A monstrous growl echoed outside Rella’s bedroom door. She stepped back, crossed the worn rug, her spine flush with the stone wall. Her fingers twisted in the layers of fabric of her tattered gown.
She hiccuped back fear.
Her eyes went wide. Either that was the beast that had stood guard at her door since childhood, or it was the unfortunate fate of yet another valiant prince.
The door swung open. Rella squealed.
Then she smiled. “You won? You slayed the dragon?”
A lean man with chestnut colored hair, bloodied sword in hand, stood before her, breathing heavily. “I have slaughtered the monster that entrapped you here, my sweet damsel.” He held a gloved hand out to her. “May I collect my prize?”
Rella jumped into his arms, placing a single kiss upon his cheek. “Thank you, brave Knight! You have given me my freedom.”
The knight leaned in for another kiss, this one on her lips.
The princess backed away. “And my betrothed thanks you, as well.”
“Betrothed?” The knight’s brow pulled together.
“Of course. He’s been waiting for someone brave enough to rid me of the dragon so I could escape and we could marry. Thank you again, Knight!”
With another peck on his cheek, Rella hopped out of the room and out of the tower in search of her true love.
©Laura L. Zimmerman 2019