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by Marian Rosarum

The first of our order crawled into the arms of the dragon
and fed him weakness like candy floss, yet only her comrades mourned her
when she took the mermaid’s route and cast her hidden knife into the
sea rather than be broken
on the altar of the beast’s gluttony.

The second offered the Wolf hunkered at the end of the world not her hand
but a heart that had grown crooked as a bramble in exchange
for dismissal from our ranks.
It was a fair price; one cannot resign from a war
without leaving the constellations of their bones
far behind.

As the third, I only allowed the dragon to crown me his queen
amidst evidence of rot and ruin to save
the sisters doomed to follow me should I fail to dislodge
the beast’s soul from the bright cocoon of his ribs.
I carried their names with me
like a sword into the dark.

Ladyknight is a title,
not a name and who am I
if not the last of a mortal trinity?

This the advice of the ages:
Make the dragon love you--he will bring your enemies to heel.
This is the advice of those born as ghosts:
Make the dragon love you--in truth, there are no heroes.
This is the advice of women:
Make the dragon love you--only then can you slay him.

* * *

Marian Rosarum divides her time between Colorado and Miami, and is always accompanied on her travels by her cat and the host of fictional characters populating her imagination. Her work has previously appeared in Shades and Shadows: A Paranormal Anthology. She can be found online at, where she blogs about fairy tales, elegant horror, and wanderlust.

What inspires you to write and keep writing?

Love and frustration are motivating forces that should not be underestimated when it comes to inspiration. I write about the things I am passionate about and that fill me with joy, and I write about the things in this world that infuriate and sadden me. Fantasy in particular allows authors to speak out when we otherwise might not be able to. Just because something is not real, after all, does not mean it is not true.