A Witch, a Curse and a Dragon

If there is a curse, there is a witch. This was the fundamental knowledge that guided the Prince's life. Immediately after this comes the question: "How does one break the curse?" But witches are cunning and alluring. One may easily lose track of one's goal and, say, fall in love.

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Author's note

So we have witches and curses and some adventure (exciting :P ) This was intended to be a long novel, but I am trying to keep it small for the site. It is primarily a fantasy novel, but I am hoping that a major part will be about a romance (with some twists maybe). It’s my first story here and I really hope you will enjoy it if you read it. I am all for reading your stories as well, so we could exchange comments and advice, or simply chat if you want. ^_^

2. Two Drinks... No, make those five and a cherry

"Two ales... No, wait. Make those five. And bring me a cherry"

"Lark, what part of 'dawn' don't you get? It's a little past dawn man, what are you doing here looking like a bird that has been ran over by a cartwheel and then tossed into the oven? And why on earth do you need a cherry?"

"Samuel, I love you man. But I swear I will start biting at your bar if you don't hurry it up"

"Ah, well. Wouldn't be the first time, that..."

   Troy arched an eyebrow and decided to let it slide. "Fine, then, I will be disgusting and I will start dancing naked like a lunatic in here"

"Actually that would be good for business, considering that so many young and silly girls constantly drool over you."

"Sam!" Troy exclaimed and threw a damp handkerchief he was using to wipe the blood from his face right at Samuel. The barkeeper, even though he was a very round and plump man, managed to avoid the cloth easily. Troy wasn't in the best shape. And neither were the three men sitting at a round table behind him. The poor guys had actually fought really hard. The two of them were new in the army and their gallantry had been a real shock to him. He could remember when he had been tossed headfirst in the army, not knowing which way was up.

   He had been a problem child growing up. Both of his parents had been killed and he had lived on the streets for a little while. He stole from whomever he could to survive, basically. He had been forced to make a quick escape so many times that, at some point, he realized he was actually good at it. He had grown stronger and faster with every new try. One day though he had stolen from the wrong man. The worst. Lowell Starling, the most feared general in all the royal army. He had been caught red-handed, of course, and tossed into the dungeons without food or water for days.

   Then Lowell had given him a choice, that hadn't really been a choice. He could either be hanged the morning after or he could join the army and put those skills to a real test. Well, in the end, there wasn't really a choice was there? Troy had decided to instruct the general to shove his offer where no sun did ever shine. Two days later he had been patiently waiting for his death on the gallows, thinking that the only thing worse than dying would be dying and then crapping oneself. The executioner had pulled the lever and for a brief moment, everything had gone black. Troy had instantly regretted many of his decisions in life.

   Suddenly, his neck wasn't hurting anymore and he could feel the muddy earth rubbing against his back, filling his clothes. He had been saved because Lowell had halted his execution. He had later informed him that he had paid a very hefty sum for his release. Now... Well, now there really was no choice. His training had started almost that same moment, but Troy could still feel the rope around his neck and his stomach had almost reached his spine because of hunger. The training had begun an hour later and it was worse than dying.

"Here you go!" exclaimed Samuel throwing Troy out of his trance-like state. He placed five tall and heavy wooden cups of ale in front of him and he proceeded to serve the rest of his group. He immediately downed an entire cup and then another one. By the fourth, he was already feeling queasy and he blamed it on the loss of blood. Lowell had retired many years ago, but he was a constant pain in his ass. Truth be told, he had been like a father to him and had taught him everything he knew today.

   As Samuel passed by him again to get behind his bar, Troy held him by the sleeve.

"Sammy, the cherry, man."

"Oh, right right. I thought you were joking."

"Clearly not" he mused as he buried his nose into the fifth cup.

"Here you are," Samuel said and then he pretended to wipe the bar while in truth he was looking at Troy expectantly.

"What?" Troy asked feeling rather than seeing his gaze.

"Why on earth do you need a cherry?" Samuel asked again.

"It is tradition" Troy replied taking the red fruit between his fingers. "When plucked it symbolizes loss of virtue and innocence, but it leaves a sweet aftertaste. A nice change after a bitter drink" he repeated the words Lowell had told him a million times before. He was constantly on his mind this night for some reason. Probably because Derek's transformation had been one of the worst. And they kept getting fiercer each time. And each time it was getting more difficult for him to find himself and remember who he was. Lowell always knew how to get through to him. How to break the thick walls of the curse and how to make his voice reach him. Troy had grown up playing and training with the Prince every day and still, he couldn't help him. Perhaps he was also lacking. He was also broken and out of balance.

   Derek's curse had been tormenting him ever since he was a little boy. Every full moon he was condemned to turn into a dragon and kill anyone and anything close to him. But he wasn't really the one that had been cursed. A powerful witch had cursed his father. She knew that hurting his firstborn son would hurt him more than anything else she could have done to him. She knew that this would lead to bloodshed over the throne. She knew Atreus DeSein would suffer more knowing that he couldn't do anything to help his son. He would wrench and squirm but could do nothing to rid himself of her revenge. For this was revenge. Odilia Walter, the arch witch of Arelia, had been burned alive nearly 30 years ago.




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