The princess stands at the window, her palms pressed against the glass. She is watching a knight approach the tower door far below her and is admiring the way that he walks. Each step is silent and precise so as not to wake the dragon.

That won’t be a problem. The dragon is dead. All that the knight will find are lonely chains and a few spare bones, nibbled clean.

The knight reaches the door and disappears from her sight. The princess turns her attention upwards to where the sun glitters through droplets of mist, sending a rainbow arcing across the sky. The princess sneezes. She’s allergic to rainbows.

Settling herself on a chair, she tries to keep her fingers from tapping anxiously. It’s been so long since she has seen anyone and she won’t have to wait for much longer. Already, the princess can hear the knight’s soft footsteps and smell the metallic scent of his armor. He has found the dragon’s bones and is looking at the deep gouges in the floor that the creature had carved as it tried to run. It had not escaped.

To keep her mind off of her empty stomach, the princess plucks a spider from a nearby web and chews it. It doesn’t help. Now she is thinking of cake.

The knight has started up the stairs and the princess runs her tongue over her lips, forcing herself to remain in the chair. When he opens the door, will he see the discarded helmets and swords in the corner? Will he sense that there might be something wrong with the princess? And will he finally understand why princesses are kept in towers, guarded by ferocious beasts?

But none of these things matter, because he will be out of time.

A. R. Hansen is a writer from Ohio. She enjoys storytelling, reading, and raising goats.

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Every Day Fiction