He quested across mountains and rivers, through forests and deserts. He battled ogres and trolls. He slew a dragon and forged a shield from its impenetrable scales. He dined with undines and endured the hospitality of kobolds.
When he found the castle, it was sealed in a wall of thorny creepers. His muscles grew weary and his sword gummed with sap as he forced his way through. At last, he entered his beloved's tower room, and with his last strength bestowed a kiss upon her lips.
Her eyes flew open. "God!" she cried. "Can't you take 'no' for an answer?"
The Best of Clarkesworld 2012+
54 minutes ago