Because I’m a kind person who doesn’t want to make you wait until Thursday, I’m posting this now. Hopefully you remember the first part, but you should read it again just because.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present the thrilling conclusion to my stupid story.
Upon waking, my first thought was that I was extremely fortunate to be alive, and really ought to rethink my life.
My second thought was that the dragon, who had nearly terminated my existence, was speaking.
“You fainted,” it said.
I did not.
Ignoring the gaping wounds that were fairly streaming rivers of blood from my body, I scrambled to my feet. Facing the dragon, I declared, “I am Sylvestrus Livingstone Clarencourt the Thirteenth, and I am going to slay you, Dragon.”
Remember that allergic reaction I had to the air? It affected my voice as well. My vocal cords were swollen to the point that any sound I uttered came out as a high pitched squeak.
The dragon eyed me, curling his lips back into a lopsided smile. “Oh, we’re introducing ourselves, are we? How nice. Very polite.” He rose to a sitting position, unfolding his wings and stretching them out to their full length. Believe it or not, he didn’t seem as big from that angle—my numerous displays of courage must have frightened him, and he was shrinking back from such a fearsome knight as I.
The dragon cleared his throat, a sound that sounded like the sound of trees splitting at their base. “I am Dwings the Uninterested, chiefest and greatest Yawner of this age.”
Not to be rude, but that is an odd name for a dragon. I told him so.
He lowered his head toward me, and I jumped back. (Just to be on the safe side, mind you.) “I’m bored,” he said, yawning in my face. “More to the point, you are boring me.”
“Excellent,” said I, “for I don’t intent to visit long. I have a job to do, you know.”
“Oh yes, kill me. I’d forgotten. Try and be gentle, will you? I’m very ticklish.” With that, he flopped over on his side and began to snore.
I did not gape. Well, not exactly. But he was just so…purple. And the ridges on his back were so flabby. And when he snored, he sounded like an overgrown kitten that’s swallowed a smokestack. Gripping my sword, I took a step toward him, though the allergic reaction was spreading to my fingers and they felt like warm rubber.
That was when Dwings wiggled his toes at me.
He wiggled his toes, Zira! How could I slay a creature that wiggled its toes? I would have been a heartless… a heartless snitch, that’s what.
My sword wobbled in my hand, and at last, I slid it back into the sheath. Almost immediately, the dragon’s head popped up. “Well, glad that’s over with. I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like being dead.” He flexed his wings. “It feels rather good, actually.”
At this point, I decided I needed to look at that tree again.
Dwings gave a luxurious sigh. “Now that I’m a ghost dragon, we can conclude our business, young Clarendork. After all, it’s nearly two in the afternoon, and I’m a busy ghost.”
Was it already two? Great gruesome Crumby’s guts, I had sword practice! And chores! And numerous other things that I was sure had to be done! “Right then,” I said, turning to leave.
Something large and unmistakably purple swooped over my head and almost knocked me down. Dwings alighted in front of me, cocking his head to stare with those unnatural eyes of his. He opened his mouth, and I braced myself for the blast of fiery heat I was certain would come.
Instead, I heard laughter.
Yes, you read that correctly. The dragon was laughing at me. You may not believe that dragons can laugh, moreover, that there’s anything about me to laugh at, but I stand as a prime witness of the unusual spectacle.
I scrunched my eyebrows together, giving him the fierce scowl I’d practiced numerous times on Crumby (it scares him right out of his mind every time). But Dwings didn’t blink. He couldn’t, actually; his eyes were closed tight with mirth. Huge, glistening dragon tears squeezed through his eyelids and rolled down his long snout, he was laughing so hard.
“Oh la,” he roared, “You’re such a chicken!” He opened his eyes and studied me, wiping away the tears. “Tell me, who dragged a nincompoop like you into this haunted forest?”
I pursed my lips. He had just insulted a Clarencourt, and that was something I would not stand for. Clearing my throat and assuming my best diplomatic stance, I calmly said, “Shut up, you vile creature of the abyss!”
Apparently, dragons don’t listen to diplomacy.
He held up a talon, chuckling deep in his throat. “Oh, I know why you’re here: You didn’t think you’d find me. You didn’t believe that dragons lived in Flimmerwood, and so you purposefully chose this forest to look for one.”
I drew back, sniffing. “I beg your pardon, but that is not the reason. Anyway, why would I be scared of—of you?” I packed that last word with enough contempt to burn fire to a crisp. “I am on a quest to rid the people of Plerp from brattish creatures like yourself.”
He raised the skin of his face where eyebrows ought to have been, had he any hair. “Better and better! You want respect! Let me guess—you intended to run home hauling a whopping story of how you killed me, thus acquiring a parade of admirers, a personal squire, fanfare whenever you enter the castle, and a seat at the table of the king himself. Is that it?”
Well, when he put it like that…
He snorted. “Simpleton.”
I’d had enough of this churlish behavior. “Good day,” I said stiffly, turning to leave.
“But we were having such a pleasant chat,” he whined, tangling his tail in my legs. There was a particularly odd patch of grass right at that spot, and I decided to get down flat on my face to inspect it.
“You are a clumsy one,” Dwings laughed. He obviously did not appreciate the intricacies of odd grass. “It wouldn’t surprise me if a little puff of wind could knock you off your feet. Now. Where were we, exactly?”
“I was just leaving.”
“Oh yes, that’s right. How had I forgotten? Silly me.” He placed a taloned foot on my back, pinning me to the ground. (Zira, if you’re wondering when he’s going to try to eat me, don’t get impatient. It’s coming soon.)
“I would so like to have a long conversation with you about Weeble and the prices of silk, but that, apparently, is not to be, for you have a reputation to uphold, and I’m a very busy ghost dragon with better things to do than consort with Plerp’s lowlife.”
Please note that I think he was referring to me in that last statement, and I found it extremely offensive.
“I suppose I’d better let you go,” he sighed, removing his remarkably heavy foot from my personage. “Get your face out of the mud, boy, you look like a corpse. Well, I’ve had enough of you. Be on your way.”
Being the good-natured chap that I am, I complied. But I had hardly gone three steps when two taloned feet wrapped themselves around my waist and jerked me off the ground. I wasn’t frightened in the least, as I knew that I was brave and strong enough to handle the beast, but I couldn’t help but wonder what new devilry he had devised for me. The wretched creature was flying, carrying me like a puppet in his iron-like grip.
“What are you doing?” I called through the branches that slapped my face.
“I thought I’d take you home,” Dwings said, glancing back at me. His horrid purple eyes sparkled with sparkly purple evilness. “After all, it’s a long walk back to Weeble Castle, and a dragon slayer should be treated with respect by ghost dragons, especially the one he killed.”
I despise dragons from the very utmost of my being.
You and I, of course, know that I am perfectly capable of killing a dragon, and it was only the mercy of my noble soul that spared Dwings. But there are some people who I am too courteous to name (Dougal Dogby, to be specific) that jump on every possible chance to cast aspersions upon my name. I was doomed.
The rest is unimportant and does not benefit this tale.
Thus it was that I returned to the castle as a hero, a warrior dragon-wrangler worthy of legend for wrangling and riding a dragon. (The first to do so in all of Plerp’s history, I might add, besides Baldwin the Bald and Exactimundo Gronkus.) Of course, there are some people—Gambergain—who do not appreciate dragon wranglers, and I’ve been so busy today peeling wizard-designated potatoes that I haven’t had the chance to speak with you in person. But when my punishment was finally over, I…
Zira, my ink has dried and I cannot undo the mistake I just made. Apparently, my hands are still suffering from the allergic reaction to Flimmerwood air, and they caused me to write a grave untruth. Please ignore the above passage where I mention the word ‘punishment’. Gambergain did NOT make me peel the potatoes as penance for sneaking away. He did it because he’s Gambergain and he likes making me suffer.
At long last, I was able to slip away from the crowd of adoring admirers who’ve trailed me ever since I made my legendary landing in the castle courtyard with Dwings (who was unkind enough to dump me in a mud puddle and then laugh at me). I’ve taken this rare moment of solitude to write to you and ask—
Do you reciprocate my undying love? Say yes, dearest dear, and you will make me forever…
I am sorry, but I must cut this letter short, for I hear Dougal calling my name and I do not wish to speak with him at this moment.
Sylvestrus Livingstone Clarencourt XIII, Esquire to Sir Taturtaut, Master of Crumby and Dougal, Dragon Slayer, Dragon Wrangler, Dragon Rider, Dragon Master, Dragon Speaker, Dragon-etc. Hero, Legend, Warrior, Champion, and whatever other good thing you would like to call to me.
*cough cough* Well. There you have it. I don’t know what to say except that I seem to have a knack for writing stupid things.
I’m so sorry.