claws snapped forward.
In the mirror the young woman examined her youthful figure; she brushed her polished black hair in sweeping strokes, her long figure stood and studied herself, just in case she forgot later on. Her eyes still didn’t match, one blue and one green; a family trait. Leaving her reflection, she gathered the meat sack and prepared to feed her guardian. One lousy glory-seeker wouldn’t sate its appetite.
His sword shattered in front of the knight, and his gimped arm dropped the shield before the figure collapsed in a broken steel heap; one surrounding chomp and he was gone.