“And with a final, mighty blow, Davus took off the dragon’s head!” George cried out, pantomiming the swing of a sword with great flair in the light cast by the fire. The children gathered around him in the warm inn squealed in delight.
“What happened next?” Demanded a girl with pigtails in the front. She seemed young to be up so late; no doubt the excitement of a story-teller visiting the remote village had inspired her sneak in among the older children. Her expression was eager for more, so George decided to test her limits.
“What happened next? Why, he took his trusty long sword and straddled the scaly beast,” He began as he adjusted his stance and raised his imaginary sword over head. “He raised it high over head, and he plunged the steel down into the monster’s chest!”
His audience shared a collective gasp. He did not let them escape the story though. Instead he pulled them in deeper, sweeping his arms sharply to his side, “And he sliced it open all the way to the tail!
“He then reached into the innards of the carcass,” The storyteller lowered his hand nearly to the floor and then slowly raised as if holding something of great value. “And pulls out the dragon’s black heart…” He paused dramatically, soaking in the wide-eyed wonder radiating from the faces before him.
Pigtails’ eyes were easily the largest, fear mingled with the excitement. Her voice was barely audible, “Then what?”
George brought the invisible heart to his mouth. “Then Davus the Dragonslayer, mightiest of monster hunters, ATE the heart!” He took a vicious, tearing bite from the emptiness in his hand and the children all cried out in both glee and disgust.
“Davus felt the power of the dragon begin to flow through him, just as the old witch had promised.” George continued, once the children quieted. “Suddenly, he could see for miles all around. His skin became hard as steel, and he grew stronger than he had ever imagined!
“But the Curse of the Dragon wasn’t all that was foretold. The world around him shrank as his form expanded and two massive wings sprang forth from his back! A fire began to burn in his own heart and came out of him as a roar that shook the trees and seared the sky!”
The children sat in suspense, hanging on his every word. George did not leave them wanting for long. “Because of his greed, the Dragonslayer had become the very thing he hated most. The very creature that had decimated his home and murdered his loved ones; a dragon. Consumed with shame and sorrow, Davus flew off, never to be seen again.” The children voiced their appreciation and offered him a round of applause as the storyteller bowed before them.
“And that children, is the story of Davus the Dragonslayer.”