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Competition winner James Tomkins: 'Alexander vs the Dragon'


A loud roar pierced the air as the scarlet-and-gold-scaled dragon saw Alexander the young knight dismount from his horse. They were on the top of a mountain crag, where a cave stood. It was the monstrous lizard’s hiding hole, his evil den where he lurked, an ever-there and odious presence. The dragon had been tormenting the small village below the mountain for years, and now finally a knight had come to face him. Black-grey pebbles fell as the monster roared, making Alexander wonder; Would he be falling from this mountain soon, so high that he would die instantly? No! He told himself. He was going to fight, and win.


Alexander unsheathed his silver-and-steel broadsword and braced himself. Then the dragon breathed a sheet of fire at Alexander, and the knight rushed into the blaze. Yellow, amber and crimson flames danced around the knight, making his shield feel hotter than lava, and Alexander himself was almost fried alive. It was a terrible experience, running through an inferno towards a monster even more deadly than flames ten times hotter than this. But all things need to draw breath at some point, and finally, after what seemed like hours, but was probably a few seconds, the dragon paused to breathe. Acting fast, Alexander looked at his shield. The painted ash was charred and burned, it was alight, and was almost broken in two. He threw it aside. A flaming piece of wood would be a hazard rather than a help. He shoved his sword back into its sheath, and pulled out his uncle’s knife. He hoped that this was a suitable thing to use it for. Then, using all his strength, he threw the little blade at the giant lizard. Amazingly, his aim was true, and the dagger sailed through the monster’s open, saliva-drooling mouth and stuck in the back of his throat. The dragon roared in pain.


The reptile out of nightmares hit the knight as hard as he could with his massive paw, and Alexander swung precariously on the edge of the mountain before he regained his footing. As soon as he was safe, Alexander ran forwards with a cry, pulling out his mighty sword, firecleaver, as he did, and swung the weapon at the lizard’s giant claw. His blow was so hard it severed off the blood-stained talon, but then, in a quick and unpredictable movement, the dragon swung his other paw at Alexander, and the knight was forced to drop to the ground. Dropping to the ground was not a traditional knight move, however it was not as foolish as most modern people think it is, as knights armour was actually very light. However, Alexander had been winded by the force of being sandwiched between his armour and the burnt ground. Nevertheless, despite the odds, he still had a chance. But then the fatal blow was struck. The monster-creature swung his seven metre long, poison tipped tail at Alexander.


The knight, using all his strength, pulled himself up again. But alas! The tip of the toxic tail nicked him, and Alexander sunk to the ground again in pain. He must not fail all those who were trusting in him! What about George? His uncle? His father? No. This dragon would not defeat him. He glanced up and saw the dragon’s chest just above him. Without thinking, he thrust his sword, with as much force as he could muster, through the lizard’s heart, then released the blade. The monster fell to the ground, writhing for a few seconds, then all was still. Alexander’s enemy was dead. He had succeeded! But the knight then looked down at his leg. That deadly tail had broken through his stiff bronze armour and the pale skin visible beneath was purple and swelling. Alexander moaned, then collapsed unconscious onto the hard earth. He could only hope someone found him, and soon.


Congratulations to James Tomkins for winning the Copywork Cave 2024 creative writing competition for 10-11 year olds.


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