Morlock the Misgiving- Flash Fiction Challenge

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
Day five of my 30 day flash fiction challenge. A different perspective on the dragon/princess dynamic.

Submitted: October 07, 2018

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Submitted: October 07, 2018

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Day Five Flash Fiction

Prompt: You are a dragon who enjoys a peaceful life away from humans. One, day a princess showed up asking you to "kidnap" her so she doesn't have to get married.


Oak, elm and pecan trees intermingled throughout the valley. Tall, rocky, mountains surrounded it on all sides. An ancient stone keep with three looming towers stood in the center of the valley. Although the basin was lush and fruitful, there were no animals to be seen. Morlock walked through his garden pruning plants as needed. He loved this castle and the cliffs that surrounded his valley. He plucked a tomato from the vine and bit into it. It was red and juicy, he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
"Hello? Is anyone home?" Morlock almost choked. No human had stepped foot in his valley for five hundred years. He went to the gate and opened the hatch. It was a woman with a dapple-gray pony behind her. Tall with fair skin and hair, eyes like the sky before a storm. She wore a dark blue dress fit for royalty; opulent and embroidered with golden flowers. Being a dragon Morlock knew this was no ordinary human. This was a princess.
"Who are you? What do you want?" Asked Morlock through the gate.
"My name is Princess Brianna, I need help. I am looking for the dragon Morlock," she said. There was a desperate tone to her words. Morlock slammed the hatch closed. He hated humans and the drama they brought with them.
"Please, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't important. Do you know where I can find the dragon?" She yelled.
Morlock removed the bar of wood from the gate and pushed it open. 
"Come inside," said Morlock. The princess hesitated when she saw him. He was not handsome. At least not in a traditional human sense. For a dragon he was very good looking. Normally he chose to be in a human like form, mainly because this body could live off fruits and vegetables; where as his traditional dragon form required meat. His head was bald under a wide brim straw hat. He wore a plain green tunic with an apron tied around his waist. A pruning knife tucked in the apron pocket. Dry, bumpy skin, light tan in color, covered his body. His eyes were yellow with a reptilian slit for a pupil. Long sharp teeth filled his mouth and his claws were long but well groomed. 
"What's wrong with you?" Asked the princess covering her mouth and nose with the sleeve of her dress, "Are you sick?"
"No I'm not sick, but thank you for asking. If you want to meet the dragon Morlock I suggest entering. Or you can leave," Morlock held the gate open but when she didn't move he began to close it, "Alright, well if you could leave the way you came in, that would be great."
"No, wait please," she stepped forward grabbing his tunic, "I need to see the dragon."
Morlock gestured for her to enter and at last she did. He closed the gate and returned the bar to the lock.
"Where is Morlock?" Said the princess not taking her eyes off him. 
Morlock bowed, "Morlock the Misgiving at your service."
"You? You're a dragon?" She asked in surprise, "but where are your wings? Your tail?"
"This is one of my forms. The form you speak of is far less convenient than this one," Morlock said, "Come, let us go inside and talk."
Princess Brianna followed him through the garden and up a flight of narrow stairs to a large wooden door. The keep was old but well maintained. Inside beautiful tapestries displaying the history of dragons covered the walls. He led her into the throne room. Her eyes grew wide. From wall to wall the room was filled with gold, silver, and precious stones of all sizes. Only the red velvet rug down the middle of the room was clear of treasure.
"What can I say? I am a dragon," said Morlock when he noticed her gawking at his horde.
Morlock sat down on his throne, "Alright, what do you need?"
Princess Brianna looked up at Morlock, "I need your help. I am to be married in a fortnight to the most dreadful man," she paused, looking down at her feet, "I hope you won't be too mad, but I may have made it look like you kidnapped me."
"Excuse me, what?" Asked Morlock, "May have? Or did?"
"Did," said the princess. 
Morlock clenched his teeth together, a low growl escaped his lips and smoke rose from his nostrils. 
"So, what exactly do you want from me?" Asked Morlock.
"My betrothed is a powerful knight, he will come for me. I want you to kill him," Morlock was surprised by the viciousness in her voice.
He lounged back in his chair thinking about her proposal.
"What do I get out of it?" He asked.
"Glory and riches. I am princess to the wealthiest kingdom I will give you three wagons of gold and I will tell everyone of the Morlock the Magnificent," avowed the princess.
Morlock studied her with his reptilian yellow eyes, "My lady, I have grown bored of gold," he waved his hand in the air, gesturing to the piles of gold. "And as far as Morlock the Magnificent goes, it's an appealing name but a name like that will bring far too much attention to my valley. I live a peaceful life, away from such dramaturgy."
Tears welling up in her eyes she fell to her knees, "Please, there must be something you want that I can give you."
One thing came to Morlock's mind, "There is one thing I want that I do not have.”

Princess Brianna stood up, “Name it and it shall be yours.”

As expected the girl was young and foolish, “I want a child.”

Her face went blank, she had been expecting a thousand different things but not this, “I am asking you to save me from a marriage to a monster, I will not trade one monster for another.”

Smoke rose once again from his nostrils, “I didn’t say I wanted to wed you,” he hissed through clenched teeth.

“Just bed me?” Finished the princess.

Morlock laughed, deep and booming, he threw his head back, “No, I don’t have to bed you. There is another way. I can simply give you the mark of the dragon. Then your first-born child with be born with the blood of the dragon.”

“Just mark me? What do you mean?” She questioned.

“It will be like a tattoo in the shape of a dragon upon your skin, it will fade once conception is successful,” Morlock clarified. “Before you make your decision there is one more thing. I will know my child, whether you bring him or her here or if you wish for me to come to you I don’t care. But I will see my child.”

Princess Brianna thought for half a second before answering, “Done. Give me the mark of the dragon and slay my betrothed.”

Morlock stood up and descended the steps, “Turn around.”

She did as he commanded and turned her back on him. Her dress was low in the back leaving her shoulder blades exposed. Morlock ran a razor like claw over his forearm, thick black blood oozed from the opening. He dipped his claw into his blood then carefully cut into the fair skin of the princesses left shoulder. Like ink on wet paper the blood spread under her skin. At first it looked like nothing more than a blob but slowly the black mark began to take shape. Long neck, wide bat like wings and horns. A black dragon marked on her back clawed at the air.

“It is done,” said Morlock.

Princess Brianna sighed with relief. A war horn bellowed from beyond the walls. Brianna followed Morlock to the balcony. A host of a thousand knights marched across the valley. Another five hundred heavy horse followed.

“Well, I guess I should get to work,” Morlock said. He stepped up onto the balcony wall. His tunic and apron tore as his skin stretched and darkened. Half transformed he leap from the balcony. Finishing his mutation in air. His wide wings caught the air and he soared into the sky. Princess Brianna watched as he circled the host. Once, twice, three times. Then the great beast banked hard to the north and disappeared over the mountains. Brianna’s stomach felt sick, she leaned on the balcony wall for support. A sharp throbbing in her shoulder was the only thing left of Morlock the Misgiving.


© Copyright 2019 Jack Crawford. All rights reserved.

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