Princeless (revisited)

“Excuse me, excuse me, Lord Grimkris, sir?  I know you’re really busy, but, would you mind kidnapping me, please?”
“What’s this now?  You’re offering yourself to be kidnapped?”
“Well… y-yes, you see, my kingdom doesn’t have a prince right now, and well, we were really hoping we could get one before the war season starts!”
“Heh, amusing.  I regret to inform you, pretty little girl, that I already have a princess back in my cave.”
“Oh, I… Well, can’t you make an exception just this once?  I promise I’ll be good!  I-I’ll try to escape, I’ll call for help, I could even say you’ll never get away with this if you’d like!”
“My dear, as you have previously said, I AM extraordinarily busy.  I’ve got fly-overs and rampages booked until the end of the planting season AND three other dragons looking to take over my territory.”
“Could you at least look over my credentials?  I have previous dragon experience!”
“Oh, fine, let me see here…  Ankanor, Bristen the Burnt, Zornt, Ankanor… again?”
“Ahh, yeah, that’s… kind of an embarrassing story.  Ank didn’t have a princess at the time and heard that the prince of Feldwater was coming, and since he already knew how to kidnap me he just picked me up quick so Feldwater had something to rescue.”
“Mmm…  Ankanor WAS always quick to please.  Likely the reason he got himself slain.  Well, in any case little miss, I suppose I could hold onto you for a while, but you’ll have to behave yourself and stay out of Princess Berrybell’s way.”
“Ooohhh…  You have Berrybell?  I’ve met her before; she’s a real brat.  Maybe I shouldn’t bother, then…”
“No, no, I’ll manage; I’ve had her for weeks so I’ve gotten used to it.  In full disclosure I’d have eaten her by now if she was still a virgin.”
“Oh, she’s married now?  I suppose I’ll have to congratulate her.”
“Do as you wish.  Will you be screaming on the flight back?”
“Only if you want me too.”
“Might as well then; I’ve got a reputation to uphold.”

{The Sell:  A deconstruction of the damsel in distress story.  Set in a fairy tale world where the inhabitants are so used to dragons razing villages and warlocks raising the dead they’ve practically built their economies around it.  Princesses grow up knowing that their purpose in life is to get kidnapped and subsequently rescued multiple times for political leverage and to keep heroes employed, schools have entire curriculums dedicated towards training future adventurers, and villages amass and store vast quantities of gold and treasure for the express purpose of having it stolen by a dragon, and then returned to them once the dragon is inevitably slain, often with interest since not all those who “contributed” are still alive after the fact.}
{The Twist:  What happens when a hero has no more dragons to slay?  What happens when a dragon has no one to slay it, and can find no more gold to horde?  What happens when a princess has no prince to rescue her, or even a dragon to kidnap her in the first place?  A fantasy world thrives on crisis and conflict, but how can its inhabitants cope when there is none to be had?}

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