Once upon a time, there was a young child who lived in a tall tower in the middle of a meadow, surrounded by a thick forest that stretched as far as the eye could see. A dragon guarded the tower day and night.
Everyday, the child would be visited by magical witch, who would scare the dragon off just long enough for her to greet the child and give them their daily bread. As the days passed, the child, who had been confined to this prison for as long as they could remember, grew more and more restless.
“Why can’t I leave this place,” they would ask the witch.
“Because the warlock’s dragon will eat you,” she would reply. “My magic is only strong enough to keep them out of the tower, and protect myself from its wrath. If you tried to come, it would surely devour us both.”
There was no doubt that the child was grateful to the witch for providing for them. But that didn’t stop them from wanting to know what life looked like outside of their home, and dreaming about it every night.
They cursed the warlock for keeping them trapped like this. The man wore chains around his neck that the witch said he’d wish to use on the child, to catch them if he ever got the chance.
One day, they’d finally had enough of it. They’d noticed that, when the witch came to visit, there would be a brief period of time between her leaving and the dragon’s return. They thought, maybe, if they moved very quickly, they could make it to the woods before the dragon had time to pounce. They could escape, and be free to live life with the witch outside of the tower walls.
The next time the witch came, as she descended the stairs to exit the tower, the child followed, quietly, not too far behind her. When they reached the hallway below, and the child saw the door opening to the outside world, and sped up their sneaking, and stuck their face out the open door.
Before the child’s eyes, just meters out into the meadow, the witch began to transform. She grew and grew, her body stretching long and wide. Her fingers turned to claws. Her teeth to fangs. Her hair grew out into a mane of spikes. It was then the child realize the truth to their imprisonment.
Suddenly, the child was on the floor, back inside the tower. Above them stood the warlock, a look of panic on his face.
“I can’t be too long, for my magic can only protect this tower if I’m outside,” he whispers. “Take these enchanted chains, and use them on her when she comes back for you tomorrow.” He then ran back through the meadow and disappeared into the woods.
The next day comes, and the witch visited the child, as she always did, everyday.
“Why do you keep me here,” asks the child.
“It is a dangerous world out there, and I’m the only one who cares enough to protect you,” said the witch, ignorant to the child’s knowledge of the truth. “If you were to leave this tower, the dragon that guards it would surely kill you.”
“Then I guess I’ll just have to trap her in here instead,” said the child, as they threw the chains onto the witch.
With a flash of light, the chains wrapped themselves around her body, and fastened her to the floor.
Through a fit of screams and roars, the child hurriedly descended the stairs, ran fast down the hallway, out the door, through the meadow, toward the woods.
With every fall of their foot, a heaviness grew inside of them. Their legs began to stretch. Their fingers turned to claws. With a final leap into the air, wings broke free from the shirt on their back, and their ears were tickled by the clouds above.
Soaring into the unknown, they never looked back.