Written for my ladiesbingo card after or riffing off of Tell Me a Story. See also Heroes..
Sum-up of what's come before: Lily's grandma told the best stories, because she could see what needed to be told. What she told for Cady had surprised even her a little bit.
And so the young knight slew her first demon. And although she knew there would be many more demons, and many more mountains to climb, she knew she would never have to face them on her own
Cady had been telling herself those words over and over again. And so the young knight slew a demon. The young knight. A demon. Slew it. She had been whispering them to herself on her walk to school. She'd been shouting them out on the playground, when some of the other girls were pretending they were too old for such things as make-believe, and some of the boys were pretending she couldn't be a knight, because that's not what girls did. She and Lily - and Ken and Melissa and Pat - they went to their little corner of the playground, behind the weird thing nobody wanted to play on, that Cady thought might have been an elephant. And they played Knights and Demons, and Rescue the Princess, and, sometimes, when they were sure the teachers were somewhere else, they played Kiss the Knight.
"The knight thrust with her lance!" she shouted at the thin air. They never had anyone play the demon. they didn't need to. They could all see where he was, the shape he made in the air.
"The lance the princess had made her!" Lily was sitting astride the elephant-thing, cheering her on. She knew the story as well as Cady, of course; it had been Lily's grandmother that had told it to them. "The lance the Princess had carved from her own flesh and bones and, and, and heart."
That part was new. Cady's imaginary lance faltered for a second and her steps shook.
"The demon thought the knight was weak!" Ken prompted, scoffing at the demon. "He couldn't see what even an idiot could see!"
The story was growing. Cady took a step forward. Playground demons could be stabbed with imaginary lances.
"He couldn't see that the princess held the most powerful of all the elements," Pat improvised. Pat's stories were all a little bit more, uh, anime than the rest of them, but it just made everything that much more wild. Nobody else would have said the princess was riding a robotic elephant-horse-dragon, for instance. Nobody else would have given the lance a laser pointer. "The princess wielded, uh." He glanced back at Lily.
The other girls on the playground were playing marriage and divorce or some other soap-opera thing, or truth and dare. Cady had seen them at it. She glanced back at Lily, too, turning so her imaginary lance was still pointed at the invisible demon.
Lily raised her chin. "The princess wielded the hammer of love. She'd swung it with all of her might, to forge the lance for the knight. Because nobody else could make the weapon right." She grinned, gap-toothed and proud of herself. "She was the only one."
Cady found herself inclined to agree. "Nobody else could make the weapon right," she nodded firmly. "And so the Knight thrust her lance into the demon, and it fell." She shoved her imaginary lance forward.
The real demons weren't that easy. But maybe, with Lily's hammer and Pat's screwdriver - sonic of course - and Ken's flower wand, maybe she stood a chance.
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