Keening and wailing from the castle courtyard told of a battle lost. Mary straightened her spine, and prepared to die with at least the appearance of bravery.
There was a sudden whiff of sulphur, and the dragon came from nowhere, crouching at her side to look at her through shifting multicoloured eyes.
“Why are you here?” she breathed.
The creature cocked its head at the unseemly cacophony from outside and bent to offer access to its broad back.
Certain death, or uncertainty? Mary made her choice.
The conqueror’s broadsword dripped blood as he stood in the empty garden bawling curses….