The True Story of Valentines Day
Have you ever wondered about Valentine’s Day? This whimsical story offers an alternate version to the traditional one. Follow Princess Tiny and her love interest, the fair maiden Valerie, in this short fantasy adventure and learn the true story—well, maybe not exactly true, but who’s to say it didn’t happen.
It all happened one day when…
Princess Tinesa hid in the corner watching her mother, Queen Amelah, gracefully approach her father as she stroked her hands over each other in a nervous gesture known only to the family. Her mother was the perfect Queen and Tinesa was her exact opposite in every way, except for her startling green eyes—the only trait she inherited from her mother.
She could almost hear her mother’s anxious words to her father. I don’t know what to do with that girl. She’s off again in the corner while several suitable companions mill about the ball waiting for her to notice them. She didn’t have to be a lip reader or mind reader to know these were the words out of her mother’s mouth—because this night was simply a repeat of the once a month ball, held in her honor for the last twelve months since she turned twenty-one.
Princess Tinesa was affectionately called Princess Tiny, but that wasn’t because she inherited her mother’s petite frame. Oh no, she had to take after her behemoth of a father. All efforts to hide in the corner were usually for naught, because how could one possibly hide when you’re over six feet tall and as broad as any of her father’s warriors.
Tiny groaned as her mother dragged her father, the King, over to where she was hiding. Her mother didn’t fight fair.
“Tinesa, you know this ball is in your honor. Please come out from your favorite hiding place and dance with these handsome suitors who keep asking where you are. Your father is embarrassed by your behavior.”
Tiny watched as her father made a face, that to her indicated he wanted no part of this exchange, but wasn’t about to cross her mother. She may be small, but her temper is mighty.
“What’s embarrassing is the fact that I tower over every one of those Princes that you’ve practically ordered to be present. Please don’t make me do this again.” Tiny hunched over even more in an effort to make herself smaller.
“Prince Andon is nearly as tall as you and he would make a fine King,” Amelah offered.
“Oh please, he is an arrogant, son of a…”
“Tinesa. Mind your tongue. Is that any way for a Princess or a lady to speak,” Amelah chastised.
“I’m only a Princess by birth and I am definitely not a lady,” Tiny retorted.
Amelah huffed, “You will go over there right now and do your duty. This conversation is over.”
“Father?” Tiny looked over to her father for support.
King Ismal coughed. “Would it be so hard to simply say hello, Tiny?”
Amelah glared at Ismal. “Why must you perpetuate that awful nickname, Ismal.”
“Sorry, my dear, the men have not given her this name in disrespect. You know how they all love her.”
“I don’t mind, Mother, at least the men treat me as an equal,” Tiny interjected.
“Yes, that is another thing I have been meaning to talk to you about, Ismal. Tinesa is not their equal—she is a Princess and should not be playing with swords and horses. None of the other Princesses in the other kingdoms are taught to wield a sword. Why must you treat her like a Prince versus a Princess?” Amelah asked.
“She begged me. How could I refuse my beautiful little Princess? Besides, she is quite talented with the sword.” Ismal puffed out his chest. “I am proud of her skill.” Ismal winked at Tiny.
Tiny thought her father would pay for that comment, but she wasn’t about to get in the middle of that debate. Tiny sighed, ultimately she knew she might win a battle here and there with her mother, but she would never win the war. She would be dancing with all the eligible Princes tonight whether she wanted to or not. Tiny glanced over to where everyone was politely dancing. She saw a crowd of her mother’s hand selected Princes creating a ring around someone or something. Her interest was piqued. I might as well do my duty and then maybe I can find out who or what is in the center of the circle.
“I’m going now, Mother. Can you please leave father alone?” Tiny stumbled toward the crowd of Princes.
The evening gown and high-heeled shoes her mother picked out for her looked out of place on her large frame. Tiny wasn’t really overweight, but she was definitely heavily muscled and her athletic structure filled out a tunic much more nicely than a gown. She wasn’t used to the high heels and kept tripping over her feet. She grumbled under her breath using colorful language she was sure her mother would chastise her for.
The clicking of her heels alerted the group of men and the circle disbanded to reveal the most beautiful woman Tiny had ever seen. Her long chestnut hair hung in soft waves delicately across her shoulders. Tiny captured her cerulean eyes that seemed to twinkle under the hundreds of candles alighting the room. The woman’s upturned lips uncovered a row of perfect white teeth. As she smiled, two flawless indents appeared on each cheek to expose her charming set of dimples.
The five Princes bowed and said in unison, “Princess Tinesa.”
Tiny couldn’t drag her eyes away from the beautiful newcomer and absently nodded at the five men.
“Princess Tinesa, I am honored to finally meet you,” the woman said.
Before Tiny could censor herself she reached over and took the woman’s small hand in her large calloused paw and placed a light butterfly kiss on her palm. “I’ve not seen you at a Royal Ball before.”
“We’ve only just arrived three weeks ago from the village Lancaster. I am called Valerie. Our village was destroyed and the King and Queen were gracious enough to let some of us settle here. I was pleased to receive the invitation from your mother, the Queen. She is a most gracious woman.”
“Destroyed?” Tiny inquired.
“Yes the famed red dragon was ruthless in her quest for revenge.” Valerie looked down. “I’m ashamed to admit that some of the men in the village found her lair and destroyed the egg of her young. I did not agree with their decision and although I mourn our losses, I believe her actions were just. She spared my family because we played no part in the destruction of her egg. A few of the men responsible escaped her wrath when they fled and took residence in the forests at the foot of the mountains. I believe they are amassing an army to try to take her down. They may seek audience with your father,” Valerie explained.
Prince Andon puffed out his chest. “Our Kingdom has vowed to join the fight and destroy all the remaining dragons. I will lead our warriors to victory. Your father should bring his warriors to the fight and join in the glory of this righteous battle.”
Tiny snorted. “I don’t think so. It sounds to me like the red dragon had every right to protect her young. We ought to be tracking down the men responsible for smashing the dragon egg. I’d sign up for that. I’d love to teach those cowards a lesson. The dragons have lived in our mountains for centuries and we have never had cause to fear them until those idiot men took it upon themselves to start this war.”
“What do you know? You are just a silly girl playing in the warriors ring. Surely your father will see the logic in eliminating a threat,” Andon spit out.
“You, Andon, are a horse’s ass.” Tiny spun around and faced her mother’s fiery expression. She grinned when she saw her father look like he was trying not to laugh. Tiny thought she heard a feminine chuckle and wondered if the fair maiden, Valerie, was responsible.
“Tinesa, you will apologize to Prince Andon right this instance,” her mother ordered.
Tiny shrugged then looked over her shoulder. “Sorry, asswipe.”
When Tiny looked over her shoulder she saw Valerie grinning at her before she stalked off and took residence in the corner of the ballroom where she had previously hidden from the chosen suitors.
The fair maiden Valerie had never quite met anyone like Princess Tinesa. She had enjoyed the company of other women, yes, but none so completely open and forthright as the Princess, yet there seemed to be a vulnerability to her. When she placed that kiss on her palm, it sent shivers up her body and all she wanted to do was remain connected to her. Although she definitely agreed that Prince Andon was a horse’s ass, arrogant, and condescending, she never would have had the courage to tell him that. She was glad that the Princess stood up to Prince Andon and she desperately wanted to follow her to the corner of the ballroom.
Slumped over in the chair, Princess Tinesa looked up and Valerie could feel the smile broaden on her face. She couldn’t help it—she wanted to make a connection. When the Princess smiled back, Valerie bravely strode over to her, leaving the astonished Prince and Queen to sort out the fallout of the Princess’s sarcastic apology.
“I don’t think the Queen is pleased, but that was the funniest thing I’ve ever heard,” Valerie laughed.
“No, I don’t suspect mother is very happy with me right now, but I’m downright giddy. Father will smooth things over for me.” Tinesa shrugged.
“Can I ask you a question Princess Tinesa?”
“Tiny, please call me Tiny. I hate titles and everyone calls me Tiny. Ask away.”
“Does the King really let you spar with his warriors?”
Tiny winked. “You bet he does and I can whup every one of their as…um…rear ends. Sorry I’d rather not offend you, fair maiden.”
“Oh, I’m not offended. I have four brothers and they taught me much worse.” Valerie giggled.
“What do you think of the warriors hunting the dragons?”
“Oh I agree with you. I think it’s barbaric and they will get far more than they bargained for by starting a war with the dragons. Do you think your father will join them?”
“No. My father is a fair and just ruler. He will not support this crusade. He may even fight on the side of the dragons.”
“Interesting. I think my brothers would join him. May I ask another question?”
“The Queen has been hosting a ball in your honor every month for the past year and yet it appears as though you have not accepted a suitable companion. Do you not like men?”
Tiny’s eyes grew wide. “Do I have a choice?”
“Oh yes. You can prefer the company of women—like me.” Valerie didn’t know where her confession came from. Normally she was far more subtle in her approach.
“You say this as if there are others like you. I never met another woman who does not wish to find a male companion. I know that our kingdom is small, but this is a foreign notion to me.”
Valerie laughed. “Oh, Tiny, you are precious. Yes, there are others and they most certainly reside in your kingdom. I would have imagined they might have taken a shot at wooing you by now or letting you woo them.”
Tiny blushed. “I don’t think my mother will allow for that possibility.”
“Doesn’t she want you happy?”
“I think she does, but she judges happiness by what she is accustomed to and I am expected to produce an heir.”
Valerie waved her hand. “Easily accomplished. There would be a line of men to offer their services for a chance at being a part of the royal line without expecting to marry you.”
Tiny looked up at the ceiling. “I’ve never considered that option before. I think I may be like you.” Tiny looked into Valerie’s eyes, blushed and continued to speak, “I suppose a big clue might be my compulsion to meet you and although I’ve never kissed a maiden’s hand before, it seemed the right thing to do.”
Valerie giggled. “You are welcome anytime to do that and more.”
“Do you get to kiss other maidens on the mouth?” Tiny asked.
“Sure, that’s one of the other places,” Valerie boldly proclaimed.
Tiny’s mouth turned up at the corners and then suddenly turned down as she looked over Valerie’s shoulder.
The Queens high heels clicked loudly on the marble floor and Valerie turned around just in time to see what appeared to be a very pissed off royal. Valerie was not a stupid woman so she hastily curtsied to the Princess and fled what she imagined would be a very nasty family squabble. Before she left she winked at Tiny who managed to wink back before the Queen dragged her away from the ball by her ear.
Valerie wondered how such a small woman could have such a command over someone as large as life as Princess Tiny, but she appeared to follow her mother willingly.
Queen Amelah dragged Tiny into a side room adjacent to the ballroom. Tiny’s head was pulled down in an awkward angle as the queen continued to drag her by the ear.
“Ow, stop yanking on my ear. I’m coming. You don’t need to manhandle me. I’d rather be done with the ball anyway.”
“Tinesa. Do you have any idea what you have done? Prince Andon is talking about war against our kingdom. First, you spout off about something that you have no knowledge of and then you make a personally offensive remark to him—twice. He has vowed that if we do not join the fight against the dragons, we are the enemy. His exact words were those that are not with us are against us. Now your father has no choice but to join this bloody battle,” the Queen grumbled.
Tiny hadn’t noticed her father following them until she spotted him in the doorway. She suspected he heard every word his wife said about the Prince and his boasting. She hoped he had enough sense not to join those idiot blowhards who wanted to start a war with the dragons.
“Father, surely you will not join those dumbasses into battle against the dragons?” Tiny asked.
Her father chuckled until he caught the Queen’s glare. “No wonder she cusses like a man. You encourage her vile behavior.”
“Now, Amelah, my dear, I have heard a few choice words from your mouth on occasion, especially when I have forgotten to remove my boots and tracked horse manure into the castle.” Ismal grinned.
“What are you planning to do about this latest trouble that your daughter has caused?”
“I intend to do nothing. You are right, Tiny, this is not a war I wish to fight. Let them get their asses burned by the dragons. I intend to watch the fireworks from the sidelines and enjoy the show.”
“What about Prince Andon’s vow to start a war with us after taking care of the dragons? We don’t have nearly the number of warriors that his kingdom has.” Amelah began pacing.
“Once the dragons are finished with them, I doubt there will be many warriors left to fight.”
“I want to fight with the dragons,” Tiny pronounced.
“Are you daft?” the Queen asked.
“But Mother, they destroyed the egg of her young. That would be like the dragons coming and killing our babies. It’s not right. I will stand with the dragons and you can’t stop me,” Tiny whined.
Amelah turned to Ismal. “See what you have done with all your swords and horses. You’ve turned our daughter into a loud-mouthed warrior. I forbid this.” She glared at Tiny. “Do not test me, Tinesa, or I will chain you to your room until you turn thirty-five and force you to marry the ugliest Prince that comes calling. Prince Cyrus should do nicely. He has the nose of Cyrano and a face like a toad—warts and all. I’ll give up my dream of having beautiful grandchildren as a sacrifice.”
Tiny sighed and decided she’d had enough for one evening. “May I please go to my room, Mother?”
The Queen waived her hand. “Yes, go. It’s probably best that you don’t go back out to the ball and say goodnight. I will make an apology for you and can tell them you felt a sudden illness coming on.”
Tiny lay awake in the specially crafted bed the carpenters made for her. When she continued to grow tall in her adolescence, the Queen called upon the craftsman to make a bed that would fit her large frame. She would visit them while they were working and they would patiently explain to her what they were doing. They never made her feel bad about her size, only her mother did that. She was grateful for the love of the village. If only her mother would let her be.
Tiny couldn’t exorcise the vision of the fair maiden, Valerie, from her mind. She longed to see her again and wondered what it might feel like for her to press her mouth against Valerie’s luscious red lips. She couldn’t shake the memory of Valerie assuring her that kissing on the mouth was only one of the locations Valerie’s lips might bless her with.
Finally, Tiny could not contain her excess energy and rose from her bed quickly stepping into her favorite tunic. She never went anywhere without her sword, so she hastily fastened it around her hips and quietly climbed out her bedroom window.
The moon was full and cast a soft light over the castle grounds. Two glowing eyes peered out from the hedge and Tiny called out to her cat, Sebastion. “I see you, Sebastion, so you can forget about hiding from me.”
The black cat swirled around her legs jumping up and rubbing in an effort to achieve maximum contact. Tiny leaned down and stroked his soft fur for a few minutes before continuing her stroll through the gardens and into the cobblestone street leading to the center of town and the sole tavern. The cat having received her ten seconds of attention stretched and ambled off into the bushes. Tiny decided she wanted some perspective from Vanessa, the bar maiden.
Vanessa was Tiny’s only true confidante. She told her everything that was in her mind and her heart and Vanessa always seemed to know exactly what to say to make her feel at ease. Tiny knew that if her mother ever found out about Tiny’s numerous friendships with the common people—as her mother referred to them—she would never hear the end of it.
Tiny had been frequenting the Tavern ever since she was tall enough to see over the top of the bar. She’d been drinking the barley and hops drink and the mead made from honey since she was fifteen. She hadn’t been there in quite some time afraid that her mother might discover her secret midnight escapades. She knew that her father was well aware of her occasional pilgrimage to the tavern, but he never said a word. What her mother didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her or hurt Tiny for that matter.
Tiny burst through the door of the tavern and stared at the object of her affection laughing without censure at something that Vanessa was saying. Her mouth hung open and if there were any flies in the tavern, they would have surely built a home on her tongue.
Vanessa shot Tiny a wide smile. “Tiny. Where have you been? We’ve missed seeing your beautiful face.”
Valerie turned around and displayed her trademark dimples as she smiled. “Princess Tiny. I see you are a night owl like myself. Come join me and have a glass of mead.” Valerie’s face transformed into a serious expression, as she looked left and right. “I need to tell you something.”
Unsettled from the shock of seeing Valerie, Tiny shook her head and walked slowly to the bar. She noticed that Valerie had also discarded the ball gown for a more comfortable tunic. Strapped to the back of her tunic was a bow and ten arrows. Tiny had an inkling there was much more to the fair maiden then she first presented at the ball. “Are you an archer?” she asked.
“I hold my own in competition,” Valerie responded.
Tiny nodded and sat down on the stool next to Valerie. Their thighs made contact and Tiny felt a powerful current travel up and down her body. “What do you need to tell me?”
Valerie turned to Vanessa. “Vanessa, can you spare a moment? This involves you as well.”
“Sure thing, sugar.”
Valerie placed her hand on Tiny’s. “Prince Andon has a reason for wanting to engage the dragons in a war. Vanessa overheard the troublemakers from my village bragging about the riches they will receive from the Prince when they complete their work. The dragon’s hide fetches a pretty penny in some of the other kingdoms. The warriors use it as armor and others make bags, footwear, and other items out of the flexible, but strong pelt. Yet, that is not the worst of it. Andon knew your father would not fight against the dragons and he is using his refusal to fight as an excuse to declare war. He has his sights on this kingdom and was tiring of his efforts to convince your father to accept his proposal of marriage to you.”
Tiny looked over to Vanessa. “Is this true?”
“I’m sorry, Tiny. I would have told you sooner, but you’ve not been in the tavern for three months and your mother would never invite me to a ball. I’m just glad Valerie was invited. They are planning to go back and smash the red dragon’s remaining egg and then they will seek out all the other lairs.”
“When?” Tiny asked.
“Tomorrow night,” Vanessa responded.
“Then I need to hike to the mountains tonight to protect the egg. Vanessa, you have to request an audience with father and tell him what you have told me. I will write out a message to get you in and to let him know where I have gone.”
“I’m coming with you,” Valerie declared.
“Oh no, fair maiden. The mountains are no place for a lady.”
Valerie laughed. “I’m no more a lady than you are. Believe me when I say I can take care of myself. Besides, I know where the red dragon’s lair is and you do not.”
“I don’t suppose it would do any good to argue with you about this.”
“Nope. I will get my traveling sack and meet you back here before the moon sheds light on that table.” Vanessa pointed to a table in the far corner of the tavern.
Tiny wasn’t sure she was happy to share the danger, but she was happy to spend more time with the beautiful maiden. “Do you have paper and a quill for me to compose a message?”
Vanessa nodded and walked away, returning a few minutes later with paper, a quill, and an ink well.
The tip of Tiny’s pink tongue peeked out as she dipped the quill in the ink and penned her message. After she completed the task, she hurried back to the castle to retrieve her own traveling bag.
It was amazing to Valerie how gracefully Tiny moved given her size. Valerie watched as Tiny appeared in front of the tavern and kept turning her head in all directions. Valerie had no desire to keep her waiting any longer as she stepped from the shadows and greeted Tiny with a chaste kiss. Even in the moonlight, Valerie could see Tiny blush.
Valerie leaned in close and whispered in Tiny’s ear, “It is going to be cold tonight. We should plan to share a bedroll when we get to the top of the mountain. It will keep us warm.”
“Um…yes…that’s a good idea.”
Valerie was ecstatic about the opportunity to get physically closer to Tiny. She was sure that Tiny had absolutely no idea how unbelievably attractive she was. Her towering height and commanding physical presence stirred every ounce of Valerie’s nether regions. Maybe I will steal another kiss tonight.
The two self-appointed protectors trudged along the seldom used trail up the mountain in the inky black darkness barely illuminated by the moon. Valerie stumbled on a hidden root and Tiny was instantly by her side to catch her fall. “Careful fair maiden. The trek to the top is treacherous when only the moon lights our path.”
“Thank you Tiny. May I take your hand to steady my gait?” Valerie asked.
“I think that would be a wise choice, m’lady.” Tiny held out her hand and Valerie quickly grasped it—lacing their fingers together.
When they reached the top of the mountain Valerie tugged on Tiny’s hand and led her to a large cavern. As they ventured further into the cavity, the darkness surrounded them and prevented further progress without fear of stumbling or harming the dragon egg that Valerie knew resided within the cave.
Tiny pulled an unlit torch and flint from her travel bag that she had fastened earlier to her back. After striking the cave wall numerous times, a spark finally lit the dry torch. The warm glow from the torch gave just enough light for the two heroines to navigate the remaining few feet to their ultimate destination.
Leaves and pines needles lay beneath a large brown and white speckled egg. The egg appeared to shimmer in the soft light and began to vibrate. Valerie could hearing a tap tap tapping sound from what she imagined was inside the egg. When a crack appeared on the egg, Valerie knew she would soon witness a once in a lifetime event—the birth of a baby dragon. She wondered where the red dragon had gone, for surely she had to know how imminent the birth of her young would be. A loud crack echoed off the walls and the top of the egg splintered off falling gently to the side.
Valerie watched as an ornate scaly red and pink head popped up out of the shell and the baby uttered its first sound. A puff of smoke accompanied by what Valerie later described as the blending of a wind chime and a human burp. Valerie giggled at the young dragon’s attempt to communicate.
The baby blinked her yellow eyes at the two humans and made the wurping sound again, but this time Valerie distinctly heard a child’s giggle and the word protector in her head.
Tiny arched her eyebrow. “Did you hear that? I’ve heard that dragons communicate by putting words in our heads, but I’ve never experienced that before.”
“I think she likes us.”
“How do you know it’s a she?”
“I’m just guessing, but I don’t think we should spread her hind legs to find out. Besides, I’m not really sure how you can tell their gender. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an appendage in a male dragon, but then I haven’t really gotten that close to them before.”
Valerie turned her head in the direction of the entrance when she heard a loud wup wup wup sound that she suspected could only be the wings of a dragon flapping close to the cavern. “Horse dung, I think mama’s home.”
A loud roar accompanied a sudden increase in temperature. Valerie distinctly heard in her head, get away from my baby.
Valerie took a step back as Tiny removed her sword from its sheath. Valerie placed her hand on the top of Tiny’s sword. “No, don’t agitate her further.”
Valerie breathed a sigh of relief when she heard the staccato wurp wurp wurp and saw the puffs of smoke followed by the words, protector mama, in her head.
The red dragon’s massive head peeked into the cave and tilted to the side as her yellow eyes locked on the two humans. Why are you here?
“We feared for your baby’s life. We heard the men talking about their plans in the tavern,” Valerie answered.
How did you know where to find the last egg?
“Yeah, how did you know?” Tiny narrowed her eyes and then they went wide. “You hid the last egg, didn’t you?”
“Yep. I sure did. By the time I went back for the others, I was too late.” Valerie frowned. “I knew the red dragon would be able to smell the egg and find the new nest.”
The red dragon bowed her head. I am in your debt, famed archer.
“Please tell me you were able to fight off the armies.”
The largest group to the left is no longer a threat, but when I felt my baby I left and there is a small group of ten that approaches to the right. The other dragons will destroy your kingdoms. Your warriors should not have started a war with us.
“You have to stop the destruction of Tiny’s kingdom, King Ismal refused to play any part in this war, and this is the place I now call home,” Valerie pleaded.
Done. I cannot help you with the men that approach, my priority is to my baby.
“Understood. They are no match for us,” Valerie proudly declared.
Tiny blinked. “You are the famed archer?”
Valerie waved her hand. “You’re not the only one who can whup some warrior asses. Come on, I’d bet my left breast that the band of ten is led by Prince Andon.”
Valerie and Tiny exited the cave and started down the path to the right of the hidden lair. Tiny blew out her torch and stuffed it in her pack. With her sword safely stowed away as well, she was able to take Valerie’s hand.
After an hour of walking, Valerie heard a rustle in the forest. Men are such idiots—they might as well announce themselves. Valerie pointed to the forest and then placed her index finger over her mouth. She was pleased to discover that despite her size, Tiny could walk through the forest as if she weighed nothing. Her stealth was impressive. Valerie watched her silently retrieve her sword. Taking her cue from Tiny, Valerie placed an arrow in her bow.
The two women stepped into the direct path of the noisy warriors.
“Halt, do not take a step further,” Prince Andon commanded.
The predawn light was just beginning to shine on the forest floor. Valerie recognized the moment Prince Andon realized who was in his direct path when he sneered.
“I should have known it was you, Princess Tiny. You always seem to stick your nose somewhere it does not belong. I warned you.” Andon narrowed his eyes at Valerie. “Come fair maiden, I will protect you from the red dragon.”
“Why you yellow bellied booger eater,” Tiny spit out.
Valerie grinned and mouthed to Tiny, yellow-bellied booger eater?
Tiny shrugged. “It was the first thing that popped in my head.”
Andon unsheathed his sword. “Get out of my way or I will be forced to gut you like the pig you are.”
Valerie shook her head and aimed her arrow at Andon. “My patience with you and your tiny little appendage…”
Tiny held up her pinky.
Valerie chuckled. “I guess Vanessa told you about it as well.”
“I will kill you if it is the last thing I do.” Andon rushed forward and Valerie sent a well-placed arrow to his hand causing him to drop his sword. “Do not test me, Andon. The next arrow will separate that small appendage that you proudly boast of from the rest of your body.”
“Get them, they are but two against our ten. They are inadequate women.”
Valerie and Tiny shook their heads and said in unison, “They never learn do they.”
Valerie fired off three arrows in quick succession landing perfectly on each target, while Tiny swung her powerful sword pivoting and dispatching three warriors of her own. The remaining four, including Prince Andon froze and looked at one another before running in the opposite direction.
Valerie looked up in the sky hearing the wup wup wup as the black dragon swooped down and blew out an impressive stream of fire.
Days later, the few stragglers left from the kingdoms who led the fight against the dragons found the charred remains of Prince Andon and his warriors.
Less than one hundred people from the ten adjacent kingdoms survived after the war against the dragons, but harm did not fall upon a single villager from King Ismal’s kingdom. The remaining villagers pledged their allegiance to King Ismal and were enlightened about the true motive around the failed war.
Word spread quickly to the villagers that Tiny and maiden Valerie were responsible for the protection extended to the kingdom and their ultimate prosperity from the other kingdoms. Tiny was already popular with the people, but now both she and Valerie were exalted by everyone.
The courtship between Tiny and Valerie was slow and steady, much to Valerie’s chagrin, but she was a patient woman and she would wait however long it took to win the hand of her Princess.
The king had to intervene on numerous occasions until the queen finally relented when she saw the utter joy on her normally sullen daughter’s face every time Valerie was near. When she learned that Tiny would agree to a pairing with an attractive villager to produce her heir and grandchild, she decided to fight no more.
The king made a bold new proclamation that would allow two women or two men to marry and the date was set for the royal wedding. Princess Tiny and maiden Valerie would wed on February 14.
The villagers desperately wanted to give the young couple a gift that would match their adoration of the favorite royal couple. Finally, a village elder thought of the perfect gift.
On the day of the wedding, Tiny was pacing nervously in front of a specially made seven-foot mirror. She tugged on her soft white tunic with the solid gold trim interlaced on the edges. She’d finally won the battle over footwear and padded softly over the marble in her flat sandals.
The king walked over to his daughter and took her hand. “My beautiful daughter, you look lovely. Valerie is a lucky woman.”
“I…I…don’t look stupid or oafish in my tunic? I wish I were normal size.”
“You look majestic and Valerie loves every bit of you. I think she is a fickle one and had you not been as tall or as broad she would have passed over you like a rotten piece of fruit.”
“You really think so, father?” Tiny asked.
“I know so. She told me. Come. I believe your bride is waiting.” King Ismal handed Tiny a scroll. “Before the ceremony starts the villagers have asked you to read the scroll to your bride. It is their gift to you.”
Tiny arched her eyebrow. “Okay.”
Princess Tiny and King Ismal entered the garden from the right and maiden Valerie entered the garden from the left. The two fathers kissed the cheeks of their daughters and brought their hands together.
Tiny momentarily broke contact to unravel the scroll and together they held on as they re-joined hands. Tiny cleared her throat and read from the parchment. “We the people from Cupidtown, as a gift to our beloved Princess and her chosen companion, do hereby declare from this day forward every fourteenth day of February shall be known as Val and Tiny’s day.”
This is the true story of Valentine’s Day and the legend shall forever remain in our hearts and minds.
About the Author
Annette is an award winning author and health care executive living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her wife and their five furry kids. She has eight published novels including Goldie award winner, Locked Inside. The positive feedback has spurred her on and she is thankful to have the support of so many wonderful readers. Feel free to drop her a line at: email@example.com, or check out her blog at: https://annettemori0859.wordpress.com/