Drawing of a fairytale castle. Caption reads: "Once upon a time..."

Fairytale short story by Iris Carden

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a princess had an argument with her father.

“Why do you want me to marry Alfred, Father?” Princess Andromeda asked.

“Creating a link between the two kingdoms, will increase my power and influence,” King Urghart replied.

“But he’s boring, and talks about himself all the time, and he’s fifty and I’m only twelve,” Andromeda answered.

“But you have a duty to the kingdom,” the King answered.

“Am I going to inherit the kingdom?” Andromeda asked.

“Of course not. Your brother Hubert will,” her father answered.

“So what do I get out of this deal?”

“You get to support your family’s interests.”

“But not my own.”

“You don’t get to have interests. You’re a girl. You don’t matter in the world.”

“If I don’t matter, then who, or whether, I marry shouldn’t matter either.”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“I’m not being ridiculous. I’m being logical,” the girl said as she fled the throne room.

Determined that she would not marry the horrible king of the neighbouring kingdom, she ran to the top of the tallest tower, and threw herself off.

Quite by chance, a passing dragon saw the falling girl, and flew below her to catch her.

“Girl, why are you jumping from the tower?” the dragon asked gently.

“My father wants me to marry a horrible old king,” the sobbing princess answered.

“My father wants me to fight off knights to protect his gold hoard,” the dragon answered, “so he wouldn’t have to take the risk himself.”

“My father said girls weren’t worth anything.”

“My father said girl dragons weren’t worth anything.”

“So I jumped out of the tower.”

“So I flew away.”

“What do we do now?”

“Fly away with me. Let’s find a place we can be ourselves, and make our own way in the world.”

So they flew away, to a far away country, where they set up business. The girl, who learned good taste while growing up in the castle, made exquisite jewellery, while the dragon used her fiery breath to melt the metal for her work.

The girl and the dragon both did well in life and they lived happily ever after.

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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