QSFer Minerva Cerridwen has a new queer fantasy/fairy tale out: The Dragon of Ynys.
Every time something goes missing from the village, Sir Violet, the local knight, makes his way to the dragon’s cave and negotiates the item’s return. It’s annoying, but at least the dragon is polite.
But when the dragon hoards a person, that’s a step too far. Sir Violet storms off to the mountainside to escort the baker home, only to find a more complex mystery—a quest that leads him far beyond the cave. Accompanied by the missing baker’s wife and the dragon himself, the dutiful village knight embarks on his greatest adventure yet.
The Dragon of Ynys is an inclusive fairy tale for all ages.
Warnings: This fairy tale contains instances of trans-antagonism and flirting to an aro ace character. Both are addressed on-page and resolved. The dragon conducts off-page, non-violent theft. The book contains visuals of spiders and an off-page avalanche.
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“Excuse me?” he called.
A black mass moved out of the darkness and two yellow eyes fixed on Violet. “Excuse me, you said?” a deep, reverberating voice asked. “What should I excuse you for?”
“Er…” Violet took a few steps back from the giant, scaly face. “Disturbing you, I suppose. Though actually, I guess that you are the one who owes the mayor an apology.”
“An apology?” the dragon repeated. “We are meeting for the first time and you are demanding an apology? Is that how your people say hello?” The creature sat on its hind legs, but its head still towered high above Violet’s. It did catch some light now, and he could see the gleam of enormous fangs.
He wondered if this had been a safe plan, but then decided it would be better to just press on. “Fine,” he said, “I don’t care all that much about the apology. But what I do care about is that the mayor employed me to return her golden chain. I have reason to believe it is in your possession, and I would like to take it back.”
“Oh, all right.” The dragon sounded rather amused. “I suppose that in a place like your village, that chain really is the only perk of being mayor. Far be it from me to take that joy away.”
With a loud tinkle of moving coins, the beast shifted and reached behind itself. Then it dangled the golden chain, hooked on a claw that looked at least as dangerous as the fangs, in front of Violet’s face.
“Here you go. Sorry for causing you trouble.”
“Thank you.” Violet was not exactly an expert when it came to gold, but the chain seemed to be unharmed. “I will leave you to it, then.”
“To…being a dragon and doing…dragon things.” Violet frowned. “What I meant is, I’ll be off, returning this.”
“Of course. Have a nice day.” Going by the shimmer of its teeth, the dragon was still smiling.
With the chain safely back around the mayor’s neck, a council meeting was called in order to decide what to do about the dragon.
“I don’t think there is much you can do about it,” Violet mused. “I’ve seen it, and I think it’s a little too heavy to simply kick out of its lair. Besides, it’s not actually in our village. And it was quite polite.”
“But surely a dragon can mean nothing but trouble,” one of the two council members piped up. “Perhaps this was only the beginning!”
“We don’t know how long this dragon has been living here,” the mayor countered. “We’ve never even seen it fly over Ynys. At least I haven’t. Now it has stolen one thing and returned it upon a simple request from Sir Violet. I don’t think we have to fear this creature.”
So, to Violet’s relief, the meeting was over before dinnertime, and the mayor did not assign the village’s only knight to go up against the dragon.
Minerva Cerridwen is a genderqueer aromantic asexual writer and pharmacist from Belgium. She enjoys baking, drawing and handlettering.
Since 2013 she has been writing for Paranatellonta, a project combining photography and flash fiction (https://paranatellonta.tumblr.com/). Her first published work was the queer fairy tale ‘Match Sticks’ in the Unburied Fables anthology (2016). Her short stories have also appeared in Atthis Arts anthologies Five Minutes at Hotel Stormcove (2019) and Community of Magic Pens (2020).