Thurren’s Cairn: A Brief Love Story

the dragon and the princess

© A Mixed Bag 2011

“Now we can be together forever, Charlotte.”

“I hold you dearly in my heart, Thurren, but you are a dragon and I am a Princess. We can never be together, forever or otherwise. I will grow up and one day be Queen. You will grow large and mighty and be a prize sought after by every Knight in the realm.”

The two, secret companions since childhood, sat by Thurren’s Cairn, their favorite meeting place. The roses were in bloom and the vines crept up and around the stone pillar speaking of a love which could not be.

Charlotte we really can be together forever. Come away with me.”

“But how can I abandon my responsibilities, no matter how I may feel for you?”

“Actually Princess, but you already did, the minute we fell in love.”

Thurren’s Cairn stood near a pond. He took Charlotte’s “hands” and led her there to her reflection.

“It’s like ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in reverse. Your love for me has freed you.”

Charlotte gazed at her reflection with a combination of horror and fascination. She was now a dragon. She and Thurren would have to flee quickly to escape her Knights.

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction for July 2nd 2017. The idea is to use the photo prompt as the basis for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is exactly 199.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to

34 thoughts on “Thurren’s Cairn: A Brief Love Story

  1. I enjoyed this love story, but…. It is strange for whilst traveling by train to Leeds today I wrote a story about a mythical dragon like being, called Charlotte!!! However my story is so far only in pencil and has a sci fi like format, which I hope to shorten and use for flash fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

      • The reversal of traditional symbols for good and evil, or desirable and undesirable, is a postmodern deconstruction technique. It has benefits toward fostering values clarification; but it also can undermine the definitions of good and evil, fostering moral ambiguity to the detriment of moral clarity.


      • Dragons are considered evil sometimes because they’re non-human. Plenty of science fiction and fantasy tales that warn against always assuming “the other” is bad.


      • Would we really enjoy the story of the frog prince, if the princess who kissed him became herself a frog rather than restoring him to his princely human form? It undermines the hope that redemption and restoration is possible, and devalues the potential nobility of humans (unless, of course, the story doesn’t end thus and continues onward to a human redemption). It is a form of reverse species-ism, denigrating the notion that humans should be human, and that the created order of things was (and still is) “good”.


      • You make some good points, PL. However, sometimes humans aren’t all that noble. In any event, I don’t think I gave my wee tale as much thought when I wrote it. Clearly there are more implications than I had originally considered.


      • I think it also helps if you have a view different from the author’s. I’d wish you a happy fourth, but being in Israel, I doubt you’ll be celebrating, or to American Jews in Israel still do some sort of commemoration?


      • Since, here in Israel, we’ve already had our Independence Day celebration, complete with fireworks and outdoor grilling among other celebratory pursuits, there isn’t a lot of impetus for American Jews to continue to place much emphasis on the US Independence Day celebrations. Nonetheless, some do, as an individual choice. For most, it’s still an ordinary work day, though some might take some vacation and head for the beach or a park (grill optional).


      • I’m just hoping that my neighbors don’t shoot fireworks over my roof again this year. Idaho finally made those kind illegal, but we’ll see how effective that is.


    • Considering that European fairytales beginning a few centuries ago dealt figuratively with what were in their times real social problems, I saw in this fairy tale a modern and yet not-so-new problem of the young woman seduced and betrayed into a criminal situation and ultimately criminal identity by her search for love. Is the surprise and horrified shock of the protagonist here any different from that of a modern young woman finding herself having to flee law enforcement officials upon discovering that her boyfriend is a wanted drug dealer or criminal assassin or something similar, and that she had become implicated innocently by her association with him and his “friends”, and her incidental ability to identify them? Of course, this story also could be twisted in even more intricate ways, to explore a question of whether the “boyfriend” had himself been turned unwittingly into a dragon by unwise associations. Further twists could explore whether there could be redemption for the unhappy couple to escape their dragonish condition; or if they might suffer a deadly fate akin to that of the ill-fated Romeo and Juliet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s quite an analysis, PL. I was thinking more along the lines of a forbidden (cross-species) love where, in the usual fairy tale, the non-human creature is transformed by love into a human and then happily ever after. But what if the reverse occurred and its the humans who are evil and destructive instead of the dragon?

        Liked by 1 person

      • A version of that theme was presented in the animated film “Shrek”, in the initial film of what became a series, whereby the rescued princess, whose enchantment was to be broken by being restored to her true love’s form, was given the form of the (lovable?) ogre Shrek rather than her original human form as expected by all the citizenry of the vain prince who had contracted with Shrek to rescue her that she might become his bride.

        Liked by 1 person

      • PL’s comment made me think down similar lines, that it could be an allegory of interracial or intercaste relationships — that he is of the outcast or “other” group, and by loving him, she loses her privileged status and becomes outcast herself.


  2. Whew! After such a copious accumulation of literary analysis applied to your little story, I’m really glad I didn’t write one for this challenge. And here I thought it was just a little fun tale with no ulterior purpose. 🙂


    • You’re the second person to mention “Shrek,” Suzanne. I really didn’t have that movie in mind when I wrote this tale. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I think I saw one of the sequels once, but haven’t given it much thought since then.


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