This is for future author's contest :)
Atara sought out her usual meeting place.Her heart soaring with excitement, shecalled out cheerfully, "Rezenbane! I'm here!"
The towering monster turned. What Atara had always guessed was a smile spread across the creature's face. He was roughly thirty feet tall, with onyx scales that seemed unable to reflect light. His teeth were daggers the size of her forearm.
"I'm sorry I wasn't here yesterday," Atara began, trying as best as she could to hug the monster. "We had company and they would notice if I snuck out."
The monster growled, but the sound somehow wasn't threatening. He rubbed his massive head against Atara's petite shoulder. Though the dragon couldn't speak, Atara had a feeling that he understood the gist of what she said.
Atara relayed to Rezenbane the stories she'd read recently-they both loved fairytales.
"My grandma would tell me the sweetest stories when I was little. My sister reminded me of one she told a long time ago." Atara leaned against Rezenbane's scaly side. "I promise, you'll like it. A long time ago," Atara tried to emulate the power in her grandmother's voice. "There was an evil dragon." Rezenbane interrupted with an indignant huff. Atara laughed, patting his side gently. "Let me finish before you get upset. The dragon would burn down any village he stumbled across, and eat any unlucky soul he happened upon. The princess of the kingdom in which the dragon lived came looking for him one day. The dragon roared and tried to scare the princess. He thought that she would run away like all the others had, but Princess Winnie stood her ground." He leaned close to her, eager for more. "She knew that deep in his heart, the dragon wasn't evil. Dragons have always wanted to protect, so Princess Winnie reasoned there was something the dragon was trying to keep hidden. She befriended the dragon and named him Krizzen. She visited the dragon often, and once Krizzen trusted her enough, he took Princess Winnie to see what he had been keeping secret for so long. In the bat-infested cave where he lived, Krizzen had been hiding a sword. Its hilt was inlaid with gold, and had obviously been there for a long time. Engraved in the silver part were the initials B.H.N. At first, it didn't mean anything to Winnie. She went back to her castle to sleep, when she began thinking about the stories she'd heard of warriors when she was little. One had gone to fight a sea monster, and never returned. His name had been Benjamin Hazeron Nerra-initials B.H.N. It took a long time, but when Princess Winnie asked the dragon if that was his sword, it was ecstatic. When she retold the story of Benjamin, it wrapped its tail around the sword. No one knows exactly how, but the hero had been turned into a dragon! Princess Winnie searched long and hard for a healer who could return the dragon to his human form. When the spell was successfully completed, Benjamin and Winnie lived happily ever after as the rulers of a flourishing kingdom."
Rezenbane seemed satisfied, maybe imagining himself as a human king. He let out a little yelp that Atara had learned meant he wanted more. She happily complied, wracking her brain for more stories to share. Atara had been so caught up in the story of a heroic knight that she hadn't realized how late it had gotten. The sun had long ago set, and Atara's village had come looking.
Rezenbane's supernatural hearing picked up on the sounds of the approaching villagers first. He shifted awkwardly, motioning with his wings repeatedly in the direction they were coming. Atara didn't put the pieces together until it was far too late.
"It's back! The monster is back!" Someone screamed, their next words becoming incoherent with fear.
Atara froze, clutching to the nonexistent hope that maybe they were screaming about some other monster. Of course, they weren't. She and Rezenbane had been spotted.
"Send a messenger for help! It's going to kill us all!"
"It's going to eat that little girl!"
Atara spun to face the assembling crowd. Rezenbane shifted to hide behind Atara, but there wasn't much the young girl could do to shield him.
"That's my daughter!" A familiar voice wailed. "Atara! Atara, run!" My mother was screeching in horror.
"It's okay!" Atara yelled in reply, but no one seemed to acknowledge her.
The thundering of hooves came before Atara could see the assembled warriors. Armed with bows and swords, the archers let loose their first volley of arrows. Most of them were unable to pierce Rezenbane's thick layer of scales, but one had found its way into his maw.
Rezenbane roared in pain, rolling on the ground violently beside Atara. "Stop! Please!" Atara begged, but the warriors didn't seem to care. She sprinted toward them, banging on the armored leg of the lead warrior. "Stop it! He wasn't hurting me!"
"That's Rezenbane," The warrior's voice was muffled through the heavy metal helmet perched atop his head. "He's one sick dragon. He'll devour you and the entire village."
"No he won't," Atara sobbed. "He's good! I promise, we're friends!"
The warrior reached to shove Atara back toward the crowd of villagers. "Get back to your mother."
She managed to ram the warrior's leg hard enough that he lost balance, toppling off of his horse. Atara desperately struggled to climb onto the golden horse's back. "Stop it!" The warrior lunged, but the horse was already in motion.
The horse tried to skitter away from Rezenbane, but Atara managed to keep him moving. "Rezenbane!" Atara captured the attention of the pained dragon. "Fly!"
The dragon seemed to understand the deeper meaning. Not fly to escape certain death at the hands of the warriors-fly and never return. A tear the size of Atara's pale palms rolled down Rezenbane's blackened body.
"Ready!" The call sounded from behind Atara. The archers were preparing yet another attack.
"Please!" Atara's heart ached with the words. "Leave, Rezenbane!"
The dragon stared at her hopelessly. An endless depth of love shone in his crimson eyes. With a painful choking sound, Rezenbane dragged himself up from the ground.
The arrows fell short of the dragon, already soaring into the sky. He paused out of the warriors' reach to give a parting swish of his tail to Atara. She whispered, "Goodbye."