top of page

The Lorelei Signal


The Princess and the Dragon

Written by S. Cameron David / Artwork by Marge Simon

Princess and Dragon.jpeg

“It’s a monstrous thing you’re planning,” the dragon said. He was a red eyed titan of a beast, with wings that would dwarf castles.


Against his clawed feet, the princess lay in lazy recline. A lantern lit up the darkness from its place beside her hip. Slowly and unhurriedly, she was leafing through a book. She held it close before her reading glasses.


“Yes, well, it’s a bit hypocritical don’t you think? I mean, aren’t you dragons well known for ravaging kingdoms and dragging off fair maidens to keep as pets? And yet here you are, voicing such moral indignation."


“I’ve never contemplated anything as ghastly as this.”


The princess smiled as she flipped another page. It was the kind of smile a child might wear while kicking down anthills, reveling in the act of destruction. She did not turn her attention away from her reading, even as she replied to the dragon’s words.


“Well, that just shows a startling lack of creativity, don’t you think? Still, I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised. Power comes easy for your kind. You don’t need much ingenuity to rain down fire from the skies or rip through armor with your claws.”


“I wish I’d never taken you.” The dragon closed his eyes and brought his head down to the ground beside her. She absentmindedly scratched at his snout.


“Yes, I suppose I feel much the same,” the princess said. “Who’d have thought a dragon of all things would be such a yellow bellied creature? No vision whatsoever.”


He had captured her a month long ago. Vast enough to blot out the moon, he had descended upon her father’s castle, lighting up the midnight darkness with his dragon’s fire, slaughtering his way through the knights as they rallied to the keep. Then he’d taken her with him—another treasure to store in his cave.


It had made for a costly lapse in judgment. One morning, he’d woken up with his heart feeling as if someone had stuck a longsword between his ribs (and pain was a sensation he had never before experienced in all his many years, not until that day), while the princess loomed before him, holding a bubbling potion up to her lips. She drank it down, smiling that same cruel smile that would so often adorn her face. In that moment, his instincts screamed to swipe at her with his claws, to part her pretty head from her pale and slender shoulders. But he found his body frozen. His limbs refused to move.


It was in this moment he learned Princess Thana was not the helpless damsel he’d expected her to be. He had stolen a monster more dreadful than himself.


“What you have planned won’t work,” the dragon said. “Not the way you think it will.”


“Nonsense, that’s just the lizard in you speaking. No sense of ambition at all.” She patted at his armored ankle.


“Sometimes I wonder why I let you carry me off all those many moons ago.” Her glasses gleamed in the darkness of the cave. “Not that I’ll be returning your freedom any time soon. I find possessing a dragon to be quite useful, you understand.”


“I will kill you one day,” the dragon intoned. The princess showed no sign of concern.


All she did was rise to her feet, setting her book down on the floor. It made for a burdensome tome, with hundreds of dusty, yellow pages slotted in its bindings. Two words were engraved upon its cover: DEATH MAGIC.


“Well then,” she said. “I suggest it’s time we got started, don’t you think?”


The dragon growled in a deep, low grumble. The princess barked with laughter. “You take such umbrage, friend, when I would not make you do anything other than what you’ve done hundreds of times before. Ravaging castles, incinerating villages and cities—that’s what you dragons do, isn’t it? But I suppose it doesn’t matter in the end. It’s not like I’m giving you a choice.”


And wasn’t that the awful truth? That stabbing sensation returned in his chest, and his muscles tensed and his wings unfurled against his will. The princess watched him, hands clasped at her thighs, with all the compassion of a paper doll.


At her unspoken command, his wings dragged him upwards, out from his cave and into the naked, moonlit night. He left his mountains behind him, and the world unfurled beneath his eyes, as miles of forest surrendered to the plains. Somewhere behind him, the Princess Thana was setting up her ritual, making her final preparations. His stomach was a pit of cooling coals.


She was a creature who would feed off death, who would drink down the souls of the recently deceased, drink them down as humans took water and wine. And the more traumatic those deaths, the more they came flavored in agony and terror, the more empowered would the princess become.


When at last she deigned to end his journey, a city stretched out beneath his gaze. Squat wooden houses were squeezed among the mazelike streets, fighting for space with the workshops and guilds. He’d estimate thousands lay sleeping beneath his gaze.


They’d not sleep too much longer.


The coals in his stomach began to burn as he opened wide his jaws. His roaring shattered the late night silence. His mouth was filled with flame.


And alone in the mountains, many miles away, the princess began to feast.

PayPal ButtonPayPal Button
SC David.jpg

S. Cameron David has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy for as long as he can remember. A lifetime resident of New York State, he often dreams of unearthing a path into Faerie.

bottom of page