Here There Be Dragons
Dark smoke curled into the clear, summer sky. Chaos had erupted in the town square as people rushed about, trying to douse the small fires scattered about.
The smoke stung Elsa's eyes as she searched the skies for her adversaries. Soot, dirt and blood streaked her face. Blood seeped from shallow cuts covering her ice dress. She ignored the pain throbbing in her leg where a sharp claw had cut deep. There would be time for pain later.
Several feet away lay the slain, golden scaled dragon that had attacked her. The handle of an ice sword glistened in the summer sun. It's blade buried deep in the creature's breast. Somewhere above two more of its kind circled the town. She stood in the center of the square, her eyes watching for any movement as she made a slow turn.
Among the chaos in the street the Royal Guard had lost tract of the Princess. Anna had watched as her sister battled the first dragon. She had never felt so useless in her life. Arrows, swords and muskets had no effect on the creatures. The only thing that pierced their thick hides, was Elsa's ice.
Elsa had beaten the first one, but Anna had seen the toll it had taken on her. She wasn't sure her sister could survive a second attack, much less a third. No, she had to find a way to help. But how?
If only she had a weapon. Her eyes settled on the handle of the ice sword. It would work, but only Elsa could wield something that cold without injury. Unless, a smile spread over Anna's face as a plan began to form.
She sprinted toward a small building at the edge of the square. The blacksmith was no where in sight as she slid to a stop. There laying by the forage was what she needed. She snatched up the heavy leather gloves, turned and ran back.
It only took a moment for her to climb atop the fallen beast. She pulled on the gloves. They were much to big for her small hands but, they would have to do. She touched a finger to the sword hilt. There was no cold, burning pain. Satisfied the gloves would protect her, she grasped the hilt with both hands. It took all of her strength to wrestle the weapon free, but it finally slipped lose with a sickening sucking noise. Not expecting it, Anna tumbled backward, rolling down the side of the dragon to land on the cobblestones with a thud.
A dark shadow swooped in from the fjord, growing larger as it bore down on Elsa. She widened her stance, blue ice dancing on her hands as she waited for the creature to draw closer.
Anna stared up at the sky for a moment. She rolled to her hands and knees, before climbing to her feet. Her breath caught at the sight of the black dragon bearing down on her sister. She picked up the sword and searched the skies. In the distance she spied the red dragon circling in from the mountains. It was going to attack Elsa from behind. Anna's heart sank as she realized the dragons meant to trap her sister in a crossfire. After her battle with the gold dragon Anna was certain there was no way her sister could defend against both at the same time.
There might be a way she could help, if she could just get high enough. She ran for the clock tower, dodging people as she went. Inside the tower she took the steps two at a time. She ignored the burning in her lungs and muscles as she burst through the door into the sunlight. With the clock face at her back, she had a clear view of the square.
Fire spewed from the black dragon's mouth. The column of flames rushed at Elsa, only to stop several feet from her. An icy shield held the flames at bay. Elsa's feet slipped over the cobblestones, as the force of the attack pushed her back. The dragon's large wings flapped to keep it hovering over the fjord as it continued to rain fire down on Elsa.
The wind from the wings swept over the town in large gusts. Anna grasped a wooden column to keep from being forced back by it.
She spied the red dragon approaching the edge of town. It would be upon them soon. She looked back to Elsa. The Snow Queen waved her hand and ice spears flew toward the creature. It howled in pain as the ice cut through it's wings and pierced it's body.
The dragon charged Elsa, massive jaws open, ready to snatch up it's prey. Anna looked between her sister and the red dragon rushing in from the mountains. She stepped to the edge of the platform, grasped the sword in both hands and waited.
Beneath her feet the tower shook, she dared to steal a glance at her sister. The black dragon lay several feet in front of Elsa. Long, ice spikes protruding from it's mouth. It twitched once then lay still. She saw Elsa go to her knees.
The red dragon was close enough now she could see the gold flakes on it's scales, and the black slit of it's green eyes. It's mouth opened and she could see flames starting to form. She drew a deep breath, raised the sword high over her head. As she leapt high into the air, she screamed a warning to Elsa.
Through the ringing in her ears and the chaos of the crowd around her Elsa heard her name. "Anna?"
She turned to see the red dragon bearing down upon her. Her heart skipped a beat as she spied the small figure springing from the tower. "No."
Anna's intention had been to land on the creature's back and attack from there. Unfortunately, she had misjudged her jump.
As she began her downward fall she brought the sword down. It sliced effortlessly through the dragon's neck, severing the head with a clean blow.
There was a moment of exhilaration, it gave way to terror as the ground rose up to meet her. She closed her eyes. There wasn't time for a silent prayer.
The dragon's momentum carried it forward, as it's severed head dropped to the ground and bounced away. Elsa's hands worked with blinding speed, firing out a large pile of snow toward the tower as she raised an ice wall to stop the dragon.
Ice rained down on her as the large beast's body crashed through the wall, striking the ground and cutting a large trench in it's path. The ground shook, dust and debris filled the air.
An eerie silence settled over the square as everyone tried to process what had happened.
Someone in the crowd cried out and the square exploded with action. Members of the Royal Guard and townspeople rushed to search for their Queen beneath the rubble pile.
Kristoff had heard Anna's scream. He watched in horror as she leapt from the clock tower. After slicing off the dragon's head, her falling body disappeared behind a row of buildings. His feet were running before he was aware he was moving.
From beneath the rubble, a pale hand appeared. A moment later, Elsa climbed from the debris. Bruised and bloody she crawled to her feet. Two of her guard stepped forward, catching her elbows and helping her to level ground. "Anna?"
She pulled away from them and half ran, half stumbled to the clock tower. Before the tower stood a large pile of fresh snow. A small form lay sprawled at the base of the pile.
"No." Elsa forced her legs to move faster. She dropped to her knees at the girl's side, ignoring the pain. A trembling hand touched Anna's back, there was no response. Elsa's breath caught, as she pulled Anna in her into her lap. "Anna, wake up. Please." She stroked hair back from the freckled face.
Tears streaked Elsa's dirty face as she held her sister close. "Anna, can you hear me?"
Anna sucked in a gasp as she jerked awake.
Elsa cried out with relief.
She flailed for a moment, before settling into Elsa's embrace. "Elsa? Are you okay?" Her eyes searched the sky. "Did I get it?"
Laughter mixed with tears as Elsa leaned down and placed a kiss on Anna's forehead. "Yes, you got it."
"I killed a dragon, ha." Anna began to laugh.
Elsa hugged her close. "Yes, you did."
"Hey," Anna leaned back to look up at her sister. "One more, and we're even."
"No," Elsa shook her head from side to side. "no more dragons. Let's call it a draw." She cupped Anna's cheek, touching their foreheads. "Okay?"
"Okay." Anna relaxed against her. "But I'm just saying, if another one were to show up. It's mine."
Elsa began to laugh. "We'll see." She rested her head against Anna's holding her tight.
"Anna, are you okay?!" Kristoff ran toward her.
"Kristoff!" She struggled to pull away from Elsa and climb to her feet.
"Anna, lay down." Elsa tried to hold her back.
Anna shook off the leather gloves, as she climbed unsteadily to her feet.
"Anna." Kristoff reached for her.
She swayed. "Did you see, Kristoff? I killed a dragon."
Kristoff gathered her into his arms. "I saw you almost get yourself killed. What were you thinking, feisty pants?"
"Hey, it's no big deal." She pulled back and patted his chest.
Anna pulled away from him and pointed at the dragon. "Take that, you overgrown, fire-breathing lizard." She staggered toward it.
Kristoff and Elsa each grabbed an arm holding her back.
"Maybe you should sit down." Kristoff said.
"Because you're swaying." Elsa tightened her grip on her arm.
Anna laughed, waving them off. "I'm fine. Kai," She smiled at the man standing next to Elsa. "Did you see? I killed a dragon."
He smiled in turn. "Yes, Your Highness, I saw it. Perhaps, Princess you should sit down."
"You know Princess, sometimes after a battle a soldier has a rush. It feels like they are unstoppable."
"I know. I feel like I could take on an army of dragons."
"I understand. But, once your body realizes the threat is over, that feeling wears off and you don't feel so strong."
Anna waved him off. "Nah, I could go for hours. I just…" Her eyes rolled up and she fell.
Kristoff scooped her up in his arms. Her head rolled to one side.
"Anna!" Elsa cupped a freckled cheek.
"I'm…okay." Anna mumbled.
"Your Majesty, she needs to rest." Kai eyed the woman standing before him. "As do you."
Kristoff shifted her in his arms, so her head rested on his shoulder.
Anna's eyes fluttered open. "Kristoff…?"
"Come on, dragon slayer, let's get you back to the castle."
She snuggled into his shoulder.
"You coming?" He looked to Elsa.
"I'll be along shortly. I just…" She stumbled and Kai caught her arm, keeping her from falling.
"Elsa," Anna reached out a hand to her. "Come on…please."
She took the offered hand and kissed it, then laid it across Anna. "Alright." She placed a hand on Kristoff's arm.
He smiled down at her as she leaned into him for support.
"Let's go home, Kristoff."