Not Your Average Fairytale

Chapter 1: The Coming   

Note: The characters are all of my own creation. I don't know much about playing cards so forgive me if I make any mistake or something. This is my first fanfic so I'm counting on your reviews to see if I should put up the next chapter.

                   The young man lying on the cold concrete floor awoke. At first it was only a flicker of an eyelash. Then it was a stirring within. Finally he raised his upper body and looked at his surroundings. He was in some sort of cell, with four bare walls of chipping plaster and little else. A stale atmosphere lingered about, mixing with the faint odor of rotting straw, and always present, as the young man found out, was the sense of fear.

                "Where… am… I?" he murmured, looking down at himself. Strange. He was dressed rather quaintly for such a place to be in. A purple velvet vest with gold trimmings was thrown over a soft, long sleeved golden shirt, which was unbuttoned at the top. Matching purple velvet pants with gold trimmings covered his long legs, and beneath this splendid garment, the tips of golden shoes could be seen gleaming like some precious jewel in the night.

                "What… happened?" he asked himself, and, feeling strong enough to get back on his feet, rose. He looked at the cell again, and suddenly it seemed, fear began to consume him. The cell had no doors! So how had he managed to get in there in the first place? Then he heard something so evil… so bone-chilling that it made him shiver with fear. A loud, mad lunatic laugh ricocheted off the cell walls…

* * * * *

It was another typical rowdy night in Ye Ol' Tavern. The Viking had dumped its weekly load of rough pirates and sailors, who were now making a big racket in the tavern. However, one group of people at the back of the tavern did not seem disturbed by all the noise. Three rugged looking men were hunched around a wooden table, and they seemed very absorbed in their game. There was also a young woman, who did not really look like a woman because she was dressed so much like a man. A peculiar little black animal, something like a cross between a dragon and a lizard was perched on the woman's lap. It stood so still that one would have easily mistaken it for a statue. This young woman was also engaged in the same game the men were playing, and she had a gleeful look on her face in contrast to the sour looks on the men's faces.

Now she dealt the cards with a skillful hand, and then stared into the eye of each and every man at the table.

"I bet you," she said slowly, relishing every word, "that I am going to beat ALL of you with these cards." The young woman waved the cards in her hand.

One of the men at the table spoke, "What'll you bet us?" The young woman smiled and reached for the dragon at her side. "This magnificent, fire-breathing, 12-inch tall, beautiful black dragon. Not satisfied? Cut him up and make him into a soup! You three will have the best meal in your life. Dragons are in great demand, you know! Think of what you can do with his wings, talons, teeth and all that!" she finished, plonking the dragon down on the table and successfully knocking over a mug of beer in the process. "His name's Mojari, by the way!" she added, grinning.

Mojari the dragon suddenly came to life and clutched at the woman's shirt. "No! You can't do this! Don't do this! You'll lose!" But the young woman just shrugged him off. "Hey! He talks!" one of the men said. "All the better to bet him with," she said coolly. Silence reigned at the table for a minute as the men discussed the situation and the bet.

"You can't do this," Mojari hissed to the woman.

"I can," the woman hissed back.

"No you can't," Mojari hissed.

"I can and I'm going to!" the woman said with finality just as the three men slammed their fists on the table, upsetting yet another mug of beer. "We're going to accept the bet but what happens if you win?" the one with the red beard asked. The young woman smiled as sweetly as she could. "If I win, I'll just keep the dragon, that's all!" she said, then muttered "dimwits" under her breath. The three dimwits whispered excitedly, then slammed their cards down on the table. The young woman took one glance at the cards and began to laugh. She placed her cards on the table, and then glanced up at the astonished faces of the men. "Well boys, I guess you won't be getting your dragon!" she said, then turned to Mojari. "Moj! You won't have to be bet anymore! Hehe… what did I tell you? You don't have to be scared. Just trust me!" But Mojari snarled at her and flew out the door. "Mojari! Wait! Don't!" she shouted, grabbing her bag (which was stuffed filled with her winnings) and rushing after him, but not before tossing a few coins to the men at the table and asking them to buy themselves another round of beer.

The woman rushed out of the tavern and found Mojari sitting under the lamplight. She stood next to Mojari and the light shone brightly on the two figures sitting silently on the curb. Here her features stood up more brightly, compared to the dimly lit tavern. Her long brown hair was pulled into a ponytail. She was long and lean, and the white long-sleeved blouse she wore hung a little loosely on her figure. Dirty black shoes poked out from underneath the plain baggy brown pants she wore.

"Roxanne!" Mojari began, but was stopped by the woman.

"How many times must I tell you not to call me Roxanne?! I ain't Roxanne!" the young woman said to the dragon.

"Oops… I always get carried away, Elisia. You look so much like Roxanne!" Mojari said miserably, turning away slightly from Elisia. He didn't want her to know that he was unhappy inside. After all that she had done for him, he couldn't be so ungrateful!

Elisia smiled faintly. She could still remember the day when Mojari had mistaken her for a princess…

It all happened one hot day in Alstonia, the beautiful town where Elisia lived. Elisia had decided to go hunting that day, and, armed with her bow and arrow she crept into the Dark Woods on the boundaries of Alstonia and Grath, the gloomy little village where it was believed that all evil reigned there. So there Elisia was, in her hunting gear and brown hair in a ponytail when suddenly the leaves above her rustled. She had no time to react as a black patch fell from the sky and into her hands. The moment Elisia realized that Mojari was a dragon; she immediately rushed home with the tiny bundle in her hands and placed it carefully on her bed.

Elisia stayed by her bed day and night, just waiting for the dragon to wake up, and finally when the dragon did wake up, its (astonishing) three words were, "Roxanne! You're safe!" When Elisia heard this, she was curious. She could not help but ask, "Who's Roxanne? I'm not Roxanne! I'm Elisia. What are you? Who are you?"

Upon hearing that the girl was not Roxanne, the dragon leapt up from the bed and began to fly around the room in panic, trying desperately to find a way out. But Elisia leapt around the room with agility and speed, and very soon caught the dragon and placed the dragon carefully on the bed. Elisia spoke to it softly but firmly, "Look here, Mr. Dragon! Now I know that you are a good animal, and good animals run away from evil creatures. Now you're running away from me and that makes me an evil creature. I want to tell you that in all of my 17 years here in Alstonia, I have never once been called evil. So please calm down and tell me what's happened to you." Elisia had a way with animals, they seemed to calm down once she took hold of them and talked to them, and this had the same effect as to the dragon.

Soon the two of them were talking away, and Elisia listened to Mojari's tale. He had once belonged to a princess named Roxanne, who looked exactly like Elisia. Princess Roxanne had been kidnapped the day Mojari came to Elisia. He had actually fallen from Roxanne's grasp when an evil monster was carrying her away. Mojari had vowed to get Roxanne back, and had asked Elisia to accompany him on the journey. It had been two years since they met, but nothing really big had unfolded from their meeting. Elisia and Mojari spent most of their time wandering from town to town trying to make a living…

Elisia looked down at Mojari. "Moj? Why don't you just take a rest? The next town… I think it's Bratheron… is just a ten minutes walk away. Why don't you snuggle right here into my coat (Elisia pulled a thick brown coat out from her backpack) and just rest while I take you to Bratheron, okay?" Mojari looked up at Elisia and smiled. He flew up slowly to where she held her coat and slipped right into the big pocket inside. Elisia put her coat on gently and patted the little lump Mojari made.

"Don't worry, Mojari! Sleep tight. I promise I'll get us there by nightfall, okay? I promise," she whispered softly, and made her way down the winding cobblestone path towards the distant flickering of lights.