Short Story – Gareth Beats The Dragon

Gareth had finally vanquished the dragon, and probably should have been feeling pretty good about himself right now. He gave the rust-coloured, scaly corpse a kick in the leg.

“Yeah,” he said, and the crowd of grateful peasants, kings and pretty girls cheered.

He kicked it again, for the want of anything else useful to do, and the crowd cheered again.

His birthmark itched, the one on his swordarm, the one shaped like a dead dragon. He watched the birthmark fade.

“Huzzah! You shall marry a pretty girl,” bellowed King Umbert, a bearded barrel of a monarch and the crowd cheered once again. “A princess! You shall have everything promised to you, and you shall never want for anything ever again. The pretty girls of our kingdom are well versed in the homemaking arts, and are,” he patted his belly, “good at cakes.”

“Great, thank you,” said Gareth. He looked down at the dragon. It was huge, and ugly, and had taken a lifetime to track down and kill. It was the last of its breed.

An unfamiliar itch started on his right arm: a new birthmark, shaped like a man in an armchair, kicking back, taking it easy. A new birthright.

“You won’t be needing this,” said Umbert, taking the blood-streaked Dread Sword of Destiny from Gareth. “We’ll frame it or something. Would you like some cake?”

“Cake,” said Gareth, and he kicked the dragon. And kicked it again, harder.

“Get up you bastard! Get up! I’m not finished!”

Gareth Beats The Dragon
by Harris
more tiny tales

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