Tweet of the Day: The Woman in the Yellow Ruff
The knight held the torch as hand as high as he could. Deeper he went through the twisting passages. Sweat soaked the camisole beneath the shiny breastplate.
Each step took him closer to the lair of the beast.
Each step brought him closer to fulfilling his vow to bring the damsel back to the village.
Each step brought him closer to fame or ruin.
A light appeared at the end of the passage way. The knight walked into a large cavern. Sunlight streamed down from a hole on the roof. Across the cavern was another passage. It was as dark as the one that brought him here. A young woman walked along the fern covered floor to a clear pool of water at the center. She wore a diaphanous garment that seemed to enhance rather than cover her charms. The knight took full measure of her figure from her dark locks than ran to the small of her back. His gaze lingered on her full breasts for a moment. He uttered a short prayer to compose himself.
“M’lady, I am glad to have found you. Your father wishes that you return post haste,” he extended a hand, “I can find you some clothes if you like, m’lady but we must hurry.”
She cocked her head to one side,”Why?”
A deep voice came from the dark passage, “Because he means to slay me.”
A pair of golden orbs floated in the darkness. The smell of brimstone filled the air.
The knight drew his sword and interposed himself between the woman and the beast beyond, “Stand back wyrm! I sworn an oath to rescue this maiden by any means necessary.”
“You mean to take by force what came here by will, sir knight?” asked the voice from the darkness.
“I know not what you mean, I have not the patience to parlay with beasts,” said the knight.
“Indeed, your kind never has the patience for much of anything. Bold of action yet closed of mind are you. You who are so steadfast in your devotion to lord and duty, but did you ever stop to think while you fasted and prayed why she is here? Why, if I am such a loathsome beast, is she still alive and unharmed?” asked the voice.
“The tricks of the Serpent are well known to me, wyrm. You beguiled her as you beguiled the Mother of Men,” said the knight.
“Ah yes, an old tale I know all too well. Yet, I always found it curious that sin came by way of knowledge and not life. One would think it a higher hubris to dare to consume from the wellspring of Creation than to gain an understanding of it,” said the voice.
He clutched the blade with both hands, “Enough foul creature. Your sorcerous ways may work on those of feeble spirit but I am a pious knight of the realm.”
“Indeed, the time has come to end this charade. But before the day is done, it would behoove me to reveal a simple truth. That which you seek is like me. I am the offspring of Man and Thought. I am the guardian of the Old. I come by way of the dreams of Men. I am Air, Fire, and Earth…and so is she,” said the voice.
The knight heard a noise like the tearing of vellum followed by a roar to rival a hundred lionesses. He turned in terror to face the maiden. In her place stood a winged serpent with a gaping maw full of fire. The gout of flame cut his screams short. Nothing was left of the brave if foolish knight but pile of molten metal and white ashes.
“Finish your bath my dear. We shall hunt tonight.”