Wendell and the Dragon's Heart

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Chapter 44

Sitting back in his castle room, Wendell’s thoughts were surreal. Now that all the excitement of his journey was over, he realized that he had no idea what he was supposed to do with the rest of his life. As an orphan, he had just tried to survive it, but now that seemed like a strange, distant memory.

It seemed strange to sit and try to remember everything that had just happened... but there was no time to rest now, there was a pounding knock on the door, and he went to answer it.

“The king summons you to the royal throneroom,” the servant boy said, fearfully.

Wendell left his dagger behind and was led along, back to the royal chamber. There were five daughters he had seen in the paintings, the calm, rosy one, the one with wild black hair, the two yellow-haired twins, and Karen. There were also some other girls he didn’t know, looking a bit confused.

A shout was heard from somewhere, “Violet! You come out here this moment! Do you hear me Violet?

Then, a moment later, Violet came in, looking very indignant, escorted forcefully by two guards. She took her place and gave Wendell a terrible look.

Now the king came in, looking very pleased, as if he had just gotten an excellent price for selling some cattle.

“Which one do you choose?” he said to Wendell, who suddenly felt very much out of place. Wendell walked up to Karen, who was looking a bit out of sorts, then turned and walked down the line of princesses. Violet looked down her nose at him fearfully, consigned to her fate.

Tulip, one of the yellow-haired twins, giggled as he went past, and Lily, the other one, gave him a nice, polite smile. The older ones didn’t seem very happy. Then he turned and slowly walked back, and then back again.

Every time he reached Karen, he was about to speak, but suddenly couldn’t say anything. At last, he came back down the row and stood in front of her, thinking of what to say. She stood with her hands clasped together, and looked down at the ground. She looked up now suddenly.

“What?!?” she demanded.

“I choose you,” he said, the words all rushing out now. “I chose you!! I did it all for you!!... I saw you in a painting then I snuck past the guards, I went through the labyrinth, I almost got eaten by dragons, I broke into the castle where they were keeping you...”

As he spoke on and on, a look of sudden awareness and hurt came into her face, more and more, and she shook her head, great tears springing into her eyes. Suddenly she turned and ran from the room, crying and weeping heartbreakingly.

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