A generation's hero

The heat rose like a furnace off the glowing lava hundreds of feet below. The fact that this rickety bridge had not yet burned to ash would have given him pause, were he not staring down an enraged dragon.

He dodged left, then right and felt the searing explosions to his right, then left as he closed the distance. Leaping as he knew only he could leap, hurdling the last fireball, crashing into the beast, knocking it off-balance. It teetered, wide eyes helpless as he drove his feet one last time into its belly. It careened into the inferno, roaring with fear.

He burst through the heavy wooden door beyond the bridge and finally set his eyes upon the princess for whom he had come so far.

His eyes begin to water. He stumbled the final dozen steps that separated them. He had waited so long, fought so hard. The seconds felt like an eternity before he finally reached out to touch her…

…she vanished, dissolved into the air.

Thank you! An ephemeral voice whispered. But our princess is in another castle!

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