Once upon a time, I was a princess locked in a tower, guarded by a fearsome dragon. It was for my own protection; everyone said so. I was the key to the kingdom, with powers so great and terrible that they could be used for evil if the wrong people got a hold of me. I spent my days entertaining myself with feats of magic, but one can only take so many years of that before one grows tired.

My father visited me every week. Sometimes he would bring me new things to do, things I could help him with. It felt good to do something for my father. I enchanted his weapons and crafted creatures out of dust for his army.

One day, I asked if I could go home with him.

He refused me, but every time he came by, I would ask him again. The idea of leaving my prison of stone became an obsession. I wanted to learn more, experience more.

It wasn’t long before I attempted to escape. The dragon, always my friend, always fighting the evil beasts that came to kidnap me, snatched me up before I could make it to the bridge. I sensed its apology when it put me back into my room.

When my father found out about my attempted escape, he was furious. He shouted. He struck me. He had my windows barred and kept guards at my door to stop me if I should try to leave again.

After three days, I opened the door, and I blasted the guards with fire so hot their armor melted to their skin.

When I arrived outside, the dragon attempted to take me again, but I grabbed it by the horns. I whispered to it, pleaded with it, and filled its head with the promise of a world beyond this, of freedom and power – and he took off from my tower, and we flew to the kingdom.

Fighting my way to the throne room was easy. I destroyed those who were in my path, and the monsters that I had created to aid my father turned on the castle guards. It was slaughter, a cacophony of my rage released on the kingdom. When I found my father, he begged me not to do this. He told me to stop.  You’re my child, my princess, he told me. You don’t need to do this.

I was bored of his talk, and I watched as his limbs ripped from his body, as if quartered by invisible horses.

As I found my proper place on the throne, I watched knights scramble away, grabbing my father’s disembodied limbs as if his life might be salvageable from the wreckage. But all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put him back together again.

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