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Sir Tim the Little Knight
The roar of a dragon came to him and Sir Tim stood, trembling, hidden just out of sight by a wall of stone. Glittering gold was everywhere, and he held some in his hand, grasped tightly between small fingers bound in shining silver chainmail. His sword hung loosely at his hip, and rubbed against his metal-clad leg when he shifted, saturating the air with a small hissing sound which he flinched away from as he heard a growl and the rasp of scales against gold objects. He pressed his back harder against the stone, forcing his muscles to relax and stop trembling like jelly.
The dragon burst around the corner suddenly, making Tim jump and slip as he turned and ran off along the piles of gold, his feet sinking in and slipping as if the precious metal wanted to swallow him under its shining mounds. He gripped the coins tighter, smiling. The dragon charged after him, howling with rage at his speed and agility, compared to its slower, larger movements. It snapped after him, its teeth almost snagging his armor. He pushed to go faster, but the ground was becoming even less stable, and he was starting to sink.
He suddenly saw what he was after. It sat atop the highest hill of gold, and it shone like a star. Mustering another burst of speed, he shot towards it, even as the dragon caught his armor, but, thinking quickly, he wiggled out of it and kept running, drawing another roar out of the beast pursuing him. He dropped the coins in his hand and swept up the precious object, a diamond the size of his palm. He waved it tauntingly over his head as he slipped down the other side of the hill. Suddenly, the ground was no longer under him, and he yelped, suddenly tumbling down, the metal freezing cold against his skin, where the armor no longer protected him. He spluttered for breath before coming to a stop at the bottom. The dragon suddenly landed over him, pinning him down for an instant, growling in his face and prying the precious diamond from his grasp to his yelps of protest and fear. The monster grabbed him in its claws, lifting him up as the wind from its wings stirred him hair around his face.
The dragon carried him deeper into the cave, passing through an archway into another room, this one much warmer but dimmer. It didn’t stop there though, and proceeded up to the second level of the cave, one that Sir Tim had not realized existed. The dragon continued up the passage, down another passage, and then landed on its hind legs, depositing the unfortunate knight onto the floor of a prison. The floor was hard, and only a single spot of straw covered a small corner. Sir Tim sprang to his feet, puffing out his chest indignantly, but the dragon closed the iron door with a heavy thump, and the sounds of its heavy breathing and clicking claws slowly faded, leaving him to his own.
Sir Tim smiled, though his situation hardly seemed appropriate for such a gesture. He patrolled the perimeter of the cell, looking for some way to escape. He found nothing at first, but on a second sweep, he found a small, twisted piece of metal, and proceeded to pick the lock of the door holding him in. It took time, but finally, with a small click, the door swung open, and the small knight snuck out, creeping along the passages that the dragon took, and peeking around each corner to be sure that the dragon did not see him. He came to the main chamber, just before the one with all the gold, and peered around the corner… only to find the dragon just past him, its face straight towards him. He jerked back, breath stopped, eyes wide and heart pounding. Tim waited a moment, but nothing happened, so he risked another look. The dragon’s eyes were closed, its breath slow and deep. Grinning widely, and trying to control his fear from the moment before, Sir Tim stepped out from his hiding place and crept around the beast. Then he froze in despair.
For the dragon held the shining diamond tight in its grasp.
He was disheartened, but he couldn’t leave without first obtaining that which he had set out to gain. Creeping forward carefully and quietly, Sir Tim reached out very slowly, grabbing a small stone from his pocket, which he place on the dragons claw in which the diamond rested and pulled out the precious stone slowly. The beast growled softly in its sleep, and he froze, waiting until he was sure the dragon was still sleeping before proceeding. Finally, he pulled it away, with the stone replacing it, and he crept off quietly, emerging once more into the room of gold. Stumbling along, faster now, he clutched diamond to his chest and broke into a flat out run, tripping every once in a while. He was looking back and didn’t even notice the second of the creatures, bigger even than the first, until he slammed into it. Behind it was a solid gold structure that the dragon had just emerged from. This beast grabbed hold of his collar and hauled him into the air faster than he could blink, let alone struggle away. He turned his fearful gaze up to the face of the monster, gulping slightly.
“And what do you think you’re doing?” The monster snarled, becoming less like a monster and more like a human suddenly. Sir Tim gasped as the dragon turned into an evil wizard, still holding the tiny knight tight in his grasp. He clutched the diamond closer, but when he looked down, it wasn’t in his grasp any longer. Sir Tim shot his frantic gaze around him, and his heart sank as he saw the diamond in the hand of the wizard, who looked at it with a wicked glee. Struggling to be released, but in vain, Sir Tim was carried back into the home-cave of the dragon, where the original beast was now awake. It was standing in the opening and glaring at him even as he was carried back up to the second level and deposited into the cell once more, this time with a warning. He heard the wizard say some enchantment before leaving, and he sighed, collapsing onto the pile of straw, wondering what to do.
Meanwhile, the dragon and wizard were having a conversation as they strolled back to the main chamber of the cave. The dragon’s long, red hair, very straight and hanging down to her shoulders, fell across her face as she sighed. She turned her pale green eyes towards the black-haired wizard, and he glanced back.
“What are we going to do with him? He keeps taking that little metal car outside even after I told him to stay here.” She sighed. “I chased him down once and put him in his room, but I fell asleep, and when I woke up, he was gone again.”
“I caught him out by the car. Why was he running around in the snow without his coat on? He usually has that, at least.” He responded, putting a gloved hand to his face for an instant before pulling the gloves off and shoving them into his pockets. He pulled off his coat also, and then his hat, and hung them beside the door.
“Perhaps he has calmed down now, at least. Do you have his toy?” The woman asked, and the man smiled, holding up the small Hot Wheels car, its sides very red and shiny. He laughed, and then looked out the window at the shining drifts of snow.
It was at this moment that the padding of little feet on the stairs made them both turn around to see little Tim standing in the doorway, looking mischievous.
“Surrender the diamond to me, evil dragon and wizard, or I will be forced to attack you!” He yelped, holding up the sodden stick that both parents had forgotten about. The woman sighed, walking over to him and crouching before him, putting her hand over the wooden sword.
“I think its time for you to go take a bath. Even heroes have to stay clean.”
Tim looked incredibly confused. He opened and closed his mouth several times, as if formulating a reply. Finally, he smiled. Maybe this was a good dragon and wizard, and they just wanted to protect their prize, which, now that they had it back, was safe, so they could be kind. He threw his arms around the neck of the dragon.
“Alright. Thank you, kind dragon.”
“You can even have your car back.” His mother informed him. “After dinner, but you have to stay in your room until morning. Okay?”
“Your offer is most considerate!” He stated, surprised. Maybe they didn’t care as much for the diamond as for the fact that the sky was darkening quickly, and they knew he had a long way to travel to return to his town. He smiled, and then frowned slightly.
“Where can I go to find this bath that you spoke of?”
“Tim…” His mother’s voice was warning, and the boy grinned again before bolting off, back up the stairs. She turned and sighed, looking at her husband.
“Well.” He said.
“Well.” She agreed, and at that moment, they heard a loud noise, and they turned just in time to see the figure of Tim shot past them, and they had only enough time to see that the little knight had shed all of his armor as he disappeared into the growing dusk.