PodCastle 41: Dragon Hunt

By Sarah Prineas
Read by Wilson Fowlie

The king shrugged. “What news do you bring us from West Cornhold?”

The peasant fell to his knees on the rush-covered floor before the high table. “Your Majesty, it is a dragon!” He dropped his hat to gesture widely with his hands. “We-we’ve seen it, My Lord! Huge it is, breathing great gobs of fire, shining in the sun, flying over our fields and houses, sharp c-claws, teeth, and–“

“Silence!” Prickett shouted. In a sharp voice, he continued. “To talk of dragons, sirrah, living ones, in the court of King Kenneret Death-of-Dragons, is to talk treason. It cannot be a dragon.”

The peasant stared. “It bloody well is a dragon,” he shouted, climbing to his feet, spittle flying from his lips. “Claws! Wings, great wide wings, like sails! Stealing sheep, and–“

“That’s enough,” ordered the counselor.

“–And goats!” the headman added.

Well. There was going to be trouble. The court held its breath and stared at his Royal Majesty. Someone was for the headsman’s axe.

Rated G. Contains dragons, knights, and deputy archivists.

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16 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    scatterbrain said,

    February 17, 2009 @ 7:38 pm

    Although this was enjoyable in itself, albeit a bit unoriginal, I don’t care much for dragon stories because there is little creative thought or originality in writing one these days, aside for a few exceptions such as Michael Swanwick’s ‘The Iron Dragon’s Daughter’ or Pod Castle’s own ‘The Illuminated Dragon’.

    On another note, our reader today, Wilson Fowlie, was very good with him being able to switch between American and English accents just like that.

  2. 2

    kalz said,

    February 18, 2009 @ 11:44 am

    I found myself a bit frustrated with the story, as I didn’t understand why the librarian didn’t just tell the dragon right when they met that he wasn’t going to kill him. Why pretend to be a knight? The ending redeemed the story for me, as there seemed to be a promise of adventure, discovery, and escape for the librarian.

  3. 3

    The Great Geek Manual » Geek Media Round-Up: February 18, 2009 said,

    February 18, 2009 @ 8:09 pm

    […] Fiction: Listen to “Dragon Hunt” by Sarah Prineas at […]

  4. 4

    phignewton said,

    February 18, 2009 @ 10:08 pm

    yes, just walk away, quite often the best way out of a story… you’ll quite possibly live longer and keep all your teeth.

  5. 5

    newfiechick said,

    February 18, 2009 @ 11:59 pm

    The story was so so, but nicely narrated by Mr. Fowlie. His speaking style was perfectly matched to the genre of this story.

  6. 6

    Julio said,

    February 20, 2009 @ 6:29 am

    Oh no, for me it was quite the contrary. I liked it up to the ending. Like the gun, show the hypocrisy in the first act and it must be confronted in the third act. He never confronts it, or deals with any of the “last” dragon stuff. He simply goes away.

  7. 7

    David said,

    February 21, 2009 @ 2:03 pm

    Fun story, but I do wish the main character had killed the king in the end.

  8. 8

    Jonathan said,

    February 25, 2009 @ 6:15 am

    See PC 002, “For Fear of Dragon”, for a much more interesting version of the same story.

  9. 9

    Kazima said,

    February 26, 2009 @ 4:32 am

    I thought it was a nice story, but it was sort of tame. I liked that he walked off into the world in the end, but I did miss some action there…

  10. 10

    PaulthePotter said,

    February 26, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

    I enjoyed this story for what it was, a simple dragon tale with a very slight kink in the tail. Kind of like a nice filled chocolate, too much makes you sick, but just the right amount was tasty.
    Loooooooved the narrator. MORE MORE MORE from this one please!

  11. 11

    Blaine Boy said,

    March 1, 2009 @ 1:55 pm

    Each human has his/her own purpose. However we all have several collective purposes. One of those is to provide to all other humans, and to a lesser extent all of creation, the protection of life, liberty, and truth.

    Cliche dragon story. Unlikely hero sent to find dragon, dragon turns out to be good, king that sent hero corrupt or ignorant, blah blah blah. Mr. Fowlie was an absolutely astonishing reader, though; please bring him back some time.

    The Blaine Boy

  12. 12

    potter said,

    March 3, 2009 @ 2:21 am

    I for one liked the twist in the end, instead of hero returning to the kingdom to shame the king and maybe replace him, the writer took the road less traveled and to me the decision seemed actually the most plausible when you think of it ..

  13. 13

    Dave (aka Nev the Deranged) said,

    March 6, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

    Holy cow, was this ever a fantastically performed piece. Bravo, Mr. Fowlie, bravo. The story wasn’t bad either. I was hoping for a confrontation rather than a bailout, but that’s just me.

    More evidence, were it needed, that the narration can make or break a story. I don’t think I’d have liked this one nearly as much if not for the magnificent vocal performance.

  14. 14

    mary said,

    March 20, 2009 @ 8:36 am

    I’m not a huge fan of dragons and dragon stories, but I am a very big fan of the narrator of this tale and would listen to anything he were to read. He has a marvelous range of voices, wonderful pronunciation, a good speed so that all can hear every word. I didn’t want it to end. Let us hear more of him, please.

  15. 15

    Fiction and me « Rhymes and Reasons said,

    May 22, 2009 @ 7:30 am

    […] which deals with racism of a very different sort etc. On the fantasy side stories such as Dragon Hunt and Komodo were very entertaining. Do give them a try […]

  16. 16

    RajeshGoli.com » Fiction and me said,

    May 23, 2009 @ 1:52 am

    […] which deals with racism of a very different sort etc. On the fantasy side stories such as Dragon Hunt and Komodo were very entertaining. Do give them a try sometime. Categories: Reason Tags: […]

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