Sketch a Day, Day 520 – St. George & His Dragon, Page 9

George walked hesitantly to the bedside. The girl lay in bed, asleep, her face creased with pain. He reached out to brush the hair out of her face, but stopped just short. Touching her would break the spell, bring an end to something he couldn’t quite describe.

He turned his attention to the bedside table. It was covered in simple crayon drawings of a man in red and a green dragon.

“How is she?” a voice from the door asked. George turned slowly to see his mother standing in the doorway, a look of sad concern on her face.

“She’s sleepin’,” George replied quietly. “I think she’s hurting, mom.”

“She is,” his mother said, “but the doctor says there isn’t much we can do about it.”

“I know,” George said.


Sketch a Day, Day 519 – St. George & His Dragon, Page 8

George crept through the castle on quiet feet, his eyes darting around for signs of another living soul. He saw none. The castle, which appeared massive from outside, seemed smaller on the inside, and less imposing than George would have imagined. He took off his helmet and set it on the floor, walking slowly down the single hallway he found himself in.

The hallway ended in a single door of plain wood, a brass knob placed conventionally in the face of the portal. As George reached for it, he noticed his limbs seemed shorter than before, his muscles less-defined. He looked at his hands, saw they were small and soft. A sense of dread and foreboding stole across his spine, causing him to shiver involuntarily. He reached out once more for the doorknob, took it in his hand, and turned it.

Inside was a small room, the walls bathed in the shadow of twilight. Across from the door stood a small bed, its lone occupant a small girl with the covers tucked up under her chin. She looked remarkably familiar…


Sketch a Day, Day 518 – St. George & His Dragon, Page 7

George and the girl set off away from the beach, quickly leaving the sand behind for scrub grass and low bushes. The land became more hilly again a few miles beyond the beach, climbing up away from the shoreline towards distant mountains. They walked for hours, until a castle came into view in the distance. “Is that where we’re going?” George asked. The girl nodded. They pressed on.

Eventually, they reached the main gate of the castle. It was an imposing edifice, all gray stone and iron bars. Like everywhere else they’d been, there was no one else in sight. “Where are all the people?” George asked.

“There are none,” she replied. “This is a place without life, except for you.”

“Except for us, you mean,” he said, feeling uncomfortable.

“No, I meant what I said,” she answered firmly, a look of sadness in her eyes. “You have to go on by yourself from here. I can’t go with you.”

“But…why not?” George asked, confused and upset.

“Because what lies inside is yours to deal with, yours to confront. This is where we have to part ways.” She took his hand in hers, held it for a moment, then let go, stepping away from him. George’s lower lip quivered for a moment, but she shook her head. “No tears,” she said. “You have to face what’s inside. Go now.”


Sketch a Day, Day 517 – St. George & His Dragon, Page 6

George and the girl pushed the boat into the surf and climbed aboard. The girl took the tiller, guiding the boat out as the tide pulled them further from shore. The boat hardly seemed to need anyone to steer it, though the girl kept her hand on the rudder just in case.

The boat sailed for days, until nothing was visible except sky and sea. There was nothing else in sight, no signs of another living soul or even that anything else existed in the world except for the water and the air. The boat became their entire world, a floating pebble in a galaxy of blue.

After what felt like two weeks, a sliver of something not blue appeared on the horizon. Eventually, the sliver grew to become a shoreline, with trees and sand dunes visible. The boat scraped against sand, and George and the girl clambered out, splashing through the last few feet of surf to reach dry land. They dragged the boat up onto the sand behind them, leaving it beached as they lay out on the dry expanse next to the sparkling ocean.

“So, where are we going?” George asked,staring up into the empty sky.

“Wherever the journey takes us,” the girl replied quietly.


Sketch a Day, Day 516 – St. George & His Dragon, Page 5

George scrambled up the embankment to the dragon. She laid down on the ground, allowing him to clamber up onto her back. When he was settled, she rose to her feet, spread her wings, and leapt off the precipice, giving a powerful flap just as George’s stomach sank through the bottom of his feet.

They flew for what seemed like days, crossing an ever-changing landscape far below. The mountains gave way to a forest, the forest to a waving grassland, the grassland to barren desert. The sun rose and set overhead, unheeded, and still the dragon flew on. She seemed to never tire, never need rest. George himself felt very invigorated, and never closed his eyes even once.

Finally, after what seemed like weeks, the dragon girl began a slow, spiraling descent towards the ground. George looked down and saw a massive expanse of beach, sand dunes as far as the eye could reach. The tide was lapping at the shore, the tang of salt was on the air, and George could now hear the waves crashing. “Where are we?” he called above the wind and the waves.

“At the beginning of the end,” the girl dragon replied without looking back. George was startled by her answer; he’d never expected something like that to be her answer. But he resolved to not let her see his disappointment.

They finally landed, the dragon kicking up spouts of sand as she slid to a halt. George climbed down gingerly, stretching muscles that hadn’t really moved much in ages. The dragon stood before him, then began to shift suddenly, shrinking, scales melting away and revealing a young girl. Her dress, which had been white, was now deep blue.

“Come, we must hurry,” she said, grabbing George by the hand and dragging him towards a boat tied up further down the beach.

“Hurry?” George said, stumbling along behind her. “Where are we going?”

“To destiny,” she replied cryptically.


Sketch a Day, Day 515 – St. George & His Dragon, Page 4

George watched in amazement as the girl’s body elongated and grew larger. Much larger. She sprouted wings, grew horns, and suddenly had a very large tail. She looked down at George, whose features had changed more subtly than the girl’s. He seemed older, more muscular, and his wooden sword was a real sword, longer and shiny. He pulled a helmet on and looked up at the girl as she flapped her wings and took off.

She swooped around in broad, lazy loops overhead, stretching her wings and getting the feel of the wind under her. She tilted and took off to the north, flapping her wings in slow, powerful strokes. George took off in a loping run under her, crossing rolling green fields with sword in hand.

They traveled that way for over an hour, moving from the fields into a more mountainous region. As the climbing became more difficult, George began panting with exertion. The dragon swooped down and alighted on a rocky promontory, flapping her wings to maintain balance. “Getting tired?” she asked, her voice a rumble.

“Nah,” George panted, bent over with his hands on his knees. “I–I’m…good.”

“Want a ride?” she asked, grinning a wide, toothy grin.

“We can do that?”

“Of course,” she replied. “Climb aboard.”


Sketch a Day, Day 515 (Pencils)


The next bit of the story is written and ready to go, but it’s too late for me to get the illustration done to go with it, so here are the pencils for it. Sorry about the lack of update Saturday, but we had a food friend visit and got into an impromptu karaoke thing at the house. You know how it goes.

Sketch a Day, Day 514 – St. George & His Dragon, Page 3

George stared after the girl as she walked off, his jaw hanging open. He found his voice idling somewhere in the back of his throat and called out, “Hey! Wait!” The girl stopped and whirled back around to face him, her eyes staring daggers through him.

“What?” she asked so icily, George actually thought he felt a brief chill.

“I…I wanted to say I’m sorry,” he stammered, looking down at his feet as if the sight of his dirty tennis shoes might give him courage. “What I said was, um…” He trailed off.

“Stupid?” she suggested. He nodded mutely. She sighed and thrust out a hand to him. “Well, I guess your apology is accepted. Just try not to be so…stupid from now on, okay?” Again, George replied with a mute nod.

“Wanna play dragonslayer wit’ me?” he mumbled. “You can be the knight, if you want.”

“I’d rather be the dragon,” she replied with a wicked smile. “But you won’t be slaying me.”

George looked up, confused. “Why not? That’s the whole point of dragonslayer. It’s right there in the name.”

“Well, we’re gonna do it differently. We’re gonna have an adventure together.” She sounded very certain, as though the game had already been played and the outcome was an inevitable fate.

George shrugged, “Okay, what do we do?”

She grinned again, and her teeth look a bit sharper, her skin a bit scalier. “Follow me.”


Sketch a Day, Day 513 – St. George & His Dragon, Page 2

George kicked a tuft of grass as Benjamin disappeared around the corner of the house. “What good’s a knight without a dragon to slay?” he muttered to himself, scowling. He his wooden sword into the one of the belt loops of his pants and marched around the side of the house after Benjamin, determined to convince his friend to return to the game.

Benjamin was nowhere in sight as George reached the front yard. The street was empty except for a young girl, about George’s age, drawing absentmindedly on the sidewalk with chalk. George decided she was a better playmate than no one at all and walked up to her.

“Hey,” he said, hands thrust deep into his pockets in what he hoped was a nonchalant way.

“Hey,” she replied, not looking up from her doodling.

“Whatcha drawing?” George asked after a moment of silence.

“Dunno,” the girl replied. “Just stuff.”

“Wanna play?” George asked.

“Depends,” she replied.

“On what?”

“On what you want to play,” she answered, finally looking up at him. She had dark hair and bright blue eyes that seemed to see right through him.

“Well,” George said, reaching for his sword, “I was playin’ dragonslayer earlier, but Ben decided he didn’t wanna play anymore. We could do knight and princess, an’ I could rescue you from a castle or somethin’.” He showed her the sword, swinging it around for effect.

“No thanks,” she said, returning her attention to the sidewalk.

“Why not?” George asked petulantly. “You’re just doin’ some dumb drawings.”

The girl’s head snapped up, and she stood. She was George’s height, but seemed much bigger in his mind. “Because I’m not some stupid princess waiting in a stupid castle, you….you stupid boy!” She whirled around and stormed off.