I was thoroughly exhausted. After hours of ranting, raving and screaming at the accursed dragon that kept me locked up here, I began to plot my escape. Yes, I know what you're thinking, a princess plotting an escape! I'm not a princess, I'm just her decoy. I'm also the unlucky victim of a dragon kidnapping (long story) and I certainly wasn't waiting around for Handsome Prince Charming to come riding in and save me. No, escape was up to me, so how to fool that dragon? Play dead? Bad idea, it might eat me. Kill it? Nope dragons can smell the sword in your hands before they even see it, I would be incinerated for sure. Wait, I had it! Now to wait for that great lump of scales to get back from hunting. I shuddered, the castle always reeked for days after it brought it's meal home. Usually a nice fat horse - sometimes with it's rider - or a cow went down well. Wait! Here it came now! The great fat lizard flew clumsily back on it's weathered wings. It landed with a grunt on the top of the cliff and walked or rather waddled the rest of the way, it's huge belly dragging on the floor. At last it entered the gates and collapsed in the courtyard with a sigh and a grunt, it would sleep for days. As soon as I felt it safe, I hurried to my bed and stripped it of it's many sheets. These were tied together until I had a good long rope. Then, I ripped up every piece of silk I could find into large squares. Armed with a needle and thread I worked my way through the pile of silk until, at last, I had finished my creation. A largish balloon like object lay at my feet, ready for use. I tossed the rope out the window - it was strapped to the bed - and pulled on two silk straps that hung off my creation. I now looked like a really ugly fairy with a single, deformed 'wing'. Hopefully it would fly. I took a deep breath, this was it! Escape 36, it would work! It took all my courage to grab that rope and swing myself out the window and when I did, I nearly died of fright. Still, I'm a stubborn girl, so I was able to slowly, slowly, inch my way down. My hands were sweaty, blast! I'd never make it! But then again if I didn't go down of my own accord, gravity might oblige. How far had I gone? A foot? Or six feet? I gave a tiny peek down, "aiee!" I shrieked in terror, clutching at the air. My dress blew over my head and my hands flailed wildly. Suddenly they found the rope and I stopped with an agonizing jerk. My hand burned like fire. How far down was I? Again I peeked, and heaved an exhausted shuddering sight, I was at the end of the rope, dangling several inches above the ground! Luckily the moat had dried up years ago. I dropped quickly and glanced around, what luck! The cliffside was not far away and the dragon slept on, undisturbed. I unrolled my 'wing' and checked it for any last minute repairs. None! I boldly stepped forward to the cliff and... froze.
No. I was tougher than that, I spent precious seconds psyching myself up. Then - before I could come to my senses - I jumped... It worked! I whooped a victory cry! I was stupendous! I was superb! None could keep my caged! I was the best! Immortal! Indomitable! The dragon stirred, blinked, raised it's mighty head, and promptly incinerated my wing. It then resumed a peaceful slumber.
I am back in this accursed room in the dragon's castle plotting my next great escape. After about an hour of dangling by the end of my dress at the top of a tall fir tree, along came that disgusting lizard - just awake after a nice nape - to pick up what was left of me. You can imagine the creature's disappointment that I was still breathing. However, it was moderately pleased that I was still around, for I seemed to provide good amusement on the dullest of days.
Author: Siobhan Cogan
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