George was already winded as he brushed the hair from his eyes. Sweat mingled with the dirt on his face, creating a brown streak across his brow as he wiped at his forehead. The ground around him was singed, but he remained unburnt so far.
“You cannot hope to defeat me,” the dragon said, its tail curled around its forelegs and smoke billowing out of its flared nostrils. “Give up, boy.”
George took a deep breath and grinned. He hefted the sword in his right hand, felt the ancient weight of it against his palm. This would be a good death…
“For the dragon,” he added, to himself.
“Hmm?” the dragon rumbled. “Do you have fight left in you still, boy?”
George looked up at the dragon and grinned. “Of course I do,” he said casually, “I’m the hero of the story.”
George charged in, sword raised, weaving back and forth to present a harder target. The dragon reared up on its hind legs and flapped its tremendous wings, buffeting George as he dashed forward. With a roar, the dragon unleashed a line of crimson flame, the fire flashing out to burn George to a cinder.
The boy raised his sword, catching the flames along the weathered blade. The sword seemed to absorb the heat, drawing the fierceness out of the fire. The dragon roared in anger.
“That’s not fair!” the dragon snarled. Or was it more of a whine?
George stopped. “Of course it’s fair. It’s a magic sword. Everyone knows magic swords can absorb dragon fire.”
“You should’ve said before we started!” the dragon cried, turning its scaly back to George and stomping off for home,
The world around him seemed to melt away. George stood in his backyard, a wooden sword clutched in one hand, his friend Benjamin stomping off around the corner of the house.