Last Friday, the ladies at the Merry Sisters of Fate issued a call for submissions. That's right, it was a "Watcher's Prompt Contest". The task: Write a story based on the following picture, post it no later than Thursday, February 26th, and leave a link over there. Not one to pass up a challenge based on such a lovely picture (based on a lovely poem by Keats*), I wrote a little something that I'm called "La Belle Dame Sans Regrets" (why yes, that was the title of a song in French by Sting).
La Belle Dame Sans Regrets
by Kelly R. Fineman
A knight went riding out one day
To slay a dragon on the hill.
Astride his roan, he made his way –
Near water's edge, his horse stood still.
No dragon could the good knight see—
Only a maiden fit to bed:
Her eyes were silver as the sea,
Her smiling lips were poppy red.
In dreamlike state, he reached for her.
He spoke fine words in accents clear.
She came to him without demur—
No word she said as she drew near.
She rode with him upon his steed,
Again she rode him in due course.
Full willingly he met her need—
At last she rose without remorse.
The dragon maiden, fierce and fair,
sat by the dead knight's earthen bed—
With calm, cool hands she fixed her hair,
Her eyes and lips both poppy red.
In case you were wondering about my sources, I based my poem in part on Keats*'s "La Belle Dame Sans Merci", in part on Yeats's "The Song of Wandering Aengus", in part on the legend of Melusine, which I mentioned during my interview with Bruce Coville in question #3, and in part on vampirism.
*Quoth Daniel Cleaver in the movie version of Bridget Jones's Diary: "F*ck me, I love Keats"