The Unfortunate Affair of the Seven-Headed Dragon with a Princess

2022 Annual Literary Contest

3rd Place
Short Stories

Andrew Szemeredy

Lucy, the youngest of the princesses of king Luther, was abducted. Nobody knew by whom and to where she had been taken.

The king offered a handsome ransom to anyone for the return of his daughter safely. A thousand golden dukats!! Now, that’s something worth going on a trek around the world for, and leaving no stone unturned.

Several hundred, nay, several thousand young men packed their bags with sconces, with dry sausage and with hard-boiled eggs, took their sword and went forth to look for the princess.

The fools! None would find her, for the princess was locked up in a secret room of the dungeons under the basement of the king’s castle.

For it was a very intelligent think-tank that designed the undetectable captivity: the combined brainpower of a seven-headed dragon.

“Fred, I think we should feed her. I got her some dried tree bark, a few stones and a couple of cups of sand,” said one of the dragon’s heads.

“Yeah, Brittany, the princess needs to eat for sure; but we had the same delicious treats for her yesterday, and she hasn’t touched any of it.”

“Maybe she’s too tired or too depressed to eat,” said Brittany.

Well, the princess learned to collect the water that was dripping off the cave walls, and found some insects and underground mammals, such as the blind moles, blind cows, and even underground flying blind fowls, such as the diving blind eagle and blind freezbies. These kept her subsisting.

Meanwhile, Fred, Brittany, Jimi, Pope, Mary and Hendrix were arguing which of the six ought to marry Lucy, the Princess. Obviously, she was even less durable, from the looks of it, than the previous princess who fell apart, literally, after they had abducted and bound the proverbial knot with her, as a community of six.

What about the seventh? This seven-headed dragon, my dear friends, had an anomaly from birth. It was a genetic mutation, of the strangest kind: it had its seventh head grown not out of the torso midway between the shoulders, but further down, not quite as far down as the end of the tail, but definitely toward the stem of the dragon’s tail; and it was growing from the bottom. You can imagine. And it faced backward, away from the direction of travel.

The six other heads ignored it, never talked to it, they looked down on it. Once in a while, this seventh head, in a desperate effort to socialize, screamed out a statement: “You ought to have played 8, 20, 21, 34, 33, and 47 in last week’s Lotto.” Or: “It was not a good idea to eat that two-week old slate rock in the ‘fridge”. Or, “Avoid guys named George, who wields a long killing-thingy.” He and the other six had well witnessed uncle Petrov’s, Ilyich’s, Sasha’s, Nikita’s, Leonid’s, Ivan’s, and Yosip’s demise by the hands of St. George.

The seventh head was not only annoying and an embarrassment to the other six, but was also a hindsite-monger.

Days passed, and the six heads were still calmly debating which of them should have the nuptials with the beautiful young princess.

One day the seven-headed dragon knocked on the door of the princess, entered, and broke the news to her: “Sweetie, you’re going to marry Fred. He is a strong, capable, young dragon, he can spit fire twenty feet, (legal distance of perimeter for smoking of any entrance way or window), he can crunch-eat four armoured knights with two simple crunches, and he can… well, you’ll see.”

“But I don’t want to marry a dragon,” protested the princess, as she was chewing on a delicious toad.

Come morning, the door of the dungeon swung open, where the princess normally spent her time worrying, and which she had named the Royal Worry Chamber. In walked the priest, totally chained up, with the dragon pushing him forward. The dragon was dressed in a Jawan kimono, originally designed by Gucci for a Komodo dragon.

The princess was so startled by the looks of the dragon, that she upchucked as she was having her morning of the first bite of a disgusting toad. So she closed her mouth inadvertently as she upchucked, which caused her lips to smack, already placed on the toad. There was a short discussion among the rest of the family of the toad, and they decided, with seventeen votes for and nine against, that the smack counted as a kiss. The toad in the princess’s hand all of a sudden became a brave knight, nay, a brave young prince, with bulging muscles, in shining white armour (courtesy of Noalene’s design house), wielding a razor-sharp knife (courtesy of Solingen Steel Works GmbH), and with piercing determination in his eyes and soul (courtesy of the Almighty Creator). To complete his warrior-role, he had been gifted with a brain and an ego of Biblical proportions — courtesy of his Mensan parents.

The prince swung forward, stepping over the pushed-over, trembling young body of the beautiful princess; he cut the chains of the priest, who in record time (24 hundreds of a second, beating the world record by 3 hundreds of a second) blessed the young prince. Then the prince had no more obstacles but to conveniently end the story by lopping off all seven heads of the dragon.

With his last breath, the hind-facing hind-head said, sarcastically, while his self’s other heads were being chopped off, “I told you guys, didn’t I, that you should marry a nice, pleasant fire-spitting dragon-girl with seven heads, who is a good cook, keeps the house clean, and is pious and goes to church every Su…” and his head was chopped off.

Then the prince and the princess found their way up from the dungeon to the king, who awarded the couple with 1000 golden Dukats and gave his blessings to their marriage.