the Duchess of Crack! and the Queen of Fluff (kiramaru7) wrote,
the Duchess of Crack! and the Queen of Fluff

Cross-posted from Madrona

Title: Wondrous Stories
Author: kira
World: Madrona (Capital City)
Characters/Pairings: King Diego/Queen Maddalena, Grammy Jen, various unnamed characters
Can borrow: The king and queen, yes; Grammy Jen, no
Summary/Teaser: The king and queen travel to a inn to hear a storyteller from their youth…
Rating: G
Author’s Notes: Special thanks to my beta Kat for pinking this.

For Jen, who loved Dragons...

King Diego Rodrigues Fernandez entered the inn with his wife, Queen Maddalena. Those who had noticed the royal couple and their entourage scurried to make way for them. The innkeeper and his wife were beside themselves over the unexpected honor. The king, who had been known as El Dragón in his youth, quickly turned on his famous charm and soon had them at ease. With a minimum of fuss, they were shown to a place near the fire. Food and drink were quickly served as the king, queen, and their entourage settled back to enjoy the evening’s entertainment.

People moved out of the way as an old woman shuffled through the crowd to sit on the raised hearth, opposite of where the royal couple sat. She rocked back and forth, enjoying the warmth of the fire that settled in her bones. A serving wench brought her a mug of ale, which she placed in the old woman’s gnarled hands. “Thank you, my dear,” she said in a thin, reedy voice.

“You’re welcome, Grammy Jen. Are you going to tell us another story about the ancients tonight?”

Grammy Jen nodded and sipped her ale.

The server smiled, not that the old woman could see it, before bustling off to take care of the other patrons.

“I have a tale for you,” Grammy Jen began and a cheer went up, before the main room in the inn became silent, except for the sounds of people going about their jobs. “It is a tale of the ancients and their dragons,” She paused to sip her ale. Grammy Jen had spent more than half a lifetime studying the ancients in the Great Library, until she became too old and tired to do so. Childless, she came back to the home of her sister’s family, to spend the rest of her days, sitting by the fire and spinning tales of the ancients. The curious thing about her stories was that they were mostly true, or as true as they could be from the knowledge she has pieced together through her years of study.

“Did you know the ancients had dragons that could fly through the air? These dragons would swallow people whole and carry them in their bellies, only to spit them out in faraway lands. They could travel in hours what takes you and me days, no, weeks to travel.” She looked out with blind eyes at her audience and smiled. “These dragons even fought in wars. Great big ones carried hundreds of people, while smaller, faster ones carried only one or two. Those war dragons were special ones as they could breathe fire.” She rambled on, retelling the history of the Great War that laid the world to waste and all but destroyed the ancients.

King Diego leaned towards his wife. “Remember she told this same tale when we were children?” he said softly.

Queen Maddalena nodded. “Isn’t where you took your name?”

“Yes!” He grinned. “That was when I decided I would be El Dragón!” He chuckled softly.

She snorted in amusement. “Except those dragons never chased after fair maidens.”

“True… Well, at least in her stories they never did.”

“My dear husband and king, you know as well as I do, they never did. Those dragons swallowed people, took them to faraway lands, or fought wars for the ancients. They never seeded half the countryside,” she said tartly.

King Diego reached for her hand. Bringing it to her lips, he kissed her fingers. “My darling Maddalena, my sweetest Lena, you have tamed this dragon by capturing his heart. I have no desire to roam the countryside, unless you are by my side.” He kissed her fingers again. “I love you and only you.”

She rolled her eyes. “I know.” She gave his hand a gentle squeeze. “Now quiet, so I can hear her story.” She smiled at him.

“For you, my dear, anything.” He settled back in his chair and gave his full attention to the old woman.

Grammy Jen sipped her ale. “Now where was I?” she said to no one in particular. “Ah, yes…” She gathered her thoughts. “There was this one dragon rider, a brave man, or was he a woman?” She scratched her cheek and shrugged. “Anyways… This dragon rider was very brave! They took on a whole fleet of dragons and managed to destroy most of them, before they were shot down out of the sky. Dragon rider and dragon both gave their bodies to the fire and their bravery turned the tides of war.” The old woman yawned. “I’m afraid I’m tired and I need to rest. Tomorrow, I’ll finish my tale. Until then,” Grammy Jen gave her audience a wry smile. “Pray I don’t join the ancients and their dragon riders in my sleep.” She struggled to her feet. As she shuffled off, the inn suddenly woke up and the murmur of conversation roared into life.

The king rose to his feet along with his queen and their entourage. The innkeeper hurried over to him. The man bowed low.

Straightening up, the innkeeper said, “This way, Your Majesty.” He motioned for the king to follow.

King Diego nodded. “Lead the way.”

The innkeeper took a deep breath to calm his nerves and headed towards the stairs. The royals followed him upstairs to the rooms.

As the king and queen settled down for the night, he said, “Should we stay another day to hear the end of the tale?”

“If you would like to.”

“I would, very much so. I loved hearing her tales when I was younger.”

“And the girls listening as well?” Queen Maddalena teased.

“Of course!” King Diego laughed. “I am El Dragón after all.”

Tags: diego, grammy jen, maddalena, madrona project, original ficcage

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