Author's Note: So this is a writing contest entry for a forum called Labyrinth. You have 6000 words to write a MODERN RE-TELLING OF A FAIRY TALE in which a happy ending isdefinitely optional. This is set in the same world as "Whoever Brings the Night." I did use the same characters, but decided to change it up a bit.

The Haunting

Once upon a time, there were two kingdoms, Xandria and Trelia, each one just as powerful as the other. For hundreds of years, these kingdoms worked side by side in perfect harmony. That was until the fairies arrived in Trelia to celebrate the birth of their princess.

Three of the four fairies gave the princess great gifts, but the last did not. This fairy placed a curse on the land claiming that on her sixteenth birthday, she would pick her finger with a spindle and fall into an eternal sleep. The only way to break the curse would be through true love's kiss. The royal family did everything in their power to prevent the curse from happening, but in the end, they failed.

A great barrier surrounded Trelia, cutting it off from Xandria. Xandria sent legions to try to break the barrier, but each time, they came back defeated.

Panic arose in the once peaceful kingdom of Xandria. Differences in class and lifestyle cut unfixable holes between the rich, the poor, and the nonhumans. For the first time in the history of Xandria, assassins roamed the streets supported by the rich and backed by the infamous Assassin's Guild. The only problem was that no one knew who was friend and who was foe.

What made everything worse was the fact that these fairies were still at large.


Ryanon shifted her way through the thick crowds of the Xandria Commons. She knew that Market Day was the event of the year and that it gave people a chance to forget about the awful events that occurred in Trelia those hundreds of years ago.

She normally did not venture out on days like this, preferring the shadows of the night to the bitter daylight. For in the day, she was fully exposed, but at night, she was a weapon, blending in with the shadows, ready to kill.

However, today it was necessary to be out in the day. The prince was out and that meant that the Royal Guard was also out with their Captain.

Ryanon's eyes darted around the Commons. She could see members of the Royal Guard. It was easy to find the prince, who was surrounded by admirers and drinking every bit of it up. However, the Captain of the Guard was missing.

A cool hand clasped around Ryanon's mouth and she found herself being pulled away from the Commons so quickly that she did not have time to react...Or reach for the knife that was carefully tucked into her sleeve.

"I would have thought that you would not have allowed that to happen." The hands let go of Ryanon as soon as they were down a foul smelling, but empty street.

"Damn you, Dak!"

Dak's smile danced off his eyes. "What are you doing out here?"

Ryanon kicked him hard in the shins. "You know why I'm out here."

"Ah, I see. You were studying the prince's movements to see whenever he was going to take off for Trelia." Dak pulled her closer, as if they were forbidden lovers sneaking a moment together. "I've already told you, I will not forget about you."

She eyed him. "It wouldn't be the first time that you have taken away my glory. Whatever happened to the whole woman aren't supposed to be assassin's business a few years ago?"

"That was a different time and place." Dak looked over his shoulder. "I don't have much time, but I have secured a uniform for you. It's masked so no one will know the difference. Just make sure that whenever you kill the guard you do it quick and make it look like a suicide. Make sure you get in the castle before first light tomorrow." He paused. "Oh, and don't forget his uniform."

Ryanon nodded. "I know. Do you think the prince will decide to leave any earlier?"

Dak shook his head. "No, I think he's praying that he is not the one to break the spell. He has eyes for a duke's daughter." He looked down the alley as a couple of his men appeared. "I have to go, but just make sure that you are in the castle before first light." He turned on heel and marched down the alley, his uniform shinning in the sunlight.

Ryanon kicked a pebble with her boot after him, hoping it would hit him. Tomorrow was it. Tomorrow, she and Dak would ride with the prince to Trelia with the hopes of breaking the spell. However, she and Dak had another mission. Xandria's king viewed the King of Trelia as an enemy and wanted to put his own son on the throne. She and Dak had to kill the king before he woke up from his spell.

That was if they got through the barrier surrounding the kingdom first.

Ryanon pulled the hood of her cloak up as the skies darkened and rain started to drip down. She walked out of the alley, acting just like a maiden in love with the Captain of the Guard. A few of Dak's men smiled at her like she was a piece of meat. She gave them an innocent smile back instead of ripping out their throats.

Dak stood in the centre of the Commons, laughing with the prince.

Ryanon stared at the laughing pair before disappearing into the shadows. She had another job to do that Dak didn't know about and she preferred it stayed that way.

The pubs of Xandria were not known for their high class, but the lords did like visiting the courtesans who haunted them. The lords were thick enough to believe that their wives did not know about their husbands' habits. Women were not supposed to have a brain.

Ryanon slipped into the pub and waited for her victim to appear.

It didn't take long for the half drunken lord to stumble through the door, laughing with a bunch of people who he would have never been caught with had he been sober. The lord's eyes darted around the pub, looking at the courtesans.

Ryanon moved from her place in the shadows, settling into a seat close to the stairs. She carefully pulled off her cloak and adjusted her dress in a least modest manner. She placed her legs so that a little bit of skin was exposed, but so the dagger on her leg remained hidden.

The lord's eyes briefly landed on her as he made his way to the bar.

Ryanon gave him a small smile as he dumped a pile of gold on the oak surface and ordered up another round of drinks for everyone. She just did not understand how people like him could drink like that whenever there were bad things out there.

"Aren't you a pretty thing?" the lord whispered as he sat an ale down in front of her. "A pretty thing like you should not be out here all by herself."
Ryanon batted her eyelashes in the way she knew drove men mad. "Why don't you fix that?" She ran her hand down his fat chest, smiling as if she was actually enjoying doing it. "We could upstairs and get to know each other." She dropped her voice with each word. "Do you know what I mean?"

The lord gagged on as his ale as he nodded. He offered a thick hand out to her. "I always keep a room here, you know. I can't have the wife find out about this."

Ryanon took his hand and nodded. "Well, we can't let her get in the way of our little game."

The lord ran his chubby hand along her face. "That was just what I was thinking."

Ryanon allowed the lord to lead her up the ancient stairs. If only he knew that, he was playing a game with a devil.

The lord stopped outside a door that was the furthest away from any of the others. He pulled a large, brass key out from his tunic and slowly opened the door. "After you, my lady."

Ryanon stepped through the door. Sure, the room was large, but that wasn't the first thing she noticed. In the corner, there was a large window. She walked slowly over to it and stared down at the trash-ridden street. Her eyes scanned the rooftops. No cameras.

"I know the view is not the best," the lord said as he put his arms around her waist. "However, the bed is lovely."

Ryanon gave him a smile as he started to nuzzle her neck. Men were such pigs. "Why don't we go try it out?"

The lord led her over to the bed. Ryanon pulled out a blindfold and offered it him.

The lord laughed. "Well, I do like the way you think," he said as he allowed her to blindfold him.

Ryanon smiled as she ran one hand down his stomach while the other reached for her knife. "Tell me, my lord, does your wife know that you're here?"

The lord laughed. "No, she thinks that I'm at a meeting. Oh, she is so stupid."

Ryanon fingered her knife. "And what would she do to you if she found out?"

"She'd probably kill me."

"I see." Ryanon bent her face close to the lord's. "Tell me something."

"Anything," the lord breathed.

"Do you like pain?"

The lord's laughter filled the room. "Oh, sweetheart, I knew you were a wild one the moment I laid eyes on you. Give it to me!"
"Well, if I must." Ryanon raised the knife above her head before driving it into the lord's chest.

The lord did not even have time to cry out before his life left him.

Ryanon quickly climbed off him, wiped her knife clean on his tunic, and turned to the window. She gave the dead lord one final look over before disappearing out the window.


Ryanon made her way quickly across town. The castle stood proudly over the houses of the lesser people. While it's stone wall and moat kept most people out, there were guards stationed every couple of metres.

She ducked into the shadows and watched as the guards stared out into the darkness. She looked up at the wall. Even though she could not see them, she knew there were cameras and bowmen hiding.

Her eyes shifted around until she found just what she was looking for. There on the south end of the wall was a turn with one guard stationed. Dak had complained about this very turn a number of times. The problem with this turn was, besides the guard stationed there, no one could see who was coming and going.

Ryanon fingered her knife. She really did hate to use the same blade twice, because human flesh and blood did tend to dull them. However, she could not count on Dak to be there.

Keeping low to the ground, she carefully and quickly made her way across the land and down into the moat.

She winced as cool water sloshed into her boots. Dak was going to pay for this. Keeping to the edge, she made her way along it. Though Dak had promised her that no one would see her, she kept watching for an arrow to pierce her.

She scanned the wall again before darting across the cold and foul water to the other side.

Now, the fun part, crawling up over the edge and into who knows what. Again, Dak had told her to climb in this spot so no one would see her.

Rubbing her hands together, Ryanon stared up at the thick, muddy wall. Yeah, this was going to be real fun. Digging her hands and feet in, she reached up and grabbed onto the wall, hoping that she would not fall flat on her back.

She kept staring up at the wall, but true to Dak's word, no one appeared.

Once she reached the top of the moat, she pulled her knife out and carefully eased herself out of the pit. Her feet kept slipping on mud as if she was in a carriage on an untreated road.

She got to her feet and made her way with hunched over to the ground to the corner. Sure enough, only one guard stood there and with his back turned to her.

Shaking her head, Ryanon crept over to the guard, knife clutched tightly in her hand. She flattened herself against the wall the closer she got to him. His breathing was so heavy that it sounded almost as if he was asleep or almost there.

She now stood right behind him, ready to put the knife between his shoulder blades. There really was something wrong about killing a man while his back was turned, but at this point, she really didn't see any reason for her to be noble. After all, she just wasn't someone who played by the rules.

Without another thought, she drove the knife down, through the spine and into the lungs. The man gasped, but it was too late. Ryanon winced at the sound of him gagging on his own blood as he fell to the ground.

She stared into the man's open, light blue eyes. He barely looked old enough to be out here. With shaking hands, she stared down at them. The knife no longer looked like protection, but a weapon.

To make matters worse, she now had to bend down and touch the man. Wincing, she slowly began to take off his uniform, but her hands were shaking so much that she really could not do it.

"Here."

She jumped as a larger figure appeared over her own. Quickly as she could, she put her knife to the owner's throat.

"Ryanon, it's just me."

She didn't lower the knife until the face moved into the moonlight. "Dak, I could have killed you!" She narrowed her eyes. "Didn't you think that I could do the job?"

Dak bent down and started to undo the man's uniform. "It wasn't like that. I just thought this would be difficult for you."

"Why?" Ryanon hissed, as she pulled off the dead man's boots.

Dak looked sadly at her. "I didn't find out the rotations until it was too late. My men have a habit of changing shifts without me knowing." He pulled the guard's shirt off. "I would have never sent you here had I known."

"Known what?" she snapped.

"I know he looks like your brother."

Ryanon didn't say anything as she finished pulling the boots off. "I'm over it."
Dark rested his hand on her shoulder. "You don't have to hide your feelings. You can be open with me, you know that."

"We are not talking about this right now." She pulled on the guard's uniform. "Now, get rid of him and let's get this over with." She leaned against the wall staring Dak down.

Sighing, Dak took a hold of the guard's feet and started pulling him toward the moat. Only when he was out of sight did Ryanon allow herself to collapse against the wall, finally feeling like a female. Male wasn't about pain, but female was.

Dak eyed her as he came back, but didn't say a word. "I'm going to take you to my office. Keep your head down and act like you just got reprimanded for whoring around."

Ryanon eyed him. "Really, you couldn't think of anything better?"

Dak shrugged. "Men are men and women are women. I cannot change that. Most men view women as something to control when they really are our biggest weapon."

"What is that supposed to mean?" Ryanon asked, darkly.

"Women are not as weak as men play them out to be. Look at history." He paused. "Now, come on. The king will be rising pretty soon and you don't want to be in trouble in front of the king, now do you?"

Ryanon glared at him. "You really are going to enjoy this, aren't you?"

Dak smiled. "Yes, I am!" He pushed her forward. "Now, march!"
She tried to shake herself out of his grip. "Do not touch me!"
"You really shouldn't talk." He tightened his grip on her arm. "You sound too much like a girl."

Ryanon brought her boot down hard on his foot. His yelp echoed off the walls. "Now, you sound like the girl."

Dak glared at her as he started to limp forward. "Really if any of my men had done that, they would have been placed in the dungeon and sent to the firing squad."

She flashed him an innocent smile. "Good thing I'm not in the Guard."

He grabbed her arm and marched her forward. "Now, act like you are trouble."

She winced as he dug his nails into her skin. "You know you really do need to rethink your uniforms. These things are useless."

"Shut up and walk," Dak hissed.

Ryanon stared at her feet as he led her through the castle, but not through the front doors. It really wasn't a servant's door that they went through, but it wasn't one the royals and nobles did either. She smirked. Even the Captain of the Guard wasn't high enough to be equals.

He kicked open his door and tossed her roughly in, slamming it shut behind him. "Now, the first order of business." He bent his head down next to hers, pressing his lips against hers.

"I was wondering when you would get around to this," she whispered as she broke the kiss. "We really are the odd couple."

Dak brushed a piece of hair away from her face. "Maybe that's why we work so well."
Ryanon looked away from him. "Maybe" She bit the inside of her mouth. If only he knew everything that was to come.

He handed her a stack of maps. "Here, you need to study these."

She stared down at the maps. The barrier surrounded Trelia on all sides with the lands of the fairies to the north. "Do we even know what the barrier is?"

"It's thorns. We've tried to cut through them, but they just keep growing back thicker and heavier than ever before. When you try to go over or under them, the thorns just seem to come to life." He runs a long finger over the barrier's edge. "The few drones we have managed to get over the barrier are sent back as charred remains."

Ryanon's head jerked up. "Dragon?"

Dak nodded slowly. "There is believed to be a great purple and black dragon just on the other side of the barrier."

"Where did it come from?"
"Well, the fairy that cursed the land hasn't been seen since the curse."
"Do you think the fairy is the dragon?"

Dak looked her in the eye. "It really doesn't seem to be an unreasonable theory."

Ryanon bit the inside of her mouth. The thought of killing Trelia's king was nerve racking enough, but to go up against a dragon and live was just unheard of. She stared down at the maps. Before the curse, Trelia had been about the same size of Xandria, but now only the court remained. The rest of the kingdom lay to rot under the great thorns.

"Here," Dak said, tapping her arm with something.

Ryanon took the pint from him. "Should we really be drinking before we do this?"
Dak threw back his head and started to drink. "We might as well because if we fail, we'll both be dead."
She took a small sip. She took life all the time, but the thought of losing her own was just downright scary. She took a bigger drink. Well, if she was going to go out, she might as well do it while drinking Dak's ale.


Morning came much sooner than Ryanon would have liked. Plus, it didn't help that she was woken up by Dak pouring a bucket of cold water over her. She got her revenge by kicking him so hard between the legs that it nearly made him scream.

She mounted her horse and watched as Dak exchanged a few final words with the prince and king before mounting his own black horse.

The prince and king walked to the front of the line. Both of them wearing military uniforms covered with medals, even though neither one of them had and probably never would fight in a battle.

"FORWARD!" the king called. "MARCH!"
The small group of legions moved forward. Their horses stepped perfectly in step with the drum.

Ryanon caught Dak's eye. "Shouldn't you be up front?" she whispered, making her voice as deep as possible.

"It doesn't work that way."

She watched Dak twist the reins tightly in his hands. "Why?"

"It's just not the way we do things." He clutched his jaw tightly. "Come on, we have to keep up."

The ride through the countryside was oddly peaceful. The peasants all worked their fields, looking up as they passed. However, their eyes were not filled with love for their royal family, but of hatred. Dak keeps his hand on the small gun at his waist as they made their way through a rundown village. The just glared at them, but didn't come out.

"What's all of this about?" Ryanon asked after getting another stink eye from an old woman.

"The king has raised taxes again and many cannot afford to pay them. If they can't pay, then he takes their land." Dak flinched as a rotten apple came flying toward him. "I really don't blame them, but throwing things is not necessary."

"Then, why don't you stop it?"

"We are on another mission. We can't deal with a revolt today."
Ryanon stared as they passed half-starved children. Their eyes were so far back into their head that it looked like Death would come knocking on their door tonight. Their skin was filthy hat it was impossible to tell where their skin ended and clothes began.

"Dak, this is horrible," Ryanon muttered.

Dak nodded. "I know, but there's nothing we can do right now." He kicked his horse's side. "Now, let's go!"
Ryanon stared back at the children as they raced out of the village. One day she would come back and kill whoever did this to those children. She didn't care the king was the one put down the law, there were others who carried out the deed.

As soon as they rode out of the village, the forest thickened up. The trees were so close together that no sunlight shone between them. The little creatures that roamed the floor did not look like the ones that Ryanon had seen in near the Commons. No, these ones looked like they were made up of many different kinds of animals. She winced as a snake like creature with the head of a rabbit and wings like a bird flew out in front of her.

"This land was hit by the curse. Not as bad as up ahead, but still bad enough." Dak pulled close to her. "Stay close. Most of these things are highly toxic."
Ryanon ducked under a low limb. "What if this doesn't work?"
Dak glared over at the other men close by. "It will work. Now is not the time to have second thoughts."

Ryanon bit the inside of her mouth. There just seemed to be something wrong about killing a man who had been sleeping since the dawn of time. How big of a threat could he really be?
The trees were starting to become lined with thorns. Ryanon found herself keeping even closer to Dak. The thorns were so long and pointy that they would probably kill her. Plus, they were probably laced with who knows what.

Dak held his hand out so quickly that Ryanon nearly slammed into him. "There, it is."

Ryanon stared through the thick thorns, barely able to make out the decaying castle. Even from this view, she can tell that during its prime that this had been the place to be.

"Do you remember the plan?" Dak whispered, keeping his voice low.

Ryanon gave him a long look. She was not a child. While Dak was with the prince up in the princess's chambers, Ryanon would slip into the throne and kill the sleeping king. She spent the last few weeks pouring over maps of the castle and knew it like the back of her hand. She had a blindfold and extra weapons just in case the spell was broken before she could kill the king. That was even if the prince was the princess's true love.

Dak pulled down his helmet's mask. "You should do the same. It will protect you from the dragon."

Ryanon reached up and pulled down the thick covering, which was somehow very easy to see through.

The group started forward, at a much slower pace than before. Everyone was moving so quietly that it sent shivers down Ryanon's spine. If the dragon were here, they would be finding her very shortly.

"Weapons out!" the king ordered.

The edge of the thorns came much too quickly for Ryanon's liking. Her dark eyes scanned the broken courtyard. There were actually many signs that the dragon was nearby. The charred remains of who knows what dotted the landscape as well as bones and imprints of something heavy. Ryanon winced as she rode around something that looked like a large scale.

A few metres away, Dak dismounted. He stared up at the king and appeared to be saying something.

Ryanon scanned the entrance. It was just as the map had said, which probably also meant that the throne room was just through those doors and up a small flight of steps. It was all too easy.

Dak turned away from the king, walking over to her. "The dragon is not to be found! This, however, does not mean that you should let your guard down!" He stared off into a bit about formations and tactics that were just about as clear as mud to Ryanon. "Remember our mission! Do not harm anyone within! The sooner we get out, the safer we will all be! Dismount!"

Ryanon climbed off her horse like the others and followed the man right in front of her, praying that he was not a rookie.

Keeping low to the ground, the group made their way across the courtyard. Ryanon kept a tight grip on her shield as she listened for the dragon, but there was no sign.

The first men pushed open the great doors, scanned inside, and motioned for everyone to enter.

Dak turned to Ryanon. "Good luck," he muttered as she slipped past him.

"I'll see you soon." She scanned the area before slipping away.

With one final nod, Dak turned and followed the prince up a steep flight of stairs.

Ryanon gripped her fists tightly before sliding through the throne room's doors.

The moment she entered the throne room, a damp and musty smell filled her nose. Wincing she pulled her mask closer to her face, but it did no good.

She pulled out a torch and slowly made her way around the sleeping forms of the people. It almost looked as if they curse had been released on a Public Day. Most of the people were dressed in things that were nothing more than rags.

Ryanon paused to a small sleeping child her arms filled with flowers and a lovely smile filled her face. She stepped back. It just seemed so haunting and seemed to be right out of a dream.

Gasping, her eyes darted around the room. There were so many children, so many innocents who were about to be awoken to horror.

Blinking, she stared up at the king. He really did not look like a tyrant. In fact, he looked like a loving grandfather.

She tightened her grip on her knife. No, she could not let her emotions get the best of her. Every failed female in history had allowed her emotions to get the best of her. She was not about to go down in history as a weak human being.

She knelt down in front of the king, running her hand under his chin. The life of his pulse thundered heavily in her hand. It just seemed impossible easy it was to take a life. "I'm sorry," she whispered, "but you just have to go. I'm just doing my job, I hope you understand."

The king did not move.

"I just want you to know that your death will haunt me for the rest of my life." She gulped. "Now, I have to do this before the curse is broken and the dragon finds me. Don't worry, your daughter will be safe."

She stared down at the knife with wide eyes. Why did everything look so good on paper, but the actual event felt just so wrong? She shook her head. Crying was for females, but she understood why she had to do the job.

Murder was male and no one would dare suspect a female assassin.

Ryanon drew the knife against the king's pale throat. "I really am sorry about this, but you are better off dead. The world is far more evil than you remember it."

In a swift movement, she pulled the blade across his throat, stepping back as the blood started to run out. She bent down and wiped her knife off on his robe.

With a turn of the heel, she turned and walked out of the throne room, trying to hide her shaking hands inside the thick folds of her uniform.

It's not your fault...You are just doing your job.

Around the corner, she joined another line of men.

"Do you hear something?" one of the guards down the line hissed.

"You are just hearing things," another snapped.

Ryanon listened. There was something moving ahead and it did not sound human. No, the walking was far too loud and heavy to be human. "I hear it too."

The guards all turned to her, and then looked away. A few of them reached for their guns, as the walking grew louder.

Ryanon held her breath. Was it the dragon?

"There's a window," a guard whispered. "The beast is on the other side of the window."

"We have to fire," the leader said.

"What about the others?" Ryanon asked. "How can we be sure we don't hit one of our own?"

The leader looked back at her with wide eyes. "We don't. We just do what we are supposed to do. People get hurt in friendly fire all the time."

Ryanon eyed him. She really couldn't believe what he was saying. Friendly fire? Was she missing something or was he for real? She looked over and saw the determined look on his face. Yeah, he was for real. They were really going to do this.

Hesitating, she pointed her gun out the window and stared at the masses below them. The shadows seemed to have come to life and were attacking the few guards who remained outside. There really was no way to pick out who was friend and who was foe. The shadows all looked the same. She could barely make out the people below through the smoke and debris. People were going to die or get hurt. However, there really was no other option. If they didn't act, the loss of life could reach an ultimate high.

Sometimes doing the right thing wasn't the easiest thing to do...

This was the right thing to do.

"Okay, let's do it," Ryanon said as she fired a warning shot down on the masses below. "And don't miss."

A rain of a thousand flames erupted from the tower and landed on the crowds below. Ryanon did her best to indentify who she was aiming at before firing, but wasn't always sure.

Where was Dak?
"Look!" a guard yelled, pointing out above the tower.

A black mass was making its way toward them.

"The dragon," another guard said, taking a small step back. "It's flying."
Ryanon and the leader exchanged looks as the dragon approached.

"Well, let's not just stand here! Do something!" a black guard yelled. "Have you guys forgotten they're coming to kill you?"

The leader pointed his gun at the black mass. "Fire!"

The dragon slowed only for a moment, before it was quickly approaching them again.

The leader looked at his men. "We don't have enough."

Ryanon stared out at the sky. The leader was right. The dragon was coming faster than ever and it was only a matter of time before the fire started.

"What would happen if the spell was broken?" Ryanon heard herself asking.

The leader just shrugged. "It probably would not be enough."

Ryanon forced herself to the ground beside the black guard. The dragon charged the towers, sending bits of fire through the holes and windows. She gulped, praying that the fire did not find a way to reach them. Beside her, the black guard had his eyes forced shut, muttering something under his breath. She looked around at the rest of the group, who were in similar positions as she was.

This was not going to work. They could not fight lying down, but if they were to get up, they would more than likely die. How had the dragon gotten the advantage on them so quickly? Unless, more time had passed than she realized, but that couldn't have happened. There was just no way.

She could hear the blasts of the other towers as her fear rose. She could only hope that those in the collapsing towers died quickly so they didn't have to suffer anymore than necessary.

She put her hand to her forehead and slowly removed it. There was something warm and sticky on it. Holding it close to her face, she stared at it. Blood, her head was bleeding. The funny thing about it was, she didn't even remember being hit in the head.

She got to her knees and peered through a small hole in the stonewall. The dragon was now hovering over the battles on the grounds. She blinked. Most of those on the grounds were racing back into the castle, while the dragon sent jets of light down on them. Judging by the amounts of people falling, the fire seemed to be finding some kind of a mark.

The leader tapped him on the shoulder. "We have to get out of here!"
Ryanon nodded, jerking aside as a bolt of fire neared her. "Where?"

"I don't know! Anywhere is better than here!"
Ryanon looked at the rest of the group, who was looking up at them. She didn't know what to do, but he did have a point. If hard blast of fire hit any weakened point of the tower would bring them all crashing down.

The tower shook as another fire bolt can raining into the room, sending even more rubbish down on them. Ryanon put her arms over her head as she was forced back down onto the floor. They couldn't stay here.

"Let's move!" the leader yelled, pushing himself to his feet.

Ryanon followed the group down at narrow flight of stairs. Another flight ran opposite of them. She could make out a group of people running in the dark. "Dak," she whispered.

Right behind him was the prince, who was holding the hand of a very beautiful and very confused looking girl.

"The princess has awoken," the leader said.

The two groups crossed paths.

"We have to hurry," Dak yelled. "It's coming down!"
Ryanon stared up at the darkness as a roar of thunder sent them all plunging into the darkness.

This is it, this is how I die.

So, it didn't up being the most modern retelling and I didn't have enough words. I really am thinking about writing a full length story with these characters. I promise you that the actual story is 6000 words. :)