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Deep below in the castle dungeon, lay a red and gold dragon.
Chained to the wall, his colours fading as the years passed.
He could hear his mate calling, but he cannot break the chains. The fire no longer burns in his chest. Love is a fading memory, the egg she laid when last he saw, grown now.
He wished for her to leave this place, forget him, his freedom will not come.
For who would be brave enough to approach a dragon, whose foul food lay all around, fed by the master who captured him.
He too could be long dead, like the foul maggot stench the dragon lived in, hope slowly dying.
A new queen has taken the throne, a new broom sweeps through the castle.
On her wanderings, she found the dungeons. Peering down a large hole, the stench almost knocks her off her feet. She hears movement, a chain rattle. Someone was down there.
Her heart thumped.
She called the guards, demanding to know what lay below.
‘It is your father’s dragon, Mam and the one who flies above is his mate.’
‘Then we must set him free,’ she said.
‘You won’t find anyone who will go down there. They are afraid.’
‘Then I shall go, have a ladder placed here while I change my garments.’
This was done, and the queen descended, a large key in her hand.
The light from above illuminated the rot she stood in. A glint of red and gold flashed with the smallest of movements.
‘I need more men. This dragon will not die in my castle. A sling must be made. I want him transported to the sanctuary of my garden. I will wash and feed him. He will be saved. Go now, before I have you all tied in his place.’
The queen was never happier than when caring for her dragon.
Watching as his mate flew overhead, each day his strength returned.
Soon he will want to join her.
Everyone in the household thought her mad.
‘As soon as he is strong enough, he will kill her,’ they whispered.
This did not happen and the day came when he flew with his mate.
The day also came when she needed him to fight for her, to keep her reign and her castle…