Day 228: When Battling Dragons

(This sums up my last couple weeks….)

The King he coughed, and then hoarsely spout, “I’ve had quite the battle, of this no doubt.” He hovered there, in chamber room’s sheets, his face pale white, despite the heat. He stretched his neck, and cracked his knuckles, and adjusted his bedclothes with a string-like buckle.

I sat in the corner, unseen but there, my ears alert, my mind aware. I’d heard the story of Dragon V and how Noble King had battled thee. But now to see King living still, after all the tales, I shook with chill. And wondered too, if Dragon had left, or stood behind curtains with fiery breath.

I sneezed aloud, and heart sank low, would Dragon appear, and make me his foe?

“God Bless You, lad,” the King did say, and turned down his covers to reveal a tray, of turnips and broth, and chicken legs full, and desserts untouched, by this noble who ruled. “Can’t eat them; no want. Help yourself if you wish. Can’t even stand to look at the dish.” He adjusted his pillow, then fanned his full face, coughed up some more, before finding his place.

“Now, where was I?” he mumbled, his lips parched and dry, his skin lacking luster, the red in his eyes.

“Oh, yes, fine lad, listen, while I whisper a word, about the fierce Dragon, no doubt that you’ve heard.

I call him Dragon V, the v stands for venom;

his poison is hot, from the land of fierce demons.

At first Dragon whispers, and the fire is null,

still knight’s eyes gather tears, and do slightly swell.

But then Dragon breathes, and his flame rises swift,

and ghost enters the ears, and causes a rift.

Then there is burning, and acute subtle itch,

until comes the night, and ears ooze and they twitch.

This pain is rather meager, simple indeed,

compared to where Dragon next turns to feed.

He enters the head, and burns up so hot,

that knight cannot tell boot from his pot.

The Dragon’s heat strong, climbs fierce and then falls,

leaving King in his bedclothes all soaked in a ball.

Bed covers too, are wet with foul rain,

which must be the body weeping in pain.

This happens trice, the heat pattern clear,

three moons pass, with muddled thought and wetness severe,

Next, he takes hold, this Dragon mad,

and pounds at the whole head with his strong iron clad.

Dragon releases, after throb-filled days,

only to take harbor, in the lungs straight away.

Now comes the spit, the cough and the hack,

that starts at the ribs and stabs behind back.

Gasping and wheezing are familiar sounds now,

bringing yellow-yoke present, sunrise from sundown.

This lasts the longest, the spitting of yoke,

the catching of breath that resembles a choke.

So withered and wrung out, so weathered and worn,

tis the greatest of battles, of this I have sworn.”


The king took a breath then, and I could hear what he meant: How the Dragon still lived, for King’s breath was still spent.

I gathered my notary, my reeds and my ink, and thanked the King properly, by offering drink.

I sneezed then again, my face turning blue, I’d swallowed the dragon, of this I now knew.

The King gulped and slathered, his beard getting wet, and looked me all over, with green eyes sternly set.

“Now son,” he said, warmly, his grin rather tart, “There’s something to mention, before you depart.

Your sneeze, tis no warning, no bell to alarm; the sneeze will bring nothing to cause you V’s harm.”

He shook his head proudly, then spit yoke in his pot, fingered his mustache and made the ends taut.

He held out a finger, and gave it a whirl, after giving his mustache, one last final twirl.

He sat up very proud, his eyes starting to glisten, he beckoned me closer, and said, “Now, you listen!”

You scribe down my words, what I know to stand true: When battling dragons, a King never achoos!”


In this tale, I am the King and this is my Dragon V. Now on Day 16 of the battle. And I still haven’t sneezed!