Evil Princesses and Dragons in Distress
“Daddy!” Princess Bernadette whined in a voice that could, and quite possibly did wake the dead and force them to clamp their hands over their ears so that they might not be subjected to the agonizing shrillness.
“What is it, child?” King Steven sighed, just as frustrated as many corpses that he had to put up with his daughter‟s squealing.
“What is this I hear about an arranged marriage?” she sneered at the old man.
“He‟s a war hero, he‟s very tolerant, and he‟s survived several major battle campaigns. While I don‟t feel that‟s necessarily enough, it seems adequate preparation to deal with a marriage to you,” the King replied.
“I don‟t want to marry some silly old war hero!” she screamed and several
priceless pieces of crystal dinnerware found themselves in shards upon the floor.
“We‟ve gone through this. We went through it with the King from Eldia, with the prince from Lyan, and the sultan from Illhara. I‟m not sitting through another endless
critique of a suitor, they were all good enough for you,” the King growled.
“The king was too old, the prince was too goofy looking, and I just didn‟t like the beard on the sultan, it was too…” she paused to think of the right word.
“Beardy?” the king muttered in frustration.
His daughter stared at him for a moment at the absurdity of the word he had just uttered. “Unkempt!”
“It‟s always something with you!” the King threw his arms up. “I need someone who will take care of this kingdom after I‟m gone, and if it doesn‟t have to do with your
hair and nails you don‟t really seem to be interested in undertaking much of anything!”
“But, daddy!” again the shrill voice sounded throughout the kingdom bringing pain even to the deaf.
“Unless you can find a viable reason to reject this man, I‟m not accepting „no‟ for an answer!” the King huffed and stormed out of the room, desperately trying to remember where exactly he‟d left his earplugs.
“Viable reason…” the princess pondered. A thin malicious smile spread across
her face as her plan began to take shape. Somewhere out in the forest a fairy felt the insidious vibe emanating from the princess and wept in horror.
* * *
“I‟m not sure this is the wisest of ideas, Sire,” Rolad Pettygrove offered council to
his esteemed Knight.
Sir Edward of Wiltingshire stared down at his faithful squire and took a moment to reflect. “I get to acquire a kingdom after the king dies, which strikes me as a rather comfortable job. I don‟t see the problem.”
“I‟ve heard stories told of this young princess you are to marry, Sire.” Rolad explained. “I think „holy terror‟ was used several times along with some profanities I am not permitted to utter in your presence, Sire.”
“Honestly, I‟m not keeping you from uttering any profanities, Roland,” Edward replied as he scratched his head. Neither of the two had been fortunate enough to have a bath in some time and were both beginning to itch horribly.
The Knight and his Squire had just finished a yearlong battle campaign in the service of King Steven and had recently been awarded with medals of valor for that
service. In addition to the medals the king had request Edward come to his castle to marry his daughter and one day take over the kingdom. While Edward was not an unattractive man he had trouble finding eligible women, mostly because he was part of an all male army. He very much enjoyed the idea of settling down with a nice lady and ruling over a kingdom with her, possibly having a child or two. Rolad‟s concerns
worried him, of course, for his Squire rarely exaggerated, or cursed, or did anything he considered „out of sorts.‟ That in itself worried Edward to no end.
“Well, we‟ll find out for ourselves soon enough, we‟re only a day from the kingdom,” Edward stated.
“Do you hear that, Sire?” Roland‟s long ears suddenly perked up.
“High pitched whining noise?” Sir Edward asked. Usually only Roland‟s enhanced senses picked up on weird noises but now even the Knight could hear it.
“It sounds almost like a dog whistle…” Roland paused. “Oh well, it‟s gone now. Couldn‟t have been anything important.”